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Is 'animal' component in Pokemon important to you?

dashing_stunning

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A bit strange as a topic, I know, but let me explain.

Not too long ago I wanted to make my own Pokemon-like game but not like Coromon or such blatant clones but rather a rpg with an element of collecting. I wanted to make a steampunk game where you collect either robots or something artificial in any case. :) To me personally, Pokemon is mostly about cool character designs, enigmatic exploration and collecting/battle strategy rather than animals. Frankly, even seeing Pokemon who are too close to real animals in looks (like Unfezant) is upsetting to me.
But I noticed that many people are opposite of that and clones such as Coromon usually don't even have object pokemon (much) and make monsters even more animal-like. So, is Pokemon an extension of your love for animals? Or do you like strategy and collecting aspect more? I'd like to hear your thoughts as someone who is frankly not really into animals. :)
 

Norzan

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Some of my favorite pokemon like Aegislash are based on objects, so it doesn't need to be exclusively based on animals. As long the design is inspired, well made and looks like it fits into Pokemon in my view i'm all good.
 

MissDelibirda

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It probably has something to do with what a Pokémon superfically “is”. Koffing, Grimer and Trubbish all represent different kinds of pollution, which is original, but many don’t see that, and just hate ‘em for being lame and lazy. But even though dragons are not excactly original, they are cool, and as such Charizard and most Dragon-types are well liked.
 

Blanc

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Hiya, first of all, great concept! Steampunk Pokemon sounds cool af. If you're still willing I'd love to see you pursue this. And to answer, I am an 'inanimate object' Pokemon enjoyer, I honestly don't know why people give Pokemon like Vanillite and Klefki such hard times, I genuinely love object Pokemon as much as animal Pokemon, I think it's creative to have such variety rather than... this is a whale for the 4th time. Being able to turn an otherwise non-sentient object into a creature I think is a very good skill to have.

In short, both aren't good without each other! We need the variety! More object Pokemon!
 

dashing_stunning

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Hiya, first of all, great concept! Steampunk Pokemon sounds cool af. If you're still willing I'd love to see you pursue this. And to answer, I am an 'inanimate object' Pokemon enjoyer, I honestly don't know why people give Pokemon like Vanillite and Klefki such hard times, I genuinely love object Pokemon as much as animal Pokemon, I think it's creative to have such variety rather than... this is a whale for the 4th time. Being able to turn an otherwise non-sentient object into a creature I think is a very good skill to have.

In short, both aren't good without each other! We need the variety! More object Pokemon!
Yep, I am pursuing this idea still and thank you! This was exactly what I wanted to hear! :) I am also in love with object pokemon and for a while I have been torn between 'Relic hunting' Pokemon-like game where you collect possessed relics (well imagine a game full of Cofagriguses of sorts set in a desert) and steampunk more scientific setting where you collect and upgrade robots. Still don't know what to choose, haha. But I am happy to hear you're as much into object pokemon as me!
 

Orchid

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To answer the question in short... not really. I definitely agree with a lot of the sentiments in your initial post!

A lot of animal-based Pokémon are great, don't get me wrong (I do love Wooper, after all). But I think the Pokémon that are not animals — the object-based, artificial, and "abstract" Pokémon (like Weezing for instance, who is essentially just the concept of air pollution given physical form) — are just terrific all around. I think in a lot of cases they're just more fascinating conceptually to me than the former. Pokémon don't necessarily need to be based on animals for me to be interested in them... heck, if Pokémon were only creatures reminiscent of real-life animals, I'd honestly find it much harder to be interested at all, but that's just me.

However, I do think one could not exist without the other. Both types of design have merit! Even though I personally prefer most inanimate-object Pokémon, the designs of animal Pokémon can be amazing when they're at their best. And I think they've struck a fine balance between the two at the moment (though I certainly wouldn't turn down a few more weird, out-there, non-animal-based Pokémon species in Gen 9).

P.S. I think both of your concepts would be fantastic but especially the robot-collecting one. I would totally be interested in seeing either of these if you went through with them! :bulbaLove:
 

Rocket Zigzagoon

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Not at all, given that some designers of Pokémon are also science-fiction writers or robot designers, even though I love several animal-based Pokémon like Eeveelutions. I am pretty much into robotics and other technological stuff, so I generally am more into robotic-based Pokémon. (Aggron, Metagross, Genesect, Xurkitree, Kartana, Celesteela and Stakataka are some of my favorite robot Pokémon.)

Even though we have many animal-shaped robots in real-life, very few Pokémon like Aron, Durant and Type:Null, are outright based on animal-shaped robots.

Though several object Pokémon that are not outright based on robots, like Vanilluxe with their two-headed ice-cream design, are also cool in regard.
 

prog rocker

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Now that I think about it, outside of Robopon and Medabots I have never seen a robotic-inspired mon game. I guess it could be interesting if they don't botch it like they did with those two games. Robopon IIRC only got one of the three versions of the original game released internationally, while Medabots... well, I guess it fell on the wayside? Plus, aside from a spin-off, only the GBA remake of the second game made it outside Japan, and it was because the anime was airing.
 

dashing_stunning

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I am absolutely in love with how you reassured me that this type of game is possible and there is a place for it. :) Okay, I'll try to invent some designs and maybe make a blog here on the forum to see people's reaction. Thank you!
 

Allemanduck

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As I see it, the animal aspect in Pokémon is essential.

Don't get me wrong, I understood your idea and I think it sounds cool, but not very ~Pokemonish~. And the reason behind this is essentially because of the way I see Pokémon.
As a matter of fact, as you mentioned, I am the case where my love for animals extended through Pokémon, therefore it just has always felt like its part of it.
And I will try to further explain it and why I do believe it makes sense.

