doesn’t mean you can’t make a similar type of Pokémon in a different light.
Finding Inspiraion inreal-life animals,objects Ibe:
strategic importance to battles, and the reason a lot of this was gradually added on when development went on was because the Game Boy cartridge’s memory continued to expand over its lifetime. This allowed Game Freak to increase the amount of Pokémon in the game and add the Pokédex because at that point we had so many Pokémon we wanted something that players could use to look at detailed information for each Pokémon.
Capsulmon? Masuda: One
of the original names [for the games] was “Capsule Monsters” because they go in capsules, but decided later on to go with Pocket Monsters or “Pokémon.” From Red and Blue to Black and White
was actually the themes behind the games that decided the titles [for Black and
White]. One of the themes is to really express two polar opposites. For example, you have the big city in one field, and then you have the countryside in the other field. The theme of the polar opposites is what brought us to think of black and white. Masuda: Portability is really important
Pokemon RPG not designed for console
for the Pokémon series. For example, in Pokémon Black and Pokémon White versions we have the new C-Gear that appears on the bottom screen that has a lot of communication features. When it’s on it’s always communicating information with players nearby, for instance, at a place where a lot of people get together or at a friend’s house. Turn it on and if other players are nearby you can find out what they’re up to, whether they’re catching Pokémon or in a battle with trainers. It’s this concept of always
I’ll sometimes go to the zoo and look at various animals or animals outside and study their behavior. I also get inspiration from inanimate objects as well, such as an umbrella. If you combined an umbrella with an animal, how would they use that umbrella? How would you combine that to make an interesting creature? Never running out of ideas
Munna playing and communicating with nearby players that has always been important to the Pokémon.Aside from that, to be able to communicate with players who are really far away or can’t be in the same area, in Pokémon Black version or Pokémon White version we are introducing the Pokémon Global Link (PGL) that allows players to communicate data from their DS to their computers, go on the Pokémon Global Link website, and view rankings for battles or communicate with players that are really far away. I look forward to seeing how well this does, especially in the United States, as a lot more people use the internet off their computers. Ibe: There were about 17 designers for Black and White project at Game Freak and one of the ways we
Designing 150 New Pokemon
make sure we don’t have too much overlap with any of the previous Pokémon is if we have a new design, we’ll take a silhouette of it, just the outline of it, and color the rest of it in black, and make sure the shape of it doesn’t overlap with previous Pokémon designs, and make sure it still looks original. We also do that with the color palette, color combinations, and make sure that there aren’t any Pokémon in the older games that share that exact same color palette as the new ones. Some of the directions we got from planners was to not be restricted or bound by old designs, for example, just because there might be one type of Pokémon existing in the old games,
Video games haven’t been around as long as other media. In the past I was worried that once I turn 50 would I still be able to come up with new ideas? But then I look at other creators in the industry who are older like Shigeru Miyamoto, who keeps coming up with new ideas. I’m relieved to see that because even if you keep getting older you keep coming up with original ideas. There’s still a lot of stuff that hasn’t been done. In the past it was sometimes said in Japan that people over 30 wouldn’t be able to use computers because they just get too old for them, but nowadays you have grandparents, people at work in their 50s using computers. There’s still a lot of room for innovation and I hope to keep making games as I grow older. I’m always thinking about new ideas and trying to find ways to realize those ideas, and I feel confident going forward that I’m going to find ways to innovate the series and just games in general.
Masuda: Often I’ll think about what
computers are going to be like 10 years from now. In movies you’ll see representations of the future. You’ll see transparent floating computer devices in the air, touch and pull screens
on a transparent screen. It’s just something like in a dream. I hope that the Pokémon series can turn into something that we would dream of now in the future.
Future of the franchise Ibe: I
played the original Red and Blue games years ago, I was a kid back then, and I’m really impressed that Pokémon is still accepted by society and still popular among people. I never even imagined that I’d work at Game Freak. The ones that come out now are made by people of my generation, obviously the older people make them as well. The new games are matching this generation and I expect that they’re going to continue to evolve with new generations. With the exciting release of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver this week, we got a chance to interview members of the Game Freak team, who were part of the conception of the the video game series. Director Junichi Masuda, game director Shigeki Morimoto, art director Takao Unno, planner Kenji Matsushima, and programming lead Akito Mori tell us the development process behind creating and naming Pokémon, suprises you’ll find in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the idea behind the Pokéwalker, and more
Interview With Team Behind the Pokemon Franchise : Game Freak
Morimoto: This is the second
time we have created a remake. When we create Pokémon games, we always keep in mind the look of the game and its approachability. It has been 10 years since Gold and Silver launched, and we felt it was the best timing to create remakes since there are more people who have not played the original Game Boy titles. The Pokémon brand is obviously still very alive and well in Japan as HeartGold and SoulSilver have sold incredibly well there. What is it that keeps people interested in such a longrunning franchise that already has a lengthy list of titles?