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Old January 15th, 2016 (8:46 AM). Edited March 18th, 2016 by VisualJae.
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VisualJae VisualJae is offline
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This is the first "Ask Me Almost Anything" (AMAA) post that I'll be trying out as development on Pokémon Academy Life continues. The goal is to share some insight on what goes through our heads when we consider or implement ideas. Why did we choose to include something and not another? Why did we set up different types of content a certain way? Hopefully this series will shed some light and help you understand a little more about the game's development.

Unfortunately, I won't be answering all questions (hence the "almost" in AMAA). If you asked something and it wasn't answered, either it's impossible for us to answer without being spoilerific, it's already answered somewhere in the game details (e.g. FAQ), or we simply couldn't understand it. Feel free to submit again for next month's AMAA, though!

“Will interaction with teachers outside of the class be a possibility?”
submitted by SebSpringers

Yes! Right now there is one instructor per Pokémon type and we plan on making them more than generic NPCs. Some, for example, will also serve as advisers to different student organizations, much like many teachers do in real schools.

“Earlier you posted when Rosa will appear, I was wondering if you could tell us what year you plan for each character to debut?”
submitted by XiaoMeiLe

We won’t name every character, but let’s go with some characters that we know many players will be concerned with.

Ethan, the male player character from Gold, Silver, Crystal and their remakes, will debut in your second year, as will his female counterpart Kris and the rival character Silver. We revealed the art for Lyra a short while back and she will debut in your third year as Kris’s younger sister.

Yes, it’s Ethan, not Gold. We’re following the pattern of using all the characters’ official in-game names, as provided by Game Freak.

And to close this off, Lucas and Dawn, the player characters from Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, as well as Barry, will also show up in your second year. The majority of characters, in fact, are planned to debut in your first and second years of the game.

“Could you make a storyline for Blue to become nice? Like choices you do affects how he turns out in the end.”
submitted by XiaoMeiLe

While we won’t dive into specifics about how we’ll treat Blue as the game progresses, we will say that he’ll have his spotlight. It’s a long game so things can change, that’s why we won’t share details.

“I was wondering if any of the criminal groups would be showing up in the visual novel?”
submitted by Lola Nopper

Maaaaybe? Seriously, though. It's a nice thought, but we don't know right now.

“As the protagonist plays through the game, will he be able to pursue romance with characters in different years or is romance restricted to his own year?”
submitted by Hobo Sasuke

To start off, will you believe that the original plan for the game was to allow the player to pursue literally every single female character in the game? That was until we realized that making a minimum of 20-something unique good/true endings and an equal number of, if not more, bad endings was absurd. Sure, it might be cool, but that’s just too much.

But the answer is yes, you’ll be able to befriend and/or get romantically involved with characters outside your year. However, this will not apply to every character. Some just aren’t interested in romance for plot reasons or that makes the most sense for their personalities (just like some people in real life simply don’t click with romance and don’t want to).

It might seem like a cop out way to reduce our workload, but it’s a one way we can at least make the stories unique instead of every character being the same archetype as another, just re-skinned.

“Why so many characters? If that’s the case, why not also include anime characters, too?”
submitted by Reel Toryo

We already committed early on to use only the in-game characters because we felt that at least limits us to a “finite” number. The anime is continuously progressing and there are countless characters of the day (i.e. characters that are featured prominently for one or so episodes and never show up again) plus recurring characters that may resonate with different people. There are too many and the inconsistencies of many anime characters and their characteristics, personalities, knowledge and motives make it difficult to translate them into the game environment.

We might as well touch on the Ash topic here, too. Quite a few people wondered if Ash would be in the game. The answer is a straight no. We thought about it early on and right away we decided no. We already have Red as the protagonist. Fans of the Pokémon franchise know Red as “the protagonist.” Red is Red. He’s canonically identified as Red in English and he’s canonically identified as Red in Japanese. He was the first. Ash/Satoshi from the anime is based on this Red. Ash from The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga is based on the anime Ash who is based on Red. The Pokémon Trainer from Super Smash Bros. is based on Red. The Red from the Pokémon Adventures manga is based on Red. There’s Red from Pokémon Origins. There is no room for another prominent protagonist figure like Ash to fit in the game without being relegated to a supporting role and that’s just weird. Also if we throw Ash in there, what will we do with all the in-game characters like Misty, Brock, May, Dawn, etc. already included in the game? Oh, geez, what will Serena do? Ash will cause more problems than we’d ever want. End rant.

