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How Pokémon GO Can Be Improved & Community Day Afterthoughts

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Updated: Jan 28th, 2021

Pokémon GO is off to a good start this new year. I’m playing a lot more because the first Community Day with Machop and triple stardust for every critter caught is exactly what I wanted. Toss on a Star Piece, and I was swimming in powder after playing for the full five hours. Hopefully, these types of triple offerings will pop up a touch more often.

But as for the augmented reality part of this game, I still keep the camera off. The feature still struggles with knowing the difference between three-dimensional objects, a wall and the floor. It’d be cool to see a Pikachu around the corner, and the player has to slightly chase after it in order to catch, but the various surface detection algorithms don’t work that way. This feature was supposed to roll out late last year, according to engadget, but it seems very little progress has been made. I’ve tested the option on an iPad Mini 5 and Samsung S20 FE. On both, the critter thought the curtain was a flat horizon surface–whoops!

If this game is to be truly interactive, one of the smartphone prerequisites is to include a Lidar camera. The game can process the data in real time instead of what the company is asking–collecting data from players of three dimensional objects. The latest iPhones have this tech built-in and Android is behind. This technology is important, so foreground objects can be recognized.

The game continues in its yearly incremental improvements and some of them were way overdue–namely the chance to finally go beyond level 40 for the player. Additional features include a new type of candy (XL) to push the pocket monsters beyond this tier, an improved Player vs Player online battle system and much more. With the former, every (hardcore) player has catch everything. Giving the high level ‘mon a sugar rush is important to make the very best.

The promotional materials for bonus clothing items aren’t merely window dressing for cosplayers. At first, I thought they were available in select regions, but that’s changed and there’s very little fun when everyone has access. The codes can be found online. Screen Rant has the codes for the Verizon clothing promotion and for the North Face x Gucci Avatar Gear for example.

Other features are welcomed in these pandemic times (and for winter), but it seems the increased range to touch gyms for raiding is deceased. I have to get slightly closer than stay far away. I feel an extra bump is better. Anything within a one block radius makes more sense than to tighten up.

Long distance raid passes are the new currency because they come at a cost of either grinding for the coins to use or spending actual money to go at it 24-7. The choice is okay; if the player wishes to spend actual money, it’s their prerogative.

However, there are still specific improvements I’m wishing for.

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