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A Dual-Fan’s Theory about Pokémon Go 01/04/2016

Posted by raznprince in Uncategorized.
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I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying two wonderful games, and it gives me great joy to see how a few distinguished entities have joined forces to create a game beyond my wildest dreams; I’ve had wonderful experiences playing Pokémon and Ingress. As a disclaimer, I have no inside knowledge whatsoever about the ongoing development of Pokémon Go, but as official details come trickling in, I would like to offer up some of my thoughts and ideas that COULD work for PG, but first I would like to discuss why I feel qualified to make such suggestions and state such ideas.

For those who don’t know about my background with Pokémon, I have been a huge fan since the craze has started in the U.S. I am an avid adventurer when it comes to the video games and I have also watched several seasons of anime, but I am more heavily involved in the Trading Card Game. I started playing competitively in 2009 having won several local Premier Events since then, with my highest achievements include City Championships in 2012 and 2013. I have also dedicated myself to the Professor Program since 2009 and have organized several TCG events as well as judged in several large events around the Southeast and all the way up to the National Championships level in 2014 and 2015. I am currently semi-retired from competitive play, but I would indulge in a tournament or two from time to time to connect with the TCG community.

For those who don’t know about my background with Ingress, I was introduced (ironically) by a Pokémon friend who was already playing the game. It was interesting at first glance, but when I started playing by myself, it grew into a whole new addiction. As a smurf (Resistance Agent) I eventually connected with other agents and got to actualize the community and get to know more people outside of Pokémon. The achievements in the game paired with a community of like-minded goal-seekers have motivated me to keep playing Ingress, and in 13 months I have achieved the ultimate goal of being a Level 16 agent. Today, I still enjoy the game as much as I did the first day after having met several more people from different walks of life.

I’ll reiterate that it excites me to know how Niantic, Nintendo, and the Pokémon Company are working together to bring a gaming experience that unwittingly caters to my passion for both games. Amid the loss of a beloved Ingress agent at the time, the announcement of PG caused me to have an amazing reaction. As I watched (and re-watched) the introductory video and read articles on the current development, I’ve noted several details and I will offer up (hypothetical) ideas for the game based on them.

Based on what we know so far about the game’s development, it brings to mind the following questions:
-Would we really have to go places to catch specific Pokémon? As John Hanke suggests, the game strongly encourages trading, which is akin to filling a Pokédex like in the Video Games. I would venture to say that an avid world traveler would have the biggest advantage of “catching them all,” but the idea of Pokémon being found in real-world, relatively true-to-life locations holds water.

-How do battles really work? The video suggests different modes, which lines up similar to the battle formats in the video games, but for what the video was worth, the battles seemed a bit in disarray. However, I can imagine several of my friends teaming up and having a wonderful time nonetheless.

-How is gear attainable in PG? There are mentions of in-app purchases, which sounds appropriate especially when it comes to purchasing Poké Balls for catching and Potions for recovering Pokémon, just like a real Pokémon Trainer going on a journey would. However, I would like to see some semblance of gear being earned by completing certain objectives and missions, meeting and battling other trainers, etc.

-Will other generations of Pokémon be available in the game? There are currently six generations of Pokémon in existence today, totaling 721. We know that the initial rollout of the game will feature Generation I Pokémon (a.k.a. the first 151). I feel this is appropriate. As with any game, introducing new features or versions requires some time for the current iteration to be thoroughly tested and enjoyed. I am optimistic that future generations of Pokémon will be introduced as time goes on.

-How will PG Gyms work? With the announcement of gyms, the game offers a real-life representation of what a Pokémon gym is like, where trainers gather to hone their skills at milestone locations and possibly catalog more Pokémon, but several more questions remain: Where and how many gyms (in the world) will be located? Are they designated by type? Is there a way to appoint Gym Leaders? Can trainers earn special badges or gear for defeating such strong trainers? Will there be such thing as a Pokémon League and an Elite 4 like in the video games?

-How do Legendary Pokémon gatherings work? Arguably my most favorite part of the intro video, that scene in particular got my head spinning with ideas. How is a mass gathering in NYC to capture Mewtwo NOT epic? As we saw, trainers are offering up their Pokémon to challenge Mewtwo in a timed battle whose teamwork is the difference between capture and defeat. To me, this scene is akin to Ingress anomaly gatherings where both factions work within their teams to “capture” locations around the world. Here, trainers are working together to catch a legendary Pokémon.

-Can Legendary Pokémon gatherings (“Poké-nomalies” as I like to call it) work similarly to that of Ingress anomalies? How do we develop such an event? In other words, how do we prompt the appearance of the Legendary Pokémon for capture at a Poké-nomaly? If taking the ideas from Ingress and assuming a Generation I rollout, I would suggest Primary locations for capturing Mewtwo and Mew as well as Satellite locations for capturing Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Perhaps we can equate Ingress anomaly measurements to periods of trainers battling each other in different ways to excite the Legendary into appearing by the “final measurement?” In addition to capturing a Legendary, can trainers also earn badges for their contributions to the Poké-nomaly similar to how Ingress players participate in anomalies? Can there also be some reward for Ingress players on their scanners for participating in an event also associated with NIA?

-Is there a storyline associated with PG? Avid Pokémon adventurers know that the typical journey of a new trainer starts from home and ends with becoming the Pokémon League Champion and post-ending completionism, but can we also incorporate similar elements from Ingress? For Ingress players, the storyline advances based on the outcomes of the anomaly series based on the victorious faction. Can the outcomes of the Poké-nomaly idea prompt the introduction of future generations of Pokémon if we implemented a storyline that parallels the way Ingress runs?

My own wishful thoughts:
If my ideas of the Poké-nomaly hold water, I can visualize some primary events occurring at the Pokémon World Championships, and possibly the U.S. National Championships. Why? The Play! Pokémon department of the Pokémon Company hosts TCG and video game competitions at these events every year, and because there will already be a mass gathering of Pokémon fans attending, why not host them there? If anything else, I think NIA will have great firsthand exposure to the Pokémon community and can definitely present their image to a larger customer base.

I am very excited for whatever Pokémon Go will be like when it releases, and I thank every one of you who took the time to read a dual-fan’s ideas!