One of the most interesting products I saw on the BlizzCon show floor was the Diablo III: Book of Cain from Insight Editions. This book is a Diablo Bible written by Deckard Cain himself, a major figure in the Diablo series and lore. This book is Deckard Cain's journal in which he has compiled the history of Sanctuary and the eternal war between the heavens and hells from his point of view.
The entire book actually feels like an artifact from the Diablo universe. The cover is nicely embossed and lacks any logos or titles. The paper looks and feels like old parchment and everything inside looks hand written or hand drawn. A sealed letter is located In the middle of the book, which contains a "hand-drawn and cut" map supposedly made by Deckard Cain's own hand. There are even hand-scribbled notes in the margins and lines of text scratched out or highlighted as if Deckard Cain went back and edited his own work.
The art in this tome was commissioned specifically for this piece and will not appear anywhere else. Insight Editions really went all out with this fiction-style source book. During the Diablo III Lore panel at the convention, Chris Metzen, Blizzard's VP of of Creative Development, mentioned several times that a lot of what they were discussing in the panel was also in this source book.
I talked to one of the PR assistants at the Insight Editions booth about the project, as this team has worked with Blizzard several times before. In fact, the artbooks for all of Blizzard's collector's editions have been handled by Insight Editions. I was told that Insight Editions pitched the idea to create Diablo III: Book of Cain to Blizzard. They wanted to create something akin to a 15th century manuscript and were influenced by works like Dante’s Divine Comedy manuscript. Insight Editions has been working on the project for more than a year, and it should finally be out by the end of 2011.
As a big fan of video game worlds and lore, especially those created by Blizzard, this book will be a great companion to Diablo III. I especially like the decision to stay completely within the fiction and present it as an actual artifact. If you want to know more about the world of Diablo, check it out.