Welcome to the first update of the new year! It has been a while since we have given you any concrete news, so today we’d like to share with you some of the important changes that have come to Epsilon. Aside from a deeper look into how our production is going, you will also see how we are handling future updates for this year, along with a few reveals to kick off the start of many reveals this year! Without further ado, let’s get started!
Before we get to the reveals, we want to address the three biggest questions about Epsilon:
- What is Pokémon Epsilon and how is it different from Zeta/Omicron?
- Why have our production updates been so sporadic over the last year? Is this game even happening anymore?
- When are you planning to release the game?
What is Pokémon Epsilon and how is it Different from Zeta/Omicron? When Epsilon started back in 2016, it was initially made it to be a remake of Zeta and Omicron, merely updating the graphics and SOME of the story without changing too much from what you might remember of the original Z/O games. But we need to make this clear: Pokémon Epsilon is not a remake anymore. Epsilon has grown and changed a lot since 2016, and we can no longer call it a remake. So what does this mean exactly? Well, these are all the things that are changing because of the new Retcon:
Some characters and locations have completely new names, or even completely different designs, and they serve different purposes.
- These include the Team Olympus/Asgard members, some of the Elite Four, most of the Gym Leaders, and the protagonists - all of which have completely new concepts and designs made for them.
- We’ve thrown out the original plot from Z/O entirely, so while you may see many characters returning (the Asgard/Olympus teams for example), their stories are very different. And many characters like N/Cyrus/Red/Gold/May/Brenden have been COMPLETELY removed from the story in favor of custom and original characters you’ve never met.
- Route names, some town and city names, and a few caves and special locations have been renamed…for reasons.
The Megas/Deltas/Plate Legendary Pokémon will have completely new designs.
- A lot of Deltas and megas won’t return from Zeta/Omicron, and ALL of the fakemon besides the Plate Legendaries have been removed entirely. Yes, that includes Wilson’s entire team from the Sigil Challenge.
- Certain features, like the shadow Pokémon, have been removed entirely, as they are no longer part of the plot. However, all 807 Pokémon will still be included in the game.
All of the graphics are fully updated into a 2.5D style. Meaning that buildings and most parts of the overworld, like trees, will be made with models, but portray a more 2D style. (Think Gen 4⁄5 styled maps, but with Gen 4 textures and animations for the characters/Pokémon in the overworld)
All of the music is FULLY custom-made by our incredible musician.
Because of all of these changes and more, we’ve decided that the Retcon is ultimately the best route for us to take as creative developers, in order to make a game that we are both proud of and invested in.
Why have our production updates been so sporadic over the last year? Is this game even happening anymore? Game production has taken a long time to move, although at a steady rate, for many reasons. One of the major ones is because we are making a brand new game engine. It’s almost impossible to make a game quickly in the time we have because we’re still making sure that the mapping, eventing, battling, and other features actually work as promised on a Pokémon engine. Without the extra time spent on this, we wouldn’t have a game to show in general. This leads into question number three….
When are you planning to release the game? We will announce a release date when the game’s beta is ready to be played. Not when the beta is finished and still untested with a ton of bugs, but READY to play. There may be bugs we cannot account for, but we want to make sure all the game-breaking critters are squashed so that your experience, as a fan, can be rewarding and fun from the get go. So does that mean you won’t see an update from us for a while? Actually…
If you’re reading, we appreciate your support and patience, and we want to reward that. So we’ve worked on a very cool Update Schedule for you. Every month going forward you can expect an update or reveal on the game. (In fact, there might be another update for February since we missed January, so watch out for that!)
For now, we’d like to share with you two finalised designs and talk about two of our early maps:
This first map is a side shot of Zarivar town, one of the first towns you will explore on your journey, and the home to Marina Arbutus, Vesryn’s very own Pokémon Professor! This town screenshot was taken inside of our current map editor, and showcases the amount of extra layers of depth and detail we’ll be able to take with the landscape around the region. You might notice the trees are actually 2D textures, and it’s because we’re still looking for anyone with 3D modelling experience to help make some basic shapes like trees and other building styles, to make the quality of maps even better in the future!
This map is a Work in Progress of the new Naragex forest layout, taken from a more aerial view like the player would see. This map still has some updates to be done, but shows a good example of the level of detail and style that we want to make sure every map has, if not even a bit more!
Nagarex forest will also be home to something special: one of the new Delta Pokémon found throughout the region! Vesryn’s one and only Delta researcher says these particular delta Pokémon are often found scavenging around the forest in search of more honey to eat. It’s the Bug/Normal type Delta Cubchoo and Beartic! Yes, if you read those last two sentences carefully, you’ll notice we used the plural form to describe Cubchoo and Beartic - there’s more than one! Is that true of every Delta? How do they show up in the wild? Well, we won’t spoil all the surprises for you!
But a region full of new towns to explore, new routes to see, and new Pokémon to discover and battle wouldn’t be complete without our evil teams! In Epsilon you’ll meet and go up against both evil teams from Zeta/Omicron. We’ve redesigned both Team Asgard and Olympus, and below is the concept art for the male and female grunts of each team, drawn by one of our incredible artists, Akristhekat!
Keep an eye out over the next few weeks, because we will have another update coming before March rolls around. There are a few more exciting things to reveal and as the calendar turns on each month, you can expect to see more updates, art, sprites, and story reveals.
You can stay up to date on all the new content by following Epsilon’s official Twitter page and also from Professor Arbutus, where you can expect to see things you won’t find in our official site. Follow her on Twitter for all those extras.
If you want to get involved even more, we are still looking for additional mappers and 3D modelers to join our team, so if you think you have the right skill set and experience, let us know in the applications page.
We hope you enjoy our little reveal today, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on all our social media pages!