How Tunic's Cool In-Game Manual Was Made

Tunic's delightful retro manual is more authentic than you think it is.

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One of the best links to the past in isometric action-adventure game Tunic is its manual, an in-game instruction booklet that gradually fills up during your quest. Inspired by the glossy manuals that were included with games many years ago, Tunic's tome of information adds intricate illustrations, maps, and tips that help you out during your journey.

According to Tunic lead developer Andrew Shouldice, the game's manual was designed to capture the feeling of physicality that you'd find in a booklet accompanying a classic 8-bit game. "It's more delightful to flip through something that feels like a real object," Shouldice explained in a PS Blog post. "We put extra effort into reproducing the artifacts of old print processes, even going so far as to have visible staples in the middle of the book."

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To capture that feeling of a manual that had some wear and tear after years of being flipped through, Shouldice built a real-world version of the booklet and proceeded to fold, rip, tape, and stain it. With some authentic battle damage on the prototype, each page was scanned individually and used as a canvas for the detailed illustrations that explained the more intricate mechanics of Tunic.

In case you missed it, Tunic will be available on Nintendo Switch, PS5, and PS4 on September 27. It received a 9/10 in GameSpot's Tunic review, with Richard Wakeling writing that it "harkens back to the 8- and 16-bit eras by presenting a vibrant and colorful world that also offers a fiendishly difficult challenge."

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