David Brevik has just taken part in the Devcom 2020 chats which are currently running to coincide with what would be Gamescom if it were not for the pandemic. The interview is not currently online but there are some snippets.
Brevik’s session was covered by Games Industry which appears to have focused a lot on the crunch the Diablo 2 team went through to get the game out the door. Realising they would not make an end of year release the game’s delay until the following year meant some serious crunch had to happen to get it complete. Brevik said:
“Nobody wanted this, but it was the way things were back then. It’s not a good decision. I don’t recommend it. It cost me dearly. It cost everybody dearly. But it was what it was. We crunched.
It wasn’t just me… Everybody was working on the weekends. Some people took time off — I recommended that some people take some time off — but most of the time we would work every day.
“We would order meals, we would give people sleeping bags and toothbrushes, and some days people would sleep in the office… It was a terrible grind at the end of this project. We were working, and summer became fall, and it was pretty obvious that we were not going to make it.
I remember Elly coming back from her Diablo 2 beta testing session at Blizzard North in 1999 and telling me there were sleeping bags dotted around the office. Don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence in this pic taken by Elly during the visit. Mmmmmm, how comfy does that look?