After wrapping up work on InFamous Second Son and the First Light standalone, Sucker Punch felt it was time to move on. It had spent several years in that meticulously crafted world, after all. The team was unsure of where to take its talents next, however. Apparently, among ideas to focus on Feudal Japan, the studio also considered pirates and The Three Musketeers.
Studio Co-Founder Brian Fleming divulges Sucker Punch’s early plans post-Second Son in a PlayStation Blog post. First and foremost, everyone was on board for an open-world experience with a heavy emphasis on melee combat. Brainstorming where to take this basic concept involved some interesting branching paths. Pirates served as one consideration, as did Rob Roy–an 18th Century Scottish outlaw turned folk hero. The Three Musketeers were even on the table at one point. Yet, according to Fleming, the team “kept coming back to feudal Japan and telling the story of a samurai warrior.”
Ghost of Tsushima fell into place once the developers stumbled across a historical account of the Mongol invasion of Tsushima in 1274. In his PS Blog post, Fleming shares pieces of early concept paintings.
Fleming further notes that there were a slew of creative problems in the beginning. Notably, Sucker Punch had trouble pinning down narrative details in terms of the protagonist, an adversary, and presentation. Of course, nailing melee combat was imperative, too.
Though InFamous Second Son was a technical marvel, few of its tools were helpful in bringing Tsushima to life, especially with regards to scale. World size, dialogue lines, foliage placement, and so on all increased tenfold. But at least InFamous’ visual effects system pulled through.
Various other development struggles impeded progress, as well. Over time, both the story and combat evolved considerably. After six years of work, it’s finally paying off. Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is in stores now for the PlayStation 4.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]