Blizzard bulking up Diablo dev team

Company job postings call for art leads to work on unannounced PC title from the crew behind the first two Diablo games.


It's been more than four and a half years since the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion pack came out, and that time has apparently done nothing to diminish fans' enthusiasm for an unannounced sequel to the action role-playing series.

Even now, the slightest hint of Diablo III's existence is enough to get the Internet buzzing. Whether it's the acknowledgement that Blizzard North employees were working on an unannounced project when the studio was shuttered last August, or the e-mail of a Czech musician claiming to have recorded music for the project, rumors of Diablo III persist, popping up every few months to rile the Blizzard faithful.

This month's riling comes straight from Blizzard itself, which has posted a number of intriguing entries on the jobs section of its Web site. The positions, which were posted yesterday, call for an art director and various leads to join "the team behind Diablo I and II" for "an unannounced PC project."

The job descriptions offer few clues as to the nature of the next project. The lead 3D environment artist position calls for a candidate with a solid grasp of form, color, and light who "has experience modeling and texturing a diverse visual range of characters and creatures." Blizzard's also looking for a lead 3D character artist with "experience modeling and texturing a diverse visual range of characters and creatures" and a lead 3D character animator who has "experience animating both human and non-humanoid characters." The lead 3D character animator position also calls for knowledge of inverse kinematics and other facets of 2D and 3D animation, suggesting that the game will have some detailed visuals. Each position calls for familiarity with 3ds Max, while the lead 3D character animator will also need to know Maya and Character Studio.

Online speculation immediately turned to thoughts of Diablo, a franchise Blizzard has previously acknowledged wanting to continue at some point. Currently the company's only announced projects are the long-in-development Starcraft: Ghost for consoles and the Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft.

Blizzard representatives did not immediately return requests for comment.

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