Notes from Ingress Hangout with Niantic Labs


Agent + posted this notes from the Hangout to Berlin Ingress G+ community. It’s great read for every agent, and there are some glimps to the future of Ingress!


Here are the combined notes of +Dirk Jäckel, +Gerald Scholz and +Stefan Hoth of today’s hangout with +Brian Rose of the +Niantic Project 

It’s a collection of notes of the 2 hours of chat and if someone has the wish to do a TL;DR out of it I will edit it up here.

  • reddit is closely monitored as well as the social channels (G+, twitter)
  • target: 1 billion users (for all Niantic projects together)
  • AP deduction for IITC-usage was a hoax (he thinks)
  • they do not look for tos violations but if someone comes to them and asks if it is ok to do this (IITC) they feel they have to tell them that it is a TOS violation and they have to tell them to stop
  • API is in the works, but “they want to do it right the first time”
  • API (in the final version) will enable players to create missions, have all player data and realtime data
  • Ingress is another kind of social network, first connecting people through the same goal but later on make them
  • idea: create a local cell with own stream
  • idea: NFC-bump to “bond” players for a period of time to collaborate (e.g. AP sharing, private chat etc)
  • balancing tweaks are still in the works, recent updates made it harder to attack, by avoiding to make it too hard to conquer areas if one faction ruling this area
  • iOS is still in the works, will take significant time
  • they are working on explaining the gameplay better for newbies
  • community map + group directory is in the planning (like GDG chapter directory)
  • most of the players are located in urban areas, changes on the GPS location were targeted towards those players but made it worse – the tweaking is still in the works
  • they recognize that the global MU score is not interesting to you, they are looking into to make the score more regional (city, district)
  • It is called Mods filter not shields filters for a reason (Other Mods are in the pipeline)
  • Wireframe power cubes for half an hour was planned.
  • localized version (translated) is planned, also with the help of the community (translation by users)
  • regarding feature request: they are reading and hearing a lot of great ideas but not everything fits into the story or the overall roadmap
  • better inventory management is an important point on the list, but it’s not yet there
  • roleplay game elements, player roles like the linker, the farmer, the attacker
  • the idea of a trophy case for cool items and keys is not new to them, they are thinking about that
  • they are also thinking about other ways to exchange items (e.g. via links)
  • Brian likes the idea of Ingress being a closed beta, marking the game as “never finished”
  • as of now there are no plans for a reset once the project goes public (out of beta)
  • Currently it takes about three weeks to get activation code
  • Niantic is not as close to Google as many think. They have their own goals, mostly social and related issues in the main focus.
  • Niantic does not get user data from Google (G+, Gmail, Gtalk or otherwise)
  • NIA is actually a real US agency, the Niantic Project has a Google voice number with the same area code of Langley (home of the CIA), the Niantic Project received questions from the government about what they are doing, even had meetings about
  • They look at the portal submission photos (only 30 people)
  • ideas of doing a “Map Maker”-style integration of the community in the portal submission and maintenance
  • Trusted agents may vet new portals
  • win trading (i.e. gifting AP to each other for leveling up) is not accepted and will be punished by SuperOps once they recognized such behavior
  • we did 2 rounds of ideas: short time fixes for the app, and long term visions for game changing ideas – the team is actually looking for crazy cool ideas

Thanks to everyone who participated today, it was very… enlightening. ;-)

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  1. Very interesting read however I don’t get that:

    “* win trading (i.e. gifting AP to each other for leveling up) is not accepted and will be punished by SuperOps once they recognized such behavior”

    English is not my mother language, but there is “gifting” and “trading” in one sentece which I cant understand that way.

  2. “win trading (i.e. gifting AP to each other for leveling up) is not accepted and will be punished by SuperOps once they recognized such behavior”

    Could you explain what that even means/is. As in claiming a portal, dropping low lvl res in it or a single res and the other team takes it over, drop low level, rinse and repeat?

    • TheSilentKnight on

      I posted this exact question on the main ingress community with 4 scenarios and tagged all I could think of. Never got an answer.

    • yeah that’s what it means. it’s the collaboration of agents from both factions just to gain AP without proper competition. It’s not in the spirit of the game.

  3. @rjr162: I was wondering the same thing. Is it only forbidden if you do this with players from the other team, or does it count as “win trading” if I take down a portal and my low level friend deploys resonators to get the AP?
    And what about those cross-faction events for helping new players on both sides (they even talked about them on the Ingress report)? Wouldn’t they be illegal, too?

  4. DoubleOJoni on

    Yes, win trading needs more clarification. Cool info though!

    Any ideas on lvl 9+ until they decide to offer the other game plays? Lots are dropping the game and/or cities are going to be solid lvl7/8 portals soon making it pointless for the daily, sometimes hourly switch of ownership.


  5. @rjr162
    one resistance and one enlightened player at the same portal. Enlightened takes the portal -> Resistance take over -> Enlightened takeover -> and so on!!!

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Notes from Ingress Hangout with Niantic Labs

by Bojan Cincur time to read: 3 min