To mark the 10th anniversary of Black Isle Studios' classic post-nuclear role playing game Fallout, Bethesda is holding a "Create a Perk" contest in which players can submit their best ideas for the new millennium's version of "Bloody Mess."
"We bounced around a lot of ideas on how we could best honor Fallout and its 10th Anniversary/Birthday," wrote Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing at Bethesda. "We decided that we should do something we've never done before for any of our games (that I'm aware of anyway): Give fans a chance to create something we'll use in the game. We talked about it and we thought perhaps the best option was to do something where folks could be creative in a way that is very much Fallout, and not have it be overly complex. We also didn't want it to be trivial (eg., 'name this person, creature, thing')."
Stat requirements, levels and other details are unnecessary, according to the contest page, which says, "Just design a cool perk and we'll fit it in where it could go." One thing about the design that is important, however, is the accompanying Vault Boy image; Bethesda has supplied a number of generic icons for those lacking a visually artistic bent (which won't affect the chances of winning), but also invites entrants to "upload a drawing, sketch, photo or creation of your own design. Send in a photo of yourself in the appropriate pose, sketch it on a napkin and scan it in... whatever you want."
The winning perk will be included in Bethesda's upcoming Fallout 3, currently due near the end of 2008, as well as a choice of either a PC or Xbox 360 Grand Prize, which will include gaming hardware and unique Fallout 3 loot. Prizes will also be awarded to runners-up, honorable mentions, "really creative ideas" and some random draws. The contest runs until midnight on October 31, with winners to be announced in November. Contest rules, resources and other details are available at the "Create a Perk" website.