Details on the Collector’s Edition have been out and available for a bit. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already seen it listed and, hopefully, seen a picture of what it comes with. We take a measure of pride in our collector’s editions, it’s something we spend a lot of time thinking about. What’s a good fit, what do fans want, what’s feasible and what isn’t? So a bottle of Nuka Cola might be an awesome idea (we had these made previously and gave them out at a press event), but logistically it’s a disaster. You don’t want to get into having a food product into a video game product. Trust me.
Todd and I have spent the better part of two years going back and forth on this at various points. We always get different people in the team involved…what do you think about doing this, or that? What would you like to see? We also take a look at fan conversations about what they’d like to have in a CE. The big thing for us was that, as much as possible, we wanted the “stuff” to be from the game.
First and foremost was the lunch box. From day one, Todd insisted that it had to come in a Vault Tec lunch box - long before we knew what else was going in it. We spent some time playing with different designs. You’ve probably seen the one we did previously for the press event, but that one was a little more straightforward. We just printed the front and back and nothing else. For this lunch box, we wanted to go all out and print the thing like Vault Tec would have. So you’ve got some recognizable Vault Tec imagery on the front and back, along with Vault Boy along the top, bottom, and sides in his various poses. If you’re wondering, yes, those are all the different poses related to your SPECIALs. We added a fair amount of weathering and grunge to it, as it needs to look like it’s been around awhile. You can find these lunch boxes in the game, and one of the custom weapons you can create is a lunch box filled with Nuka Cola bottle caps and an explosive strapped to the side that makes quite the handy frag mine (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME).
Back when we showed the game off for the first time last year, we were trying to come up with an idea of another cool “thing” to give to the press. We toyed with the idea of an Iguana-on-a-Stick and a number of other things. The idea of a bobblehead came up, and I mentioned it to Todd and Emil when they said they had already been talking about having those in the game as Easter Eggs throughout the world. The idea being that Vault Tec handed these out as promotional items, and you could have them boost one of your stats if you found one.
The ones we did then were made of a different material…almost like porcelain…and they had a really high breakage rate. I remember sending out a number of them to people after the press event who had theirs break in transit. So we went for more standard bobblehead materials on this one – non-Phalate PVC for those chemical engineers out there – because it would stink to get your Collector’s Edition and open it up to find only pieces of a Vault Boy bobblehead. We think this one is actually a better representation of Vault Boy than the original one, and the arms folded pose is much less prone to snapping off en route to you.
We have reams of concept art here. Years of it. Adam did more iterations on the Vault Suit than anyone thought possible. So we wanted to be able to pull the best of it together in a book. It’s hard cover, 96-pages, and includes some commentary on the different pieces, how they came about or evolved over time.
Finally, the Collector’s Edition comes with a “Making Of” DVD with lots of behind-the-scenes interviews and insight into the making of the game. The film crew is actually here shooting it as we speak. You’ll hear from about a dozen different members of the team and get an idea of what goes into making a game like Fallout 3. They’re also shooting a few meetings we have going on, including our monthly team meeting, so I think it’ll be cool. I’m hoping footage from a meeting that continued on in pitch darkness after all the power went out will make the final cut. I didn’t get to see it, but it sounded pretty hilarious.
Probably a year or so ago, I was sitting in my office working on some things, and had an idea to build an actual Pip-Boy 3000. Well, a replica of one anyway. A big thing that looked just like the one in the game. I went downstairs and talked to Todd about it and he liked it and we started talking about how we might do it. We talked to some different companies about how we might pull it off. We looked at a lot of different approaches.
At one point we seriously looked into the idea of building one that would actually work and interface with the game on some level. That turned out to be a huge problem technically - getting it to work on three different platforms, and 10,000 issues here and there. So we bagged that and just went back to the original idea of “something that looks just like the one in the game, and it sits on my desk.” We liked the idea of having it function as a watch so it did something as well…not just an inanimate object that sat there.
We spent a tremendous amount of time going back and forth designing this thing. Mike Wagner worked on helping them figure out the scale of it, Istvan – well, Istvan pretty much did everything to make it look exactly like it was supposed to. Eventually we settled on a look for the thing in general. We’re still finalizing the screen, but it’ll have a pretty basic watch/clock interface. As I’m typing this I have the only one currently in existence sitting on my desk. Just a form test to make sure the proportions are right and knobs and buttons are in the right place. But even though it’s just black with nothing on the screen, it’s still really cool. So I can’t wait to see what one looks like when it’s finished.
We’re doing these through Amazon.com in very limited quantities. We wanted to do it in a way that they were really exclusive for folks that got them. So once they’re gone…and they’ll go quickly…they are gone for good. We aren’t making any more, although I will admit I’ve socked a few away in case we decide to give some away through contests and such at some point.