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    Default Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Adapting the Games

    Hello Fairground! After all my million stickied threads and constant General Chat comments, I am finally here to deliver you all something of a lot more substance! On the one year anniversary (well, thirteen month…) of my first Academy article on Christmas writing, I return for my encore act with an article on something that will be appropriate for many of us: adapting the games.

    By ‘the games’, I am of course referring to the Pokemon games that have brought us all here, but while I may not be discussing adapting Mario, Zelda, Halo, Nintendogs or Wii Fit, this article may come in handy for them as well (hmm, a Wii Fit fan fiction…)

    I wanted to write this article because I feel that some people become too stuck within the confines of strictly adapting the games almost exactly as if you were walking through it. While this is not entirely a bad thing, and can be great when you are first starting out, I will be bluntly honest in saying it can be a tad repetitive, and if you are hoping to get comments and reviews on your work, you need to do something a bit more interesting to get attention. So I will be discuss ways you can improve on adapting the Plot, Characters, Location and Pokemon of the games we have all loved for so many years.


    Plot

    A big issue when adapting the games is the fact that, for the most part, people fall back on the plotlines as they are laid out in the games. This largely includes starting in Pallet/New Bark/Nuvema/Twinleaf, what have you, then moving on from their, facing everything that you would normally face in the games (IE the gyms in exact order, the villainous teams in the exact same places, following the exact same routes and layouts). It is fair to say that when it comes to browsing through fics to read, it can be generally quite dull if it looks as though everything is going to fall down the same old tried and tested route hundreds, possibly thousands, of fan fic writers have done before you.

    When you are thinking of writing a story, do not be afraid to shake things up. There is nothing stopping you from starting the story in a different location, or for perhaps shaking up what your character does on their journey. It seems too many people are unwilling to include Team Rocket/Magma/Aqua/Plasma/Galactic/Flare in any locations other than how they appear in the game – frankly, it can be boring and lower the effects of the villains if we only ever see them as infrequently as they appear in the games.

    However, I am not saying that if you write your story starting in the respective starting town of each game your story will automatically suck. If you do chose to go down this path, it is generally for the best if you remember to add in your own challenges and obstacles for characters to overcome, or put a spin as to why they are starting from there (Pavell’s The Long Walk uses a different main type of main character in the form of a Joy.) Your plot should not be solely ‘find and defeat the villains’, as, again, that has been done to death, so to make things more personal, you should add in more emotional and character-building plots for your mains and supporting characters to overcome and to fuel their motivations. And this now segues nicely into…


    Characters

    This is perhaps the category were most people end up getting stuck. It seems most users here manage things well with creating their own OC or their own version of the player characters of each region, many of the other characters you interact with do not get such a shining treatment within fan fiction.

    One of the main areas of trouble comes down to Originality. Many people become stuck with keeping the character similar to how they acted within the games, sometimes even carbon copying dialogue, actions, motivations and back stories directly from the games. I always see this happen with villains, so I am going to use Cyrus as an example.

    Cyrus is a character that has rather stock and easily repeated motivations; he wants to gain control of Dialga/Palkia/Giratina and create a new world for himself to rule. However, there is nothing stopping you from turning Cyrus into your own character; you can alter his end goal to give you something that fits in with your story better, you can change his appearance, you can change his role within the company. Simply because you are using the character does not mean you are stuck to make them exactly the same as Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Cyrus. It would be more interesting for readers if you presented them with an original interpretation of Cyrus, and it would also be more fun for you if you gave him a touch of your own ideas; one of the greatest parts of being a writer is being able to create characters, and while we are limited when writing fan fiction, there is nothing stopping you re-imagining characters with your own ideas.

    Similarly though, I would recommend not going too overboard; turning Cyrus into a cyborg sent back from the future with flame-throwing abilities is a tad stretch in terms of realism, and your audience will probably not be that impressed. You need to find balance, turning the game characters in ones that can be original and interesting but without trying too hard and alienating your audience. A simple few character quirks, some unique motivations, goals and some interesting relationships (why does the villain have the team of admins that he does, why do they not kill the main character?). From personal experience, I have found turning one of the heroes into a villain can go down negatively with some fans; however, if you are someone who is not fussed by this, having this style of character change as a twist would help your story be memorable.

