An early version of Pokemon GO featured a dynamic weather system allowing the in-game weather to change alongside real-world conditions, Niantic revealed. The San Francisco-based studio arrived at the latest iteration of Game Developers Conference (GDC) to talk about its hit mobile game and explain how the project evolved over the course of its development. Apart from the aforementioned feature, the studio also revealed how early Pokemon GO builds boasted a different overworld map and featured player avatars that are aren't similar to those that ended up being in the actual game.
The overworld map that Niantic originally developed for Pokemon GO was almost completely white and featured little variety, the company said. As the developers weren't happy with that look after a while, they had decided to come up with a new visual style that would be a better fit for a Pokemon game. Niantic's comments revealed that the studio wanted to create a game that's visually similar to previous Pokemon titles and a white, featureless overworld map didn't seem to fit into that vision. Due to that state of affairs, the developers designed a green map that's more similar to the one featured in the finished game. However, their first attempt to redesign the overworld map also wasn't a complete success as they concluded the new map has too much vegetation. The second redesign removed the vegetation from the map and yielded an interface that's basically the one that's currently present in the game.
Furthermore, the San Francisco-based studio initially envisioned anime-like player avatars but decided to scrap them in favor of more realistic depictions of players. The decision was prompted by the fact that Niantic believed audiences in the West will have an easier time identifying with this type of avatars. Finally, the company also used its experience with Ingress to create a more intuitive user interface for Pokemon GO that allows users to play the game with one hand. While speaking at GDC, the studio revealed that dynamic weather conditions and more avatar customization options will hopefully be added to Pokemon GO at some point in the future. The company recently announced that its hit mobile game will receive at least three more major content updates over the course of this year.