Pokemon Go’s fame quickly dissipated as rapidly as it rose. The game application that was launched July 2016 allow users to become trainers and locate Pokemon characters in their area to catch and train. This Augmented Reality game based on the player’s location was developed by Niantic Labs in cooperation with the Pokemon Company for iOS, Android, and Apple Watch devices. Pokemon became a global phenomenon with a record of 500 million downloads worldwide as it popularized local businesses and promoted physical activity. It encouraged users to frequent locations where they can find rare Pokemon characters or a gym where they can train the Pokemon characters they catch through battles.
Shortly after their release, complaints from users on the tracking feature which is supposed to inform the players of Pokemon characters that are within three steps of him. Eventually, the tracking system got stuck at the three steps which earned it the “three-step-glitch.” In response to the Pokemon tracking dilemma, several unofficial third-party apps were created to help in the Pokemon search such as “Poke Radar” which hit the second top grossing download in the Apple App Store. This trend gave birth to many unauthorized and fake apps that contained malicious content, and in the player’s search for tracking improvement, pushed this app in the most downloaded section of the app store. This goes to show how desperate the users have become to improve the gameplay and continuously use the application. Eventually, a lot of players lost interest and stopped playing.
This month, the makers of Pokemon Go, Niantic Labs, has released a new and the improved tracking system in time for Thanksgiving. In line with this update, the application offers additional stardust, double experience points, and the appearance of a lot more of the new Pokemon characters.
Here are other things you might notice:
- Nearby Pokemon characters
This is in addition to the old “Sighting” system where it shows the Pokemon characters active within a 200m radius. The “Nearby” system has a boosted radar of 500m where it shows the Poke Stop closest to the Pokemon. The system scans the area every 15 to 30 seconds and any species or creature that spawns will be added to the list automatically. Pokemon characters that are nearest to your location move closer to the top left of the list, while those further ones get pushed to the bottom. This also turns the Poke Stops into radar centers for the players, and they are shown the Pokemon characters who have interacted with the Poker Stop.
- Map Tracking
This is where the footprints come back; when you click on a Pokemon you choose to catch, the system will show you exactly where the Poke Stop through the footprints plotted out on the map. The system will track your footprints as you make your way towards the particular Poke Stop. It seems to have glitches outside high-density Poke Stops.
Using the “Nearby” system with its spawn listing and map tracking will surely help trainers catch more Pokemon characters and fill their Pokedex quickly. This addition to the system also aids in the possibility of getting more evolved Pokemon characters who could be masquerading as level one of their species. All the trainer needs to do is keeping a close watch on those nearby Pokemon characters and the sightings.
Pokemon has always been a compelling game. Even the early games which, did not have any graphics to speak of, were fun to play with. However, the gameplay has not changed in more than 20 years. A player uses a map of the game and tries to find Pokemon characters. These are then trained by fighting them against wild Pokemon characters or with Pokemon characters from other trainers. The objective of the player is to get to the stage where he can bring his Pokemon characters to the final competition and become a Pokemon master.
One feature of the original game which was never implemented was that of a trainer versus trainer duel. A lot of Pokemon Go players have been waiting for the possibility of that feature to ever appear. However, up until now, there hasn’t been any indication that Niantic or Nintendo has any plans of implementing that feature.
The critical success of Pokemon Go is mainly due to the novelty of the use of augmented reality. Augmented reality as a game feature has been implemented before by Niantic with Ingress. They had a prior game where players would check out spots called “portals.” Portals were areas where a player can mark, and other players can go to. The game was composed of two sides of a party versus party type of play. However, the only thing that a player needed to do would be to go to a portal and check it out. Whichever team has more players visiting a particular would win that location. It was a dynamic game because players can make their portals, and the number of players visiting a portal could swing the winners or owners of the portal.
When Niantic helped create Pokemon Go, they used the existing portals as the primary spots where Pokemon characters can be spotted. This may seem like an unlikely advantage for players of Ingress. However, there is no real winner nor loser in Pokemon Go. Which would explain why there are no trainer battles in the game. In this way, everybody wins.
These updates show how serious Niantic Labs are with the continuous improvement of the systems and the entire system. Currently, the update is currently available in Arizona, Washington, and cities in the Bay Area, and players all around the world will be glad to know that they too will soon have the ability to update their application for an enlarged “Nearby” scanner boundaries.