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Hematite

Elite Trainer
Member
Posts
101
Hi, @kelsey!

Those are a lot of evolutions! I honestly love that - I think it'll be a cool way to reinvigorate older lines, and I always find myself frustrated that Game Freak has taken the Eviolite as a reason to stop adding new evolutions to old lines for the sake of consistency. (Still hoping they'll start it up again themselves! That was one of the coolest parts of Gen IV for me, and I think the break has gone on long enough!)

It's always so neat to see other fans' takes on what evolution lines could be like - you're filling a very noticeable void that I know a lot of people would like to see filled!

Okay, so my advice on this:

> As you mentioned, a lot of people might be turned off of your game by the inclusion of Fakemon - I've seen people criticize games purely by virtue of attempting Fakemon, without even considering how well or how poorly they're done and only the fact that they're there at all. That said, I personally am very strongly in favor of this kind of creativity and I think games with Fakemon are some of the most interesting and appealing - it all depends on the audience, and just be aware that while there's always a risk of alienating some players, you also have the potential to attract just as many, especially if you manage to do them well, so don't focus on that as much as what you'd want to see yourself! I would personally say to go for it! In general, I'm wholly in favor of adding Fakemon to official lines like this - I don't think it would throw people off too much!

> The issue of spriting is definitely worth discussing. I've found that juxtaposing a fanmade sprite with a canon one almost always feels just slightly off compared to spriting both the Fakemon and the canon Pokémon yourself, but obviously that's not realistic in most cases; what I would recommend is that you consider respriting the canon Pokémon whose lines you're expanding so they fit together as a line even if not with the whole 'dex, but of course it doesn't matter too much and it's just a personal preference! Unless graphics are a main draw of your project, you can definitely get by with the bare minimum of spriting new things and leaving canon sprites for old things.

> The only things that jump out as potentially jarring/that I personally don't recommend at all are the four-stage lines and the canon Pokémon being combined with other canon Pokémon. On your list, I notice the Weedle and Combee lines, the Yamask, Sigilyph and Spiritomb lines, the Fletchling and Farfetch'd lines, Tauros evolving into Bouffalant and Luvdisc evolving into Alomomola - I don't have any issue with something like Miltank/Tauros and Volbeat/Illumise being combined by a common pre-evolution, because a) they're both already intended as duos (Volbeat and Illumise can even breed to produce each other's Eggs anyway) and b) you're making a new Pokémon evolve into them, not making an existing Pokémon evolve into another existing Pokémon, but I do think it's a little distracting/weird/confusing to take one Pokémon that exists in canon and make it evolve into another Pokémon that also exists in canon. I would recommend drawing a line there, but it's still up to you!

> Some of these concepts are really neat! I'm super interested to see whatever you come up with for them! I'm actually especially curious about Shaymin and Florahog - given that we have the Cosmog and Type: Null lines breaking the rule of Legendary Pokémon not evolving, I think it's safe to say that it's no longer off-limits for a Mythical Pokémon to evolve! (In fact, a lot of people seem to think Meltan might have an evolution, though it's hard to be sure!) I would maybe lean towards a baby stage for a bigger-looking Mythical rather than an additional evolution for a small one, because Mythical Pokémon in general have such high stats already, but as long as you keep stats in mind and maybe consider nerfing Shaymin a little to compensate, it should work out just fine and has the potential to be a really unique and novel design! I definitely look forward to seeing where you take it.

> In general, it might be a good idea to look into what Pokémon might benefit the most from an evolution gameplay-wise and use that to figure out whether to expand by an evolution or a baby, but I think it's fine to disregard that (especially if, again, you might be willing to toy with the other stages' stats to make room) and you should just go with what you're most interested in doing!

