The Origins of Warcraft III - Concept Art and Music
month long coverage
of Warcraft III: Reforged, Game Informer's Ben Hanson and Ben Reeves have revealed two short, yet insightful pieces of Warcraft III's past, the music and art which helped shape the distinctive style of Warcraft for decades. Project Music Director and Composer Derek Duke
shares his experience working on Warcraft music and sound design
in a short video, and Senior Art Director Samwise Didier
highlights some early Warcraft III concept art
drawn by himself and Chris Metzen.
This post is part of our coverage of
Game Informer's Month of Warcraft III: Reforged
. You can check all our recaps below.
Concept Art, Story Interview with Christie Golden and Justin Groot
How Blizzard Created Warcraft III's Classic Cinematics
The Warcraft III Soundtrack with Derek Duke
The small, tight-knit group of sound designers at the time developed much of the music in Warcraft III during their free time, staying late after finishing their assigned projects. Derek Duke's primary role was cinematic sound design, but also worked on Orc music and creepily inspired Undead sounds. A lot of the inspiration for sounds is drawn from the models themselves, studying them, creating a backdrop or populating a zone and experimenting with different sounds until something fits.
Click here to check out the full article.
He didn't know much about Warcraft III: Reforged initially, but was awestruck after seeing the new art and models. At the time of Warcraft III's original creation, the designers could only have dreamed of the game looking like it does in Reforged.
There is a new score in the opening cinematic, but how much they'll retouch existing game music is still being determined, at an impasse between retaining the feeling of nostalgia and remaking it in order to bring the music to life the way the new models have been... although working with a full orchestra would definitely be cool!
There's still a lot of love for the old music, and its present in more than just Warcraft III; it lives in everything Warcraft and can still be heard throughout World of Warcraft. Much of the music in the WoW cinematics, such as Lost Honor,
which was recently revealed at BlizzCon
is derived from core pieces of earlier Warcraft audio. In turn, Reforging Warcraft III's musical score would likely be inspired from WoW.
Not all fantasy music sounds like Warcraft, it's a unique combination done in just the right way. Warcraft isn't a formula, it's feeling!
The Art of Warcraft with Samwise Didier
Samwise Didier is responsible for a lot more than just the art of Warcraft. He joined the company in 1991 before it was even called Blizzard, working on two of the earliest games for what was then known as Silicon & Synapse. Since then, his art has been a cornerstone of every Blizzard game, he's lent his voice to several NPCs, he even
came up with the name
Warcraft prior to the original game's 1994 release.
Click here to check out the full article.
Warcraft III was actually created from the ashes of an entirely different project, the canceled point-and-click adventure game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans (much of which became the book of the same name). Despite several trips to work with animators in Russia, the genre was already quite common at the time, and there was concern that the game would feel outdated by the time of its eventual release. Although nearly complete after 18 months of development and switching to an entirely different type of game, a lot of the characters, story, and art were reused in Warcraft III, including Thrall.
Being the first 3D Blizzard game, and excited to show off what that engine could do led to a number of experimental changes throughout early Warcraft III development. It was originally meant to be a more realistic game, with smaller characters and third-person cameras in order to show off the game world. In-game, however, it failed miserably, so the characters models were made bulkier, and the camera was redirected to the familiar top-down style, decidedly less realistic, but giving a more mighty and heroic feeling to the characters. The 3D development did create artistic complications, however, forcing the artists to adopt an entirely different style for texturing models.
Although the games large initial scope was scaled back, cutting early designs like the single unit Dragon race, many core characters and races of the Warcraft universe originated in Warcraft III, making it a special piece of both Warcraft history and future development. As a developer, Blizzard is somewhat known for taking risks, and while they don't always pan out, they iterate upon them over time, which has helped keep their games going decades after their release. While Warcraft III was the third in the series and quite different from the current game, World of Warcraft, it played a pivotal role for both Warcraft and Blizzard as a whole. The upcoming Warcraft III: Reforged will be a new opportunity for fans to experience what made Warcraft III so special.
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