Dragon's Dogma in its original form was twice as large as the game that finally shipped, Director Hideaki Itsuno said during a GDC panel.
Itsuno spoke via translator at "Behind the Scenes of Dragon's Dogma: A Look at the Development of Capcom's Open-World Action Role-Playing Game," panel, a talk that explored the game's development and early conception. According to Itsuno, the game the team mapped out would have been impossible to create.
"There was no way to create this game within the budget," Itsuno said. Dragon's Dogma was further pared down to about 30 percent more than its current state, before final revisions were made.
Itsuno also elaborated on early experiments during development, including with the game's character editor. The team needed a practical solution to use the same motion data across all body types, big and small, and for all equipment setups; such as weapons that require both hands. By finding an appropriate solution and using the same motion specs for different models, the team cut down nearly a third of its work, Itsuno said.
Dragon's Dogma was the first RPG Itsuno worked on and was a process that he learned from.
"Everything was a first for us, which meant a lot of trial and error," Itsuno said.