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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.

Zen of Streaming: Building and Loading 'Ghost of Tsushima'

Adrian Bentley  (Lead Engine Programmer, Sucker Punch Productions)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 1:20pm - 2:20pm

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

Ghost of Tsushima is ~15x larger than previous Sucker Punch games and won praise from users for its fast load times and compact patch sizes. This talk examines the technology choices that made this transition possible, from its bumpy start to its even finish. It will delve into our world building strategy and how it evolved. It will also show the details of our various streaming technologies and the tradeoffs encountered in switching to a fine-grained streaming model. It will cover a variety of memory, disc and performance optimizations made to systems including terrain, pathing, physics, AI and rendering. Lastly, this talk will discuss the process of shipping Ghost with an emphasis on ensuring fast loading times and how our technology held up (or not) working from home during a pandemic.


This talk includes in-depth details on the streaming technology for Ghost of Tsushima as well as several algorithms and tips on achieving quick loading times and good performance with large-scale games.

Intended Audience

Programmers of any experience level, interested in open world games, low level streaming, or engine technology should find this talk interesting.