Game Informer sat down with James Turner, the art director for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, to discuss on the inspiration of the Galar Region.
Turner first told Game Informer that, during its conception, the team was thinking of modeling a new project after England. He shared that he was asked to talk about the culture of the United Kingdom along with some of its other traits. He also claimed that, later on, he was chosen as the project’s art director.
As the art director, Mr. Turner summed up two goals that he wanted to meet during the design process.
One was to convey the beauty and the appeal of the UK.
The second aim was to convey the true nature of the UK.
Beauty and appeal
According to Mr. Turner, who now resides in Japan, he admitted that it was difficult to talk about the beautiful aspects of his hometown. He also mentioned that he revisited the UK to draw inspiration from the country’s aesthetics.
Every time I go back, I see that this is really pretty or this is really like a beautiful view. I really wanted to convey that in these games.
In addition, he also mentioned the need to capture even the finer details. He said that the team didn’t want to settle for just a rough interpretation like from postcards. On the contrary, Turner shared that the team wanted to stay true to the country’s looks. Initially, he worked on some earlier concepts of the route signboards which evoked more medieval or fantasy elements. However, sometime during development, he was told to revise these to a more modern approach. On top of that, he mentioned that the team also included some variety through the use of vibrant colors.
Those small details kind of create a sense of familiarity for people who live there or visit there.
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