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The Creative Director of Unravel Two Untangles Your Biggest Questions

Martin Sahlin reveals the inspiration behind Unravel Two and his advice on making games in a special AMA.

Unravel™ Two is out now, so you and a friend can swing into adventure anytime! Now that they’ve had a chance to explore the Yarnys’ beautiful world, fans have had a ton of great questions for Creative Director Martin Sahlin. He already revealed lots of interesting information in our exclusive interview, but this time he took to Instagram for an AMA (Ask Martin Anything) to talk directly with the players themselves.

We’ve collected some of the best responses here: read on to learn about the hardest part of making Unravel Two, and the trouble the developers got up to as kids.

Inspiration

“When I came up with the idea [of Unravel Two], I was traveling a lot to promote the first game. I met lots of new people, and made many new friends, so I wanted to make a game about making new bonds, rather than trying to fix old ones.”

There’s a reason they got different Yarnys for the job in Unravel Two: they have a totally different mission.

“[We] wanted to make something that felt new, and forward looking. Two kids against the world who struggle but eventually come out on top.”

Does he mean the kids in the background, or the fresh-faced Yarnys? Probably both.

“I felt it had something interesting to say, and I didn’t think there was anything quite like it out there. I think games could help make people nicer, and I wanted to try.”

The world would be a better place if we all channeled our inner Yarny a little more. Just remember WWYD – What Would Yarny Do?

“[The] First game was a lot about my own life, or rather people near me. Second game we kind of brainstormed together, with a lot of scenarios inspired by childhood recklessness.”

This begs the question: was Martin chased by an evil turkey, or did he just laugh while someone else was?

“I love local co-op (playing with my kids) but I also saw that lots of people were playing the first game together (even though it was just single player).”

You heard it here first: Unravel Two is a co-op game because of all of you!

Making Unravel Two

“We based the locations on reckless fun stuff we did as kids, like swimming in whitewater rapids or urban exploration.”

Looks like we know where the Yarnys got their adventurous spirit from.

“[It’s difficult translating real-life memories into game locations.] The most difficult thing is actually trying to figure out how to turn gameplay geometry into something that looks real. It's all a playground, built specifically for you, but we want it to look like it's actual, real places.”

Trying to get an idea out of your head and onto paper (then into an animation program, then onto a game system) is tough, and it doesn’t always turn out like you planned. But when the result is this beautiful, it’s all worth it.

“[The hardest part of making a sequel was] most things! Making games is really hard! Cameras and event triggers are super hard to do when there’s two characters.”

Programming the exact moment to break a log under the main character’s feet is already a feat. Add in a second player and it gets even more complicated.

“[Favorite part of making the game?] It was a lot of fun to make all the different Yarny versions.”

And there are a ton of them to choose from.

“I think it's important that people can come up with their own interpretations [of Unravel Two’s story]. If I tell people my take on the story, they might think that's somehow the ‘right’ one. It's not, there's a ton of ways to read that story.”

Just like your Yarny is uniquely yours, so is your version of Unravel Two. You get to decide what the story means in the end.

“[We’ve learned] a lot! Mostly that people really love connecting with the games they play. Speaking from the heart works.”

Embrace the laughs and the tears! So many tears.

“¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

One kind player asked if there would be any DLC for Unravel Two. This should clear that up.

The Yarnys

“To me ‘a Yarny’ is a description of WHAT they are, not necessarily WHO they are.”

Yarnys, as it turns out, are a species of their own, and each one has a human they take care of. The red Yarny from Unravel? Not the same red Yarny from Unravel Two.

“I named one of the colors ‘garnet’ in the code. It’s a type of red, and it also means ‘the yarn’ in Swedish. I thought that was kind of funny :)”

See if you can pick it out of the yarn box.

“[Favorite Yarny?] I don’t really play favourites much. I guess the first one will always be a little extra special.”

It’s hard not to love the original. Look at that face.

“[Misfortune is] an important part of building empathy for the character. If nothing ever is a struggle, you stop caring.”

It’s a bit distressing to see the Yarnys get crushed by rocks or zapped by electricity, but don’t fret – it’s all part of the journey.

“[Yarnys are made of] whatever you have around! My first Yarny was made on a camping trip to the woods. All the materials were scavenged :)”

He even wrote a handy guide to go along with it!

“I like to think that [the original] Yarny has earned a rest :) But the shape [of the last bonus level Yarny] is the same.”

If Unravel Two just isn’t the same without your old friend, you can re-create the very first Yarny by completing all the bonus levels and grabbing the final Yarny pattern.

Making Games

“I'm not even remotely interested in coding. Coding is just one small part of what makes up a game. Art, design, writing, music, there's SO much more than just coding. I started as an artist, but for every game we worked on I found myself doing more and more writing and design. I kind of developed into it."

You heard it straight from a creative director: if you want to make games yourself, programming isn’t the only way to do it.

“Start small. Make things you can finish. Then go bigger next time, and apply what you have learned. Don't try to start with your ultimate dream project.”

That’s Martin’s advice for aspiring creators, and it’s pretty fitting for Unravel Two: you can accomplish something big by starting small.

-Ashley Reed (Follow Ashley on Twitter @ashsmashreed)

Grab Unravel Two today, or get both Unravel games in the Yarny Bundle for twice the fun!

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