Do you want to give a game designer your honest feedback on what it’s like to play their games? If you’re a fan of the Pokémon series and happen to be on Twitter, this is your chance. Dave Gibson, a developer working on Pokémon titles, is soliciting feedback from the public regarding their frustrations with and suggestions for Pokémon games. Here’s the opening of his Twitter post:
What UI / UX mistakes drive you absolutely mad in Pokémon games? I want to ship the next game with a top end experience and your feedback invaluable. pic.twitter.com/2mgnmyep6H
— Dave Gibson ⠿ POKEMON 🗼 (@AJapaneseDream) August 22, 2020
Gibson works at Tokyo-based Creature, Inc., as a Lead User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Designer. Creature, Inc. is one of the three businesses (alongside Nintendo and Game Freak) that form The Pokémon Company. Originally founded as Ape Inc. in 1989, Creature developed the original Mother game for the NES. Ape, Inc. was disbanded and re-founded as Creature, Inc., to co-develop and assist on a variety of titles, including the Pokémon trading card game and Super Smash Brothers. Creature, Inc. also led development on Detective Pikachu for the 3DS.
UI/UX developments are important, since they’re the primary way most players interact with games. UI/UX covers a variety of design disciplines, but manifests primarily in things like menu design, visual cues, and in a game’s approach to displaying information for a player.
Thus, Pokémon players should direct their complaints about the UI in the series to Gibson, while the thread is active. A cursory skim of the thread reveals that many Pokémon Sword and Shield players would like for touch screen controls to be enabled for menus when playing on the Switch in handheld mode. Others suggested improvements to Pokemon sorting, storage, and connecting with friends online. Still others suggested taking a cue from series like Shin Megami Tensei in manifesting their UI within the world, improving the sense of immersion:
Something I really enjoy is when the UI of games can be conveyed through the world itself, and becomes a part of the world-building. Shin Megami Tensei IV does an absolutely amazing job of this and it's something I'd absolutely love to see in Pokemon. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/a6vVFcojaV
— Ishaan Sahdev (@ishaansahdev) August 23, 2020
It should be pointed out that Gibson was soliciting feedback in general, rather than for any specific title, announced or unannounced, so it’s best not to take this as a hint of anything new, necessarily. Game developers are always looking to hear from their audiences, and social media is a good way to gather a large quantity of responses.
The most recent Pokémon title, Sword and Shield, is available on Switch now, and the mobile-based Pokémon Masters recently rebranded.