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In this design talk, Andrew Shouldice, developer at ISOMETRICORP Games, breaks down the secret-making of TUNIC and shares how to make your finite game feel like it's got a bottomless supply of mysteries.

Beth Elderkin

December 16, 2022

1 Min Read
A gameplay image from the video game <i>TUNIC<i/>.

Everyone loves a good secret... but what makes one work? What exactly is a good secret, and what's the value of hiding things just barely beneath the surface? This GDC 2023 session is all about the mysteries of TUNIC—and why it's important that players find things they're "not supposed to."

'TUNIC': This Was Here the Whole Time dives into the techniques used during TUNIC's development for thinking about secrets. In this session, Andrew Shouldice, Developer at ISOMETRICORP Games, breaks down the secret-making of this hit release and shares how to make your finite game feel like it's got a bottomless supply of mysteries.

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With examples from TUNIC's development, 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 provide new ways of thinking about secrets and the delight of discovery. It's primarily 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 forTUNICView all GDC 2023 sessions here.

Join us at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023 to learn how solving the secrets is only half the fun. Register for GDC 2023 today!

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023, and registration is now open! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC23 hashtag on social media.

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About the Author(s)

Beth Elderkin

Content Marketing Manager (GDC)

Beth Elderkin is the content marketing manager for the Game Developers Conference (GDC). She keeps buying new copies of 'Skyrim,' even though she already owns it. 

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