Even in comparison to its momentous launch last year, the past few weeks have been extremely significant for Pokemon GO (Free). Having seen the introduction of Johto Pokemon, many trainers have braved the turbulent February weather to capture a whole new cast of collectible creatures, and a number of minor UI improvements have gone a long way to making Pokemon GO the idyllic mobile game that many envisioned and desired back in 2016. However, Niantic aren’t getting complacent off the back of their impressive start to 2017 – at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, the Pokemon GO creators outlined future prospects and events for the augmented reality app, as well as gave the audience a glimpse of some early ideas that didn’t make the final iteration.
At the GDC event, Niantic revealed that – as opposed to the rather static transition between day and night that currently occurs – they are implementing a brand new sunset/sunrise mechanic, which should create even more immersion (as well as reaffirm what time of day it is for anyone too engrossed) for Pokemon GO players. In a strange turn, it appears that this idea to have your on-foot conditions be reflective of the game map was one that was originally conceived within the title’s beta. In a throwback to these pre-release days, Niantic revealed screenshots that showed real-time weather effects within Pokemon GO, with an emphasis on how this ‘reinforces that you are catching Pokemon in the real world‘. As well as this, the male and female player characters within these rough beta screenshots are based on Brendan and May from the Hoenn Pokemon titles, which contrasts with the typically generic avatar Pokemon GO possesses at the moment.
While Niantic didn’t confirm whether these bespoke weather effects would ever make it to Pokemon GO in a future update, they did confirm that big event similar to Ingress portals were planned for the future. Considering there are now eleven legendary Pokemon that are obtainable within Pokemon GO, you’d expect something reminiscent of that epic Mewtwo match from the initial trailer to be a reality in the near future. Let us know of what you’re expecting from Pokemon GO in 2017 in our forum thread.