    As I mentioned above, it is important, whoever your character is in any story, to give them an emotional storyline to fuel their journey. They should have a reason for travelling, they should have a reason for wanting to defeat the gyms/win the contests etc, and they should have a reason for wanting to defeat the antagonists. Unlike in the games, your character does have to say more than ‘…’, so you need to give them something worth saying and they need something to keep them going when things turn to shit.


    Location

    The setting is perhaps the most important part of any story, yet for such a significant area of your writing, some people do not really pull it off well. This can be especially troublesome with the Pokemon world, as everyone seems to think everyone else knows what the world looks like. However, the regions and the world that we play these games in is one that is riff for massive creative interpretation; these are meant to be massive cities, but most of them prior to Gen IV, perhaps not even until Gen V, had about twenty people maximum living in them – I may live in New Zealand, but even we have more than that living in our cities.

    Just like everything else when your adapting these works, the cities, towns, routes, caves, forests and buildings are all things that you should shape to become your own in whatever little or grand way you can manage. It may sound difficult describing numerous places in great detail, but you only really need to pick out a few key features that will really sum up the location and it will be enough for your readers.

    Another important thing to consider is that location is not necessarily just the land setting of your story but also the time it is set in. It seems many stories are generally set within what could be called the ‘present’ as it generally is easier for people to write in. One thing that would help your story stand out would be to set it either in the past (how did the game characters get to where they are? What were the gyms like fifty years ago? Where there all the same buildings, locations, Pokemon?) or setting it in the future (what happens when Red/Gold/Brendan etc becomes Champion? How does one go on a gym journey after Team … has made their mark on the region?) It may sound like more work to go and create semi-new worlds, but it can be a lot more fun re-imagining the regions in different locations. Other possibilities are of course ‘What if’ styled alternative universes, or the new concepts of things like dystopia and utopia (Some Rise by Sin is a good example of the latter.)


    Pokemon

    When it comes to Pokemon, there is not a lot you can do to be obviously original here, lets be honest; with there now being around 721 Pokemon in the world, you can probably come up with a Pokemon team combination that most people won’t have seen before. If you want to make things original, the easiest way is to give the main characters different Pokemon to begin with (not to toot my own horn, but ‘Eight Easy Steps’ is an example of this). I will say though, do not feel a need to be restrained within how the Pokemon are placed within the games in order to have your characters capture certain ones in certain locations: animals in the wild migrate, especially birds and aquatic life, so it would make perfect sense if your version of Red catches a Pidgey in an area where Pidgeys are not at all found.




    So in conclusion, I feel the key thing to keep in mind when you are writing a story based heavily by the layout of the games is this; make your story original in a way that is not too over the top but will be enough to keep people interested.
    This all being said, I stress the fact that not doing any of these things does not mean your story will be automatically terrible and no one is going to read it; I personally have learnt though, over the past six years that I have being written Pokemon fan fiction, that is important for the sake of yourself and your reader to spice things up. I would not still be a writer today if I had not begun crafting my own plots and my own backstories for the characters; it makes everything much more fun, and while there are many parts of my stories I would love to go back and change, I would not for a second considering altering my interpretation of the games, the plots, the heroes and, most of all, the villains. This is fan fiction, and it should be how we want it to be, not how the games instruct it to be.

    Instead of articles this time, I have gone and looked over stories that have taken elements of the games and given them their own twist.
    The Long Walk
    The Kalos Connection
    How to Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps
    some rise by sin
    and, of course, what is perhaps the closest this forum has to a classic:
    Rival's Story

    I would like other people to suggest the names of fics they have read that they feel are great examples of how to adapt the games in a fun and exciting way, as I have not read all of the ones out there and it would be great if we could build a collective list for people to consult.

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    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    There is one of the most of the most important thing about adapting the game you had not discuss, where this is not only limited to Pokemon series, but all sorts of fan-fictions adapting from any games.

    That is........... Adapting the game system!!!

