A new fan-made Pokémon game is in development, and it looks glorious. Entitled Generation 0, the ROM hack will let you take control of a younger version Agatha or Oak, living out the early period of Pokémon history before the Pokédex was full and trainers were commonplace. No solid details have been released yet, but an image has been floating around the Internet featuring some concept art and a list of features..
We got to interview Jake Lupton, the head developer of Generation 0, to ask about the backstory behind that image and how the project is coming along.
Piki Geek: So how many people are working on the project?
Jake Lupton: We have about 15 developers, although about 8-10 work actively, which breaks down into different parts of the game: maps, art, story, etc.
JL: That was actually the picture from a 4chan post from way back and the inspiration for the ROM hack. We’ve taken parts of that and want to implement it into the game, such as playing as Oak or Agatha.
PG: So, not everything listed on there will be in the final game?
JL: Certainly we are restricted with some things, like the drawing aspect and old style pokéballs
PG: How will this be released: as a standalone exe, or a ROM hack?
JL: At the moment, we are going to release a ROM hack. We hope to make an original game eventually. Using a rom-hack will help us plan out the storyline and battles, get some interest in the project, and work out any problems we find.
PG: I think there are two questions everyone wants to know. First, what are those little baby legendary birds in the picture? Can we catch them? Please?
JL: Ha. Originally they were noted as the starters, but we were a bit against it. We still plan to make them catchable Pokémon, though.
PG: Yay, baby legendaries!
JL: Well, this is set back in the day, [so it makes sense to include them.]
PG: True. Second pressing question: are all 150 original Pokémon going to be catchable?
JL: Well, there will be certain exceptions, like Mewtwo, for example, as he wouldn’t exist yet. We’re currently working through it, checking for timeline things such as evolution stones and the origin of Pokémon like Voltorb.
PG: So that means Porygon is out as well, then?
JL: Exactly. Certain pokemon didn’t exist in the timeframe. We were actually thinking of the idea of adding Pokémon that are on the brink of extinction, ones that did exist but don’t anymore.
PG: Do you mean like Aerodactyl and Kabuto, or fan-made pokemon?
JL: Ha. Not quite that far back. They were fossils. Some fan-made ones, because when you see how much fan art of amazing Pokémon is out there, unique and original, it deserves some recognition.
PG: Do you have an idea on the release date for us?
JL: Well, a full release of the rom hack is a while away (most likely mid to late next year). But a v0.01 will be out soon that will be the modified Pallet Town and sprites (character selection) will be out very soon. Pallet Town is done, we just need to alter the sprites.
PG: I want to see that when it comes out. Sounds great!
JL: You’ll be amongst the first to know.
PG: Thanks for that, and thank you for your time.
JL: You’re welcome.