Ghost of Tsushima: How Devs Created a Staggering Background Score

Published 07/27/2020, 1:28 PM EDT


With the advanced technology of today, even the virtual world has the power to represent reality. What will you relate to more? Just another graphical experience of your surrounding or, an immersive experience that guides you through a phase of linear progression? Ghost of Tsushima is developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. It revolves around Jin Sakai, the last samurai on Tsushima Island.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The game has been applauded for its combat, the awe-inspiring visuals, and the power to transport you back to 13th century Japan. Jennifer Walden had the chance of interviewing the game’s Audio Director, Rev. Dr. Bradley D Meyer and Senior Sound Designer, Josh Lord. The interview revolved around the process and inspiration behind recording the background score. It is safe to say that the game manages to create an ambient setting and give the player an authentic and palpable insight into the Mongol invasion of Japan.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Reali life source for Ghost of Tsushima background score

“The natural beauty really needed to sing, whether that was the tranquility of birdsong on a clear day or the torrential threat of a looming storm.”

Bradly D Meyer described how they used real-life sources to record their background score.

“…you may hear Mongols singing, drumming, or playing the morin khuur when you’re near a Mongol encampment.”

They go on to say how they used music and the direction of the wind to guide the player to exciting new quests. From the beating of the drums to the grass rustling by your side, Ghost of Tsushima drenches your mind in an open-world of beauty while showcasing just how big a part sound effects can play in video games.

ALSO READX Box Series X: An all-white console headed our way?

‘Grounded, Aspirational and Intimate’

The team describes how they used Japanese wildlife and culture in its natural capacity. They revealed how they went to a nearby school to attend some classes for the same.

“We spent lots of time throughout development recording real-world sounds which became our palette we used from ambience to combat to UI. Some examples are fairly obvious, like nearly all of the wildlife sounds were recorded in Japan. Another example is the sword sheathing/unsheathing sounds.

“Early in the project we found an iaido (Japanese swordsmanship) school near our office so we attended some classes and what really struck me there was both how silent a katana is when in the hands of a master (obviously we had to steer more towards cinematic expectations here), but also in learning the correct way to sheathe and unsheathe a blade, I knew I wanted to present that accurately rather than go with a more stylized metallic shing. It just makes the katana, which is really an extension of a samurai’s hand, feel more part of the world.”

The sheathing of a Samurai’s sword is indeed oddly satisfying, making you feel like the savior of the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“…when exploring, we have occasional, really beautiful, fairly sparse music cues…”

The intensifying music in the background before a conquest, or the chirping of birds in the wetlands of Toytama, the game presents creative freedom. I think this is unique. Imagine, you are sitting in a movie hall watching a horror movie. It’s a full house. If the movie doesn’t surround you with an ominous ambient score, it won’t scare you. This is what the game fulfills. You won’t just play this game, you will live in its guided reality.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Source: https://www.asoundeffect.com/ghost-of-tsushima-sound/

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Nakul Ahuja

396 articles

Nakul Ahuja is an Esports author at EssentiallySports. He has spent 11 years doing theatre and is currently preparing for his Master's degree in Journalism. Along the way, he hopes to rake in money as Ninja does.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT