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Questions for Max Schaefer?

Discussion in 'Feedback, Suggestions & Support' started by Flux, Mar 25, 2011. | Replies: 30 | Views: 10996

  1. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Questions for Max Schaefer?

    We've seen a ton of media coverage of Max Schaefer lately, mostly about TL xbox version, but there are always some d3 questions mixed in.

    I'm going to be interviewing him next week and recording it for podcast presentation. Any questions you want answered? I've got a big list, which I'll have to pare down a bit since we won't be talking all afternoon, but more ideas are always welcome.

    I'll talk about torchlight a bit of course, but I will ask him about stuff we're more curious about. What he thought of the leaked BN version of D3 screens, if he has any thoughts on blizz north/d2 being totally ignored in the bliz 20th anniversary thing, etc. Whether he'll be willing to go into detail on that is unknown, but I can at least ask.

    Unfortunately the interview is going to be via skype, rather than in person. I'd have liked to meet him in a bar and asked him about the d3 days after he'd had a few drinks. Maybe next time...
  2. Kiroptus

    Kiroptus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    Oddly I think I am more interested in Torchlight 2's info. I think we got all of D3's info that is possible but I read very little bout TL2.

    How about what is he thinking about the recent Mythos? It was the project that Torchlight replaced after Hanbisoft took it off them and now its on beta by Hanbisoft's hands, incgamers recently gave lots of beta keys.

    Of course, mostly about how was the experience on Mythos and how it was applied on Torchlight. They seemed to dear that project a lot since I remember them reading about it was painful to lose it.
  3. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    i don't think he'll talk much about tl2 yet. he's been vague about it in other interviews, at least. Plus I'll be interviewing some other Runic guys (and maybe Max again also) later this year, closer to the TL2 launch when they'll want to talk more about it.
  4. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    Do you have regular conversations with anyone on the D3 development team ?

    similar question

    There are some people on the d3 team who were also on the d2 team. Do you stay in touch with these people ? Have regular contact with them ? Conversations ? (not "Hey, how ya doing?" when you bump into them at PAX or E3, but more regular interaction and conversation)

    Are you on some special VIP list so that you automatically get a D3 beta ?

    What mmos are you currently playing ?

    What mmos are you most currently looking forward to? GW2 ? SWTOR ? Other ?

    Prefer PvP or PvE ?

    When was the last time you logged on battle.net and played D2 ?

    Is it possible that any of the original D3 plot, storyline, chars, classes or whatever may be reworked and make their way into TL2? (or is that intellectual property that all belongs to blizzard now)

    Same with Mythos.
    Mythos had some great things. The crafting was superb. The pyromancer class was perfect. Any chance we'll see anything from Mythos in TL2 ? Or is reimplementing a Mythos class in TL2 an IP ownership problem ?

    TL2, will it be released before PAX Prime, Aug 26th ?
    TL2, will we see a new class announced before E3, June 7th ?

    Was BN's version of D3 going to be an mmo or a small multiplayer game like D2 ?

    How close was BN's version of D3 to beta ? Less than 3 months ? Less than 9 months ?

    Favorite build in D2 ?

    Day one buyer of Portal 2 ?

    The Runic team hung out with the devs from Path of Exile last year at PAX, even went out for dinner and drinks afterward. POE is currently in alpha. Are you in the alpha for Path of Exile ?

    Any thoughts on GrimDawn ?

    I assume you own an iPad. Do you play any games on it ? What's your favorite ?
  5. Turnip

    Turnip IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    Ya the only questions I'd have are for torchlight 2, such as how the network play will be implemented. Will it be ported to xbox again. How many people bought xbox 360 torchlight compared to pc.
  6. slickr

    slickr IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    1. Torchlight 1 levels were pretty similar in that it was always dungeons or the majority and it gets pretty boring during the end, what have you guys done to make the levels more varied and fun?

    2. Torchlight 1 story was pretty weak and there were barely any talk with the NPC's other than mostly quest stuff with few lines of overall story, how did you take on the story in Torchlight 2?

    3. The hero companion in TL1 was pretty interesting and useful, do you have any plans to improve upon this feature and if yes, how so?

    4. Which Diablo design element and experiences have you implemented in the development of TL2?

    5. How does the development between torchiligh and diablo differ?

    6. What are torchlights biggest advantages over competitive games and be honest and tell what you think are its biggest disadvantages?
  7. palwe

    palwe IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    does he still love it that hes Schaefer 'ammer? :D

    probably ask him how far he thinks diablo 3 is off release?

    what the future will hold for torchlight once diablo 3 is released?

    does he enjoy working on the torchlight project less, more or the same as diablo 2?

    whats after torchlight and where does he see his future?

    how successful does he think diablo 3 is going to be, and what does he think stands out as ground breakingly new about it?

    what does he think is bad about diablo 3 in comparison to the previous games in the line?
  8. FriskyDingo

    FriskyDingo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    I posted this on the Diablo3 forums.

    Kimi_ferrari
    and
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  9. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    if you're asking if the D3 art controversy caused Runic to question its own art direction, then that it a GREAT question


  10. FriskyDingo

    FriskyDingo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    I believe he ment BN when they were producing their version of Diablo3.
    Either one is a good question though.


  11. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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  12. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    The interview went off this afternoon. We talked for about 45 minutes, with maybe 20m on TL stuff, 15 on bliz north, and 10 on D3, with a fair amount of general "working in the gaming industry" stuff mixed in.

    Tragically, technical problems struck down the recording. I almost cried. I did drink.

