As previously mentioned here are some of the more interesting answers from the community Q&A with Paul Warzecha our Lead Character Artist. Enjoy!
Arc: After you joined Blizzard in 2008 as lead character artist in D3, what was the character you were most excited to work on and why?
Paul: I lead a team so I don’t always make as much art as I would like. So I take on small things, things like the Piranhas for the Witch doctor. My opus, and unfortunately it’s not a Reaper of Souls thing, is the Witch Doctor frogs. It was a short task and came together super-fast. After I delivered a frog I had requests like - hey can we get a giant frog? Yeah sure!
Arc: What was it like working on the Crusader and how much was the Paladin from Diablo II a reference?
Paul: Obviously the Crusader has a lot of shared skills with the Paladin and has a similar flavor, but it’s funny because we didn’t look at the Paladin too much. Sure there are certainly armour sets that you look and say, ‘that’s a Paladin armour set!’ but they are more nods to it. Andrew Chambers who was designing the original concept of the Crusader was a big Paladin fan so not doubt that helped! In the overall design of the character we focused on key terms such as Knight in battle scared armor and living siege tank and War Machine. There was also was a little religious overtone combined with militant overtone that we wanted to represent.
Arc: You mentioned that you were part of the monster Strike team. What exactly does that do?
Paul: So the strike team is a group of folks with someone from every discipline that look at the monsters each week as they were coming together. Because you have someone from every discipline, you could have someone from say the sound team who could chime in and say, ‘instead of having a visual tell at this point, why we don’t have an audio clue here instead?’ and everyone could contribute on that level. It was really helpful because you got the best of the ideas! We then cherry picked which idea resonates with that monster which helped to drive the development process.
Arc: What was the best idea for a monster that didn’t quite make it into Reaper of Souls?
Paul: This is probably my favourite thing that didn’t make it in but ended up as a skill. At one point we were looking at monsters and we wanted something similar to the sand shark from Act II. The tricky thing about the sand shark is that when you pivot the model, it looks a little funky. The character I was designing was going to go into the bog in Act V and it was a crocodile type character that we called the Bogadile. We put it into the game for testing and we all said ‘this looks stupid’. We have a spot our monster wall where we a have a section called limbo, for all the characters who had models but didn’t quite make it, so that is where the Bogadile lived. Later on in the piece one of my team needed a ‘Piranha’ modelled. A few days later he came back and said ‘Can I get a Zombie Piranha?’ Sure. He came back and said ‘I’m going to do a tornado of Piranhas!’ Sounds cool! A few days later he came back and said, ‘I need a massive, massive Piranha, something that can jump out of the water and swallow someone whole!’ I thought about it for sec, we just had two piranhas already so how about a Bogadile?! And sure enough he said ‘That sounds bad !@#!’ So we made a few tweaks and now if you play Witch Doctor one of the runes is called Bogadile. Now you know where it all came from!