    That is one of the most important thing that limited the creativity of fanfic authors, because many people took the game system as the fixed golden rule of how the world functions. If a world functions in the exact same way just like the game, I would say this world will be so mechincal that just become deathly boring.
    Really, the real world don't function like the game, where we had HP bar to quantify our health or the damage rate, or that we have EN/MG/PP/whatever energy bar to quantify our vitality to execute our moves. We also don't just lie on the ground completely motionless if we are running out of energy. In reality, we have things other than the physical strength to keep us energetic, which is "emotion"! Our passions and enthusiasm towards anything keep us awake even though our body is exhausted, our pride and self-esteem may keep us from losing, our fear towards something prevent us from executing a mission nicely. Emotion, is just something that cannot be quantify, and cannot be 100% emulated in any sort of game system.
    Even the games of having characters piloting some sort of mecha robots and/or machineries, cannot 100% truly quantify the damage and energy even through it is something mechanical right from the start. In reality, if the power generator of the machines got damaged, its energy will drop heavily, or even just stop immediately due to malfunctioning, though every other parts of the machine is completely undamaged. Yeah, in reality, machineries can be very fragile, the key point is aiming at the weak points. And this sort of weak point aiming, it is again not 100% possible to emulate in a game system. (Well, the PS2 Valkyrie Profile -Silmeria- battle system does have such weak point aiming system. Though it is still not 100% realistic, but it is still nice from game playing viewpoint)

    Not only Pokemon series, but all sorts of RPG games like Final Fantasy series, Tales of series, Lunar series, Megami Tensei series, or whatsoever one may think up. They all have character stats and parameters being quantified into numbers, and also have levels to quantify the skills and battle experience of the characters. That is the way of game programmers trying to adapt the real world mechanism into a game, where from programming viewpoint, everything needs to be numerical, hence quantifiable. So please understand, it is the algorithm of the game battle system interface which we player intercepted functions in such numerical way, but it is not the fictional world of the game function in such way.
    So, if we want to adapt the game, the game system, especially the battle system having numerical and quantifiable health status, energy, characters parameters, and even the item bag of infinite volume, should be ignore. That is merely the game system interface between the fictional game world and the players, but it is not the true mechanism of how that world functions. Although the game system may give a guideline of how the characters attacks and what sorts of attacks and/or skill may the characters learn, but use it only as a guideline, not as universal principle that is prohibited from alteration, and not to be follow blindly.

    Also in terms of the Pokemon games, another important thing about adapting is the move pools, type advantages and also the abilities. Many authors trying to adapt the 4-moves limit of the game into their fic, also Pokemon do "forget" miraculously for no reason when new move is learned. Again, that 4-moves limit is the system interface of the game, it is not compulsory to follow it blindly. Though, some authors do adapt it conditionally, such as limited to 4 moves in battles, but not limiting the amount of moves a Pokemon may remember at a time.
    Also for type advantages, sometimes it make sense but sometimes it doesn't make much sense under certain condition. For example, Bonemerang, it is a Ground-type move, so in the game it is non-effective towards Flying-type Pokemon. But if think of it realistically, throwing a bone at Flying-type Pokemon and hit, will it hurt or not hurt the Pokemon? The same argument lies also to the abilities, because withing the game, abilities just functions in a very mechanical way, hence under certain condition it just doesn't make sense. Type advantages and abilities are something to be adapt conditionally, don't just use it without much consideration of realism.


