Pokémon Civil War is a game that takes a significant departure from the classical tropes of Pokémon. It explores moral, political, and philosophical themes. The game covers the events of the newly created region of Abrava, which is home to the three countries of the Abravan Kingdom, the Free Democracy of New Unova, and the League of Elemental Cities, across which fourteen different factions pursue their interests. It is rife with political intrigue, and realism is a major theme and influence in the conceptual design. Homage to Machiavelli shall be payed. The game is intended to be a more serious game rather than an escapist pleasure. It includes casual abuse of drugs, sex, and violence; however, these are used only as they are appropriate in the context of a story set during a civil war, rather than for cheap shock value. Themes of racism, sexism, and other kinds of discrimination will also inevitably pop up, and will be dealt with surgical ruthlessness in due course, but reconciling with history and the political nature of humans are more of an overarching theme.
The game is planned to be released in either eight chapters or five acts. I have been working on the concept since March 2018, and the game has evolved considerably during this time. What started out as an interest in giving players more choice has now become the main feature of the game. The way the story is experienced can change significantly based on the many significant and trivial choices players make throughout the game. Our intention is to create a game not where the same single story line happens to the players, but one in which a unique story emerges at every run of the game, based on players' choices.
Needless to say, this game is ambitious. But we are adamant on delivering. The dev team has also grown since the inception of the game, and we are always looking for new people to join. We are happy to receive any and all kinds of contribution to the game, however minor. Please see below for more on recruitment. Finally, everything written below is still subject to change, and we will consider your suggestions.
We are bound to Pokémon. It may seem like we are their masters since they respond to our never ending commands and demands, but while they can live without us, we cannot live without them. They are our energy, our weapons, our religion. Our civilization stands on their shoulders. When you consider who is dependent on who, it becomes clear that they are the masters of themselves, while we are slaves to ourselves.
The flow of blood has not stopped in the Abravan Region since the passing of the last Champion 300 years ago. The Abravan Kingdom is embroiled in a civil war between the Abravan Dictator King and the internationally backed Rebel Minority. Despite the stellar rise to power of the Free Democracy of New Unova since their founding 150 years ago, they still seem to lack the power to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict. All the while the League of Elemental Cities have clamped down on their borders to avoid being sucked into the conflict.
It might seem like your little town has been spared from the worst of the war. But it is not an easy thing for a single mother to raise a child in the depths of an economic crisis. If only Father hadn’t left for the army 5 years ago. At least Mother seems to have finally overcome her grief…
But now, there are rebels spotted near your town.
Can you rise above the petty politics, and save your loved ones from this black hole of violence?
Story & World
Plot: Will you join the Abravan Royal Forces and rise up through the ranks, or join the rebels in a bid to free the world from tyranny? Or perhaps you prefer the subtle play, and would like to try your hand at assassination and subterfuge - but can you tell who you're working for? Maybe none of this what you have decided to do with your life. Will you disengage from the system entirely and take the on the whole world by your lonesome self, finally filling that Dex, Uxie's curiosity be damned?
One overarching political plot can be experienced in (at least) five broad plot lines, although how the events in the game turn out will depend on players' choices in side quests and dialogues, so no two experiences of the plot are expected to be the exact same. This also makes it rather hard to summarize here - there is a certain progression to the plot, but it is not entirely linear. Long story short, the political plot revolves around fourteen factions pursuing their interests, spread across the region. Choices players make determine which (if any) factions achieve their goals.
And don't even get me started on the religious/Legendary plot line. Mewtwo is getting ready to make its move, while Necrozma is burning fiercer than ever in its lust for vengeance. What seemed to be a meteor shower has scattered three strange stones across the region, and word is that a mysterious illness has taken over in the League of Elemental Cities, estranging Pokémon from their trainers... Suffice to say, everything is coming to a head.
Characters: Large cast of in-depth characters to be loved, hated, used and forgotten, including your best friend, a wife that goes on a quest of vengeance for her husband’s death, a legendary contingent of the Abravan Army, the Dark Philosopher, the Elemental Lords, the poetic shadow leader of the Rebels, and many more…
Since this game is heavy on the choices, you will have the opportunity to develop meaningful friendships, rivalries, romances and outright hatred to a variety of characters. Who these may be, we cannot tell, for it is up to what you make of yourself, and how you engage with them.
World: Massive and detailed world with at least seventeen cities and towns, and many more small villages unmarked on the worldmap sprinkled in between the larger settlements. The game will include a wide variety of terrain including jungles, forests, mountains, grasslands, rivers both above and underground, deserts, and an open ocean with tiny islands.
Regional Lore and History: Detailed history that spans centuries, numerous religions centred around legendary and mundane Pokémon alike, three distinct cultures, a region-wide economic system, media, politics…
Unreliable Narratives: Each faction pursues its own interests, and thus holds a biased view of the political situation. You get to watch the news, read newspapers and books, and talk to NPCs, all of which give partly true and partly false information, trying to pull you in their own interests. To understand the truth, you need to make up your own mind, and decide on your actions accordingly. Your choices effect the world. Even the Pokédex lies!
