Any current fans of the Pokemon Series will be aware that when Pokemon X & Y was released back in 2013, it changed the plane of Pokemon games for good. Awakening a new found excitement and sense of adventure in old players and new. Many reviewers of the game spoke of how amazing the new 3d plane made the game and how it brought a sense of enjoyment while still keeping true to the previous 2d pixel games.
“The jump to 3D makes for beautiful, lifelike environments in a franchise that has never been all that aesthetically ambitious. From the protagonists–both of whom can be customized with different outfits and hairstyles–to the caves and dungeons, X and Y shows off some of the best visuals on the handheld, where previous games have mostly looked subdued.” – gamesradar review
“This is the first fully 3D Pokemon game, and it’s made the transition beautifully, with some great art direction in its many characters. Take Charizard, for example – this fire-type pokemon has been intimidating since he first stomped onto the scene in the original games, but his new look is absolutely stunning. He quietly hovers in place looks large and majestic, dwarfing his old 2D look. At the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the hyper-cute Pikachu, whose adorable animations effectively sell his personality.” – IGN
“A wonderful blend of excitement and nostalgia, Pokémon X and Y evolves the core series with its impressive polygonal 3D environments and magical camera angle mastery, adding a few technical adjustments along with a brand new Pokémon type to the original formula that we all know and love.” -Katy Ellis, nintendolife
The Pokemon series has always been impressive and popular however the release of X & Y seemed to bring back players that hadn’t played since their childhood’s as well. And this isn’t just because of the transition to 3d, but rather because of their extensive planning and work that was put into creating the new game.It was revealed via interviews that X & Y’s development had actually begun before the release of Black and White, the original versions.
“…the conceptual planning for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y began before Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version were released. The idea for the game first rose around June of 2010. Then we spent three years developing the game, and, when you include the localization work, it ended up being a big on which around 500 people were involved.” — Junichi Masuda
In the final product, it becomes very apparent why it took so long for them to develop the game. However despite how intricate each design and part of planning was, the game made sure to still stay as efficient as possible, as they’d need lower poly models in order to ensure that the 3d was compatible for the 3ds. Taking a look at these images of the Pokemon Noivern’s development from design to final model, makes it clear to see that despite using simpler models for the 3ds, they’ve used shape and detailed texture in order to ensure the model still looks visually amazing while staying efficient.
Another method the game used in order to stay efficient but maintain their high standard visually was repetition. Things that most games do like repeating rocks but just placing them in different, or using repeating patterns in their texturing. These techniques are used commonly in video games in order to lower the amount of work necessary to fill a scene without ruining the visuals. Examples of repetiton in Pokemon X & Y can be found in every town with similar trees and buildings, the repeated pokemon center buildings and repetition of certain trainer types in different places across the game.
The game remains beautiful, fun and exciting like any other pokemon game while maintaining the high level of efficiency necessary to make it shine as a 3ds game. Their high standards for visual excitement are a key factor in how they ensure each game they make is as impressive as the last. Pokemon X & Y was an iconic game in the Pokemon series and continues to be a beautiful game, even 2 years after it’s release.
Pokemon X and Y’s use of efficient modelling and simple, but bright and exciting textures was something I took on board in my own modelling process. For my models I tried to keep things as low poly as possible in places that wouldn’t be showing much detail. The main sections for those were the faces I modeled and the long skirts/dresses in my models. However to ensure that they still shined through despite their simple topology, I made sure that the textures I used were bright and drew the viewer in to look at them. Below I’ve included pictures of the 1st witch design which best represents how these methods can really shine.