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How Ghost of Tsushima's Open World Changed During Development

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Wise Member
Aug 25, 2020
Ghost of Tsushima’s open-world island offers an expansive, varied landscape, from its wintery north to the Golden Forest to seaside cliffs and more. Balancing forests and more open fields became a key component of Ghost of Tsushima’s design, but the world didn’t always start out that way. Speaking to IGN on an episode of our PlayStation show, Podcast Beyond! Creative Director and Art Director Jason Connell explained how, during its development, Ghost’s titular island featured a lot more forestation. Watch the Podcast Beyond! episode below. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/24/ghost-of-tsushima-creative-director-interview-podcast-beyond-episode-658"] “When we had the game built for the first, maybe, two years, it was a lot of forests,” Connell said. “It was a ton of trees and...you always felt like you were in this claustrophobic tunnel. [It was] beautiful, but really deep, forestation, which does a couple of things. “It is very cool, but it makes it hard to know where you are without a compass or a mini map, something giving you that extra information your brain is really needing. What we did was we started opening up fields, and I definitely pulled some Shadow of the Colossus photos out, and [said], 'Fields!' as reference because it just feels so spic when you're going through a massive field.” [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=ghost-of-tsushima-photo-mode-greatest-shots-by-ign-staff&captions=true"] And Ghost of Tsushima’s world strives to have that balance, with some more dense areas, closed off by trees, bamboo thickets, and other vegetation, as well as open fields, which Connell explained played to one of the core design philosophies behind Ghost of Tsushima. “Our content director, Jeff, talks a lot about content density and what is the correct density, Connell said, explaining that it’s the idea of “Thinking about if you were currently doing something, you're going across the world and you run into something, how much further would you have to ride your horse before you might find the next thing? Or, can you see the next thing from where you currently are? How dense is it? “And I really enjoyed that conversation because it let us think about what's the right philosophy for our game. If we want to stand in one place, you just completed something, you should be able to, generally speaking, look around and find one more thing on the horizon, or see the shrine you on top of the mountain.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/14/ghost-of-tsushima-review"] For more on Sony's latest PS4 exclusive, check out our Ghost of Tsushima review, read about Ghost of Tsushima's launch sales success, and if you're playing be sure to keep track of your progress using our interactive Ghost of Tsushima map. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and will judge you if you don't pet the fox in Ghost of Tsushima. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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