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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.

Blowing from the West: Simulating Wind in 'Ghost of Tsushima'

Bill Rockenbeck  (Coder, Sucker Punch Productions)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 10:50am - 11:20am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

In Ghost of Tsushima, the Guiding Wind is a central gameplay mechanic. To support the illusion that there is actual wind blowing, many separate systems work in concert to simulate wind-driven motion, so that everything in the world reacts appropriately as the wind changes direction. These simulations are not always perfectly accurate, but they are quite fast, handling thousands of pieces of cloth, hundreds of thousands of particles, and millions of blades of grass. I will present a variety of tips and tricks we use to make these simulations fast and believable, while utilizing the Playstation GPU to its maximum.


This talk is less a tutorial in how to make perfectly-real simulations, and more a collection of specific tricks and techniques we used to make our sims run very fast on the PS4 GPU.

Intended Audience

Programmers and technical artists with an interest in procedural GPU-based simulation