    And from the game statistic viewpoint, Pokemon main series are set in such way that the Pokemon species in general have stats and parameters lies within a very limited range, so we will never ever saw the hidden ultimate enemy in some other RPG games having HP 100x times higher then the player, attack and defense power 2~5 times higher than the player character(s), which players struggled to defeat it for hours. (e.g. FF series' Omega Weapon, FFX's Penance, FFXII's Yasmat. For the last one, I still remembered that I struggled to defeat it after 6 trials for 4 hours, still unable to defeat it despite that I had leveled up my team up to the highest possible level. At last, I gave up -_-;||||)
    So, does the Alpha Pokemon Arceus with BST of merely 720 unsuitable to be the God? Well, from in-game statistic viewpoint, it is surly too weak. I can KO it easily with my LV.100 Empoleon within 3 attacks, and Arceus cannot do much damage to my Empoleon because it is Steel-type. But in reality, is Arceus that weak where it cannot defeat my Empoleon, and I can KO it with merely 3 attacks? I doubt it.
    What I would like to point out is that the game system of Pokemon game is designed in such way that everything is tone down, even the Pokemon God cannot be overpowered like those hidden enemies in other RPG games. But does that mean Arceus is weak in reality? Well, it depends on how the fanfic author "adapt the game" then.
    Just a personal sidenote. In my fic, I did planned to have a great battle with Arceus at the very last chapter, where it is overpowered just like those hidden ultimate enemy in the FF series games. It just needs great effort, knowledge, and guts to defeat it.
    Last edited by クリスタル; 28th January 2014 at 02:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    I know of a few fics that are game adaptations, but one I'll need to go digging for the link, as all of them are on Fanfiction.net, and only one is a Pokémon fic (the one that I don't have a link for whatsoever at the moment). That one is called Alphabet Soup, an adaptation of Black/White. It's a really good example of what both people above me said about adapting a game. Then we've got the Paper Mario X series. And yes, that is all four links to all three Paper Mario X stories and the spin-off, Paper Luigi X. Now, while they don't do everything mentioned (especially scrapping the game mechanics, but that was intentional on the writer's part because in PMX, PMX2, and PLX, they take place in the Paper Mushroom World and that's how the world works (and Mario himself not being used to fighting enemies in Super PMX because that story takes place in another world and it doesn't follow the original battle mechanics of the first two)), it does give extremely unique motivations for the "guest" characters (Link, Kirby, Sonic, and Samus for Team Mario; Malon, Tails, Meta Knight, and Knuckles for Team Luigi; Amy Rose and Zelda for Team Z.A.P. (Zelda, Amy, and Peach); and Ganondorf and Baldy Nosehair (I mean, Eggman (I do like that nickname from Sonic Colors, though), sorry) for Team B.E.G. (Bowser, Eggman, and Ganondorf) (after all, the X stands for crossover)), and even Peach's motivations for helping out Team Mario in PMX stem from the pressure from Zelda and Amy while all three of them are stuck in Peach's room thanks to Bowser and his mooks. The only real mechanic dropped from the first two game adapts are the partner swapping to an extent. While each main character still can only take one partner into battle, all partners walk around with Team Mario during their travels (of course, Goombario gets the worst of it, especially from Link, as he has to go sneak off to level up, while all other partners got to without problems (Link would always grab him or do something else to keep him from doing so, even when he was the last partner to level up, just so he wouldn't be able to); Goombella was more welcomed by Link in PMX2), and Goombario was always able to tattle on their newly-encountered enemies even on the sidelines (where it didn't take up a turn).
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Those numerical values are the core basis of the game, though, especially in the competitive circle. While I agree it'd be ridiculous for anyone to quantify a Pokémon's abilities numerically on sight, I do feel a need to acknowledge and incorporate those components in some way.

    Personally, my solution is to equip the Pokédex with a sort of portable medical scanner that assesses a Pokémon's physical condition and instantly returns numerical approximations of its capabilities. Stats are calculated based on several factors, including comparison with the generally-accepted average parameters as established by leading researchers. HP and PP are both based on the same general idea, namely how much and what kind of damage different parts of a Pokémon's anatomy can safely withstand.

    IVs can be seen as an assessment of a Pokémon's genetic makeup, with the assigned numerical values expressing the presence and strength of desirable genes. EVs could refer not necessarily to the experience gained from battling specific Pokémon, but a generally-accepted consensus of what experience (or, more accurately, exercise) should logically be gained from the way in which specific species would have to be fought. You wouldn't wrestle a lion the same way you'd wrestle a crocodile, for example, and each style of fighting would exercise different muscles. A rough calculation of the "experience" remaining until the next level is reached can, I think, be safely based on all of this information.

    Naturally, all of this is much more complicated than I'm making it sound, but I'm guessing most trainers aren't scientists, so the information has to be condensed into a form they can understand. The form of RPG elements, while perhaps unorthodox, is relatively easy to grasp.

    Type advantage is....not fully understood. It seems to be one of the less scientifically analyzable things about Pokémon, hence why researchers continue struggling to understand their "secrets". In fact, "type" is such a difficult concept to classify that it can take years before a proposed new type is officially approved, and even after that, it can still be hotly debated. Reassessment of many Pokémon's types is ongoing, with reclassification ultimately occurring every so often; the same is true for moves.