I hope that's of some help! Again, all of that is just personal opinions and recommendations, not anything you're obligated to follow; if you disagree with anything, feel free to ignore it! I just figured it might be useful if I weighed in as best I could. C:

also, I have to recommend calling the Dunsparce evolution Abundunce
 

kelsey

Novice
Member
Posts
49
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed response. I really appreciate the feedback! You've given me a lot to consider, but I especially appreciate the point re: the 4 stage evo lines that combine multiple pre-existing lines. I'm definitely going to ponder that a little further before deciding to go down that route.

I do know that I'm definitely going to be playing with/adjusting stats as I go. My game as a whole is pretty customized and I'm not afraid of tampering with the base game conditions if its going to make a better player experience.

I also appreciate the feedback on the inclusion of fakemon generally. I know that I'm the kind of person that tends to prefer games without them, but it does seem like a lot of older gen pokemon- especially the ones without great states or novelty value, tend to be overlooked, and I'd really like to make a game that makes the whole entire playing experience feel really fresh for the user. (setting a low bar here for myself -ha). Overall, the inclusion of fakemon is probably going to depend more on my spriting skills than anything else... but we shall see what happens.
 

Hematite

Elite Trainer
Member
Posts
101
Oh, wow, I really love that!! I think you did a really good job of emulating the official style - that specifically looks a lot like a Gen IV sprite (more detailed shading and a more active pose than most of the static sprites from Gen V, and more vibrant colors and mostly "cleaner" shading than Gen III), so if that's what you were going for (it probably was, since that's what Essentials uses), it fits in really well!! It really looks like you know what you're doing with the spriting - there's not much I can think of for improvement! The only thing that I notice is that Gen IV tends to use a little less dithering than you have, especially for front sprites (back sprites are an exception for some reason), so you might want to consider smoothing it out a tiny bit.

In terms of design, I also think it's super cute!! But I do think it might help to vary it a little more than you have from Lapras - if you don't mind, here's an example of how I would personally approach designing an evolutionary stage:

In general, I always try to follow three rules for evolutions, whether they're new evolutions for canon Pokémon or just regular evolutions for Fakemon.

The first one: always change the Pokémon's proportions or general shape. A lot of Pokémon just use head proportions, which is totally fine - your Laplet/Laplad has a much smaller body compared to its head than Lapras, so it's immediately obvious that it's a baby (my example is also like that) - and pretty much every evolution will have a greater body to head ratio than its previous stage. But if you want to get wilder, you can always expand different amounts in length, width and height, like how Linoone is obviously longer than Zigzagoon but isn't much taller or wider. Or you can change the Pokémon's stance, like going from quadrupedal to bipedal or vice versa, or even gaining limbs like Charizard or losing them like Serperior. But again, changing the body to head ratio is all you really need! These are just extra ways to emphasize the difference if you think they look good with the design. (For reference, my personal norm for Pokémon that are basic and can evolve further - not single-stage - is to try to make the full design fit within a box 2.5 times the size of head in each direction, and then just to make every evolution a minimum of one head bigger in any direction.)

The second one: always change the Pokémon's color scheme. It doesn't always have to be drastic! A good example of doing this subtly and without completely redoing the color scheme is the Lillipup line, where Lillipup and Herdier use all of the same colors, but Herdier just puts more focus on blue and Lillipup on brown; then Stoutland comes along and adds just another shade of each of those colors. Usually, if you want to avoid changing colors too dramatically, the first two stages of a line can get away with just redistributing the same colors, and then the third will add another color if needed; of course, you can also cheat by doing different shades of the same color, like Charmeleon is a different red compared to Charmander but still has almost the same colors in the same places. (Or if you're willing to totally change the colors, like Mienfoo to Mienshao, that's good too! I just felt I should clarify that that doesn't usually have to happen and you can be subtler if you want to be.) As a rule of thumb, the more different the Pokémon is in every other way, the less different its colors should be so that they're more easily connected - Wimpod and Golisopod, for example, are almost the same colors exactly - but that's not a hard law (see the Trapinch line for different designs and different colors and the Charmander line for similar designs and similar colors) and you can break it if you want.

