Cute indie Zelda-like game Tunic is coming to Switch and PlayStation soon – so sole developer Andrew Shouldice talked up its iconic in-game manual, and how he printed it in real life to make it feel just right.
Shouldice, like myself, adored older games that came with manuals and would “pore over these documents endlessly,” so naturally he wanted to capture that magic in his game.
“The more I thought about it though, the more I realised that my love for this kind of mystery came not just from the games, but from the manuals they were packaged with,” Shouldice said on the PS Blog.
If you haven’t played Tunic yet, as you explore you pick up lost pages from the in-game manual, helping reveal more of the game’s large number of secrets and hidden areas.
Shouldice wanted to make sure that flipping through the pages of Tunic’s manual felt like actually scanning a real manual for tips and tricks, so he printed a physical manual that he began to tear and wear, giving it a worn and weathered look.
“It’s all well and good to look at a nice clean image, but it’s more delightful to flip through something that feels like a real object,” Shouldice said.
He added, “We put extra effort into reproducing the artefacts of old print processes, even going so far as to have visible staples in the middle of the book. By pressing the X button, you’ll be able to zoom in on each page and drink in the details. To help make it feel as real as possible, I built a real-world version of the manual and then proceeded to destroy it. Folded it, ripped it, taped it, and stained it.”
Shouldice said he scanned the pages of his “destroyed” manual into the game, but kept the pages blank to allow for tweaking and reworking the manual without needing to reprint and re-weather the new one.