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New Pokémon Snap Director Explains Why a Sequel took over two Decades

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Haruki Suzaki talked to the website Metro about why a sequel of Pokmon Snap (for Nintendo 64 back in 1999) took over two decades before a new release.
GC: Why has it taken so long for a new Pokémon Snap game to appear, given how popular the original was? Was there never any push to create a new game for the Wii U – which seemed especially suited to the camera motif?
HS: When I started on this project, I had heard there had been a couple of attempts at making a new Pokémon Snap before. The idea of photography has changed so much in the last 20 years, combined with the new Nintendo Switch hardware, that we thought it was the perfect time to create a new version of Pokémon Snap, and that’s why we started the project.

GC: A lot of the most successful Pokémon spin-offs seem to be ones that show pokémon as they would be if they were in the real world, such as Detective Pikachu’s city locations; when doing the same in New Pokémon Snap did it require a lot of consultation with Game Freak in order to get the portrayals right – and were there any new pokémon behaviours created just for this game?
HS: Since the objective of New Pokémon Snap was to observe the ecosystem of pokémon, we aimed to create the world where wild pokémon would actually live. We designed pokémon’s actions and behaviours from all angles, like ‘What would it do alone?’ or ‘What would the relationship be like if it lives with a different pokémon in the same place?’ We reached out to Game Freak, through The Pokémon Company, to review the pokémon settings to make sure it felt natural to the characters. You can see a variety of actions, ecosystems, and relationships between pokémon that are unique to the Lental region, alongside some rival Pokémon relationships that fans already know about.

GC: How do you choose which pokémon to include in the game? Do the environments come first and you try to add appropriate creatures or do you design the levels to suit pokémon you know you want to feature?
HS: My vision was to create a world where you can actually imagine wild pokémon thriving in their natural habitats and ecosystem. At first, we thought about pokémon’s natural habitats and fascinating landscapes and climates. Then, we narrowed down our choices by balancing out how different pokémon would live in these habitats and their relationships within each environment. After we selected appropriate climates, environments, and pokémon we designed the details of courses that players will research. To create a world where you can take beautiful photos of pokémon in their world, some pokémon behaviours are designed to make the most use of the characters in the backgrounds, and some levels have been designed to show the relationships directly between pokémon.


GC: When studying the original game what struck you most about how it has held up after all these years? What elements did you feel it was essential to keep and which did you feel most needed updating?
HS: What attracted me the most was the simplicity of the game, in which you can observe pokémon’s everyday life, that you don’t get to see anywhere else, and the photos of pokémon are given an easy-to-understand evaluation. New Pokémon Snap kept the concept of the Nintendo 64 Pokémon Snap as its foundation but updated how you interact with photos, which is something that has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Players cannot only take photos but also can edit and share them online, in-game, and in the real world on social media.

You can read the full interview on metro.co.uk's site.
 
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