bryant: (Abbi)
[personal profile] bryant

My perspective: veteran Ingress player, no previous experience with Pokemon Go, a fair bit of mobile gaming work experience.

I’m not gonna do the whole “wow, look at the wild news story!” thing. Hot take: geo-located gaming generates interesting behavior patterns. I do have one item I can’t resist sharing, though. Pokemon GO chauffeur services are here. (But don’t buy egg hatching services, since you’re not allowed to let someone else use your account even if they’re carrying your phone.)

I am happy to see lots of Pokemon Go players. More money for Niantic increases the chances that Ingress will have a long lifespan. Some Pokemon Go players will try Ingress, most won’t like it, it’s all cool. A lot of Ingress players will quit to play Pokemon Go. I worry a bit about viable Ingress populations but time will tell.

Some things I do think are interesting:

Pokemon Go hit #1 grossing game in the US App Store on the first day. It was not featured by Apple in any way. As far as I can tell, Niantic and Nintendo did no user acquisition — no Facebook ads, no mobile adds, nothing driving players to the game. #1 without any of that is unprecedented. Flappy Bird had to build to #1 downloaded. Clash Royale was featured and had a robust in-house user acquisition network.

A good geo-located game has strong virality because human interactions are the core driver of any viral loop. It’s also sticky for the same reasons. The problem has always been getting critical mass. Apparently Nintendo’s IP is pretty good for that.

Second, it’s worth comparing Pokemon Go to Ingress. In Ingress, you can’t do anything meaningful till you hit level 5 or 6. If you’re playing by yourself that’s a long grind. In a busy area, you may be unable to capture portals, which is the core of the game. The new user experience sucks.

In Pokemon Go, the new user experience is still pretty bad — no good tutorial, easy to get lost. But it’s also easy to muddle your way up a few levels and you feel like you’re making meaningful progress immediately. You can always capture Pokemons.

The next interesting question for me is the elder game. Is it dense enough to sustain continued stickiness and monetization?

Mirrored from Population: One.

Date: 2016-07-11 03:29 pm (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
I think this will probably help Ingress overall. Sure, we'll lose people, temporarily or permanently to the new shiny, and people who were max levelled (or as close as they can get), not super-interested in the metagame or the never-ending gear treadmill, etc will peace out. But in the end, Ingress -is- a richer game (for now), with much more interesting group and metagame play, so people who are into that will likely be lured over the fence and stick around for a while.

I think the pokemon early game is in some ways worse than Ingress, in that unless you can find the rare silver gym, you won't be able to capture gyms at -all- as a lowbie. Particularly when there are enough 50th level players to dominate the gyms, making even training at most gyms fruitless.

That said, the collection/evolution game is -much- more interesting than pretty much all of Ingress until you start building and breaking fields and doing larger area strat. Pretty much the only thing in Ingress that compares for low investment is missions, and while there are good missions, most missions suck (and you presumably know both of these things better than I do). So there's a fair amount for new players to do even early on. I do think they'll need to fix the fight mechanics/training; as it is, I guess if you can raise gym levels by losing a whole lot, new players can insert pokemon into existing same-color gyms, but without gradated fights and the option to train against same-level pokemon (or, likely, for them to be scaled down if you're training in a same-color gym), it's eventually going to be super-hard for new players to get into the gym game in an unfortunate way.

On the other side, unless you're in a super-static area, it's usually not that hard to play around with fielding as a new Ingress player, and, in fact, that's the usual reccomendation for levelling up to 5 or so. Of course, a higher level player may have to break stuff for you--but even without, there are often large swaths of white in various locations (particularly urban, where people wipe out extra areas accidentally and can't take the trouble to capture them), so new players have plenty of opportunity to mess around with the key element of high level play, fielding, all through their play careers, even though they often don't understand how layering works until much later.

Date: 2016-07-12 12:45 am (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
Well, it's -a- big key, since it determines whether players are still playing 2 years fron now who are playing now. If people peel away as fast as they joined, it won't be pretty. But also there's the question of whether the endgame messes with the onramp to the game. I mean, gyms are to an extent as weak as their weakest member, so there's not a huge incentive for strong players to artificially level gyms to make it easier for lowbies (and by lobies, I mostly mean 5-8) to put pokemon into them. But there's an incentive to put stronger and stronger pokemon in there--and to, when you take out a gym, immediately stock it with your strongest defensive pokemon, so the other sides can't as easily take it; far different from Ingress where there are many ways for a portal to go white (ie, decay, splash, deliberately leaving a portal white to help new players level, deliberately leaving a portal white to make it harder to make blocking links). I know I've seen a pattern of escallation; over the weekend, portals were typically stocked with 200ish CP pokeys, then 400-700 pokeys. And in the Financial District in Manhattan today, the nearby gyms were typically stocked with 800 to 1800 cp critters.

Date: 2016-07-11 03:57 pm (UTC)
bluegargantua: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluegargantua

While out for a walk last night, I was amussed to see two gaggles of kids looking for pokemon on a bridge over the river and then they had a throw-down battle there. Fascinating behavior.


Date: 2016-07-12 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
TechCrunch had an analysis of gameplay mechanics as well:

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