    As for how many moves a Pokémon can remember at one time, I tend to go with the idea that they can pretty much remember anything they practice a lot. As they learn stronger moves, however, the weaker ones get used less and less often, and eventually they're forgotten altogether. My theory is thus that, on average, a single Pokémon will only have up to four moves that they use on a regular basis, with others simply fading from memory due to disuse. While there are exceptions, it is because of this that the League usually imposes a strict four-move-per-match rule in official battles, so that everyone is on more or less equal footing. They do have rulesets to accommodate more advanced battlers, but these are rarely used; the four-move rule is such a widely accepted practice that trainers now tend to consciously train their Pokémon to rely on just four moves.

    For that matter, let's define what a "move" is, shall we? Very much like in professional martial arts, a move is a unique combat technique approved by the group sanctioning the matches, in this case the Pokémon League. Those seeking to register a new move must be able to accurately classify its type (which will continue to be debated even following approval), must submit a detailed description of what it does, and must be able to prove that it is safe to use. Other techniques not recognized as moves do exist, but no respectable trainer would command their use unless confronted with real, life-threatening danger.

    ....I get the feeling I've stopped talking about game mechanic adaptation techniques and veered straight into headcanon territory. I'll stop here and let you know when I've finished writing the book.

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    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    @Glitchipedia, actually, your explanation is rather a good example of adapting the game mechanics using your personal headcanon explanations, where it makes the game mechanics sound more "realistic" to be used in writing fictions.
    But, just a personal question from me. Does these sort of headcanon explanation about the the game system benefits you from writing your fanfic, or does it rather restrict you to certain extent? Because even though you did give some sort of realistic explanation to the overall Pokemon game mechanics, but still it means you use the game mechanics in your writings in the exact or almost the same manner as it was designed originally in the game. And moreover, these things sounds more like background settings, so it needs to be explained here and there during your fic when those components are mentioned in your fic.

    For any sorts of games, their systems are designed in such ways that everything need to be numerical and quantifiable, even the things that are originally unquantifiable in reality will become quantifiable in games. That's why I say do not follow the numerical game mechanics blindly, because making something unquantifiable to be numerical is rather quite unrealistic and ridiculous.
    Though, it is up to the author's decision of incorporating such numerical game mechanics or not into your fiction. With the creativity and the logical headcanon explanation from the author, even the game mechanics will become part of your fic.



    But still, for me personally, I do not like much about incorporating the current Pokemon game system into fictional writing, because such game system prevents me from creating the Pokemon characters with some sort of "uniqueness". What I meant by uniqueness, is not about having impossible IV/EV/ability/type combinations, it is more about other things that the Pokemon game mechanics did not included. Really IMO, the way of how Game Freak interprets the power of Pokemon with merely 6 parameters (+2 hidden IV/EV parameters, = 8 parameters), and also the 4-moves restriction for all the generations (doesn't matter how other authors interpret such restriction in their headcanons), is just over-simplified something that is in reality meant to be much more complicated than that.
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Very interesting points raised, and what you all said was very interesting to read. Just to clarify, the reason why I did not discuss things such as this was because I was looking at a broader, story telling perspective of adapting the games and how people stick to the characters personalities and the general layout and storyline that the games have instead of diverging and doing their own thing with it. Things like IV's, move pools and use of abilities are all things the author has to decide how they adapt and I would not tell people that there is only one way to do them or how to incorporate them into their fic, and everyone has their own ideas of how things should be (IE I prefer to stick to a general four move pool for the sakes of Pokemon not being overpowered, yet I know many people prefer to use more).

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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    For "The Kalos Connection", I will admit I'm guilty of adhering to the game plot (to be fair, it is a romanticized playthrough/discovery diary. However, I try to not make it sound like it walked out of the games (For example, Callum's Adventure Rules are basically a tutorial in game, but I adapted them to be more like a scouting guide or a travel guide), exaggerate what is in the game (the Furfrou chase I'm writing), or include things that are not in the game (the theater in Lumiose was new for the story
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    I'm quite flattered that you cited The Long Walk as an example! Although it didn't occur to me that I was adapting the games much ...
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Pavell View Post
    I'm quite flattered that you cited The Long Walk as an example! Although it didn't occur to me that I was adapting the games much ...
    Anything that really follows the gym layout in the order in which it is in the games is a subconscious adaptation, even if the author themselves does not really view it as such. I cited it as it follows that layout but uses a different main character with different motivations then what we usually see.

