The studio split into two teams after Diablo 2, reveals Craddock, and one "started and scrapped" many ideas. Someone came up with a Diablo sci-fi clone, codenamed 'Starblo'.
The idea was that it would take place over several acts, just like Diablo, except we'd be boarding our spaceship - customisable, or course - and explore new worlds.
"Have you ever finished a round of Diablo and said, 'You know, I bet that addictive slot-machine formula would be a blast in a science fiction setting?'" asked David Craddock's unauthorised little biography of Blizzard.
"Blizzard North thought so, too. After D2, the company split into separate teams: a Diablo team, and a 'We love Diablo but it's time to try something new' team. They started and scrapped more than half a dozen ideas before a few team members suggested making a Diablo clone, but set on a space opera stage."
"The project earned the nickname Starblo for its mix of a space setting and the action-RPG formula that made Diablo so successful," he continued. "Like Diablo 2, Starblo would take place over several acts, but rather than journey across a single world, players would board their customizable spaceship and travel to new planets, killing and looting the space creatures they found there. By the time Dave Brevik and the Schaefers left Blizzard North in summer 2003, the Starblo team had produced a few playable builds of the game, but still hadn't come up with a proper name."
Stay Awhile and Listen has been worked on since the middle of '08 and includes talks with over 80 former development staff from Blizzard, Condor and Silicon & Synapse - the original name of the studio.
Stay Awhile and Listen author reveals 'Diablo in space' project that almost was
23 October 2012 | By Simon Priest
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