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Default Fallout 3 - Design of the Pip Boy 3000

January 29th, 2008, 18:54
IGN posts a Bethsoft Blog piece from Istvan Pely, Lead Artist, on the design and development of the Pip Boy 3000. As far as I can tell from our database and a quick check at NMA this is a new article but as always, correct me if needed:
For Fallout 3 we sought to create an interface system that was functional, unique and entertaining. The core of this is the Pip-Boy, a classic element of the series that exists as both an important object in-game as well as the playerís primary method of interacting with his character. This diary entry will provide some insight into the process that a team of artists, designers and programmers undertook to create and implement the Pip-Boy 300.

The basic parameters for the industrial design of this piece of hardware were simple. It was decided early on that the device would be worn on the player characterís arm and feature a display of some sort. Along with the design of the Vault Suit, the Pip-Boy was one of the first things that our resident conceptual artist and creative genius, Adam Adamowicz, began to sketch. We went through pages and pages of drawings, iterating every little detail, in order to lock onto something that looked interesting and also seemed plausible from a realism point-of-view.

Inspiration came from both commercial product design and military industrial design of the 1950ís to early 1960ís. Elements from items such as old portable television sets and army field radios were studied and incorporated in some fashion along the way. As with all of Fallout 3ís industrial design, a careful balance of realism, future-retro-style and practicality was sought in the final product. In terms of realism, itís not an essential factor, but a sense of believability within the rules as defined in the Fallout universe is important.
Technology in the world of Fallout 3 is somewhat paradoxical in that itís incredibly advanced in some ways, and downright primitive in others. Certain technological advancements that we take for granted in our own history either did not occur, or developed along a very different path. Miniaturization is one example; yes, the fact that a device with the capabilities of the Pip-Boy could be made at all is amazing, but itís still a rather bulky and heavy lump of hardware. It uses a monochrome cathode ray tube, there are no flat LCD/Plasma/OLED screens. Its housing is cast out of a metal alloy, not plastic. And itís an ergonomic nightmare. But all these qualities give it character, and this was an important aspect of the design, as the Pip-Boy is almost a character itself…
… We knew from the very beginning that we wanted the Pip-Boy to exist as an in-game object, on the player characterís arm, and not fake the transition to the actual menus. On hitting the menu button the player characterís arm raises into view, filling the screen with a close-up of the device. It never switches to an alternate model or mode, the effect is seamless and stunning. However, in order to really sell the illusion, the Pip-Boyís screen needed to be convincing as an old glass tube. Orin Tresnjak was instrumental in devising a method to project the menu displays on the curved geometry of the screen, instead of simply overlaying UI graphics above 3D geometry. In addition, he created a series of imagespace filters and effects that transform the UI into a wonderfully authentic reproduction of that early Apple // monitor we were inspired by. Raster lines, a slight flicker, loss of vertical-hold when switching modes, these are examples of the sort of attention-to-detail that was lavished on the Pip-Boy 3000, to transform it from a simple object to a virtual prop that looks and feels as tactile and real as an actual physical prop.
More information.

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January 29th, 2008, 18:54
Why do you guys keep falling for this?

Just like the last blog entry at IGN, this is a copy of their vault feature on the official site
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January 29th, 2008, 19:24
Because I'm not good at keeping up with Fallout news. I fell for it last time, also—not Dhruin. Have we posted it here before, Brother None? I didn't see it, if so. And apologies to the Fallout Community.

Edit: Okay, I've bookmarked the site and will check there the next time I see something on IGN.

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January 29th, 2008, 19:32
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Have we posted it here before, Brother None?
Yip, you did.

No idea why IGN is reposting this anyway. The BoS profile will be up next.
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January 29th, 2008, 19:34
I wish they(IGN) wouldn't date it with the current date. Gets me every time.

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January 29th, 2008, 20:05
If this article was posted here before I must have missed it even though I check this site everytime anything new is up on it.
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January 30th, 2008, 00:19
Try using the search function on my blog too, by now you can find everything about Fallout 3 that way.
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January 30th, 2008, 01:14
Thanks, Briosafreak. I bookmarked it for next time.

Maybe a few people who haven't seen this one yet will enjoy the re-run, anyway.
@guenthar—it was back in October.

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Last edited by magerette; January 30th, 2008 at 01:28.
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