Pokemon camp in Pokemon Sword & Shield
Image Source: The Pokemon Company & Nintendo

For The Love of Arceus, Nintendo Need To Create a Pokemon Maker Game Already

The pixel-perfect game every Pokemon Trainer is craving.

Recently I’ve been skimming over many of the various game makers and ‘maker’ video games I’ve tried out over the years, looking back into titles from the classic Super Mario Maker games to the more refined RPG Maker and Pixel Game maker studios. However, in doing so, I’ve stumbled across a thought I’m sure many other Pokemaniacs have encountered at some point in time — between all of the Rom Hacks and game maker mods, why doesn’t the Pokemon Company invest in the creation of a ‘Pokemon Maker’ video game, letting us all bring custom Pokemon adventures to life?

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First, I’ll start by answering the obvious red flags you’re all undoubtedly waving in my face. Don’t worry; I’m no Tauros. I won’t get mad at this gesture. I’m well aware that the simple answer to this question is that a concept such as this will likely never happen due to the sheer scale of the proposed project and how time-consuming and tedious it would be to complete.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look to our good buddy Hypno to cast a temporary Hypnosis on us, enabling the fantasy idea of a Pokemon game project on this level. Thankfully in this world, we’re allowed to have hopes and dreams. And for that reason, I still stand by the idea of a Pokemon Maker Game. Thus, the exploration of this concept begins.

Hypno form the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

A Pokemon Game Maker title would give players an experience like no other, especially with the popularity and fanbase devoted to fan-made Pokemon titles or rom hacks and everything they have to offer. Some people want to play as much Pokemon as possible, others prefer the old GBC-DS era pixel art style of Pokemon games, and some are just looking for a new story with the franchise to enjoy. Whatever the reason, the popularity of fan games and rom hacks is undeniable.

Undoubtedly, some of the stories and gameplay mechanics found within these fan projects are snippets of brilliance that we wish the Pokemon Company would follow and develop to exist in official titles, with some of the unofficial materials expanding on or bending familiar lore to lead in a new direction, or utilizing a completely original tale for everyone to enjoy.

RPG Maker MV Pokemon Essentials
Image Source: Kadokawa & Maruno

The most tragic element of these wonderful fan games and Pokemon rom hacks is the never-ending war between the creators and Nintendo. With the latter holding a firm stance against fan-made projects using their owned franchises and materials (fair enough!), many beloved fan games have been permanently removed as a result of copyright warnings, breaking the hearts of devoted trainers worldwide.

Dropped tendies memes with Pokemon rom hacks
Image Source: Twinfinite

Perhaps a bridge could be built here between these two communities if Nintendo simply created the resources and platforms for Pokefans to experience and share these projects themselves? If so, could this bridge come in the form of an official Pokemon Title Maker? The possibilities truly are endless here, and It would add to the nostalgic charm of the whole concept if this maker brings back and utilizes the old, beloved pixel-art style of previous-gen Pokemon games, as these are the titles that most rom hacks and fan games originate from.

Now, imagine being able to write your own Pokemon journey, choosing to have it take place in a pre-built template such as the Regions we’re all familiar with, custom pre-builds created by other users, or designing your own Region from scratch. This would add a personal touch to the game-making experience, allowing players to come up with unique town names, develop lore, create and name NPCs and important characters, and even choose which Pokemon inhabit each area of the Region world map, and where Legendary Pokemon can be found.

pokemon heartgold and soulsilver gameplay

This would create some interesting extreme Nuzlocke-style games and challenges for the most experienced players as well as more simplistic and quirky games for those looking to experience something fun and different.

Furthermore, the game could contain a feature where you share codes to your custom Pokemon games or download codes created by others to experience their projects. This would give Pokemon rom hackers an official outlet for their material that works alongside Nintendo rather than against them, possibly patching up the strange love-hate relationship between the two collectives.

There’s also the opportunity to use a game maker title, such as a Pokemon concept, to teach individuals basic coding prompts through the use of map events. This is a very common system found in the RPG maker series and makes learning how these events function very easy to understand, so much so that a child could learn. And, of course, what better way to educate young trainers about game-making fun than through the wonders of the Pokemon universe?

Seven-year-old me would have killed to create my own maps, filling them with all of my favorite Pokemon as wild inhabitants, and then experiencing the joy of playing through these areas and catching my top mons’. Though, I was obsessed with Wartortle at the time, so there would probably be a small army of the turtle Pokemon located in every corner of this hypothetical fan-made maker game.

