The Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector's Edition: Exclusive Interviews and First Details
Fellow Unitologists, the time for convergence is at hand! If the wait for Dead Space 3‘s release in February is already too much for you to handle, prepare to SWOON. The true believers of the Dead Space series are about to get the news they’ve been hoping for. The Dead Space team at Visceral Games and Treehouse Brand Stores have teamed up to create The Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector’s Edition, and we have details and exclusive interviews to share with you.
The Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector’s Edition
As you can see, this is far from what has been commonly passing as a Collector’s Edition these days, and the name should explain why. This Collector’s Edition was put together in-house by the Dead Space Development team at Visceral Games. Considering Treehouse Brand Stores are the ones who created the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Collector’s Editions, they know who they’re audience is and what they’re looking for. This partnership was a match made in heaven for us Dead Space fans.
This Collector’s Edition is limited to 5000 units and is available world-wide. “But if games are region-locked, how is that possible?” you might ask? Because it doesn’t include the game. That’s right. The Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector’s Edition gives you the option to purchase with or without a copy Dead Space 3 included. That way, anyone in the world can purchase this Collector’s Edition and they won’t be left with a useless region-locked game. This also means you can pre-order Dead Space 3 separately at whatever store offers the in-game perks you like.
Here is the Release Announcement video from Visceral Games showcasing the Dev Team Collector’s Edition.
[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DAA44VnlUqlc%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/AA44VnlUqlc/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]
The Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector’s Edition will cost $100.00 without the game, and $160.00 with the game included. Here’s a more in-depth description of each item within this awesome Collector’s Edition.
· 8 inch Marker statue
o The Black Marker is an alien artifact found on Earth in 2214. It radiates a signal that, depending on your intelligence, induces dementia or imprints blueprints into your brain for their reproduction. The signal also creates gruesome, violent life-after-death reanimations of dead flesh known as “Necromorphs”. The Marker’s final purpose is revealed in the story of Dead Space 3.
· Med Pack water bottle
o The Med Pack is a single-dose standard issue healing agent commonly used in the highly dangerous, isolated work environments of outer space. The vastly accelerated healing effects routinely save lives, but often result in misaligned-bones and other soft tissues, requiring follow-up surgeries to correct.
· 3 SCAF posters
o Nostalgic posters for an era long gone, the SCAF (“Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces”) represents the government prior to EarthGov 200 years ago, when space travel was done without Shockpoint drives, and was only for the bold and the courageous – and the military.
· 6 Vintage Peng postcards
o “Peng” as a phenomena stretches back over 200 years, as evidenced by these Sovereign Colonies-era postcards! No one knows who started Peng, or what its origins are. It had morphed into a pseudo-sexual morale booster for the troops even back then.
· Bound SCAF Jotter with Dr. Serrano’s notes
o Doctor Earl Serrano, the head of Marker research on Tau Volantis, , kept a careful journal of his findings under the watchful eye of the Sovereign Colonies military arm as he uncovered the shocking first-ever archeological contact with true aliens.
· 13” SCAF Tin Crate
o A standard shipping crate for the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces, this one has seen a rare tour through several of the top-secret Red Marker sites, including Aegis VII, Uxor, Proxima Centauri and Aspera, to name a few.
· Aluminum Data Pad (Flipbook Binder) with 9 pages of concept art
o Before there were holograms, there were layered plates of projected data on glass. This flipbooks recalls the nostalgia of the 200-year old technologies from the Sovereign Colonies era, showcasing an array of fascinating characters, ships, Necromorphs and aliens from Dead Space 3.
· 80 page Mini Art Book
o A beautiful collection of the most haunting and visually-stunning concept art used in the production of Dead Space 3.
I was given the wonderful privilege of asking both the folks over at Treehouse Brand Stores, as well as Dino Ignacio, the UI Design Lead at Visceral Games, a few questions about how this Collector’s Edition came into being. Check out both interviews after the jump.
-Interview with Alex, John, and Jed at Treehouse Brand Stores.-
The Game Fanatics: Can you give us a rundown on how the partnership with Visceral Games for this project came to be? Who at Visceral Games are you working with?
