Dan Thomas: Game Design
The thing I enjoy most about designing Seasons is taking the best parts of each Season and optimizing them even more for the future, while also adding fresh new elements to make each Season feel distinct from the last. Seasons give us a framework that lets us highlight different Pokémon and keep each Season feeling fresh, while also allowing us to try new things and adjust them as we learn what our Trainers like and what makes for an enjoyable Season.
Reflecting on the Season of Mischief and building the Season of Heritage
When looking at our most recent Season, the Season of Mischief, we landed on a theme that meshed well with both the time of year and Hoopa’s introduction to Pokémon GO. We found building from a central theme to be a really fruitful approach, so that’s something we want to continue to do in the Season of Heritage and beyond. This Season will take Trainers through events that draw inspiration from several iconic locations in the world of Pokémon, to really dig into the concept of “heritage.” For example, our first major event of the Season was inspired by Dragonspiral Tower—the oldest tower in the Unova region seen in Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version! As we progress through the Season of Heritage, I look forward to seeing our Trainers traverse through events inspired by iconic mountains and other electrifying locations found in the world of Pokémon!
During the Season of Mischief, we also tried out a Season-long Special Research story for the first time. We felt this was a great way to communicate the Season’s Hoopa-focused narrative and also provide our Trainers with fun and exciting ways to play throughout the Season. However, we did learn a lot along the way, and we’re working hard to make the next Season-long Special Research story better! In the meantime, though, we’re trying a different approach with the Season of Heritage that focuses more on rotating monthly Timed Research tasks and bonuses throughout the Season.
Designing Seasons beyond
Our goal for the Season of Heritage is to create an experience that celebrates parts of the Pokémon world that many Trainers may look back on fondly, while also introducing new Trainers to these celebrated locales. As we continue to refine the Season model, I want to build ways for our Trainers to find meaningful challenges in whatever way they choose to play Pokémon GO.