Diablo began as a humble, eight page pitch document.
Following a GDC 2016 talk on the origins of Blizzard’s dungeon crawler, David Brevik has shared the original pitch document for Diablo.
It’s a fascinating look at the 1994 vision that shaped a future hit, and especially noteworthy for gems like “games today substitute gameplay for multimedia extravaganza”, which anyone who’s watched a high-octane blockbuster masturbate itself to completion without player input will find amusing.
It’s not often we get to peek behind the curtain like this, and those of you who prefer not to think of games as commercial products may be shocked to see the pitch includes a section on marketing. It’s longer than the one devoted to development.
It’s also eye-opening just how short the whole document is, given how important the final product turned out to be, and how concepts we take for granted are meticulously spelled out. Astounding to think these few, stained pages eventually led to the constantly evolving experience that is modern Diablo.
Anyway, you can check it out for yourself here [PDF].