This page will be introducing Game Freak’s stage at BitSummit 2017.
Summary of the Stage
Game Freak’s “other side”
At this years BitSummit Game Freak was exhibiting TEMBO THEBADASS ELEPHANT and GIGA WRECKER. Onoue: the director, Itou: the planner, and Ogawa: the designer of these games went up on stage. Game Freak is famous for its Pokemon series, but what exactly is the other side of Pokemon?
The developers spoke about their thought’s through GIGA WRECKER.
About GIGA WRECKER
The first half of the stage was mostly about GIGA WRECKER.
For the booth’s condition and interview with the developer, click here.
Game Freak exhibited GIGA WRECKER because they wanted people to know their original title. They told us why and how they came up with the idea of being able to control debris.
At first, the main character was suppose to be able to control magnetic force instead of debris. But because magnetic force has effect on all metals, it would be awkward if it didn’t affect the metal in the background.
The users shouldn’t wonder why they move, and instead focus on the world view. They say it was difficult to make the users stop wondering why.
■Developing with the systems concept.
Because GIGA WRECKER’s world view is being able to control debris, the concept for the system came up first before making the physical engine.
To be more specific, if being able to control debris, the debris should be scattered, for that the enemies you kill should fall apart, and destructible objects should be more clear.
■Character design is done by Asagiri
The character design for GIGA WRECKER is done by Asagiri who is active in “Pixiv” etc. The reason why she became the character designer is because when making the concept for this game, the artwork written by Asagiri fit perfectly with it.
“I didn’t have any connecting with her, but kept in touch through the internet.” says the director Onoue. Asagiri took a part in creating the game from the beginning, and made the world view together with the team.
■The user can make a stage
GIGA WRECKER is a game with a stage that has lots of puzzles to solve, and bosses that require some action skills. But they say the game was initially suppose to be only 7 hours long. In reality there’s people who play for more than 10 hours, and some people spend a lot of time making their own level with “Level Editor”.
Because the tool used in “Level Editor” is the same as the one used during the development of the game, they say it was difficult to make the tool easy enough for players to use. The levels created by the players can be uploaded to steam, and Itou says it is fun to play the levels made the users.
■Commitment put in GIGA WRECKER
The developers began talking about the commitment they put in GIGA WRECKER.
“I tried to improve the joy of destroying objects, and how to from a puzzle.” says Onoue.
“The chaotic move performed by the physical engine is fun to watch. It’s also cool how there’s multiple answers to several of the puzzles.” says Itou.
Why did they release GIGA WRECKER on Steam?
In response to this question Onoue answered, “One reason is because we had already experienced Steam with TEMBO THEBADASS ELEPHANT. The other reason is because we wanted to challenge the indie market where I can find lots of ambitious games.”
Ogawa, the designer of GIGA WRECKER said, “Steam has lots of forums and communities, and the distance between he developer and the user is relatively close. We can quickly receive response from the user.”
They said they have received crash reports from the user.
Also, Itou said they used the early access system in Steam to hear voices from the user, which helped them improve the quality of the game. Onoue followed Itou and said, “Steam has a lot of features useful for creators. If you want to make a game, than you should try Steam.”
Game Freak’s challenge: Creating New Games
Game Freak has the image of a consumer game creator. Why did they suddenly start making indie games?
Ogawa introduced us the “Gear Project System”, a unique system in Game Freak.
With this system, if the employee submits a idea for a game that passes the internal examination, they will be able to release that game.
What’s special about this system is how there’s no technology and hardware limits. It does not even have to be a video game if it has some king of game
element. As long as there fun or new element, it can be a board game or a card game.
Game Freak puts attention in creating new games as a company. The attitude of trying to make something that they like or think its fun, is nothing but an indie spirit.
About the Speaker
Masayuki Onoue is a director at Game Freak who joined in 2010; he’s known for his
involvement in the development of the Pokémon series and TEMBO THE BADASS
ELEPHANT, among others, and started off as the director of GIGA WRECKER.
Favorite Pokemon is Seadra.
Hiroto Itou is a planner at Game Freak who joined in 2010; known for his involvement
in the development of the Pokémon series and TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT,
among others; worked out what concepts would make it into the GIGA WRECKER
game, and was heavily involved in planning out the game’s design
Favorite Pokemon is Armaldo
Hitomi Ogawa is a designer at Game Freak; started out by creating the effects for
GIGA WRECKER after joining the company in 2016. She helps determine the
direction of the design and user experience.
Favorite Pokemon is Pidove