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'TUNIC': This Was Here the Whole Time

Andrew Shouldice  (Developer, ISOMETRICORP Games Ltd.)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 24

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

TUNIC is an action-adventure game with a focus on secrets and exploration. In this session, Andrew Shouldice talks about the techniques used during TUNIC's development for thinking about secrets: What makes a good secret? How to make sure secrets beget further secrets? What's the value of hiding things just barely beneath the surface?

Importantly: How do you make your finite game feel like it's got a bottomless supply of mysteries?

With examples from TUNIC's development (and probably spoilers), Andrew offers a model for representing secrets as loose ends, and why the joy of resolving them is not always better than the joy of having lots of tantalizing mysteries.


This talk's aim is to give anyone who does game design new ways of thinking about secrets and the delight of discovery. Learn a way to model your game's mysteries as loose threads, and why it can be useful to let players find things they're "not supposed to."

Intended Audience

This is for designers, especially those interested in using mystery and secrets as a primary player motivation. There are no technical prerequisites, but there will probably be some spoilers for TUNIC.