From brush to blade: The concept art process behind Ghost of Tsushima
Hi! My name is Ian Jun Wei Chiew, Lead Concept Artist at Sucker Punch Productions, and I was fortunate enough to have worked on Ghost of Tsushima since the very beginning. Ghost of Tsushima is set in 1274 during the Kamakura period, which comes with a lot of challenges as well as interesting opportunities to explore visual designs for the game.
Our main story inspiration was the Mongol invasion of Japan of 1274, and the main character was a survivor of that invasion who defies all odds to defend his homeland. This was the core player fantasy that served as an overarching guide for everyone at the studio. We began by exposing ourselves to as much research and content as we could on the Kamakura Era, Japanese culture, old Samurai films and the Invasion of Tsushima, which led to the final designs of our characters, outfits, landscape, architecture, etc. A lot of the references we gathered were from museum exhibits and photos taken by teams that the studio sent out to Tsushima as well as the main island of Japan.