Treehouse Brand Stores: The Dead Space team had talked amongst themselves about doing a Collector’s Edition of the game, but weren’t sure it was a task that could be done completely internally while making the game. Meanwhile, we here at Treehouse had been running the Dead Space store for about two-and-a-half years. When we heard through the grapevine that the collector’s edition wasn’t going to happen, we jumped at the chance to work with the team at Visceral and offer up our help and expertise to make it happen.
Key members from their team like Dino Ignacio [Series UI Designer], Ben Wanat [Creative Director], Steve Papoutsis [Series Executive Producer] and Cate Latchford [Senior Producer] sat down with members of ours several times and we all sorta threw things out there. Those meetings were setup so both sides could bring in ideas and everyone let the project evolve into something that we all liked. The primary concern on both sides was “How do we make a collector’s edition that makes both our fans and ourselves proud?”
Of course after that were questions like “how do put this together so it feels like a collection?” and “how do we keep this “in fiction.’” But it was really important for everyone — Visceral and us — that the Dead Space franchise came first, that we made sure we were doing it and the fans the best possible service.
What were the main reasons for not including the game itself within the Collector’s Edition?
‘Retailer exclusive bonus content’ is kind of a hot-button topic, and a big consideration whenever a fan buys a game. As is where that fan is located; so things like region encoding, language localization, local street date, etc. really come into play when doing something like this.
We felt that if we packaged the game with the Collector’s Edition that we’d be doing the community a disservice — either by making them miss out on Retailer Exclusives, or not offering enough on a particular platform, or having to delay ship date (if not having to forgo a region entirely!)
We felt that by packaging it this way, without the game, it gives everyone a chance to get what they want without having to compromise on something they might not. And hopefully everyone gets it on the same day (shipping permitting).
How did you decide what to include in the Dead Space 3 Dev Team Collector’s Edition?
Kinda going off what we said before, we started by making sure that everything was “in fiction.” We really wanted this to feel like something coming straight off the Ishimura, the Sprawl, or Tau Volantis. So the two teams (Visceral & Treehouse) sat down and talked about “okay, if this were an actual thing, what would be in it?”
Some parts were obvious choices. The marker statute was an easy call… it plays such an important role in all the games, and we know a really talented local sculptor in Denver, so we were sure we could make something really exciting there.
The art book was a little different. It’s clearly not as ‘in fiction’ as the other items, but there’s so much great artwork surrounding the series, so many talented people working on it, that we felt it was worth stretching the “in fiction” restriction. To make up for that flexibility we made doubly-sure the art book feels special for this edition, not like something you could just get at any store. Visceral was great at getting us plenty of exclusive pieces and unique content to go in there.
Still other items, like Serrano’s journal, evolved organically over the course of the meetings I mentioned before. We knew we wanted something that felt like one of those big lore books or extras (commonly called “feelies”) that were common in older PC games. At first we were talking about including an alphabet book for the glyphs on the Marker, or some sort of decoder, but those felt more like hommages to older games than something truly “Dead Space.” We wanted something that really felt like something someone in the world would have owned. We were after that extra level that’s revealing you get when an object has a real character all of its own.
Dino came up with the idea of tying something to Serrano, this character you meet in the new game who informs the player about events and details in the story. So we latched onto that idea and came up with creating Serrano’s personal journal to enrich that experience for players. Dino got Chuck Beaver [head writer on the series] on board and we worked with him to make sure we made something authentic to the new game, and maybe include a few clues (without giving too much away).
Looking at this project and your Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Collector’s Editions, you guys definitely seem to be focusing on the hardcore fans, which is a very good thing. What made you guys come up with this approach?
Pretty much everybody at Treehouse plays games, from the people running our website, to the those designing the products we sell, to the business people behind desks. We’re fans of the series we work on and the companies we partner with, so when we’re making stuff we want to make it for people who share that passion.
Gaming as an activity, and the community surrounding it, are incredibly important to each of us on a personal level. I’m not sure that’s always the case when these sorts of projects get made, but it is the case with us. So doing the things we do, the way we do them, is really a no brainer — We make the things we’d want to buy.
Who designed the Marker statue and the small med pack water bottle?
The Black Marker statue was sculpted by a local artist, Ryan Trificana, who’s done some really awesome work with Treehouse in the past.
On the other hand, the small medpack water bottle was designed by having our product designers work really closely with the artists and 3d modelers over at Visceral. Then those schematics were sent over to our factory for prototyping. Once we had a physical product it was easier to go back and forth with revisions between the teams.
I think it was a really interesting experience to take an item from a game and turn it into a a real world, functional object. There’s so many new considerations when that happens, and it was really cool being part of that.
Thank you Alex, John and Jed from Treehouse Brand Stores for your time.
-Interview with Dino Ignacio, Lead UI Designer on the Dead Space team at Visceral Games.-
The Game Fanatics: How were you approached for this project?
Dino Ignacio: Cate Latchford our senior producer who handles all our intellectual property tie-ins and Ian Milham our franchise art director asked me to help out. They felt that my love for collectable merchandise and my deep understanding of the Dead Space lore would be a great combo.
You are the Lead UI Designer for the Dead Space franchise. Did you design the Aluminum Data Pad and any other items in this Collector’s Edition?
I did design the Data pad. It was an opportunity to make a tactile real world version of the UI work we’ve done for the game. It’s as close to a functional prop version of Dead Space UI we’ve ever come up with.
I also designed the tin crate itself. It’s been crafted to look like locker from the game. It comes complete with hidden messages and trivia.
Can you give us a little information about the artwork for the SCAF Posters and who designed them?
All of the contents of the kit are designed to be in-fiction artifacts. The idea is that this crate may as well be something Isaac finds on the frozen planet. The SCAF posters and the Peng postcards are perfect examples. They truly capture the vintage-future look of the game.
The posters, postcards and the concept art in the Data Pad were illustrated by some of our most talented concept artists. Jehan Choo, Chi-wai Lao and Patrick O’Keefe to name a few.
That mini art book looks pretty similar in size to the original Art of Dead Space mini-book that came with Dead Space pre-orders. Was it made to be a matching book?
Yes. It’s been designed to help bookend the series as a mirror of the first book. It will sit perfectly in your bookcase along with the first one. This is the only part of the whole set that breaks fiction.
Without giving too much away, how will the notes in Doctor Earl Serrano’s journal enrich Isaac’s/John’s journey through Tau Volantis?
This may be my favorite part of the whole kit. I worked very close with Ben Wanat (our Creative Director) and Chuck Beaver (our Story Producer) to come up with this. I did all the illustrations that accompany the journal. Seth Marinello (one of our level designers) wrote the journal in Dr. Serrano’s voice. It’s got about 20 pages of art and writing. The rest of the pages are blanks so you can write your own notes.
The journal is full of backstory and hidden clues. It’s gonna be a fun addition to any fan’s collection.
That Marker isn’t real is it? I’m not gonna start hearing voices and throwing temper tantrums, am I?
It’s as real as we can make it at the 8 inch scale. The artists at Treehouse did an amazing sculpt and paint job on these markers.
Though it will surely make you hear voices of jealousy from your friends who don’t own one…we will deny any dementia or madness it may seem to cause.
Is there anything you would like to add or say about this Collector’s Edition?
The whole set was painstakingly designed by the dev team with the fans in mind. Everything from the medpack water bottle, to the design embossed on the journal cover, to the box the marker comes in was designed by the dev team.
This is the special edition we truly believe the Dead Space community deserves. We know how much story points, design details, and unraveled secrets mean to our fans so we built this whole kit with that in mind.
This box of artifacts is our homage to the Feelies that came with the games of the 80s. It’s a collection of objects that are meant to enrich the player experience.
Thank you Dino, for taking the time to answer my questions.
It seems as though someone has been listening to the fans! As strange as it sounds to have the game be optional, it’s actually a brilliant idea when it comes to international access to the Collector’s Edition.
And the homage to Feelies! Items included in some old-school PC games containing information that can reward you in-game. Ah, this takes me back. It sounds like this in–fiction journal is going to be a great addition to the game. This is an example of what a Collector’s Edition can be when people who know the game inside and out design it with the hardcore fan in mind.
I don’t think I’ve personally ever seen a Collector’s Edition quite like this one, and the fact that it’s from one of my favorite game franchises is just icing on the cake. If you think I’m going to miss out on this like I missed out on the Epic Weapons DS1 Plasma Cutter (I still cry), you’re sadly mistaken. I’ll be grabbing this on day one.