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Pokemon Moving Forward – Next Steps, New Region Inspiration

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Hey guys,

Long-time lurker, first time poster.

I recently came across some great threads talking about the possibilities of the future of the Pokemon franchise. Such as making a non-linear open-world Pokemon game. Which has been a fan-favorite idea for a game for a while now.

It makes sense, our lives are not the same and if the Pokemon world did exist our journeys would be what we would make of it. We would not be on a controlled track of linear progression.

It should be noted that the Pokemon games have tried to do non-linear storytelling (to a degree) before. In the Kanto games you can challenge Erika, Koga and Sabrina in any order and you can fight Blaine at anytime as long as it is after Koga. Further to that, in Gen 2, you can do Chuck, Jasmine, and Pryce in any order.

The issue with this set-up is not that they weren't interesting for their time, but upon reflection it isn't non-linear as much as it is simply a choice between multiple linear pathways. The Kanto games do not have this issue to the same degree, but the Johto games definitely suffer from the fact that the entire mid-game is a boring slog because the encounters – both wild mons and other trainers – are effectively maxed out in the mid 20s. This was put in place so that no matter what route you choose its 'fair' to you as a player, but this means that you mindlessly steam roll the mid-game just to end up in a difficult position for the 8th gym and usually require excessive grinding just to get your team to an appropriate level.

I know with todays technology and level of coding that it is much easier for the Devs to implement some sort of in-game scaling system so that you can be adequately challenged regardless of what you decide to do next. However it is important to learn from the mistakes of the past and learn that simply having options for what pathway the player takes next is not sufficient for making a great game.

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That takes us to the concept of 'region', because we know that the region has to be conducive for open-exploration. The game Devs seem very into the idea of basing regions on regions of the world, either it be regions of Japan (gens 1-4) or that of other countries (5-8). I think examples of interconnected places that allow you to travel in practically any direction are that of the United States/North America and that of Europe. I know some regions already exist based on sub-sections of those places, but when I think of being able to go in any direction I want, nothing screams that like starting in a town in what is essentially Switzerland or Austria and going in any direction I want from there on.

Heck, being honest, I do not even see why the games require a set starting town. If we were doing a Europe-based region why couldn't I start in Northern Scotland or in Greece if I decided to for my next playthrough.

Previously I read a thread wherein someone was talking about the possibilities of an entire region that was mostly unexplored and you the player would be finding new mons and discovering new locations. I think this is also an interesting concept and if 'exploration' was the core of the open-world game, I think a South America region would amazing. Coastlines, cities, and the amazing jungles and mountain regions (including southern snowy mountains). Routes could be a combination of modern routes and ancient long forgotten routes from an ancient people giving you, the player, unparalleled abilities to explore and have a truly open-world experience.

Just my thoughts, I can't wait for intelligent and thoughtful discussion on this topic and anything else related the community would like to bring up 😀

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