FCG: Hello everyone! Fact Checking Gardevoir here, online with… none other than Amethyst, creator of Pokémon Reborn!
FCG: So, Amethyst, can you introduce yourself?
Amethyst: My name is Amethyst. I started working on Pokémon Reborn on a complete whim in 2012, expecting to get bored and drop it, but in the end, I didn’t! We finally finished it last year and I’m very proud of the game and the community around it.
FCG: You sure can be! This game certainly is among the very best. I cannot imagine how much time and efforts you and your team devoted in making this wonderful game and developing its story, its characters, its AI and its puzzles!
How about your beginning? When have you discovered Pokémon?
Amethyst: I first learned about Pokémon back in 1998 when it was released stateside, but actually, I was a hipster six year old and hated the games entirely because the franchise was too popular, so I thought it was stupid and bad. Then, the next summer, my friend came over and let me play his Pokémon Blue version and catch a Pikachu, and I decided that, maybe, this game pretty good, so I demanded my dad to go out and get it for me that same night.
FCG: Hehe! We could say your opinion on Pokémon made a U-turn! I also remember the day I got my own game. A memory which will never fade!
So, when did you get into Pokémon’s fandom and fan content?
Amethyst: I think I hunted around PokéCommunity for ROM hacks when I was 11 or so. I was on some online forums back then – I think it was around 2003 – and I had already played Pokémon Ruby to death. I needed more! I remember playing the Quartz, Brown, and a Naranja hacks, but I didn’t get involved with the community at the time.
When Pokémon Diamond and Pearl‘s Wi-Fi feature came out a few years later, I made my own forum to gather all of my friends who played Pokémon from across Internet. It was only about 12-15 of us at first, but that was how Reborn‘s present community started!
FCG: I am glad to hear you had so much fun and shared it with your friends! Indeed, sometimes the best things start small before growing big!
How did the idea for Reborn take shape?
Amethyst: I made the online league as a challenge for a former friend. We played Emerald together a lot and we thought it would have been fun if the gym leaders had human-like AI. He never played the league, so I made it available to some other friends, and it grew from there.
FCG: So, it started with the enhanced AI and top level battles! Saying I had a hard time vanquishing Reborn‘s trainers, gym leaders would be… quite an understatement!
Amethyst: Eventually people wondered what our online Reborn league would look like as a region, and, at the same time, someone in the community was drawing a comic based on the league in a post-apocalyptic setting.
So I drew an elaborate map to determine what it would have looked like as a region. The map is included with game downloads today! When I finished this map, I really had no intention to go make a game based off of it, but then someone else in our community wanted to. They said they were going to use RMXP to make the game, and I grew up on RPG Maker forums, so I was suddenly very interested. I took over the project, and released the first episode in two weeks.
FCG: A very interesting region! I really enjoyed exploring every corner of its desert, its forest, its HUGE city… so many places to see!
What was your part in the game’s creation?
Amethyst: As a lead developer and project manager, I pride myself in being able to adequately perform any role necessary, including writing, spriting, art, music, mapping, programming and animation. The game was a solo project up until Episode 13 (fighting Charlotte). After that, I began to open up to the idea of allowing others to help. I should’ve done so a lot sooner… oops. By the end of post-game I mainly did mapping, dialogue, and coding events with the team working very hard to fill in around me.
FCG: I have no doubt you did a great job! But making such game does require a lot of work and time, and getting more people to contribute certainly paid off, making an already great game to an awesome one!
Which brings us to the next question: Who joined you to develop the game until its completion with Episode 19?
Amethyst: We’ve had a handful of folks come and go over the years, all of whom are credited as wished in the Readme file.
But to give a brief rundown of our team at the Episode 19’s release, it was:
– cass and Marcell: programming, writing
– toothpastefairy: programming
– Azzie: writing
– smeargletail: sprites, animations
– VulpesDraconis and Autumn: animations
– And crimson: mapping, eventing, spriting, …
FCG: I have recently stumbled into the video of an animated teaser called Reborn: Monarch. Is it true that an animated series on Reborn‘s story is on the way?
Amethyst: So I hear. I am not at all involved with that project, so I’m not the person to ask about its status. I think it would be amazing if they could finish it, but animation is very time-consuming, pain-staking, and Reborn is a very long game. I greatly appreciate the passion of the folks who want to go out and animate it all, which is really incredible, but I would also worry about their well-being, if they were to see it through! 😅
FCG: Then, let’s wish them the best of luck to bring it to completion! I will certainly be there to watch the result with great excitement!
I also personally wanted to thank you, Amethyst, as well as the rest of the team who worked on the project, and a certain user of Reborn’s forums, for making this wonderful game, but also for creating a character which became my number one favourite in all fan games: Gossip Gardevoir! Her scenes, her personality, her lady-like behaviour and her interview intermissions are what inspired me to join PokéCommunity forums and become an active member of this wonderful community!
And that’s it for today, everyone! See you later, for our next interview! Stay tuned! And if you’re interested in taking part in an interview – or being the interviewer – let us know in the comments!
Header image’s art source: Pokémon Reborn
Edited by Arcaneum, bobandbill, and confused_piplup.