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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    @Glitchipedia, actually, your explanation is rather a good example of adapting the game mechanics using your personal headcanon explanations, where it makes the game mechanics sound more "realistic" to be used in writing fictions.
    But, just a personal question from me. Does these sort of headcanon explanation about the the game system benefits you from writing your fanfic, or does it rather restrict you to certain extent? Because even though you did give some sort of realistic explanation to the overall Pokemon game mechanics, but still it means you use the game mechanics in your writings in the exact or almost the same manner as it was designed originally in the game. And moreover, these things sounds more like background settings, so it needs to be explained here and there during your fic when those components are mentioned in your fic.

    For any sorts of games, their systems are designed in such ways that everything need to be numerical and quantifiable, even the things that are originally unquantifiable in reality will become quantifiable in games. That's why I say do not follow the numerical game mechanics blindly, because making something unquantifiable to be numerical is rather quite unrealistic and ridiculous.
    Though, it is up to the author's decision of incorporating such numerical game mechanics or not into your fiction. With the creativity and the logical headcanon explanation from the author, even the game mechanics will become part of your fic.



    But still, for me personally, I do not like much about incorporating the current Pokemon game system into fictional writing, because such game system prevents me from creating the Pokemon characters with some sort of "uniqueness". What I meant by uniqueness, is not about having impossible IV/EV/ability/type combinations, it is more about other things that the Pokemon game mechanics did not included. Really IMO, the way of how Game Freak interprets the power of Pokemon with merely 6 parameters (+2 hidden IV/EV parameters, = 8 parameters), and also the 4-moves restriction for all the generations (doesn't matter how other authors interpret such restriction in their headcanons), is just over-simplified something that is in reality meant to be much more complicated than that.
    My employment of the stat system and the four-move limit is really more of an acknowledgment than anything—very rarely would I bring such things to the forefront of the reader's attention. My interpretation of game canon is riddled with such background acknowledgments, up to and including the existence of extradimensional Pokémon which, while not individually identified, are obviously intended to represent the wide variety if glitch Pokémon, and are so labeled in-universe due to being discovered through a glitch in the Time Capsule prototype, ultimately leading to the project's cancellation.

    More on-topic, my as-yet unreleased writings are always set in the game universe, but very rarely use canon characters in major roles. Instead, the games' plot is more often referenced by my OCs as recent history that has gone on to help shape the Pokémon world as we know it. I don't do badge quests, I don't do "gotta catch 'em all"; my trainers always have different, often more specific goals in mind, but those goals tend not to be the focus of their arcs. More often, their arcs revolve around how they react to being violently yanked off-track and their subsequent development as a result. I can't honestly say that I ever make getting them back on-track a priority.

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    Your mind is a world AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Great article Ace!

    I focus a lot on doing all of this stuff in my writing. I'd especially like to reiterate the locations part. Don't assume your readers have memorized the layout of Virdian Forest like me (seriously though, I can't be the only one that noticed that Santalune Forest was the EXACT SAME THING as Viridian within about two seconds of entering). It's a common rule of writing. If any element of your current setting is going to become relevant in the current scene, then describe that element beforehand. DESCRIPTION IS IMPORTANT I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS.

    As far as adapting game elements, I've always liked the idea of the League firmly regulating Pokemon training. That said, I tend to throw that stuff aside. Pokemon can learn more than four moves because most of them rely on simple things like moving/flying/jumping or various intensities of a special move like breathing fire. To keep things simple, though, I usually only have each Pokemon use 4-5 moves per battle.

    The only other mechanic I've really run into is the six Pokemon per trainer rule. I've toyed around with different explanations throughout the writing of my fic, but I think I've finally decided to go with the game's canon reason. There's only room for six Poke Balls on your easy to access belt! In Unpredictable, Trainers can carry more than six, but there six (or less) most often used will stay within reach on their carrying device of choice. When it comes to battles, six vs six is generally excepted as the longest length as anything longer than that is quite tiring and dangerous for Pokemon and trainer alike. In my fic, six vs six battles are reserved for tournament finals, championship battles, and other major battles of note meant to test the best against the best and can last three to four hours or longer depending upon the strength of the Pokemon in question (plus they take ages to write properly).

  12. #12
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Love the topic.

    I tend to portray things in a more "realistic" sense. In battles, the trainers don't necessarily shout out an attack command for every action. My battles aren't as rigidly accurate to the games; battles are more like boxing matches with opponents trading blows when they can get them in. Add the ability to breathe fire, shoot electricity, etc., and you have my battle style.

