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Pokemon Go: What Nintendo Needs To Learn From Ingress 61

An anonymous reader writes: Pokemon Go marks Nintendo's biggest move into mobile yet: the augmented reality mobile game makes use of your location as well as your phone's camera to let you interact with pocket monsters in the real world. It's an audacious idea — with an accompanying trailer — but as one writer points out it will have to nail a lot of different systems to build up an active community in the same that developer Niantic has done for its previous game, Ingress. The author looks at Ingress to see where Nintendo and Niantic may draw inspiration, pointing out that the game's portal modding system could prove a great mechanism for allowing Pokemon evolutions. Expect plenty more Pokemon amiibo to interact with the upcoming wristband, too.
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Pokemon Go: What Nintendo Needs To Learn From Ingress

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  • What Nintendo Needs To Learn From Ingress

    When I saw the title, I thought they misspelled Ingres.

    • Yeah, I was confused about what Nintendo was supposed to learn from a really old database system.
      • "Friends don't let CA buy their friends" - Several friends of mine had worked at Ingres, and when Computer Associates bought them, if you wanted to stay you had to sign a really aggressively pro-company agreement, with lots of non-compete and similar clauses (and I assume lower salaries.) They all quit, some of them in groups. CA got the intellectual property, but lost a lot of the intellect and corporate knowledge that gave it value.

  • by Aelanna ( 2695123 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @10:49AM (#50566629)
    ...until you realize that there are people who are unable to separate games from real life. What ruined Ingress for me was the continual harassment and bullying from people who forget that it's a game and that there's limits to what is acceptable behavior in a social setting. Shit-talking in a video game is one thing; you generally have a way to squelch unsavory people or otherwise ignore them, but you can't ignore the psychotic tryhards who threatens to shoot you in person if you take their couch portal and they're crazy enough that you're not sure whether they're joking.

    If Pokémon Go has PvP (which it seems to, from the trailer material), then I can't wait to see what happens when some neckbeard threatens a little kid over losing a fight or steals/breaks their phone.
    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @10:56AM (#50566663) Homepage

      One of the reasons I have no interest in on-line gaming, and never will.

      Interacting with the screeching masses in a video game seems like a pointless endeavor.

      No thanks, if I can't play my game in an off-line mode, I really am not interested in it ... which is why I have no interest at all in the latest generation of consoles. I want to play to relax and unwind, and I don't need the rest of the intertubes for that.

      All of those people whose fun comes in the form of being raging assholes in a video game? I want nothing to do with that.

      • No thanks, if I can't play my game in an off-line mode, I really am not interested in it ... which is why I have no interest at all in the latest generation of consoles.

        What makes you think you can't play games off-line in the latest generation of consoles? AFAIK on the PS4, the only games you can't play offline are games that are online-multiplayer only to begin with, like MMO's. Even with MOBA's like Transgalactic tournament you can play singleplayer with bots, and not play with others.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Nintendo has "solved" this by not having voice chat and only using a few basic, positive, built-in messages. I typically hate online gaming, but I love Splatoon. In Splatoon the only things you can say are "C'mon" and "Booyah". Mario Kart 8 had a similar feature. Sure, you can't really discuss tactics/strategy but it's not something that is needed for those games either. It keeps things civil and family-friendly.

        I have no idea how Pokemon Go will turn out, likely won't be played by me since I'm not really a

        • This seems like the best solution for online multiplayer. As a long time player of Dark Souls the limiting of communications to a series of gestures and emotes is probably what created the startlingly elaborate social norms and etiquette around pvp combat. (don't use healing items, if you bow it's 1v1, and the one who interferes in a honor duel gets ganked). For such an inherently frustrating game to have any semblance of etiquette at all is probably an achievement of the communication methods.

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:24PM (#50567233) Homepage Journal

        Interacting with the screeching masses in a video game seems like a pointless endeavor.

        Actually, it's the social aspect of Ingress that has made it popular. I'd even say that socializing with like-minded geeky folks is what the game is all about. Without that the game is pretty pointless and boring, just grinding for levels and medals, with a fairly weak motivating story. The fun in the game is all about the people you meet and work with to accomplish goals. I've met a fair number of the players in my area and become friends with some. Still only "online" friends, in that I really only communicate with them electronically, but I could definitely see that changing because I've found several that share many non-game interests.

        The game is designed to more or less force socializing. For example, to max out a portal takes eight players. Now, they can come along at different times so they don't actually need to interact, but in most areas if they don't coordinate at least somewhat it won't happen before the portal gets smashed by the opposition. Throwing big fields basically requires extensive social networks and cooperation. Not only do you need to get portal keys transported long distances, but it's very hard to establish long links because of all the blocking fields and links in between. So you need to have people at the edges ready to throw the long links and people throughout the interior ready to go out and smash any blockers, and everyone needs to coordinate the timing of their efforts. The same applies to blocking the opposition's efforts.

        As a result, groups of players self-organize and communicate constantly, mostly via Google Hangouts. Because group Hangouts are persistent and because people need to monitor them to be ready to go do stuff when the time is right, the groups end up connected constantly, which leads to lots of random conversations, many of which have nothing to do with the game.

        As for jerks, from what I see they tend not to get invited into the groups, and to be pushed out pretty fast if they do get in. This means that for them the game is pretty pointless and boring. It's hard to accomplish much by yourself. I suppose it's possible that there are organized groups of bullies. I haven't encountered that. Also, though several posters have said that Niantic doesn't take action against cheaters and bullies, that's not my experience. Mine is that Niantic tends to be pretty aggressive about it.

        • Yeah .. the whole investing in people on line thing is a little old for me. BBS's were a long time ago.

          I'm kinda the opposite of a hard-core gamer, apparently I don't have as many fingers as kids these days.

