Sucker Punch have spoken plenty about how they want Ghost of Tsushima to be an authentic samurai experience, and that’s something that they’re working toward in various ways. One of the ways the game will do that is by letting you play through the entirety of the experience with a black-and-white film grain filter on to make it look like your favourite samurai movies. That mode, as it turns out, also helped Sucker Punch make the game more cognizant of accessibility options.
Talking to IGN, creative director Jason Connell said that during development, while playing through the game with the black-and-white mode, Sucker Punch quickly realized that there were some things – such as icons on the map that have the same shapes and are only differentiated by their colour – that simply wouldn’t work with the filter on, leading to some aspects of the experience having to be reworked.
“There are definitely some things that are more challenging when you’re in that mode,” Connell explained. “Once we created that mode, and you can play the whole game through it, we quickly realized there were some areas that we need to reevaluate. Like, if we were using the same icon on the map but just using a different color, then that doesn’t work that well. So you have to change the shape of the second icon because the color alone won’t work.”
To make the black-and-white mode work properly, Sucker Punch actually looked at how accessibility options for colourblind modes in game work, and used that knowledge in their own game.
“And frankly, we take a lot of cues from learning from a colorblind accessibility mode,” he said, “It effectively would be that for us. We just put the mode on and play the game a ton and find out where it breaks and rework on the design. And that’s how we work in general about almost everything.”
Ghost of Tsushima is out for the PS4 on July 17. Sucker Punch are calling it the biggest game they’ve ever made “by a landslide,” with over 40-50 hours of gameplay with side content.