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Pokémon Sun & Moon Developers Interviewed

Pokémon Sun & Moon is easily one of the most anticipated games of the year and Japanese publication Famitsu managed to score an interview with director Shigeru Ohmori and producer Junichi Masuda. Things that are discussed during the interview include gameplay changes and improvements over previous Pokémon titles and also the Pokémon brand in general.

  • As mentioned at E3 2016, the director for Sun and Moon is not Masuda, but instead Omori. It was the same case with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, though this is the first time Omori 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 Omori to ‘do the next brand-new game.’
  • When Omori 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.
  • Omori 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, Omori 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.

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