Now what about the manga? As you may or may not know, Yellow is planned to be included in the game. We already have her character art done. The truth is, she’s the lone exception after a very long time deliberating whether or not to include her. We don’t plan on including any more. That means no Emerald.

“Will there be any original characters made specifically for this game?”
submitted by Joseph Napolitano

Hard to say at this time. So far every character (minus Yellow; see previous question) in the visual novel has been based on an in-game counterpart so people can identify them. Our character artist is also quite overworked so eventually it’ll be his decision whether or not he wants to create a new character specifically for the game, perhaps for plot reasons.

“Are Yancy and Nancy (from Black 2 and White 2) going to be in this game? If not then that's okay, I was just wondering because I haven't seen any concept art of them or anything.”
submitted by Andrew Mourey

Funny this was brought up. We completely forgot about the existence of Curtis and Yancy. We can’t say if they’ll be included right now because it hasn’t been discussed yet. But if you want to read into anything, at least our character artist said they look cool.

“Will the game have nudity?”
submitted by Declan van West

“I am looking very forward to this game; my only question is will there be H-scenes?”
submitted by Eruptic

“Is there going to be dark stuff in the game? Any character death? Murders? What about kiss scenes? And (censored or uncensored) sex scenes in the endings?”
submitted by ZacharyHamilton

Somehow there is an absurd number of questions regarding the topic of eroge ever since the game went public for the first time so I’m not going to include them all here.

But to answer the question, the answer is no in the explicit sense. The game is marked as Rated Teen for a reason. That is not to say the topic won’t come up or if there won’t be implied sexuality (we haven’t gone that far with writing just yet). After all, by the time the game rolls into the third year, most characters in the game will be 18 or older. And since Pokémon is a Japanese franchise, we can even go as low as 16, which is the female legal age for marriage in Japan (18 for males). That’s just an example, not justification for any content yet to be created.

As for dark stuff? That will be up to you to find out.

“Will there be more then the four starting people to possibly have as roommates?”
submitted by HerrNein

As of now, no. You cannot imagine the amount of work that will go into each additional roommate character. Think of all the routes as a tangled web in the beginning that will gradually diverge and intersect at various points in the game. Now throw another line in there that will branch out separately in different directions and influence other lines.

No, that’s just too much. We’re set on what we have. It’s already complicated enough as it is. We might experiment with letting the player switch roommates at the beginning of each year, but that's undecided right now.

“I was wondering if this game is going to be a completely free game or if there will be purchases needed to be made? For example, will we have to pay for individual chapters?”
submitted by Brianna Elliott

The game is free now, it’ll be free tomorrow, it’ll be free when the next demo comes out, it’ll be free when the next version after that comes out, it’ll be free next year, it’ll be free until the official launch, which will also be free, and all unforeseen updates to the game in the unforeseen future will all be free.

It kind of has to be free or else Nintendo will rip our butts off. Which brings us to the next question…

“Will you/have you run into any copyright issues?”
submitted by SOR Skittles

We have not run into any copyright issues nor do we plan on running into any copyright issues. But with any fan project based on existing intellectual property, there is always the threat of copyright issues. Always. If it happens, it happens. We will shut the project down like good citizens.

This is the main reason why not a single penny can be gained from this game. If you want to donate money to our character artist, though, you’re free to do so on his Twitch channel. Think of it as a tip jar for him providing artistic entertainment. He’ll just use that money to continue drawing.

Honorable Mentions
submitted by too many people

“Will there be a female playable character?”
Answer: NO
Reason(s): Doubles our work. Literally doubles our work.

“Will there be a different male playable character?”
Answer: NO
Reason(s): Doubles our work and make it seem silly that multiple characters potentially have identical personalities (see Calem and Serena in Pokémon X and Y versions).

“Can I change my character’s outfits?”
Answer: NO
Reason(s): Our character artist will kill you and it’s quite literally a feature that has no impact on the overall progression of the game.

“When will the next demo be available?”
When we say so.

“When will the full game be available?”
When we say so.

That's all for now! Hopefully you learned something and maybe you have even more questions now. I will try to post one of these each month around the second or third week. If you have an interesting development-related question you want answered, you can tweet at PokemonVisual or email [email protected].


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