Here s where Diablo and Warcraft come from in GOG. We are asking the Polish company for cooperation with Blizzard

At the beginning of March fans of classic Blizzard games received an exciting message : the original Diablo, the legendary action RPG game, again went to digital sales. In addition, in a form adapted to modern computers.

Another surprise was the fact that, contrary to the predictions of the players, Diablo did not go to the BattleNet store, but to the GOG.com store run by the Polish company CD PROJEKT.

GOG.COM, formerly known as Good Old Games , initially specialized in publishing classic games, sometimes from the days of DOS, adapted to run on modern systems. Thanks to this, the games gained the ability to use larger resolutions, gamepads, and sometimes just started - which was often impossible with the original versions of the game.

Although since then, GOG.COM also began to publish new games, the classic remained an important part of their offer.

Where did Blizzard's games on GOG come from?

We were interested in how it came about that initially Diablo, and a few weeks later also classic games RTS Warcraft and Warcraft II, went to the offer of the Polish digital store. We asked about it Maciek Gołębiewski, holding the position of Head of Releases in GOG.COM

How did the cooperation between GOG.COM and Blizzard come about? Did the initiative come from GOG, where Diablo has long been at the top of the community's wish list?

Unfortunately, we can not reveal information about the details of signing the contract between Blizzard and GOG, but it's no secret that the original Diablo and the first Warcraft games were not only in the top list of our users' wish list, but also in the forefront of the cult games that we wanted to free ourselves from DRM.

Above all, however, we dreamed about bringing back the classics that have been inaccessible for years. The only legal option to buy them was to buy back a used copy from years ago, which left a lot to be desired on today's equipment. We are happy that we have succeeded! In the GOG itself, we have many Diablo and Warcraft fans who have been waiting for this day for years.

What were the challenges associated with publishing games in their offer?

Signing the contract is of course the culmination of the whole process and the icing on the cake. In cooperation with each partner, the basis is to build mutual trust, which can take years. Especially when we're talking about Blizzard classics, available for the first time outside of their own platform and without DRM.

What is the integration of Diablo with Windows 10 in the "modern" version? Did it require many changes? Did the modifications to the game go far, or was it just a "wrapper" in some wrapper?

From the technical side we had to deal primarily with the color palette, restoration of music on some screens, ensuring compatibility with Windows 7, 8 and 10. In addition, we wanted Diablo to look a little better than 20 years ago, which is why we used upscaling the Bicubic algorithm in the Catmull-Rom variant (a kind of graphical interpolation that enables image smoothing when increasing their resolution - red.). Thanks to interpolation in this technology, we could not only slightly improve the quality of graphics, but also reduce the number of artifacts.

For many years, we have been working on a variety of proprietary tools that we have been able to develop even further with this project. Thanks to the dedicated wrappers, we could work on the user experience and apply various upscaling options, aspect ratio control and high resolution support.

Why is the support for multiplayer from Battle.net in Diablo only in the "classic" version?

Battle.net originally used GDI ( Graphics Device Interface , a component responsible for presenting graphic objects on the screen in versions of Windows older than Windows XP - ed.), But it is a technology completely different than the interface in the game itself. That's why we could not use the same solution when rewapping.

Together with Blizzard, we decided to give players the opportunity to choose independently, and Blizzard himself repaired and re-launched previously-released services specifically for players. The situation is similar in the case of Warcraft.

And what challenges did you face when refreshing the first two Warcraft games?

The first Warcraft is based on DOSBox solutions (software emulator of DOS environment, available under open source license - ed.), To which we have proven tools, tested many times in buoys. During the work on Warcraft 2, apart from the issue of wrapping, we had another interesting challenge. It is about sewing into the game files special keys enabling access to Battle.net. Originally they were placed in the game archive in a file pretending to be a font. Both the archive and the file were encrypted with two unknown keys, unique for each copy of the game. In the original the key was in the game box, and the process of sewing the keys was handled by the original installer, which we could not use, so we had a problem.

Finally, with Blizzard's help, we've broken the function that was responsible for reading the key and we managed to bypass the double encryption. We simply read the key directly from the registry. In the GOG version, it is only needed to connect to Battle.net servers on a network game.

Thank you for the interview!

Thanks to GOG.COM, Blizzard games have come again on our computers - and some of them, especially Diablo, were not easy to get. This game was not sold at all in digital form, and the last official releases were already years old. Players are still waiting for the Hellfire addition . Unfortunately, his legal situation is complicated. The publisher of the supplement was Sierra On-Line and the creator of Synergistic Software. However, it remains to be hoped that eventually he will come into our hands.



Here's where Diablo and Warcraft come from in GOG. We are asking the Polish company for cooperation with Blizzard

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