Pokémon Go is taking cities over communities, big and small, across the world. The trend started within indie circles and slowly worked its way into the mainstream. As its augmented reality (AR) platform captivates players around the globe, how will developers capitalize on the opportunity to play off the game’s success?
The Guardian asked a handful of indie designers what they would do with Pokémon Go, how they would improve upon it, and what AR games they have in mind for the future.
Robin Hunicke, designer of Funomena’s World and Luna and thatgamecompany’s Journey, would like to implement some sort of personalized selection options into Pokémon Go. Rather than trying to collect everything you come across, Hunicke would want to see people choosing to collect what’s best for them or makes them happiest.
“I just think it’s nice to design games where you can choose and curate and design your experience, and instead of just thinking you want to get all of them maybe you want to get the ones that are perfect for you,” Hunicke said.
Cherie Davidson is on board with Hunicke’s personalization thoughts. Davidson thinks the game would benefit from more user-generated content, which would help players inject themselves and their personalities into the game. She would begin this process by transforming the avatars, which are “way oversimplified at the moment.”
By allowing each player to personalize their avatars, they not only make connections with themselves in the game, but with other players. They are instantly able to recognize an avatar and recall what they do or don’t like about its in-game behavior.
For Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris, the success around Pokémon Go is largely due to the Pokémon brand. It’s a type of success that only a brand with such a strong following could generate so rapidly. But, the Redshirt designer would improve the opportunity for social interaction within the game itself. The movement of playing the game has caused more real world interaction, however Khandaker-Kokoris feels connections established with other players within the game could take its social effect to the next level.
Richard Franke, a designer for Magic Notion, agrees that the real social interaction the game fosters, is proof that social interaction within the game itself could be very successful. Franke sees the social platform as something that could evolve into a Tinder-like “dating thing, but in a kind of comical way, where there isn’t any real pressure.”
On the whole, designers can appreciate Pokémon Go because it’s nostalgic and encourages interaction, and its simplicity makes it accessible to the masses. With many of the responses counting on an opportunity to personalize the game experience, we are left wondering if Nintendo will rely on the current simplicity or build an immersive, user-generated experience from this popular platform. For more information regarding Pokémon Go, [Click Here].