    As for originality in characters, I believe this is the easiest and most fun. In the games, for the most part, the characters don't have much depth, and so it is very enjoyable to fill this gap in by developing the playable character ourselves. Don't correctly and effectively, stories that expand on the lives of Red and the gang are very enjoyable to read and write. Obviously, it is fun to do OC's as well, and more challenging.

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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    I tend to portray things in a more "realistic" sense. In battles, the trainers don't necessarily shout out an attack command for every action. My battles aren't as rigidly accurate to the games; battles are more like boxing matches with opponents trading blows when they can get them in. Add the ability to breathe fire, shoot electricity, etc., and you have my battle style.
    As with the "more than four moves" concept, I tend to reserve this battle style for advanced trainers. Red is noted in my headcanon as being one of very few trainers to have successfully trained their Pokémon to battle completely autonomously. Most other Pokémon still need to be told what to do, to an extent—not necessarily individual moves, but rehearsed and codenamed move sequences.

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  14. #14

    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    Quote Originally Posted by AetherX View Post
    Great article Ace!

    I focus a lot on doing all of this stuff in my writing. I'd especially like to reiterate the locations part. Don't assume your readers have memorized the layout of Virdian Forest like me (seriously though, I can't be the only one that noticed that Santalune Forest was the EXACT SAME THING as Viridian within about two seconds of entering). It's a common rule of writing. If any element of your current setting is going to become relevant in the current scene, then describe that element beforehand. DESCRIPTION IS IMPORTANT I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS.

    As far as adapting game elements, I've always liked the idea of the League firmly regulating Pokemon training. That said, I tend to throw that stuff aside. Pokemon can learn more than four moves because most of them rely on simple things like moving/flying/jumping or various intensities of a special move like breathing fire. To keep things simple, though, I usually only have each Pokemon use 4-5 moves per battle.

    The only other mechanic I've really run into is the six Pokemon per trainer rule. I've toyed around with different explanations throughout the writing of my fic, but I think I've finally decided to go with the game's canon reason. There's only room for six Poke Balls on your easy to access belt! In Unpredictable, Trainers can carry more than six, but there six (or less) most often used will stay within reach on their carrying device of choice. When it comes to battles, six vs six is generally excepted as the longest length as anything longer than that is quite tiring and dangerous for Pokemon and trainer alike. In my fic, six vs six battles are reserved for tournament finals, championship battles, and other major battles of note meant to test the best against the best and can last three to four hours or longer depending upon the strength of the Pokemon in question (plus they take ages to write properly).
    I love this topic too. And as far as the six Pokemon limit, you would be right to leave that sort of battle to league events, since, yeah, Pokemon and trainers would get tired if it were more, and there's only so long an audience can sit too if it's a League competition. But I always felt the six Pokemon limit for trainers wasn't so much access on one's belt, but a reasonable maximum number of Pokemon one could care for at a given time. I mean Pokemon are smart and many can take care of themselves, bu trainers are obligated to care for them.

    So for each Pokemon, that's an increase in the food and water you need, more demands on care and attention, and more extra things you would need to pack (medicine, hygiene items, etc). Six is probably all a trainer could care for at one time.

    And you are also right about descriptions. Descriptions and setting help make the story as much as plot or characters. It needs to live. It plays into plot and characters, who they are, why they are who they are. And not giving a description means the story is happening in a vacuum. It could be happening anywhere as far as the reader knows. If you don't describe what your surroundings are like or what's going on, then for all the audience knows a band of clowns could be playing jazz. Without proper description, there may not be anything to suggest there isn't. Describe so the readers know what is going on, and so they can further place themselves inside the world you have set out to create.

  15. #15
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Lesson 15: Adapting the Games

    How do you guys/girls handle the following:

    1. Pokemon/Trainer communication - Do your Pokemon "speak" to your trainers? Do your Pokemon simply "say their name" when they "speak?" Do you give them dialogue or do you simply convey to the reader that they make noise?

    2. Certain Pokemon Moves - A turn-based move like Perish Song, for example. Do you totally eliminate these types of moves from your works or do you handle them differently? In The Power Inside, I used Perish Song in a battle and it was very awkward.

    Coming Soon...

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