Pokémon Scarlet/Violet concept art revealed

Not quite what we saw in the final game

23 August 2023
by rawmeatcowboy 1

Developer Game Freak attended the CEDEC Awards panel in Japan, and they brought some interesting concept art for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet with them.

Long before Pokémon Scarlet/Violet’s development began, Game Freak put together some concept art to solidify the direction they wanted to take with the game. The goal for the game world was to head in a more realistic direction than previous titles, while the characters and Pokémon would be a bit more stylized.

What we see in the artwork above isn’t too far off from what ended up in the final game, but there’s no denying the visuals in the concept art are of a higher quality than the finished in-game product. Of particular note, the color scheme in this concept art seems to be a bit more muted than what Scarlet/Violet showcase.

When Pokémon Scarlet/Violet launched, there was quite a backlash to a number of elements, and that includes the visuals. It certainly seems like Game Freak didn’t have enough time to achieve the visuals they wanted, or perhaps they didn’t have the technical know-how. Here’s to hoping they get things ironed out for the next mainline Pokémon game.

Game Freak also noted a few more things about Scarlet/Violet’s development during their discussion, and we’ve broken down those tidbits into bullet points below.

  • subsurface scattering, gel shading, highlights, a “damaged/dirty” system, and light dispersion tech were all used in development
  • subsurface scattering was mostly used on Pokémon skin
  • Miraidon uses a system in which shimmering particles were made to look three-dimension
  • highlights were applied to the eyes of the Pokémon
  • these highlights were designed to move depending on the direction the camera was pointed in
  • overworld lighting was also adjusted so that no matter what time of day it was in-game, the highlights would always show
  • for the “terastal” effect, the original models of the Pokémon went unchanged, but a mesh was applied over the body
  • to show dirt, battle scars and snow on Pokémon, an overlay of pre-made elements was applied

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Comments (1)


9M ago

That concept art looks great, it's a shame the final game doesn't look that nice. While Scarlet and Violet does have some nice details I appreciate, the final game is marred by quality issues that make those details a lot less noticeable.

I really do feel like the main issues with GameFreak right now are constraint related. Development time restrictions and engine restrictions, and those kind of play off of each other. I'm hoping that by Generation 10, we might finally be able to see a game that lives up to some of the nice concept art we've seen come out over the past few years.

Still holding out for that DLC update and hoping it fixes a lot of the underlying issues still present in the game. Your move GameFreak.