Hello! I’m one of the developers who created Unpacking, a game about taking someone’s items out of boxes and learning about that person’s life in the process. People often describe the game as very personal, and we think it is, but personal can mean different things.
Items are personal to our main character and allow you to learn about her and see how she develops throughout the game. Items often have a personal connection to you, the player, as you come across things that remind you of your own life or that of people you meet. And the elements are personal to us, the developers, because part of making this game involved drawing from our own experiences and finding ways to add little details where we could.
The funny thing about this alarm clock is that it is blank until you find a valid place for it, then it will flash “12:00”. If you interact with the clock, you can set the time, which is the time on the stage; you’ll see it change along with the lighting outside the window as you unpack the remaining boxes.
If you move the clock again, the screen goes blank and then flashes “12:00” again when you set it. Alarm clocks like this often use a battery backup so they don’t lose time during brief power outages, but I had one when I was younger and forgot to put a battery in it, so it behaved just like the one in the game. Realism!
dragon plush toy
When I was seventeen years old, I thought it would be a good idea to start a webcomic about a group of young dragons living in a forest. It ran for more than five years and two thousand comic strips. While it never became particularly popular and is no longer online, the characters remain close to my heart, so it meant a lot to have one of the main characters make a cameo appearance in Unpacking in plush form.
This set of colored pencils in a tin tray arrives alongside other art supplies, books, and proofs from the protagonist’s burgeoning pursuit of the visual arts, but to me they are a reminder of a similar set of colored pencils I received when was child. .
I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I bought them, I just remember that they were my treasure and were labeled something like “professional artist pencils” or something similarly great that made me feel like I’d left the kid’s colored pencils behind. I. He was in the big leagues now!
Climbing shoes and bag of chalk
A while back I was introduced to bouldering by a friend and found indoor rock climbing to be very fun and interesting, until I got hurt! Still, I thought it was a great hobby for the protagonist of Unpacking while she was studying, and she lent herself to some distinctive items: climbing shoes and the bag of chalk. They’re particularly cool because they’re easily recognizable to people who know what they are, but end up feeling like mysterious oddities to everyone else.
Desktop computer with CRT monitor
The Unboxing starts in 1997 and moves forward in time, so you can find wonderful moments like this level set in 2004 complete with a computer appropriate for the era. Join us on a trip to the distant past where people were still using cathode ray monitors without being a retro gaming enthusiast, and buying and using cool mouse pads. Marvel at the sound of PC fans spinning and get excited when you receive an instant message from your friends.
Those are just a few of the items that mean something special to me personally. I’m just part of the team though, and pretty much all of us found ways to add something of ourselves to this game we made.
We wanted an experience that felt authentic because we thought that would be the best way to draw you into the story we wanted to tell. There are so many details and connections throughout the game, and we hope you’ll enjoy experiencing it for yourself when our game releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on May 10.
Thank you for reading!