The genesis of Pokémon goes all the way down to Satoshi Tajiri's childhood in Japan. He lived in the countryside, being very close to nature, playing out very often and exploring the 'world' around him. But exploring was not only about going out and seeing new sightings, he also used to catch bugs, as a sport. Making use of many different strategies, such as putting honey on a tree (sounds familiar, huh) , Satoshi considered himself as one of the greatest bug catchers back where he lived. However, when urbanization started to rise in Machida, Tokyo, he saw the forest where he used to play along and catch bugs being transformed into new houses and industries. As time passed, Satoshi conceptualized Pokémon and well, the rest is history.

But now is the moment where I'll try to further argument.

While reading the Pokémon: Adventures Manga, I remember that one of the author's, Hidenori Kusaka, considerations about the Manga itself struck me, and it was mentioning how Tajiri once stated that the Manga is the closest to how he depicted the Pokémon World in his mind.

Therefore, if we take a closer look to the Pokémon: Adventures Manga, specially the first volumes, we may be able to see some defining factors of the Pokémon world there:

1. Pokémon are living things. They have feelings, they have emotions and they can share a bond with you.

2. The sense of exploration is all around, specially in kids. The world is there, and they are free to explore it, but with their Pokémon partners alongside them.

3. It's not as full as our world. There are not huge cities, most of them are small towns with few people; in a very bucolic way, some may say. On the other hand, when a city shows up, like Celadon City, being more modern, it is co-related to Team Rocket, who don't give value to Pokémon life and menace the way their "perfect" world (as Satoshi sees its childhood) works.

4. Technology can be a friend, but in the end of the day is all about you and your partner and how you deal with the challenges life imposes to you.

With that being said, we can already see that technology, industries, big cities and all these things that come with urbanization don't really fit well in the Pokémon World, even though they exist there, they never managed to take control of people's lives. Pokémon has always tried to instigue that sense of exploration and bonding with nature around you in its games, and that's what I love about it. This is the reason why I think the Steampunk idea, even though interesting, would be extremely hard to tie in with everything necessary to define a Pokémon Game.

Now, going back to the main topic, I will end by explaining why the animal aspect is crucial, for me, in a Pokémon game.


First of all, what can define an animal?
Here are some animal characteristics that fit with how I perceive Pokémon:

- Animals are generally motile. They have the capacity to move at will. They can spontaneously and actively move by metabolically utilizing energy during the process and with the aid of muscles and locomotory structures (e.g. arms, legs, wings, fins, tails, etc.). Animal locomotion refers to the variety of movements that animals use to move from one location to another. Some of these movements are running, walking, jumping, hopping, slithering, swimming, gliding, flying, soaring, and so on. Animals move for multifarious reasons. Some of the reasons animals move are to hunt prey, escape predators, and find a mate or a suitable habitat. There are animals, though, that have become sessile later in life. They become permanently attached to a substrate. Examples are barnacles, sponges, mussels, and corals.

- Animals possess specialized sensory organs such as eyes, ears, nose, skin, and tongue. These sensory organs are vital for use in recognizing and responding to stimuli in the environment. Each of these sense organs contains common and specialized receptors.

- Animals reproduce sexually

Those characteristics are all shared by Pokémon. Because all Pokémon are animals. Even the ones which we can't relate with animals in our world, such as Muk, Yamask, Gastly, Trubbish are, in the end, all also the 'animal' equivalents to the Pokémon World.
Even if you point out some 'Artificial Pokémon', such as Porygon and Golett, Bulbapedia still says that: "Even these Pokémon have DNA which draws from the genetic code of Mew, the supposed ancestor of all other Pokémon besides these.".
Therefore, even the artificial ones have DNA and are living creatures with different personalities and free-will. Such as animals.

Pokémon are living things, creatures able to have their own feelings and emotions. They do not need to look like a dog or a pigeon to be considered animals, they are all very distinct animals, with no exception. They cannot purely be machines or collectible items.
Remember that Pokémon is not about 'making a collection', but rather about studying specimens, cataloguing them. It flows a lot more to the biological side of our world.

Well, but that's how I see it.
 

Tood

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I admit, I'm not really a fan of Pokemon with really animalistic designs. I find a lot of them either look kind of plain (ex. Growlithe, Poochyena, Wooloo) or look kind of uncanny (like recent final starter evos being a weird mix of humanoid animals). I do like some, but they're not exactly close to my all time favorite Pokemon except if they're barnacles apparently. Even IRL, I wouldn't consider myself an animal person in any way.

I wouldn't want the animalistic designs gone though, since they do contribute heavily to the variety of monsters we have in the series. But, I probably wouldn't be as much as a fan of the games if all the creatures were animal-based.

The series is called Pocket Monsters, and last I checked, monsters come in all sorts of different forms, so limiting Pokemon to one type or class of character design seems a bit unfitting, tbh.

The robot idea sounds cool though. There's a lot of things you can do with robots that you can't do with living creatures (at least, without breaking some kind of ethical code), mostly with regards to modification/upgrades and AI stuff.
 

Kitasuki

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You're talking to the guy that always wanted a big pokémon like wailord but instead have it be a ghost that gets hold of an old train.
So yes, as long as the gameplay is good, the lore is solid and it's a nice concept it's always deserving of a try from my part
 

dashing_stunning

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Thank you everyone for your kind words and suggestions! :) You have no idea how inspired I am now to work on it even harder!

If you are curious about my dev process, you can follow the news about my game on my forum blog:

 
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