Game Freak on How the 'Pokémon' Sausage Gets Made

Japanese developer talks to 'Game Informer' about creative process behind game's monster design

Pokémon Sun and Moon's three starters – Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio Credit: Nintendo

Japanese developer Game Freak has created hundreds of Pokémon for nearly 20 years. How does it come up with such consistently imaginative designs (well, except for that weird keychain thing)? Game Informer recently visited the studio and spoke with Pokémon director, producer, and composer Junichi Masuda about its creative process. Not surprisingly, it's a team-wide effort.

"The graphic designers are obviously going to be the ones finalizing the look, but it’s not just the graphic designers who come up with ideas or draw the Pokémon," Masuda tells Game Informer. "These ideas come from a lot of different places, the gameplay, the visuals, the story, and in the end those ideas just get centralized and designed."

Masuda also says the team likes to treat Pokémon as if they were living creatures, imagining where they would live and what they would eat. "When designing Pokémon, and not just from a graphic design perspective, there must be a reason for why it looks the way it does and you have to think about why it might live in the Pokémon world," he says.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in Game Informer's interview. You can check out the 12-page feature in its latest issue.