Hello, I am currently developing a remake/retelling of RBGY/FRLG, and I'm wondering what the general consensus is on how much liberty the developer can take when making a game, and still being able to call it a remake.
The biggest point/problem is the fact that I am considering adding Pokémon from outside the 151 first.
This is mostly due to the fact that it'd be weird to "ban" some pre-/evolutions, such as Glaceon and Pichu, just because they are from the wrong generation. At the same time, it feels like I could make the world itself so much better, by adding Wingulls in the ocean to compliment the Tentacools, and so on.
My question is, do people, in general, think, doing things like this is good or bad for the game?
Does it make it better, or does it ruin it?
In my opinion I don't think that remakes need to be that strict. But what matters is how true to the original games you make it. For instance; HGSS was a remake of GS but was set two years after.
From what I've seen of this game your mapping is amazing and the idea of adding up to Gen V Pokémon is not a bad idea if you want the game to be a little "up-to-date".
If you don't end up adding Pokémon up to Gen V at least add Gen V evolutions of the Gen I Pokémon like GF did for HGSS.
It's really all up to you. I'm also recreating R/B/Y and I'm using things from all the generations. It really depends on what your final plan is - I plan to extend the game across all generations, so having it utilize certain calculations now saves me the trouble later. If you want to make a loyal port, go ahead, but R/B/Y is broken as all hell.
I mean, FR/LG added 7 new islands, all sorts of changes, and things like that, and HG/SS actually had a safari zone and several areas that didn't exist in the previous games, as well as a hecka lot of new functions, so do what you think is a good idea.
More pokemon is cool, as long as they don't "take over". I keep about 50-70% of the pokemon Gen I/II in my game and sprinkle in other pokemon that fit around them. I've also added pokemon to towns and given each one a "mascot", like Dwebble for Pewter City.
Some things I've cycled pretty quickly, like starting birds, just to give everyone a chance at their favorite one right at the start.
You shouldn't feel restricted by the original games when you make your remake, nor should you feel restricted by what later games have added (i.e. new evolutions, moves, etc.). For example, you can completely exclude Magmortar from your game if you want to, or add Wingull or change where other Pokémon are encountered.
I think the ultimate point is that you want to make a remake, which involves the same location/progression/story as the original. You can tweak these things, sure (such as the Kimono Girls doing something in HGSS), but overall you're trying to recreate the original game as a whole, not just make a new game set in an existing region, so you probably shouldn't make drastic changes to the formula.
You should definitely not overdo the extra stuff, though, because that'll change the focus of the game by shifting attention away from the main plot. Keep much of it for the "postgame" (as stupid an idea as that is for fangames), and make the rest more subtle and/or try to incorporate it into the main game.
For example, obtaining a Porygon can be seen as a side-quest (part of the "complete the Dex" thing, which I still believe should be a thing), yet the process of obtaining it is completely below the radar (get enough coins in the slot machines). The Safari Zone is a more blatant side-quest, but the plot itself forces you all the way through it to obtain an HM and a key item (for another HM), which mostly disguises the fact that the side-quest exists at all by treating it as a dungeon with a goal which you've accomplished.
I'm reminded of what was probably the Shiny Gold hack which I briefly played. Two things in that stand out to me: more rivals and more gifts of Pokémon (usually the starters from other games). The rivals thing should have actually been called "more recurring characters", and they were quite random and felt pretty forced. The gifted Pokémon thing made a big deal out of gaining whichever Pokémon they were handing out, which also felt bad. Both of these features were too blatant for their own good.
Feel free to redesign dungeon maps, though. It'll be boring if we already know exactly how to get through the various caves (and Safari Zone).
I prefer the ones with new content (like Sevii Islands in FrLg and some evolutions in HgSs). I really prefer to have all these evolutions. Maybe some few other pokémon like Wingull (I suggest the Pokégear sound and swarm ones). This will be even better if these pokémon can be caught, but aren't in the regional dexes.
Only limit to very few or none trainer use these "new pokémon".
One of the biggest complaints about old games is the lack of variety of Pokemon in some areas (see Eastern Hoenn Region with pretty much just Wingull and Tentacool). Adding a few more Pokemon, but not too many, in my opinion makes it feel much more like an interesting, modern game and less like just the same game with new graphics.
There is a balance which is quite hard to get when remaking a game but I'll give my opinion on how a game should be remade. It needs to have a balance of what made the game great in the first place & making and improving the game to make it feel you're having the experience of playing a new game. HGSS In my opinion did a fantastic job with this, basing your game and how they've improved and remade things is not a bad idea in the slightest.
What I like to see from remakes is more of a fresh new game where you can still get the same feelings as playing the original, like you're playing and reliving the experience but not just replaying them game.
In the end of the day it's your game, if you make a great remake people will play it.