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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Big World, Small Team: Designing a Scalable Ambience System for 'Ghost of Tsushima'

Rev. Dr. Bradley D Meyer  (Audio Director, Sucker Punch Productions)

Apoorva Bansal  (Engineer, Sucker Punch Productions)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 9:40am - 10:40am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Audio Pass

Topic: Audio, Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

For much of production, the audio team on Ghost of Tsushima was very small while the world was 14x larger than anything the studio had worked on previously. This talk will discuss the solution the team developed to enable them to populate this vast world with an adaptive audio system reacting to time, weather, region and other game parameters. Charting the path of development, including its successes and pitfalls, this talk will dig deep into the technical considerations made and the final results of iterating on this system.


Attendees should come away with some novel solutions to approach the issue of scalability through the lens of building a procedural ambient audio system, though the techniques described, while audio-centric, can transcend audio into other disciplines.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended primarily for audio people, including sound designers, technical sound designers and audio programmers interested in learning how Sucker Punch built a scalable ambient audio solution for Ghost of Tsushima. Other people interested in systems building and data-driven solutions may also find interest in the content of the talk.