          For me, I want old school console gaming ... alone, increasingly periodic, not a whole lot of skill required or time invested.

          I coordinate at work. I coordinate with the wife. I coordinate with my golf buddies.

          I sure as hell don't coordinate for video games.

          I want to pick up a game after a few days, w

          • Ingress isn't a video game, not really. So if that's what you're looking for, Ingress isn't it. At least not after a few hours. Personally, I have no time for video games. I play a little Sudoku or something on my phone to kill time in the doctor's office or whatever, but outside of that, I just don't have the time.

            Meeting other geeks in my area, though, that I like. Now that you mention it, it is a little like running a BBS in the old days. And I still like it.

            Golf, though, is just insanely boring.

      • by Toshito ( 452851 )

        Add to that the cheaters that ruin most online games after a couple of months.

        Seriously, what's the point of playing a game if you cheat?

        Fucking assholes. That's why we can't have nice things.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The funny thing I've found with Ingress assholes, is that in many places they are 90+% confined to a single team. It varies from place to place which team it is, and I've known several who've done faction flips after moving (or getting high enough level to realize they are on them bad team in the area they started). But then it is a lot calmer. The one jerk in our area on the less jerky side just gets ignored, and can't do much. The non-jerky people on the other side end up coming to coffee or bars with

    • Yes, I'm worried about this too. I see the harassment, bullying and stalking within Ingress also. Even physical threats. This is not Call of Duty and the same taunting is not appropriate here. Your map is the real world and you'll meet real people in real life. Some people can't reconcile real harm part with the fact that they're competing over virtual objects.

      I am hoping that they learned a bit for Pokemon and it's not going to be a game about controlling turf or even teams, because that's just a re
      • I see the harassment, bullying and stalking within Ingress also.

        I have too, it happens just like everywhere else. Most players, on both sides, won't tolerate it. I've worked with the other team on documenting such a player on my own team. The problem are the internet trolls who think that they are anonymous. Unlike other forms of cyber stalking, Ingress players quickly find out who you are.The real world aspect of the game quickly chases the Stalkers off.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Pokémon Go has PvP (which it seems to, from the trailer material), then I can't wait to see what happens when some neckbeard threatens a little kid over losing a fight or steals/breaks their phone.

      The Pokemon games have had in-person PvP since day 1.
      They've had wireless in-person PvP for years now as well.

      What makes you think that this version will be any more "dangerous" than the original games were?

      • Because of things like stalking. I'm well aware that we don't have specifics on exactly how Pokémon Go will work, but with Ingress the abundance of automated tools and worldwide activity monitoring allowed people to track the movement of individual players in the game with frightening accuracy. This is creepy at best and extremely frightening when you have someone with malicious intent using them to chase down players and follow them around or even to their homes. This was bad enough between adults, no
    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

      Yeah, we have some of those guys in our region, but for the most part, I tend to not hang out with them even if they're in my faction. I'm the lone smurf in my immediate area and battle 5-6 toads on a regular basis, but I've also met all of them in real life, even had drinks/food with some. We all acknowledge that 1) it's a game. 2) it's a game 3) it's a game. We talk shit back and forth, but when it comes right down to it, if they don't take down my fields and portals, then my only mission is to basica

    • by jiriw ( 444695 )

      Apparently we have a statistically incorrect over-abundance of mature players in the region I play then...
      Yes, I know what you mean with the unsavoury kind of 'players'. However, if said people pop up here and begin ruining the gaming experience for 'the ****** smurfs/frogs' because of "MUST DO WAR EXPLICITLY" it won't take long before they are shunned by both sides. May take a bit longer if said player was more of a regular. We had one on the opposite faction becoming quite dictatorial in handling the area

    • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

      Haha, I hadn't thought about that. I was more concerned that the game will likely be stuffed to the gills with microtransactions, where you get X Pokeballs per day/week/lifetime. You can choose to buy more with real money, or to buy Pokeballs with a better capture rate (Great Ball, Ultra Ball, etc.).

      Though, considering the age range the series targets, I wonder how they'll make that work. Probably make you buy cards in a store and scan them or something.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is AR's big moment, its foothold into the mainstream. I've got my fingers crossed that Nintendo can pull it off.

    • Doesn't appeal to me. I never understood the fascination of Pokemon.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You know, I didn't either until I had a kid. I'm still not terribly excited about the consumer treadmill of collecting all the cards, playing all the video games, having all the amiibo, etc., but the cartoon, movies, and comics have some important messages.

        Competition is extremely important in Pokemon, but competition is less about winning than it is about bettering yourself. The result of bettering yourself may be victory, but the main point of the competition seems to me to be self-improvement and self-

        • I can think of a dozen other outlets that do similar things, but have "real life" aspect.

          Important messaging: All sorts of well crafted videos exist.

          Self Betterment / Competition: Martial Arts, Sports in general, Chess, musical instruments ...

          Losing Gracefully: Good Parenting 101. Poor sportsmanship is taught by bad parents.

          Pokemon has no appeal to me, even more so as a Parent.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... to build a community.

    In fact they were totally surprised how the Ingress-project has worked out.

    They were never able to communicate with their community. They never responded in a timely matter to technical problems like outages or major bugs, they never reponded to social problems like Niantic-employees mis-using their power, they changed rules during events, they blocked legit players without giving any reason, while cheaters made the game impossible in whole cities for weeks. They only responded when

    • My experiences with ingress players and staff (I've gone to an event and met them) has guaranteed I will never participate in any game that can reveal my real world location and habits. >6 months of harassment and 2 police reports, and in the end, I was banned from Ingress instead of the aggressor/stalker. when pokemon go was announced, my first response was fervently hoping that it will shut down before too many kids get hurt ...
  • Is that it is extremely boring after a while. Do not copy it.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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