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Pokemon Sun/Moon devs on gameplay changes / improvements, setting, Battle Royal, Pokemon GO, more

Posted on July 23, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are still a few months away, but Famitsu reached out to director Shigeru Ohmori and producer Junichi Masuda for an interview. There were a lot of juicy tidbits here, with topics including gameplay changes / improvements, the setting, Battle Royal, potential linkage with Pokemon GO, and more.

We’ve prepared a lengthy summary of the four-page interview. Head past the break to read it in full.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, a brand-new game where everything has evolved

– As mentioned at E3 2016, the director for Sun and Moon is not Masuda, but instead Ohmori. It was the same case with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, though this is the first time Ohmori became a director of a brand new game (new generation).
– Masuda reminisced on how Satoshi Tajiri was the director of Red and Green, then handed that position to him afterwards. The important points on making a brand new game are how to insert the world setting and gameplay, and challenging technical things that should be done. Masuda would like to pass on that spirit of challenge to the next era, which was why after Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire ended, Masuda asked Ohmori to ‘do the next brand-new game.’
– When Ohmori became a director for the first time with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, he felt it was both hectic and interesting at the same time, because he could make a game as he wished. When there were talks of him becoming a director for Sun and Moon, he wondered if he could really do it, because when it comes to a brand new game, there are many things that must be considered, including the world setting and the new Pokemon. He has worked hard and believes that Sun and Moon will be very interesting.

– The aspect Masuda wanted to point out in the E3 demo gameplay was how the player is now able to move freely without anymore grid/directional restrictions. Due to that fact, they had to revamp opponent trainers’ line of sight on routes. When the player is getting closer to the trainer’s line of sight, the screen will have dark borders, and it will then have an exclamation mark when the trainer has player on their sight.
– Ohmori noticed that the new field movement, battle scenes, user interface, and more have mostly been received positively, so he feels relieved.
– Keen veteran players may notice that quality of the gameplay is being naturally revolutionized with just a subtle hint with the free field movement.

– Masuda also points out another aspect, which is that the sea and sky that can be viewed from the field. They added more sense of reality by things like displaying time progression from day to night, or hearing the sound of waves when nearby the sea.
– They also made many measures to improve the gameplay tempo.
– It may be hard to notice from the gameplay footage, but they used a new visual engine for this game, totally different from what was used in X and Y, which allowed them to represent things more leisurely as well as showing trainers all the time during battles.
– Despite still staying on 3DS, by massively evolving the game’s internals, Ohmori thinks they could evolve the game bigger than what was seen. When they were making X and Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, they went until the technological limit they could manage, and the same also applies with Sun and Moon.

The new place of adventure becomes an energetic land

– When asked why the new region is based on Hawaii, Masuda said that the Pokemon World Championships have been held several times there, and he thought that it’s a very energetic land. It has seas, volcanoes and waterfalls, and also has a lot of rainfall compared to most of America.
– When discussing with dev staff about choosing a region, there was an opinion to properly cherish the energy of life from humans and Pokemon. Then Hawaii was suggested as a motif for a region that can reconsider the living creatures that appear in Pokemon series, and that suggestion was accepted.
– The two Legendary Pokemon (Solgaleo and Lunala) were designed after the Sun and Moon, and with the impression that they govern over nature. They did that so it can be understood simply.
– After two games of Pokemon being displayed in 3D instead of pixel art (X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire), the designers already had a very deep understanding on giving Pokemon expressions. That’s why the Pokemon in this game are being designed by considering their movements.
– They want players to understand a Pokemon by observing their movements in game footage. For example, (the grass starter) Rowlet may have a simple design in its still images, but it can do things like tilting its neck, or its body thinning down when fainting. Even though there are not too many design lines, they think they could generate interest and charm as a living creature with such movements.

Next page: Battle Royal, linkage with other Pokemon products, final messages, and more!

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