Game Freak on making Pokemon - designs rarely canned, approach to evolutions, why eyes have changed, more - Nintendo Everything

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Game Freak on making Pokemon – designs rarely canned, approach to evolutions, why eyes have changed, more

Posted on August 10, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

Game Informer published the next piece of its Pokemon-related coverage after taking a trip to Game Freak’s offices in Japan. The latest entry focuses on the actual creation of Pokemon.

Game Freak co-founder and Pokemon director / producer Junichi Masuda had plenty to say about this subject. He noted that designs are rarely scrapped, how the team thinks about evolution, why the eyes for Pokemon have changed over the years, and more.

You can read up on Masuda’s words below. Find the full article from Game Informer here.

On how pitches for Pokemon come from all over Game Freak…

“The graphic designers are obviously going to be the ones finalizing the look, but it’s not just the graphic designers who come up with ideas or draw the Pokémon. These ideas come from a lot of different places, the gameplay, the visuals, the story, and in the end those ideas just get centralized and designed.”

On how there are few rules about what a Pokemon can/can’t be…

“One thing we always really pay attention to is treating them like living creatures so you have to try and imagine where it would live in the environment and why it looks the way it does, what would it eat? When designing Pokémon, and not just from a graphic design perspective, there must be a reason for why it looks the way it does and you have to think about why it might live in the Pokémon world.”

On how Pokemon designs are rarely canned…

“Once you’re in the middle of creating it and someone were to say, ‘No!, that’s not a Pokémon,’ and the design process gets killed? That doesn’t really happen that much. Usually, instead, maybe the person who is directing the game might say it won’t work in its current form, but maybe if you did this and adding ideas onto it might make it work better.”

On evolution…

“One thing that happens a lot – well, not a lot – but happens sometimes, is that you start out with a cat, and when it evolves one easy idea is to say, ‘Okay, now there’s more heads.’ We always want to make sure we think, ‘Why does that happen?’ And when it evolves why does it have three heads? So that’s just something we’re always trying to think of – what’s the reason for what changes and how it looks?”

On how Pokemon’s eyes have changed over the years…

“It’s definitely conscious of the evolving design, but some of the reason behind that, for example, is in the beginning, the Game Boy had a really limited palette and a very small amount of pixels to express the designs. It was hard to make circles so that was one reason a lot of them had a similar look. As the technology evolved we had more options for expression with different shapes and more variety, so I think we’ve focused on trying to have a lot of variety in the eyes, for example.”

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