Gamefreak Staff Encouraged to Pitch Original Ideas

Knowhow from these helps “create something different for Pokémon”.

By Jon Stevens. Posted 05/22/2019 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

According to a programmer and director at Game Freak, the developer actively encourages its staff to pitch original ideas in between working on Pokémon projects.

Speaking to VGC, Masayuki Onoue, director of Gamefreak’s PC title Giga Wrecker, said that individuals are able to work on projects unrelated to Pokémon as part of the the ‘Gear Project’. The project allows creators to pitch original ideas during quiet periods at the studio. It’s this team which has developed games like HarmoKnight, Project Card Jockey, Tembo the Badass Elephant and Giga Wrecker itself.

The intention behind it is to allow staff to gain new experiences working on different platforms and genres, so that they can come back to the franchise “refreshed” and improve it further through these experiences.

“There are two different production teams here, simply named Production Team 1 and Production Team 2,” Onoue explained. “Team 1 is fully dedicated to Gear Project, while Team 2 is for the Pokémon operation… What that means is that Game Freak as a company is prioritising Gear Project, which is production team number one, more than Pokémon in general. We are always trying to create something that is equally exciting, or more exciting than Pokémon.

“Gear Project has helped me become more creative. I’ve now seen the whole process of creation all the way to marketing and selling the game to players… I can now bring that knowhow back to the Pokémon team and try to create something different for Pokémon. It’s a good synergy between Gear Project and Pokémon creation.”

Onoue isn’t clear on when exactly the project first came about (HarmoKnight was released in 2012 so likely sometime prior to that) but a common criticism of recent entries in the main Pokémon series is that they needed to shake-up the formula more. With the latest titles, Pokémon Sword and Shield coming to Switch later this year, it will be interesting to how this will be affected by the team’s experiences on other platforms.

With E3 just around the corner, no doubt we will hear more about Gamefreak’s upcoming games soon.

Source: Video Games Chronicle

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