Manual mysteries unveiled
The Zelda-inspired action-adventure game Tunic is coming to Nintendo Switch next week, and a new blog post shared by developer Andrew Shouldice sheds light on the creation of one of its most interesting features - the manual! The blog post details the creation and development of Tunic’s in-game instruction manual, which isn’t just there to teach you the controls. Instead, it serves as an active and engaging part of the experience.
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that my love for this kind of mystery came not just from the games, but from the manuals they were packaged with. (Or “Instruction Booklets” as they were often called.) I would pore over these documents endlessly, while my friends were playing the games themselves. They filled my head with thoughts of grand adventures, incredible treasures, and terrible creatures — all untempered by the realities of the cartridges the actual games had to fit on.
And so, within the first few months of development, Tunic had its own language, and the beginnings of its own manual. In its final form, the manual is something you collect gradually as you play through the game. Just like those instruction booklets of old, each page is packed densely with information — illustrations, tips, maps, and of course, secrets.
According to the blog post, the development team even created physical paper manuals in order to accurately recreate the creases in-game. Talk about attention to detail!