The creation of Tunics is an invaluable in-game manual

The creation of Tunics is an invaluable in-game manual ...

Andrew, my name is Andrew, and I'm the primary developer for Tunic, which will be released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on September 27.

Tunic is an isometric action game about a tiny fox in a vast world, where you explore, fight monsters, and discover hidden secrets. At its core, however, the game is about mystery and discovery.

I wanted to provide a strange, unreadable language for players in order to make them feel at ease. Instead of a warning signpost indicating what's around the corner, it would display strange, unknowable runses. It was intended to evoke a sense of abandonment — as if you were playing something you shouldn't do.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my fascination for this kind of mystery was not just from the games, but also from the manuals they were packaged with. (Instruction Booklets) These were filled with thoughts of great adventures, incredible treasures, and terrifying creatures, all untempered by the realities of the cartridges that the actual games had to carry.

Tunic had its own language within its first few months of development, and its own manual became a fixture within the game. In its final form, the manual is something you collect gradually as you play through the game. Illustrations, tips, maps, and of course, secrets are all there in each page.

One of the things I like about those old manuals is their layout sensibilities and their varied art styles. 8-bit sprites left a lot up to the imagination, so there would always be illustrations, some of them lavish, others of them charmingly doodley. We tried to reproduce that same variety in Tunic's manual, with professionals handling the lavish aspects and me providing the doodles.

Another aspect of capturing the pleasure of flipping through an old-school manual was its physicality. We put extra effort into making it feel as real as possible, even if it means having visible staples in the middle of the book. I built a real-world version of the manual, then taped it to it and stained it. The final result is quite subtle, but I think it was worthwhile.

The real-world version of the manual is blank! That way, we could compose whatever we needed to without reprinting and re-distressing a new manual — critical for a game translated into 27 languages!

Tunic may seem like a game that keeps everything hidden in plain sight, but when players discover a secret that needs to be solved, the revelation becomes even more poignant.

Tunic is a must-see activity for everyone.

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