Wartortles in the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Think about it — Have you ever wanted to try your hand at the fun of making your own Pokemon game before but found the various third-party game makers, endless assets, and program knowledge needed is all too overwhelming? Well, perhaps a Pokemon game maker could be the answer, finally giving everyone a chance to shine and embark on Pokemon adventures together.

Oh, and before you start to wonder just how difficult it could be to craft your own Pokemon project in a game maker and assume it’ll be a troubling, coding-required mess, there are several approaches that Nintendo and Game Freak could take to make the game very accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages.

Firstly, various building sprites could come with pre-installed events, meaning you simply need to drag and drop them into your game. Examples include Pokemarts with a build in shop event, Pokemon Centers with pre-built Nurse Joy NPCs and healing / PC stations, pre-built Gym buildings, a National Park, Safari Zone, trade NPCs, static Legendary Pokemon events, Pokemon towers, Radio Stations, Ships, and more!

Various Gyms in Pokemon Fire Red
Image Source: The Pokemon Company via Serebii

Secondly, there could be an autofill function that automatically places Pokemon into your crafted maps based on what kind of terrain, weather, and difficulty of the zone you have toggled through a map options menu. This would speed up the process and allow an element of surprise if the player plans to play through their creation themselves. Additionally, it would be a fun feature (though admittedly a big ask) to include every Pokemon from the current database, allowing this function to mix and match Pokemon from several different Regions as local specimens in your own.

Lastly, the maker game could even include a Pikachu or Professor Oak mascot to guide the player through game-making tutorials and provide helpful tips and tricks, enabling those who feel lost in the process to overcome any hurdles and bring their ideas to life with success.

Professor Oak from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Honestly, the more I ponder this daydream and consider the idea of a Pokemon maker game, the more I am glad that no such official invention exists. By now, I’ve convinced myself that I would find myself entirely consumed in the fun of it all, wasting countless hours building my own projects and playtesting creations by other users.

In fact, I’m somewhat concerned that if such a concept were brought to life, I’d no longer be interested in video games as a whole. Instead, ‘gaming’ would become ‘Pokemon,’ consuming my soul 24/7, snatching me away from other potentially intriguing titles in a clumsy mess like Team Rocket trying to take off with a stolen specimen.

As I’ve stated a few times throughout this text, this idea probably won’t happen. The sheer scale of such a project would take years to build, especially with the amount of assets that would need to be created and imported — the Pokemon database in particular. On top of this, Pokemon continue to release new Regions and Generations every couple of years, which could also cause an issue in terms of updating the game maker software with the latest additions.

A similar problem occurs with creating the game as a Nintendo exclusive, as all other Pokemon titles are. If this concept was released on the Nintendo Switch, there would need to be at least some consideration of how the software may also work or have compatibility with the next Nintendo console.

As the Nintendo company tends to release a new handheld gaming device every so many years, and the Switch is currently sitting at six years old age with some hefty hardware limitation, there’s already the rumours and speculation of the Nintendo Switch 2. While many Pokemon fans would forever appreciate the personal gesture of a maker game, perhaps it’s best to leave the game-making to Nintendo and Game Freak for now.

Uh oh! It looks like Gengar has shown up equipped with Dream Eater. Alas, that must mean it’s time to wake from the pleasant daydream of a Pokemon maker game and face reality once again!

Gengar in the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Alright, back to reality. In a tale of everything sad but true, a Pokemon maker is the one game every Pokefan will forever pray to Arceus in favor of yet likely never receive. It’s okay; you can grieve if you want to; I sure as hell have.

And to the Pokemon Company, it’s okay; we all totally understand that this project won’t likely ever happen and the reasoning behind this. Unless? Just kidding. Well, half-kidding. You get the point. I guess when it comes to upcoming Pokemon games, I’ll just wait out the release date of Detective Pikachu Returns  and the Scarlet & Violet DLC instead.


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Author
Image of Grace Black
Grace Black
Grace is a writer and digital artist from New Zealand with a love for fiction and storytelling. Grace has been writing for Twinfinite for one year and in the games industry for two years. She's an enthusiast of everything spooky, an occasional anime enjoyer, and a die-hard Ghost-Type Pokemon fangirl. Her favorite video games include Overwatch 2, Life is Strange, The Last of Us, Baldur's Gate 3, and Pokemon - all of which she will never tire of.