Ingress Intel Total Conversion is Alive and Kicking

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Yeah, Ingress Intel Total Conversion script is alive and kicking hard. For people who don’t know what is it here is short summary:  IITC is fan made replacement of Ingress Intel map, it has huge fan base because it has lot more features and plugins that official map doesn’t have. But they have one huge problem, to play with Niantic and Ingress data you need written permission from Niantic Labs, and that didn’t happen. Actually Niantic asked original author to stop development and remove IITC and to not develop anything with Ingress data anymore… That was taken hard by original author and project died with huge fan uproar that same week.

IITC

Ingress Intel Total Conversion logo

Let me go into the Niantic reasons to try to stop IITC

First of, Niantic is startup it’s not Google so they don’t have unlimited resources, nor human nor money. They are working hard to provide Ingress to bigger audience and they need to make it as scalable as they can. Problem with IITC is that they are using same json calls to the servers as the original Intel map. But not optimized at all. What happens, whole Ingress is slowing down and at the time IITC was most popular, that were the time when Ingress would behave very bad, and did many server errors.

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Next problem would be that players would expect that all features from IITC should be at original map, and would create pressure to small developer team in Niantic. And making Intel map better doesn’t need to be number one priority. Over the time Niantic Labs enchanted project and they are working hard to make the game more interesting for all players L1 to L8 and they worked a lot at scalability of app. Remember there were multiple events when they gave out invites to all L2+ players.  Also time that people wait for invite from ingress.com is now shorter than one month, early adopters need to wait up to 3 months to get Invite code to join the game. That means that they could scale Ingress to be able to withstand 2-3 times more players. And remember portal suggestions, new portal Fridays and so on…

But even knowing all this I also used Ingress Intel Total Conversion script and I loved it. I blogged a lot about it here to show my support for this project, but on first post I stated that they work on it against Ingress Terms of Service.

Now let’s go back to present time

IITC is heavily contributed project on github and has 339 forks, and enormous number of developers that work on it. Why? I’m not sure but I think that they love the project and they are passionate Ingress Agents and they want to improve it more. Also Ingress is played by number of very skilled developers and they want much more from it that Ingress Intel is providing right now.

New project has it own website and Google+ page and they already have a quite of fanbase, 6600+ people are following them on G+. They continued project on github from one of the forks and it doesn’t look like that they will stop to develop it any time soon.

They are now in version 0.11.3 they produced several versions before it. They are now working hard on 0.12 version.

They are also providing mobile version of IITC that can be run on Android 4+ devices. Current version 0.3.2 with 0.11.3 IITC inside.

They created and updated lot more plugins than original version, and they provide a way to integrate plugins in Ingress Intel Total Conversion Mobile version. There are total of 24 plugins that you can add to it.

They also added statement on their website that they are not affiliated with Ingress or Niantic Labs, and that you use IITC at your own risk:

This site and the scripts are not officially affiliated with Ingress or Niantic Labs at Google. Using these scripts is likely to be considered against the Ingress Terms of Service. Any use is at your own risk.

Conclusion

I think that IITC is good resource, but it will slow down Ingress growth, and this project would be more than welcome to Ingress ecosystem as soon as they would have official Ingress API that developers could use. This is way to much hacking than enchanting Ingress Intel. And I personally will wait for an official API to play with Ingress data and integrate it in Decode Ingress in some way.  This is just my opinion, and I’m eager to hear yours.

IITC resources:

website: http://iitc.jonatkins.com/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105383756361375410867/posts
github: https://github.com/jonatkins/ingress-intel-total-conversion

About Author

Founder @ DecodeIngress.me & TourVia.me.

25 Comments

  1. thelastjones on

    The problem is like driving a car with parking sensors, power steering and a sat nav and then being asked to go back to driving a car without any of it. The functionality in the IITC made Ingress a lot better. Whilst i appreciate the reasons Ingress took it down, I do think they need to hurry up with an official replacement.

  2. Ok, Niantic does not have unlimited resources, but they could nominate couple of team mebers to work with IITC contributors and developers. So that all the bottlenecks are avoided (like “not optimized server requests” etc).

    Gameplay is important, but tools , like Intel map is also very important to enjoy the game

  3. Very risky apps,both mobile and desktop ones.The desktop one can access all your website data.The mobile one asks for google login instead of going to google authentication like twitter apps go to twitter site.

    and why is the android app not in the market??

    • Pommesmatte on

      Sorry, but that is just wrong.

      The mobile app does not ask you about your login at all, it’s just a browser navigating you to the Google Login for the Intel Map.
      And the desktop app is not an app, too.
      It’s just a bunch of javascript running in your browser.
      There is nothing critical that scripts can access, nor will data be transmitted to anywhere out of your computer.

      • There is no way to know that the google login screen is actually from google.

        The script which is installed in the browser requires a addon which gives access to all user data, how we are supposed to trust that…the fact that google does not support this scares us still further.

        • How are we supposed to trust that?… Because it’s all open source? If you don’t want to trust it, don’t use it. But don’t go around making it sound like it’s potentially malicious when people can look at the code and verify that it isn’t a big deal.

          The reason “Google” [Niantic] doesn’t support this is because of the reasons given in the article: It isn’t optimized and increases server load on their end, which slows the game down.

  4. I have the same opinion about iitc as you. The original intel map is good enough for a quick look on your hood, a country and so on.

  5. Vijay, it is open source and I personally have looked at the Mobile app code. It’s not a security risk. It’s not in the site because it violates Niantic TOS

  6. Re: Vijay

    I understand your concerns. However, it’s easy enough to verify there’s nothing bad going on.

    For the Desktop browser plugin, you can easily build yourself from source. Fork it on Github, clone to your local machine, inspect the source, then build – only requires Python.

    As for the mobile app – you can do the same, although it’s trickier to create the build environment. Alternatively, a build is also available on the f-droud.org repositry – http://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdfilter=iitc&fdid=com.cradle.iitc_mobile
    They build the code and release the .apk, along with the source tar.gz used to build it

    • Yep point taken.. It is open..

      All i am saying is at least in mobile, the authentication should be transparent.

      I can live with browser version (its really good, awsome options and plugins, got an idea too for catching spoofers) , but still its blind faith, there is nobody liable and google account is too precious to throw away like that.

      Sorry guys for breaking your hearts but people need to know the risks.

      • I’m a contributor to IITC, and there’s absolutely nothing that sends your Google account information to any third party. Authentication is still done through the standard Intel site. Don’t worry about it.

      • I don’t mean to break your heart, but what can be more transparent than open sourcing something on Github? It’s the entire source code, with revision history, contributions, branches and all.

        As for the article, I find it cool that most agents are dev, that’s true in my country, at least. In fact the first agent that tanked me was a senior dev, and as I joined the local community, most of them are software engineers and R&D peeps from tech companies. Cool thing that I get to network with people that can possibly help me in my career as well :)

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Ingress Intel Total Conversion is Alive and Kicking

by Bojan Cincur time to read: 3 min
25