Ghost of Tsushima is Sucker Punch's biggest game "both in the amount of stuff that's in it and also just sheer landscape," according to Creative Director Jason Connell.
Speaking to IGN:
“It's a lot bigger [than Infamous: Second Son]. It's definitely Sucker Punch's biggest game we've ever made by a landslide, both in the amount of stuff that's in it and also just sheer landscape, square footage-wise,” Connell, who also told IGN about Ghost of Tsushima's move away from a karma meter, said.
Connell explained that the team often gets asked about Ghost of Tsushima’s size in terms of length of completing the game, though he noted it’s hard to pinpoint because “completing” can mean various things for people with open-world games. Some people just play the story and others want to find everything. The studio recognized this, and worked “to create a world big enough that has both those opportunities. People that can just play story and people that can go get lost in the environment.”
On the game engine/tech
“We've learned a ton and we've just built on tech, on tech, on tech, and we have amazing technical rendering gurus at Sucker Punch,” Connell said. “They've managed to pull out every little ounce of performance so that we could have our dreams of making this game.
“You can see pretty far in the game as we show off, and that's not some fabricated thing with hacks. You can just get down from that mountain and go to those places. It's stunning what they've been able to pull off for us from a technical perspective,”
On the map/region
Connell explained that while the team sought to honor and respect the real-life setting — the in-game landmass is pretty much geographically the same shape as the real-world Tsushima — it’s not meant to be a one-to-one recreation, especially given the setting’s period.
“When it comes to some of the biomes and places that you go to, it's so long ago, there's not a perfect map of forestry of what was where,” Connell said, noting Sucker Punch's similar approach with Second Son to capture the essence of Seattle without necessarily recreating it building by building
On the art
One of the biggest aspects in creating this open, engaging space involved making the many areas of Tsushima artistically unique, as Connell pointed to the Golden Forest seen on the horizon during Tsushima’s State of Play.
“We try really hard from an art direction perspective to make [each area] feel distinctly different and try not to muddy things up,” he said.
“And while that may feel a little bit loud, when you approach it, it feels very memorable. I can remember where it is, I can see it from everywhere on the island.
Ghost me if old.
Sounds amazing. Can't wait
30-50 hours long, map packed with people, items, stories
How long will it take you to fully complete Sony and Sucker Punch's new open-world adventure Ghost of Tsushima? Numbers have been revealed!
Well, in a recent interview with Brazilian website Voxel, GoT creative director Nate Fox provided some more specific numbers…
Can players take, say, 30, 40, 50 hours if they do the optional activities? And, obviously, less than that if you stay on the main route? Is it safe to make these statements? Yes, absolutely. However, I would highly recommend that everyone get off the main route and get lost on Tsushima Island.
We want to give enough stuff to keep it electrifying for the player. We didn’t want to make a huge map and have nothing on it. So it’s packed with people, items and stories to explore.