Friday, November 25, 2016

Travel Moves Vs Ride Pokémon


     Since 10th grade I've wanted to make a Pokémon game where, instead of HMs, you simply needed to have a monster in your party with the physical capability to accomplish a task. Strong Pokémon can break and push boulders, winged ones can fly you around, and Water types can swim with you. Simple stuff that still compels you to diversify your team. The way things should be, right?

     But then Pokémon Sun & Moon does ya one better. Who says they need to be your Pokémon? Pokemon can be summoned and teleported right to you anyway, so why not just have ones like that appear at will and not affect your team composition at all? Much more fun and stress-free than worrying about party composition and sacrificing move slots. It's an elegant solution to a decades old problem that ended up being better than anything I've thought of or heard about before.

     Trouble is, I really should've thought of that sooner. Looking at my own game, the whole Travel Moves idea I've written pages about in my Game Design Document feels so needlessly complicated now. Like I should come up with some Key Items to handle overworld stuff instead. BGP can't just have players swap-in pony gems whenever they want, because that would break the balance of the game's adventure mode. So I'm currently considering the following:

Map of BGP's Pinto region (for reference).
     All ponies can do simple things like break/push boulders and cut trees. Only 10 of the 60 ponies are ridable and each will have different speeds and animations (useful for challenges I can design for Agility Road). A Sweet-Bot call service can act in place of Teleport/Fly/Dig and just be an overall simpler fast travel system to get to the nearest town or route checkpoint. And finally, a miniboat key item capsule someone gives you on Carmine Island can be used to explore the ocean at high speeds while the underwater segments can be limited to just the Sapphire Sanctum where Lumina alicorn's magic can be the excuse for undersea breathing.

     Going with these plans instead of the Travel Moves idea gives BGP the overworld convenience of the latest Pokémon games and will make for an overall more fun experience as player's won't have to worry so much about who's on their team just to progress through the game and find hidden items.

     How do you feel about this change of direction? What other aspects of Sun & Moon would you like to see BGP learn from? Let me know in the comments and I'll respond as soon as I read them.

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