Tunic’s manual was physically made for in-game authenticity

The adorable fox-themed Tunic is making the leap to PlayStation and Switch soon. Ahead of these releases, its developer has shared some behind the scenes titbits about the game’s manual, including how a real one was made to ensure authenticity within the game

Sharing on the PlayStation Blog, Tunic’s lead developer Andrew Shouldice expressed his love for old-school game’s manuals. “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 wrote, stating he would “pore over these documents endlessly”.

Such was Shouldice’s love for these manuals, he decided to incorporate one into Tunic’s gameplay. In this case, the player picks up pages for the manual as they make their way through the game’s mysterious word. These are then pieced together, allowing the player to uncover more of Tunic’s many (many) secrets.

But just having a manual alone was not enough for Shouldice. He wanted it to feel as authentic as possible, and capture the feel of flicking through those pamphlets of old. This led the developer to recreate a physical manual, which he then proceeded to scrunch up and tear to give it that 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 wrote.

“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 went on to state he then scanned each page of his ‘destroyed’ manual into the game itself. These pages were kept blank, however, to allow the team the flexibilty to “composite whatever [it] needed to without reprinting and re-distressing a new manual.”

Shouldice concluded the overall effect of this method is “subtle”, but one that he believes to be “worth it” for the game.

Eurogamer gave Tunic a rare Essential badge on its release earlier this year, with Donlan remarking how the game “turns its many influences into something that feels both familiar and gloriously new.”

Tunic will release on PlayStation consoles on 27th September. It will also arrive on Nintendo Switch the same day.