And then the third one: always change the Pokémon's design by replacing, not adding (not subtracting, in the case of babies). For example, Mienshao's whips are a new design that replaces Mienfoo's arms, and Stoutland's mustache has a completely different design from Herdier's even though the idea behind them is the same. It's especially important to replace the head - even Pokémon that barely change at all always have different head designs! And then a point that's not necessary, but can really help: try to think of a distinct (but still related) concept for the Pokémon to guide what kinds of replacements you should make - a drastic example is the Litwick line, with each stage designed based on a different light source, or the Chingling line, with Chingling being a bell and Chimecho being a wind chime, but smaller changes like Zigzagoon going from zigzags to straight lines can also work just as well. In many cases, changing the concept basically does the work for proportions and colors for you - the "average Bug" line like Scatterbug tends to go from a long caterpillar to a squat, rounded cocoon to a taller and wider but mostly flat butterfly, and cocoons are usually colored by their silk while butterflies have more vibrant wings, so just considering a different concept immediately presents options for the color and proportion changes. But that's not to say that always has to happen - Nuzleaf and Shiftry are based on the same thing, but Game Freak still did just as good a job of distinguishing their appearances as they did with any other line.

Here's an example of these applied to Lapras!

This is Chorice, a Fakemon from my own project! (It's been planned for a while, but I'm actually glad this came up because its old design is from so long ago that I didn't even follow these rules; I just redesigned it now to use as an example. XP)



Proportionally, it's pretty much just "smaller body relative to head" like I mentioned - it doesn't actually get any major proportional changes. As mentioned, I personally often make the basic stage fit within a 2.5 head by 2.5 head box, and this does provide an example of that - but that's not necessary at all!

In terms of color, Chorice is a bit greener and warmer than Lapras, and it loses a color by getting rid of the shell - I'm sure only one of the two was actually necessary (either losing a color or changing one should be just fine, and especially since Lapras only has one stage, you could even just rearrange the colors like switching the dark blue spots with the light blue body!).

And then the main driving change of the design was a different concept - Chorice doesn't have a developed shell yet and its body is still soft and young, so instead of being the "Transport Pokémon" or carrying anyone on its back, it guides swimmers and sailors to safety with the sound of its voice, like an inverse/benevolent version of a siren. That's why its horn is hollow (so it can blow sound from it) and what the rippling mark on its back is (it's meant to look like a sound wave, kind of like Noibat's and Noivern's ears). Of course, I also just made some arbitrary changes for the sake of being different - its head looks more like a slug (a bit like Goomy) because I thought it would be cute if it was a little bit derpy-looking - but hopefully you can see how altering the concept a little led to a number of simple changes that made it easy to figure out where to take the design, and hopefully this is an okay example of how to do that by replacing and editing instead of adding and subtracting! (Even the shell, which is totally gone, is replaced by the sound wave pattern so it doesn't just become bare and obvious where something was lost.)

Does that help at all? Obviously Chorice is far from perfect - I don't mean to imply that at all - but hopefully as an example, it might be of some use in showing what I mean by the guidelines I just explained. I think following those often helps lead to evolutions that feel naturally like part of the line without being too like their relatives!

In any case, I really think your Laplet/Laplad is adorable even aside from all of that! And you definitely did a fantastic job with the sprite! (I'd never have guessed you're new to pixel art like you said - you picked that up quickly! XP) I'm sure all of your sprites will mesh with the canon ones just fine - I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this! C:
 
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Breadjamin

Pixel Artist
Member
Posts
4

Here's a sample so far of my first attempt at spriting, if anyone wants to give feedback. This is a lapras pre-evo. Probably going to call it Laplet or Laplad. Any and all constructive criticism is welcome!

also I'm still listening for any suggestions of Pokemon that other people think need additional evolutions
I think this is a really good attempt at your first sprite. You have good shadowing and highlighting, the outlines look to be darker where they should be, and it is cute, which I think is super important for preevolutions! There are a couple spots in the outline I would tweak personally, but other than that it looks awesome to me. Good job!
 
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