Micky Neilson, Co-Creator of the Book of Cain - r/Diablo Interview

Uploaded by redditdiablo on 06.12.2011

Okay this is Maximillian from the Diablo Subreddit
I'm here with Micky Neilson today, the creator of the book of Cain
How are you today sir?
I'm doing great, thank you!
That's wonderful, shall we start?
Yeah, absolutely
Ok, from our user Nazzka, he or she asks
Does Cain talk with detail about places such as the Arcane Sanctuary or Kurast in this book or does
he mainly talk about
the "individuals" of the Diablo Universe?
So, we do cover a little bit of Arcane Sanctuary, and I believe Kurast is covered towards the back of the book. There's a section which is basically
lands and culture.
There is a lot of character information througout the book, and there is locational information sprinkled throughout as well.
Our user Lone_sword asks
How much fact-checking did you have to do? Was making sure you didn't contradict any lore a major point whilst
writing the book, or were you being more free with it?
So there was a time where fact checking going on throughout the entire process. We have a lore team
so we have a few individuals and it is their sole job to make sure that we are aware of whats going on with the lore as far as humanly
possible, inconsistencies, contradictions, etcetera. So I wouldn't say that we went out of our way to avoid contradiction
We wanted to make sure that we were aware of the contradictions that did exist and use the book of Cain as an opportunity to clarify.
Wonderful. People will be very happy to hear that.
Yeah it was good for us too
User PirateMunky asks
Will the Book provide any insight into the fates of characters of classes in the previous games, such as the Druid or the Assassin?
It doesn't necessarily provide insight to their fates, or previous classes; It is more about understanding their history and origin.
Okay, wonderful
Chaosteil asks How much freedom in creating the book did you have? Did Metzen and the crew control it like madmen or were you given
some artistic freedom
So I just want to clarify, I'm one of the creators of the book. The idea and concept of the book came from Metzen.
and early on you it was really just an idea, and it was kinda of a rough idea of Metzen coming to us, coming to the publishing team.
And saying, you know, I have an idea for a book. It's kinda like a source book and its sorta like an art book, but its a mixture of the two.
We knew we wanted to have some of the most amazing art in the industry and we knew that we wanted to have the history of the Diablo IP
fully explored
So that was the vision early on and then we did have a good amount of flexibility as far as pursuing that vision. We brought Clint Dilly on
board and everything else; And he kind of nailed the voice of Deckard Cain. So it was really a collaborative effort
with me, Clint Dilly, Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, the lore team, team three; a whole lot of collaboration with us all.
Okay. Well, reading through it, it looks really nice, I have to say. Very well put together.
Very cool
MajesticCricket asks
At blizzcon there was a lot of talk at the lore
panel about assigning an identity to the dark wanderer (Leoric's son); will the book of cain
help clarify as to why that specific identity
was chosen?
It will, yeah, and there's a lot
basically, I would say
there's a lot of information in the book of cain that is going to make a lot more sense when the game comes out, when people have played the
game. And then they will be able to go back and re-read certain sections of the Book of Cain and have those lightful moments.
Okay, so you would recommend buying the Book of Cain and reading through it before going into Diablo III to fully understand everything
And then going back and reading it again after, yeah.
Okay, cool.
Our user Thunderclawww asks
How much will we learn about the Horadrim and
Cain's upbringing within the order? I'm assuming that it was mostly dead by then, but some
people (such as his father, Jered Cain) must
have still lived.
So there is a good amount of information about the Horadrim, specifically pre-Deckard Cain.
So there's a good amount of information there; the hunt for the three, all that stuff.
I would like to mention another upcoming book related to the point that you just brought up, as far as Deckard Cain's history and how it relates
to the Horadrim. That is a book called "The Order". It is a novel that we are working on right now.
That will be coming out... do we have a release date for that yet? I don't think we have a release date ( :-( ) for it yet.
but, that will be exploring the whole Horadrim - Deckard Cain connection in a lot more detail.
Ah, wonderful
Our user Needsmorehacknslash asks
Are there any other NPCs that you would
like to create a follow up to this book with? Like The Book of the Dark Wanderer?
So there are some ideas floating around right now of ways to follow up the book and to tie them to certain characters.
I can't say much more than that.
Can I ask you why you decided to start with Deckard Cain?
Yeah, Deckard Cain, I mean, for one thing, he's already the historian of the Diablo universe. He's the guy going around and collecting all the
musty old tomes and putting all the information together and really kind of figuring things out.
So he made a lot of sense from that standpoint as well as just being a very recognizable character. When you think of Diablo, you think
of Deckard Cain, Tyrael, and Diablo; probably are the top three that would come to mind.
So he made the most sense as being somebody who would write a book like this and also a great opportunity to tie it with his journal
in the game and what you see in the cinematics, and things like that. To be able to present this book as an in game artifact, we
thought was a really cool book.
I have to agree, it is very, very interesting.
Thank you
What was the hardest part of writing the Book of Cain?
by Kalarticus
So, I think the hardest part was just codifying all of the history that already exists, clarifying and coming up with some new history that fit in with
everything else that had come before. There is a lot of History in the Diablo IP.
and it could, at times, the way it was before, you know, if you're just looking at everything and kind of trying to put together your own history of
the IP. It can get very convoluted, really quicky
and you might not have a clear idea of what should be canon, and what should not be.
So this was a great opportunity for us to put together a book and put together history that is canon to the IP.
ThatsJustSemantics asks: So I guess you might say that writing this book has made you an expert on the lore of Sanctuary?
Well its funny, when I work on this kind of stuff, during the time I'm working on it, my head is full of that information, and I'm definitely an expert
during that time. A lot of that information is quickly jettisoned when I move onto a new project.
I'm not quite the same expert
Well, I guess we just have one more question by our user ThatsJustSemantics
and he asks
Did you hear yourself at any point writing
in Decard Cain's voice?
Yeah, that is a device that a lot of writers will use. I think it is very helpful to any writier. I'm sure Lance, who wrote a ton of material for the
book as well, I'm sure he did the same thing where you hear Deckard Cain's voice in your head as you're writing the text, and it really just
helps to bring that character to life.
Yeah, I have to agree
Okay, well, we are out of questions. I would like to thank you very much for you time, and I hope you have a good day.
Absolutely, you too! It's been a lot of fun, thank you.
Thank you
Thanks a lot for chatting with us
Thank you.