Tag Archives: Niantic Labs

The Good & Bad with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

1 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After playing Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for a little more than a week, I find it’s a slightly different game than Pokémon GO. Instead of catching them all, it’s finding lost objects to send back to the owners and collecting ingredients to make potions. Doing both is very important in this game. The experience is not as much about expanding the universe J. K. Rowling created and I don’t recall hearing about her endorsing or approving the story behind this product.

The basics of what the Harry Potter universe is about is there. You are part of his team and join fellow magi to prevent the muggles (normals) from discovering this world. This game requires at least half an hour to an hour a day to accomplish the daily tasks for the in-game rewards. Missing a day won’t hurt. When players want free coins to spend, the game is still about grinding for them than creating an authentic franchise and augmented reality (AR) experience.

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Ed’s Pokémon GO Journals: The Legendaries are Here & Hopes for Year Two

27 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Yes, I admit it: I’ve returned to playing Pokémon GO. All the various arguments on how monotonous this game is are heard before and I do not need to repeat. The fact the Legendary Bird Pokémons are here is enough to get me back and look for groups of people who are there for that Luiga or Articuno (at present) appearing at the gyms. The real life game is to hunt for people to play with than to continue on my own. Otherwise, I could not be bothered to turn the game on.

A report from Cnet makes a compelling argument to turn on any casual game for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. The way my life has been lately could do with less stress.

I have tried the new gym system, and I have kept up with the rumblings about this game. I do not see Niantic as being the blame for the Pokémon GO Fest “disaster” at Chicago. Not all of the mobile companies listened, and they are more at fault for not installing the necessary equipment to make the connectivity issues go away. My guess for why the events in Europe is not happening is because Niantic can not reach the appropriate folks from the service providers to develop the infrastructure needed to make make the party work.

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Ed’s Pokémon GO Journals: Crack Me an Egg, Where’s the Bacon?

14 Dec

holiday-pikachuBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

If Pokémon GO is going to keep its hold as a popular game, perhaps Niantic Inc. needs to stop making baby steps when adding new features to the program. The news from Monday is hardly exciting. I was hoping to hear of a feature that will get me stepping to the frigid outside. I have caught all that I can in North America (by evolving after doing a lot of buddy walking) and until there are other methods to earn coin/candy, I’m not constantly duking it out for control of a gym.

Not a lot of people north of the 45th parallel and perhaps a few States down, will be venturing out much — if at all — during the Winter season. I could be taking advantage of this fact to find really out of the way gyms nobody wants to venture out to because of the weather, but I’m sure those hardcore players are doing the same. I’m not prepared to deal with those die-hards.

The company is thinking small if they assume everyone around the world are still playing. The USA only promotions, namely tie-ins with Sprint and Starbucks, will only have a percentage of the declining player base and only a specific portion of the user base interested. The Santa hat Pikachu variation will definitely have the Collector type trainers seeking him out, and thankfully players worldwide have access to it. The decoration remains after evolving. For the most part, this sugar coat deal is nothing big to be excited over.

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Ed’s Pokemon GO Journals — The Cost of Gas vs Free Coins Debate

23 Nov

pokemon-go-logoBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

There is one aspect of the mentality of how Pokémon GO gamers (those who insist they do not want to spend money to buy coins in the game) play that I do not fully understand. While I get the idea behind driving to a new part of town to see what’s there to capture / find nesting grounds of other pocket monsters, when return trips are needed, that’s because the pickings are very good. Both are good reasons for investment in fuel (and less about time) well spent.

As for heading out to find out-of-the-way Poké Gyms to take down and power up for their respective teams is just odd. To drive around half the city to find such places costs more money in gas than money invested in the game just for a paltry 100 coin limit per day — especially if those gyms get taken down within 20 hours instead of sit for a few days. When the odds of those places being able to last for weeks, if not days, are variable for each location, is the time spent searching for them in a medium-sized town even worth it?

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Ed’s Pokémon GO Journals — How to Truly Fix Gym Stagnation

14 Nov

pokemon-go-logoBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Niantic‘s latest update to curb Pokémon GO gym stagnation is a step in the right direction but I feel more can be done. Players can now lower more prestige points from rival gyms and levelling up will be a touch more difficult. Trying to get more players to fight at gyms is still a problem and for myself, I will not tackle a level 6 or higher gym alone. If I have to feed this company’s coffers with real world money just for those egg incubators, lures and incense I will. And I have racked up enough survey points from different programs to get iTunes/Google Play gift cards without spending. This trick is one some players know about, and It beats spending money on gas to find gyms where a defender can be placed only to have an uncertain future of how long it will last.

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