Multiple Endings: There are ten different endings. The ending you reach will be based on the choices you make throughout the game. In one you make a lasting impact to the region for the worse, in another you make lasting impact for the better, and in the remaining eight the status quo is not significantly disturbed by your actions and your impact ranges from negligible to memorable as a passing mention in history books no one in their right mind ever reads.
New Game Mechanics
Character Traits: This new mechanic is still in conceptual development, but it will be included. Every dialogue choice you make throughout the game increases and/or decreases one of six (this number might change) character traits. Your character traits define how the world interacts with you - depending on your choice and character traits the way each of the fourteen factions treat you changes, the way significant NPCs treat you changes, and most importantly, the way your Pokémon treat you changes. You're gonna run into some truancy problems if they don't like the kind of person you are...
Non-Nuzlocke Permadeath: Your Pokémon may die, but this requires more than simply fainting. I have two alternative methods in mind, but will need to talk with a coder about whether either is feasible.
Game Over: If all the Pokémon in your party are dead, you have become vulnerable, and you may be killed. While this is an unlikely scenario, there is also incentive to die, too, if you think you can come back from the Ghost World.
Field Effects: We intend on implementing Reborn style field effects, adding at least one new field effect – the Battlefield Field Effect – at most a unique set of field effects for each map/route in game.
Classical Pokémon Tropes
Available Pokémon: All non-legendary, non-ultra beast Pokémon are planned to be included. Inclusion of Ultra Beasts depends on the way the story develops.
Starters: None - an egg that may hatch into any of the baby Pokémon except Mantyke + Eevee or Ralts.
Legendary Pokémon: They are treated as gods in this game, hence cannot be caught, but may join your party if you earn their respect. The Masterball is the exception to this, as it supresses the agency of whatever it catches.
Fakemon: One legendary planned so far. Another one might be added, depending on how the game develops.
Gyms & Badges: No gyms, and badges are replaced with Emblems. We haven't decided on the final number of obtainable Emblems, but there will be more than 20. All Emblems except the first and last are optional, and not all of them are obtained through boss battles.
HMs: HMs still exist, but they work like TMs.
If hungry Litwicks don't complicate his final journey
If hungry Litwicks don't complicate his final journey
Maps and small nuances:
May he rest in peace
Someone likes their hard spirits
May he rest in peace
Someone likes their hard spirits
The City of Lazama
Choice & Talking Character
Berry Orchards of Ome - Backbone of the Village Economy
Bleargh... We are aiming to either release a demo by September, or at least have a very solid idea about when we might be able to release it. Keeping the momentum is more important than deadlines. There is significant progress on the writing front, with +100K words of conceptual development covering all aspects of the game design having been hammered into ink.
DEVS EX MACHINA
I am the lead dev, and my main area is writing, eventing, mapping, and coordinating the contributions to the game from 'visiting' contributors. Phantom-Bina is the second core member of the dev team, who makes significant contributions to writing and works on sprites and tilesets.
Pokemon Essentials by Peter 0. and Maruno, based on work by Flameguru
There are four broad roles to be filled with regards to the development of this game. Depending on how much you want to contribute to the game, you are invited to contribute to the conceptual development of the game. Writing, graphics, characters, new mechanics, music all have to come together nicely to create a great gaming experience.
Spriter/Character Designer/Pixel Artist: We are looking for people who can aid the creation of still and animated tilesets. But more than anything we need character designers. There are lots of characters - around ten sprited characters for the demo alone.
Scripter/Coder: We are looking for a scripter/coder to implement the new mechanics written above. At this stage we are particularly interested in getting help with the Character Traits Mechanic, however we will also need the death and game over mechanics to be implemented rather soon - ideally before the release of the demo. Work on each of these three mechanics are very likely to effect the conceptual development of the entire game, especially the character traits mechanic.
Composer: The music we have chosen for the game so far is from own own music libraries, ranging from electronic to orchestral, and from stoner rock to Mongolian folk. All of this is a blasphemy in the face of copyright laws, but then again, we all live in the shadow of Nintendo…
Gamer: This role is about helping with the gaming aspects and balancing. These include competitive boss battle teams, balancing field effects, value of items depending on how the new game mechanics change the environment etc. Most importantly, however, once again, the implementation of the character traits mechanic requires someone with a sharp understanding how this will impact players team building abilities.
One person can fill more than one role above, and the same role can be shared between different people. I will start a thread for each role in the Team Recruitment section, and provide their links here, when I am able to do so.
You can find me on Relic Castle, Pokemon Reborn forum and on Discord by the name Fiasom. Please send me a direct message here if you are interested.