For the past few months I've been working on a pet project that's loosely inspired by Google's April Fools joke this year. At the time I saw the video and thought to myself: "Huh, Self, that's neat and all, but what if there was an actual Pokemon game that took this idea and ran with it? I mean, Pokemon has been using real life data for a long time now... Why not take an extra step and use your location? You can do that, right Self?"
And so this project started in earnest.
My goal has been to create a true, full featured (Well, loosely speaking) Pokemon game for phones that allows you to walk around the real world and randomly encounter Pokemon based on the environment that you're currently standing in. Want to catch water types? Then go by the shore of a lake or better yet take a boat out to find the rarer types! Climb cliffs and find Rock types, explore woods and find different sorts of grass types.
I for one think it's a really cool idea.
At this point in development all of the random encountering based on GPS data is implemented and working quite well if I do say so myself! The accuracy of the position detection is highly dependent on the quality of the GPS data available, but there's precious little I can do about that. I plan on making a video demonstrating it next week.
I'm still working on the combat system. The core of it is in place... but It's going to be a very long time before I flesh out all of the moves for all of the Pokemon (I decided on just the original 150, so that the project stays feasible) the animations especially are going to take some time. After that comes item management, game economics, and finally network play.
Here's a video I shot of it today (Using my camera, because Android screen recorders are the woooorst.) The button I push is a debug button that I use for testing purposes (It's inconvenient to need to wander around the neighborhood every time I change a variable). Normally you would encounter Pokemon through just walking around.
Anyway, this post isn't just about me shamelessly flexing development muscles (Though it is that!) I had some questions that remain unanswered, and I'd like some feedback from you all!
1: Where/Under what circumstances do you all think Legendary Pokemon should be encountered? Should there be a finite number of these Legendary Pokemon?
2: Should Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and/or The Champion be incorporated in any way?
3: Without NPC trainers, the traditional source of income of Pokemon games is no longer an option. My current solution is to let players sell Pokemon on a shady-as-hell Team Rocket black market screen. Any better ideas?
4: Pokemarts and Pokemon centers don't currently exist as I have no way of placing them well globally. So right now they're simply a planned menu option. However there's some serious implications here... You shouldn't damn well be able to heal after every fight after all. Any ideas for checks and balances on this front?
5: What should determine the level of the pokemon you encounter?
I've personally got a lot of ideas for all these, but I wanted to open it up for discussion because working in a vacuum is a pretty awful idea. So discuss away gentlefolk! And do feel free to be as harsh as you want about anything here. I can take it/feebly defend it.