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How Pokemon are born

When designing a Pokemon, is it more important that the Pokemon’s moves and attributes match his personality rather than making it super effective at battle?

Masuda: When we create a Pokemon character we always think of all the possibilities of what we can do and all the variety of directions we can go in. A good example is asking questions like “Is this a Pokemon based on the storyline?” If so, then it should have certain characteristics. Or do we just want to create a very unique Pokemon? We also want the designer to have as much freedom as possible, we don’t want to narrow down their imagination by saying “We want this kind of Pokemon.” When we talk to the designer we always stress that they shouldn’t think of Pokemon necessarily, but should instead just be as creative as they can.

After this process the design goes to the Battle Producer who asks “What kind of moves and parameters should this Pokemon have?” The designer creates the look, and gives it life in that sense, but the Battle Producer creates another life, so that it becomes a real Pokemon who can act in battle.

I imagine there are a lot of rejected Pokemon designs out there? Is there a warehouse of Pokemon somewhere that didn’t make the cut? 

Masuda: (Laughs) Tons! The first requirement to create a Pokemon is that it has to be attractive, and when we say attractive, we mean the look and also “Is the character expandable?” If that Pokemon doesn’t have those traits, it’s difficult to put it into the game.

As the composer for the original Pokemon games, Mr. Masuda, what kind of music motivates you to create or that you find inspirational?

Masuda: I love classical music, some of my favorite composers are Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Holst. I think my music may have some influence from the works of those composers. However my personal favorite is techno music!

Specifically are there any videogame soundtracks you feel influenced your work or inspired you?

Masuda: There is no game music that has influenced my own, but I look at Super Mario for example, and I enjoy how near the ends of the levels, the music plays faster and creates a sense of urgency, that concept is very interesting to me.

The Pokemon game franchise has been around for over 10 years now, and the formula has remained fairly similar. How much longevity do you feel the formula has left, and are there any big changes you’ve considered making?

Masuda: For the beginner players we want them to play long enough so once they have finished the game there are still Pokemon for them to collect and things for them to do. Completing the game is one thing, but after that you can collect, you can go to the wi-fi plaza, there’s a lot more in the game. The most important thing is that we always make the game very approachable and very attractive. I believe those ideas are what has given Pokemon the longevity it has had.

Also we always think of things to make the game more interesting, fun and attractive. If there’s some limit that certain elements have where we feel they cannot progress much further, we will come up with something new and replace the old idea. We can always add something new and fun to keep the game fresh.

Topics

Pokemon

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35 comments

  • Metagross - April 21, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    As a long loving poké fan I think that the wii SHOULD gain some form of a Pokémon adventure not that Pika park bollocks and Wifi Plaza !? COME ON MASUDA you can do better than that.
  • pokemonfr99 - April 4, 2009 6:41 p.m.

    POKEMON IS AWSOME
  • JoeMasturbaby - March 22, 2009 9:34 p.m.

    @Clucky: Psyduck is based off a platypus.
  • deathrebellion - March 21, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    the battle style and the traning of the Pokemons is lovely even though its very simple its just too gud
  • reyalejandro13 - March 21, 2009 8:55 a.m.

    Man, D/P are probably the best ones so far. I think the only "problem" in the series is that you can't get other regions starters, except for Fr/Lg. I hope pokemon never dies. I'm glad there won't be any core games for consoles. anyway... I think it's kinda funny how they said the whole "if you can't expand on a pokemon, it gets rejected" thing, but there are still pokemon like Girafarig and Lapras that can't evolve. Then again, that's what Gen. 5 Is for!
  • Magic_OF_Mayhem - March 20, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    really, they spent a year to make Chimchar? turtwig is just grass squirtle, but I could think of anything better than Chimchar in a day.
  • LordAlzorn - March 20, 2009 9:29 p.m.

    Very informitive. I hope Pokemon keeps going, if it doesn't I think we will all cry... POKEMON FOREVER!!!
  • shakeandbake710 - March 20, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    19th! they need to remake silver/gold/crystal cuz there my fav. my feraligatr. diamond and pearl sucked though. loved up to them but hsd to stop. it took 10 times longer to get into actually gameplay. the games arent about story its about destroying the game and lvling your top 15 pokemon to at least lvl mmm 60 or so
  • ToughGuy - March 20, 2009 6:21 p.m.

    Ah, CH3BURASHKA, I see you follow the Ms. Garrison approach to Pokemon Evolution
  • FierceDeity - March 19, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    i remember i drew an awesome articuno evolved form in school a long long time ago. man articuno rocked and no digimon was bad, just the first pokecopiers along with yugioh and all that shiz
  • HardNoks - March 19, 2009 11:48 p.m.

    whatever happened to digimon? i liked them better lol
  • brando333 - March 19, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    haha, true, it was a misleading title. .....fourth?
  • Pocotron - March 19, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    Would this count as a dare I say it... Pokemusing? ugh, third
  • Cyberninja - March 19, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    first, i love pokemon
  • cd518 - April 26, 2009 4:20 a.m.

    does anyone know how i can suggest a pokemon design to the designers or whoever? I have some cool ideas that might be good enough, but i highly doubt it. PLZ TELL ME IF YOU KNOW!!!!
  • WBxRelentless - March 25, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    ok hold on. before anymore people say "i love pokemon" or "pokemon forever" i bet you cant even name all 400-something pokemon in the game. i use to be in love with pokemon..but then it just kept growing and growing like a tumor. I could name all 101 pokemon by heart but i just lost track. QUIT MAKING MORE POKEMON ROSIE O'DONNEL'S VAG CANT HANDLE IT ANYMORE!!!
  • MisterPants - March 24, 2009 1:57 a.m.

    The only shinies I've ever caught were low grade pidgeys and zubats, the lamest of the lame pokemon. Such space wasters, they are.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - March 22, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    also @ Clucky: Manetric is a lion based pokemon. I personally never got the appeal of leccy poke's, too easily knocked out and could easily be neutered by a rock/ground pokemon, which are fairly common. Oh and Machamp FTW, Closely followed by Graveller don't like Golem tbh too much hype for a 3rd level pokemon and it wasnt that much better than Graveller Then Gyrados and Magmar My 2 favourite poke's from newer generations are Shedinja and Walrien. Shedinja for the obscurity and insane special ability Walrien because it was my first ever shiney pokemon ^^ Caught at level 19 when it was just a Spheal, he's purple/pink (instead of blue) and level 98 now. Nicknamed Sparkle. Because im lame xD
  • loonyman978 - March 22, 2009 6:50 p.m.

    I think Pokemon was my first game on the old black snd white gameboy. Such a great game, kept playing it for years.
  • Spartan11794 - March 21, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    I would has asked them if a remake of silver and gold is a possibilty!!!!

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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