Things got a bit more busy than I thought. But, can begin writing now. Got a couple of idea's on how to introduce the player to gym's and such:
- Include non-official gym's along the road. Put some back-story in on how non-official gym's typically are run in the region. Such as a place where more experienced trainers help beginners in learning more about Pokemon battling, places where trainers can see how much they've truly progressed, and places that are just looking to become official gym's. Can include a few of each, have them work as the battle tents were in Emerald; Player can either exchange for Pokemon there or use their own in a level-range. If this idea is liked then I'll get on top of coming up with a couple of idea's for side-quests involving these.
- As some teams are being put into this hack, could do with a bit where the player is asked to protect an informant. Maybe asked by the 'informant' them self, global police officer(s) investigating international crime(s), or even one rival team that the 'informant' belongs to that just can't spare their members. Opens up a bit more variety of options on how the player can go through the game.
- In one of the larger towns there could be a few trainers that harass local trainers, and those they see as easy targets. By taking money, items, giving insults, etc. More of a small-time thing than anything truly organized. Think along the lines of the guy Ash gained Charmander from in the anime - That kind of guy. Can use them as some reoccurring rivals or some such.
- If/When the player chooses to take on the gym challenge, if you're going to have it be optional, then you could set up rules on how many Pokemon are allowed to be used when facing the leader. Have a front room with a guard on the side to the entrance to the actual gym-area or arena that is scripted to hold the player if they have too many Pokemon to enter. Player is checked/frisked, which is how they know if they have one-too-many. Makes the player have to choose who they keep and who they don't. I also suggest this as a means of going about the Pokemon League if it isn't just another Elite Four challenge and then the Champion title match. This one isn't really a side-quest idea, but a suggestion.
- Could have a new team of Psychic/Ghost Pokemon trainers. Bring in a new version of the Silph Scope thatthey are trying to make to gauge a target Pokemons strength, in order to tell which one's are worth taking. Or to tell which trainers have a strong bond with their Pokemon and have talent needed to back a cause of theirs up. Said cause can be discussed over MSN if this bit of an idea is liked. Can start working on side-quests that either seem like they don't affect this group and/or do affect this group. M.L, if you have a new group already made with your own plan on what you envision them to be/do, then please do share so that both Seven and I can help out or offer some idea's of our own for side-quests.
- A mini side-quest could be finding a Pokemon for a little kid to become a trainer, or for a lonely parent/grand-parents. Reward can be from the father of the kid, or a rare item from either of the last two.
- Could have a contest of some sort that fit's any area of the region. Need to know more about different cities/towns/villages before Seven, you or I could really come up with something more for this one. An award could be a rare item, TM, money, special Pokeball, etc.
- In one of the forests you could have a bug catcher in dire need of an antidote for their Pokemon. Have it be their only one. They ask the player to find their bag they had dropped or to go buy an antidote for their Pokemon. Being unable to move their Pokemon, else it would be in too much pain and/or faint, they couldn't just leave their Pokemon there alone. By aiding the trainer, two things can happen: First they go in the same direction, yet the player reaches the exit of the forest with a couple of grunts of a team guarding it. The bug catcher comes along and aides the player in beating the grunts. Can have like a bug-type contest where the trainers can enter a bug Pokemon to battle others for a prize - In order to enter, you need to be apart of the local bug-catchers club or be given approval of one or more members to join. Or you could have it as like a local Pokemon Trainer club, using a different trainer to replace the bug-catcher if you'd prefer.
- In one of the towns or somewhere off in the wild you could have a Pokemon retreat, where Breeders from all over the region bring injured/mistreated Pokemon they are either given or have found to recuperate in a safe environment. Can have an angry trainer looking to take back their Pokemon or some team looking to steal the Pokemon within, of which the player thwarts their attempt. One of the Breeders there offers one of the Pokemon for the trainer to take with them; After seeing the 'skill' of the trainer and compassion they sensed within them, the Breeder believed the Pokemon would be better off traveling around with them than cooped up there.(Eevee returns? :o )
- After the player goes through some situations with unfriendly crowds, completes various competitions, etc, an event can be started where they are invited inside a TV station to be on a talk show that airs throughout the region. Can take the program for the interviews in the Emerald game for the player to make comments, come up with some yes or no questions that affect how people view the trainer, or just come up with dialogue that the players character says on their own. This could be a way to introduce some famous characters such as Gold/Blue on the same talk show.
- There could be a mail service used around the region that ends up needing help on one of the routes: A truck was delivering both mail and packages that was attacked by any of the teams. Player sees it and gets involved, defeats the grunts, and then police from the town show up after receiving an emergency call from the driver's Pokenav. Grunts can be arrested or escape, up to you. Goes to a transition after a short conversation with the officers where the player winds up in the police station, sitting in the office of the Chief. The player gets confronted by the Chief, short dialogue, ends with a reward of a TM and the player free to leave once their statement has been written up.
All of the above are just suggestions for events or features. When I think of more I'll post them. If you'd rather I hold off on posting them and just save them for when you(M.L), Seven and I are on MSN then that's fine as well.