This time, you can use AR technology to take pictures of Pokémon in the real world . Was including AR part of the plan for Pokédex 3D from the beginning?
No. There were several options at the start, but in the end, Ishihara-san decided to put it in.
What transpired, Ishihara-san, to make you want to put in AR?
In a sense, Pokémon are virtual, but they also have a sense of realism, so I felt strongly that I wanted to create circumstances in which Pokémon would appear in the real spaces that we live in.
This time you can enjoy all of the Pokémon that appear in Pokédex 3D through AR, right?
Yes. Of course, we could have chosen a few select Pokémon and made it so you can only display those in AR, but we really didn’t want to do that.
Because each person has his or her own favourites.
Exactly. So we wanted to find some way of showing them all.
But then you would need a lot of AR cards of the type that have existed until now - as many as there are Pokémon.
Yes. So we needed a special code that would distinguish between the many types and display them accurately.
That led to the Pokémon AR Markers.
That’s right. There’s a four-by-four grid inside a black box, and you fill in certain spaces with white. We went with something simple because we wanted to avoid players trying to display a particular Pokémon, but getting a different one.
We were worried that the codes would be revealed right away.
Since they’re so simple, you can easily make your own.
Of course, we could have come up with something more complicated or used a special printing method, but I thought, “Let them be revealed!”
I think that decisive attitude is very interesting.
To me, rather than worry about revealing the codes, I wanted lots of people to experience drawing something by hand, displaying it on their Nintendo 3DS system, and having a Pokémon pop up.
Something took me by surprise after we released Pokédex 3D. I thought people would analyse all the Pokémon AR Markers and put them on the Internet, but some people thought it wouldn’t be good to use information provided by others in that way.
Quite a few players think that using unofficial ones in circulation is wrong.
That’s right. But when it comes to the Pokémon AR Markers, I want people to play with them more openly. It’s alright to figure them out. From the point of view of a creator, I just think, “Go for it!” (laughs) I feel like if we present the product like that, people will play with it more freely.
Besides, even if you figure out the Pokémon AR Markers, unless that Pokémon comes into your Nintendo 3DS system via SpotPass, you can’t see that Pokémon.
You can only see a silhouette.
When a Pokémon comes in, it comes with its Pokémon AR Marker.
Yes. It appears on the bottom screen.
So there’s no point worrying about revealing them. One reason we made it so the original Pokémon AR Markers are so easily intelligible was we wanted people to fill in and scan them. We made this. (pulling out a black grid) You can fill it in with a white marker. Like this...
Eh? Is it alright to be so rough about it?
Yes. Iwata-san, scan this with the AR Viewer application.
Ok. Oh, here it is. It’s Victini!
I think it’s incredibly interesting that you can play like that so easily.
I like the way you don’t have to perfectly fill in the squares, but can just be rough about it.
Yes. When I saw how accurate the AR recognition was, I thought, “This is great!” I said to everyone, “Let’s scribble and have some fun!”
So one goal this time was to make players think, “I want to draw them myself!”
I hope players will draw Pokémon AR Markers on all sizes of paper, line them up, photograph several Pokémon at the same time, and play around all sorts of ways.
I have children, and when I said, “You can draw them by hand,” they started drawing bunches of them. And when a new Pokémon comes in, one after the other, they...
They look at the bottom screen and draw the Pokémon AR Marker.
That’s right. They immediately scan it with the AR Viewer and take tons of photos.
As someone who made Pokémon Snap, I’m a little envious of how they can take lots of photos however they want in the real world. (laughs)
Yes. They take tons. (laughs)
And when you scan a new Pokémon AR Marker, you get an AR Sticker, so you start wanting to collect those, too.
What happens when you collect the stickers?
The functions of the guide get beefed up. So, once you display a Pokémon in AR, it multiplies so there are 12 of them!
At first, you can only display up to eight.
And there’s the Scale Settings function for changing the scale of a Pokémon you have photographed in AR.
It’s an illustrated guide that grows.
Yes! Pokémon come in every day, and you can share them and collect stickers, so Pokédex 3D does indeed grow!
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