    Happily, Max is willing to do it again, so we're on for early next week. We'll probably keep that one a little shorter, and I can just revisit the best issues, plus ask questions on a few things I didn't get to. Hopefully it'll still be a good, lively conversation, rather than just repeating what we said with all the enthusiasm of junior high actors.
  13. FriskyDingo

    FriskyDingo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    That sucks.
  14. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    Quick Max replies to questions we did discuss. Much more detail on these when the interview is posted.

    We didn't talk much about TL2 since they're not giving many details on it yet. Plus I'll be interviewing at least one Runic Games guy in July/August time frame and we'll talk about TL2 specifics then.

    Max several times mentioned I was the person he knew who knew the most about D3.

    Apparently not.

    Didn't ask, but I'm sure he's still friendly with some long time people at Bliz, who could get him a F&F invite, even if he doesn't really know any of the new hires on the D3 team.

    Max was very enthusiastic about Minecraft.


    Didn't ask, but I'd say no way. Very different game worlds and styles.

    Didn't ask but I can say from other sources that it was going to be like d2, but with more online features. Guild support, etc.

    Max left in 2003. BN closed in 2005 and was still nowhere near beta ready.

    Max said he'd enjoyed meeting them and that they drank a lot of beers together, and that he liked the look of PoE. But he hasn't been in touch with them since.

    Much larger levels, and all redone monsters and chars and skills and items.

    They've hired a writer this time, and are adding more depth and detail to everything. World, lore, quests, dialogues, etc. It's not going to be a huge story-telling game obviously; it's a light ARPG. But will be much more to it than TL1.


    We talked a lot about this one, and will repeat. TL1 was a very small project, done quickly by a small team. It might be reasonable compared to D1, actually, though done on an even tighter schedule, and just for SP. TL2 they're not much larger and are still working very fast, but they had the game creation pipeline all set up, a working team, artists, tech, etc, so it's much faster to do much more than they did in TL1.

    He actually asked me about that. He's not closely following D3 nor does he have any inside contacts at Bliz who divulge info to him on it.

    He's very happy now with a much smaller studio and faster more nimble dev. I don't know how compared to D2, since BN wasn't that huge yet at that point, but I'm sure he enjoys now more than doing the early D3 at BN. One of their reasons for leaving BN was to make FSS and keep it small and creative; "which we failed miserably at." he said, laughing. So 2nd try at a new team he thinks they'll manage to keep it small and fun and intimate this time.

    TL MMO plans galore.

    Didn't ask specifically, but he was critical of Bliz's recent decision to remove pentagrams and crosses and such. We talked about that for at least 5 minutes; why they put those symbols into Diablo world, that it was intentional and *not* just lazy reusing of RL mythology, etc. About no crosses on the D3 cathedral Max said, "we wouldn't have done that."

    There was a lot more; I'll write some details about stuff from the first interview that doesn't make it into the 2nd, when the podcast is posted. Late next week, hopefully.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  15. Valhauros

    Valhauros IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    This really caught my eye... Did anyone ever explained the creation process for the story, monster design and symbolism in Diablo 1? We know each creature was aligned with a Prime Evil's domain (for example, Mephisto had under his command Zombies, who "are formed from the corpses of men... driven by the hatred that consumed them in life"). How did it work with the townsfolk, spells and quests? and (if it doesn't sound lame) why did they decrease the relative realism of the game towards a less atmospheric and a more high-fantasy world in Diablo II?

    Finally, not necessarily directed at Max Schaefer, I have a question that has been bugging forever, Who drew the character sketches in the Diablo 1 Manual? In the credits there are 4 people under "Manual Artwork": Samwise Didier, Chris Metzen, Roman Kenney, Maxx Marshall; the signatures of the first three do not match with the one in the Rogue artwork, so is R.Kenney the author? and who did these two?.


  16. FriskyDingo

    FriskyDingo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    Woooooooooooooooow
    I am really looking forward to this interview now.
    I agree completely about the removal of crosses and such.
    It's going to take a lot of the flavor away from Diablo from removing such powerful symbolism

    Also posted on Diablo3.com
  17. FluffyTheFluffer

    FluffyTheFluffer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    I doubt they consciously wanted it to be "less atmospheric" - they just wanted a much bigger world, and that meant they couldn't just make a hundred-level dungeon. It is impossible to make an outdoor environment as atmospheric as a dungeon.


  18. theeliminator

    theeliminator Well-Known Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    I disagree, its not impossible you just have to design better.

    Ever play Allen Wake? Heck even some of the D3 outdoor zones have more atmospher then the indoor ones.

    take a look at these pics

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/gallery/showfull.php?photo=923

    What a great tree in that pic, it epitomizes everything that Tristram has become, Dead, twisted, and knurled.

    One thing I am not sure about, is why he thinks Much larger levels are the answer repetitive themed design. I much rather like the answer the D3 dev team gave about their design philosophy of changing the scenery every 15mins or less.


    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  19. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    I didn't actually ask him that question; just threw in some of the things he mentioned in general discussion about TL2.

    That the first interview died from technical problems (on my end, after we had to postpone the interview in the first place since Max's headphones weren't working) might not be a terrible thing, since I can ask him some different questions next week. Or at least re-ask the better questions and then drill down for some more details on the good stuff.



  20. theeliminator

    theeliminator Well-Known Member

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    Re: Questions for Max Schaefer?

    O ok thought it was odd that he would think larger levels would be the answer. Next time just make sure you say (like you did with some of the other questions you didn't ask him) that you didn't ask him it.


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