Niantic, the company behind the hugely successful MMOARG Ingress posted an update on their blog about the biggest game joint-venture in history, Pokémon GO.

Pokémon GO represents the next generation of Niantic’s “Real World Gaming” platform. This platform combines mobile location technology and augmented reality to create a unique game experience that motivates players to go outside and explore the world around them.

Zoomed out view of the Pokémon GO Game Map

Here are the important revelations today:

  • Players will be encouraged to join one of three teams in order to compete over the ownership and prestige of Gyms.
    • There are three (3) teams available.
    • A player has to join a team to be able to compete for the right to own Gyms.
    • Gyms are also found at real world locations.
    • It is possible that Poké battles can only be done in Gyms.
    • It is possibly not mandatory since Players will be encouraged (emphasis mine) only.
  • Poké eggs can be acquired.
  • Poké eggs will only hatch by walking.
  • Poké eggs, Poké Balls, and other special items can be acquired at PokéStops.
  • PokéStops are located at interesting places, from public art installations to historical markers and monuments.

Of course, there are wild Pokémons that can only be caught in their native environment. For example, if a player wants a Magikarp (no doubt there will be), the aspiring Pokémon Master should walk near to a real life body of water, perhaps a river, a pond, or a beach, before a Magikarp shows up.

However, since these locations are based on the real world, a pond, river, or a beach should be clearly identified in Google Maps which is the base map Niantic is using. There is also a possibility that they will reuse some submitted portals from Ingress to at least give more Pokémon locations available for use. Or, just like in Ingress, allow the players to submit one (a huge “maybe”).

Zoomed in view of player with a Squirtle that just appearedSquirtle encounter screen

This and everything else will be answered as we get closer to the first public testing of the game. Normally there will be a Non-Disclosure Agreement when testing a new product, but in this case, since it is an Augmented Reality Game, there is no point to have an NDA. Anybody, especially experienced Ingress players, can spot ARG players. Besides, would you not share that you are now a Pokémon Master or you successfully defeated a Gym to your friends?

So yeah, we can expect a lot of news from the lucky players who were chosen to beta test Pokémon GO. For the rest of us, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope the public launch will be sooner than later.

    A Peak at Pokémon GO
    Article Name
    A Peak at Pokémon GO
    A peak at Pokémon GO from Niantic Labs!

    Is a self-confessed bibliophile and technophile other than being an early adopter, an avid gamer, a geek, nerd, role-player, anime otaku, and trekker.

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