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.
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.
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.
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.