In PAYDAY: The Heist, you may find weird names on name plaques or the like. This was during Overkill's "Lucky 200" event where the first 200 people to show proof that they reached the max rep level of 145 would get their names in the game.
In a similar vein, the Counterfeit secret event resulted in two plaques on the walls of the secret vault that have the names of players that contributed to the event in some way.
Artist Disillusionment: Came very close on more than one occasion. When the secret in the first game was revealed, flame wars broke out and people also bashed Overkill for making the event too hard. Overkill responded by saying they may have to think about how they will interact with the community in the future, but everyone on both sides cooled off and everything was resolved.
Creator's Favorite: The Wolf character seems to be a big favorite among the developers. Compared to the background of the other characters (they're in the heists for the thrill and money) Wolf's background shows he snapped after his business went under and lost everything, causing him and his family to become homeless. The DLC heists also has Wolf as the only character with new lines while the other characters use lines from heists that were planned to be used, but became scrapped. Wolf is also voiced by one of the game developers, modeled after said developer, and has the character hailing from Sweden, just like the developer. When PAYDAY 2 was previewed to the public, Wolf was one of two characters used in the demo.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Hoxton is an Evil Brit who will yell at civilians at the top of his lungs while killing cops in cold blood and swearing at them in British profanity. Pete Gold, the voice actor behind British Hoxton, is very down to earth and actually tries to not swear in real life due to him having a child. Pete Gold, who initially wasn't called back by Overkill to voice Hoxton in the sequel, was actually surprised and humbled to hear that fans loved his take on old Hoxton so much that they created a petition to get him back for the role. Pete has even recorded several quick lines under the Hoxton persona for fans that requested it. Pete Gold was eventually brought back as Hoxton in downloadable content in the second game.
The original menu and loadout screen themes were done by Robert Bloom instead of Simon Viklund. The tracks were replaced with new music by Viklund in an update due to a dispute between Overkill and Robert Bloom.
At least 5 heists were cut from the game, only known by their internal names found in the game files: "Alaska", "Departing", "Early Birds", "WFV" and "Yacht". The Yacht heist would eventually be realized in the second game as downloadable content.
Weapons in the E3 2011 trailer looked and acted somewhat different. The M308 was grey and was going to have a different reflex sight and it used Crosskill .45's firing sound. The Bronco .44 Revolver had darker textures. The Reinbeck shotgun's firing animation without aiming down sights was different, used the Locomotive 12G's firing sound and was going to be a secondary weapon.
Assets for player-usable grenades exist in the files, but are not usable in the game, and this artwork suggests that the TEC-9 was considered to be the secondary sub-machine gun of choice, but cut in favor of the Mark-11 instead. Both the TEC-9 (as the Blaster 9mm) and Grenades would later be added as weapons in PAYDAY 2.
The internal names used for the heisters suggest that the developers had completely different nationalities in mind before settling on the final characters. Wolf is listed as German, Dallas as Russian, Hoxton as American, and Chains is listed as both Spanish and Chilean. The latter concept apparently stuck around for some time, as Chains is white in the E3 2011 gameplay trailer.
Overkill briefly considered changing the name of Chains to Chaynes when game testers pointed out that some might seen Unfortunate Implications with the name in regards to his race. Ultimately, Overkill decided against changing his name and left it as-is.
Heists went through some changes during development. Files in the game show that Diamond Heist originally took place during sunset, and early screenshots show a brighter version◊ of the level than the final. "Stone Cold", the track featured for the Green Bridge heist was going to be used in First World Bank, but the developers figured since the level was a Whole Plot Reference to the bank robbery in Heat anyway, they asked Simon Viklund to make a track similar to the film's bank robbery scene to complete the reference.
Working Title: "Stone Cold" was the working title initially given to the game, but was scrapped when the developers feared trademark issues with the pro wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. The devs later considered "PAYDAY: Crime Wave" as the actual title, and finally settled on "PAYDAY: The Heist". Both "Stone Cold" and "Crime Wave" were recycled as the names of songs in the soundtrack; specifically, the themes for Green Bridge and Slaughterhouse respectively.