Niantic Talks About Pokémon GO at Comic-Con San Diego; Discuss Server Issues and more

Comic-Con-Niantic

On Sunday, John Hanke, the CEO of Pokemon GO addressed the public at a panel discussion at Comic-Con San Diego in a bid to clarify a lot of the questions that the public has about Pokemon GO. This gave users and the public its first insight into the challenges faced by the development team since the game went live.

On Sunday, John Hanke, the CEO of Pokemon GO addressed the public at a panel discussion at Comic-Con San Diego in a bid to clarify a lot of the questions that the public has about Pokemon GO. This gave users and the public its first insight into the challenges faced by the development team since the game went live.

Hanke on the Challenges Faced by Niantic

Hanke begin by going through the history of events that led to the creation of Pokemon GO, beginning with his involvement in Google Maps and the subsequent use of AR as opposed to VR for gaming. “Pokemon GO is [sic] a way to enhance things that we already do, make everything more fun and add a little more happiness and joy and intrigue to life,” Hanke said.

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Ingress Gameplay

He went on to explain how Ingress was made as a platform to test out the concept of Pokemon GO. It was used as a platform that allowed Niantic to prove the technology and refine the game engine before they ported over the lessons onto future games such as Pokemon GO.

Gameplay Goes beyond Niantic’s Expectations

Hanke went on to confirm that Pokemon were spawned based on where they appeared in real life and that this feature was brought in to add realism to the game. Another thing that he added was that he was pleased with the game’s walking about feature that helped promote a healthy lifestyle. This was in reference to the hatching of virtual eggs in the game, where players are required to walk either 2, 5, or 10 km in order for the eggs to hatch.

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PokéBalls, Eggs and Revive from a PokéStop

This feature has even gained popularity in fields outside the realm of gaming. A Now This video that is making its way through Facebook has featured the game being used by doctors to help children during Physical Therapy. The walking about aspect is used as a motivation and doctors are seeing positive results. Applications like this, Hanke said, were not even envisioned when the game was being developed and it lifts the team spirits to know how deeply they have touched lives.

Hanke mentioned that it is stories like this that is pushing the Niantic team to work harder as they launch Pokemon GO around the world. Addressing the delay, he acknowledged that they were not prepared to take the server loads and as they added more servers there were bugs that led them to place Geo locks and scale down their launch plans. Though he refused to give figures and dates, this is the first news we have heard about the official reasons behind the delays and we can take respite from all the speculations that flood the internet.

Bugs, Fixes and Future

Hanke urged fans to keep sharing their experiences with Niantic, including bugs that they might encounter in the pursuit of Legendary Pokemon — though these Pokemon have yet to be added in the game. According to Hanke, the team is currently focused on pushing out the game to more countries before it starts resolving these minor bugs and brings new features. He mentioned that the team is aware of the problems and concerns raised by users on the internet and is monitoring such feedback to improve the gameplay.

Without expanding much, Hanke hinted at there being a possibility of the well-loved trading feature found in past Pokemon games as well as the PVP battles. Niantic also is aware of the problems caused by players who have used illicit means to capture PokéGyms in other nations and is working to prevent such inconveniences being faced by users in the long run.

As for Easter eggs, Hanke did confirm that the Eevee evolution Easter Egg is real, where following set naming conventions can predetermine the evolutionary outcome, and that there are more Easter Eggs that are waiting to be discovered by players.

For the legendary birds, it was hinted at the panel discussion that there is significance behind those birds, but as of yet Niantic is hush hush about it. The ambiguity in the answers can be summarised by the fact the Hanke mentioned that so far, the game only represents a tenth of the vision that Niantic has for it. It thus makes sense that the company stays silent about any new features being developed as Pokemon GO has already seen clones pop-up within hours and Niantic would want to safeguard future innovation from being copied.

Pokémon GO Team Leaders

Hopefully this panel discussion gives the players in the remaining countries that have not received Pokemon GO some respite as they gain closure to all their hanging questions. At the same time, it gives players something to look forward to as more details of the future of the game have been hinted at.

[Via: Comic Book]