As of Pokemon Sun and Moon, there are now 802 Pokemon. Yeah, I’ve heard that’s a lot, mostly from people who don’t play Pokemon games anymore. Mostly from people who tell you “Man, wouldn’t it be great if we could just go back to Red and Blue, with the original 151? Those were the days.” Well, here’s the good news: You can! And here’s the better news: You don’t want to.
Thanks to the Nintendo store, I downloaded Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow, because I figured that, man, what once was fun will always be, right? As 18th-century poet Alexander Pope said, “Pokemon Red springs eternal.” I’d just finished Pokemon Sun, which I liked a ton, and now the goblin of sentimentality was tugging at my pant’s leg. “Play Pokemon Reeeeeeed,” it hissed. “The old games are always betttteeeerrrrrr.” And for a second, I considered its words. Yeah, on second thought, I did enjoy the old games that I played as an eight-year-old more than I ever enjoyed Pokemon Sun. And that’s because they were better. I’ll play them now and prove stupid me right.
It was then that I discovered that Pokemon Red is a great game if you’ve never played any other Pokemon game before. The balancing of the types, compared to the polished system that they have now, is frustratingly broken. If you have a psychic Pokemon in Red, the world is your Cloyster, and you can rampage through it unbothered by little things like game mechanics and difficulty curves.
Practice unrelated to progress on my game: I modelled and rigged a Horsea from the Pokemon series. It uses 2600 tris, 35 bones, a 512x512 texture map, and 1024x1024 normal map (not crisp enough at 512). I have it rendered here in Unreal Engine 4 with a few simple animations.
An alpha mask is used so that the belly and fin will appear less smooth than the rest of the body. There is an optional grayscale texture which has different shape masks in the RGB channels, and can be lerped in any time with a scalar value. The eyes use a separate material that has its UV coords adjusted at runtime using anim notifies.
If anyone wants the fbx or UE4 assets for whatever reason, send me a message or something - I have no qualms giving it out but don’t want to zip it up for no reason. Pokemon is copyright Nintendo and Game Freak. Thanks to them for making an inspiring universe.