Good afternoon Agents and Investigators. My name is Mustafa Said and welcome to another special edition of Niantic History.
I received a rare opportunity to conduct an interview with the London Enlightened Agents at the center of a whirlwind of secrets that unfolded during the previous summer Anomalies of #TimeZero and #SaveKlue: Richard Walden, Sam Albuquerque, Dom Armstrong, Chris Whittleston and Gonçalo Margalho.
: While me and the gang had a few beverages, me and Dom decided to troll to see how important the doc was. Yes Mustafa: She wanted me to sell the package.
: And that’s what led to the initial announcement that you weren’t going to sell it. just trolling :)
: It did hit a nerve :p We thought the selling was bad because we are open for xm but not humans using the tech solely for arms dealing. They offered us stuff that we could hack anyway.
: Okay, please continue.
: The day after the bids started growing bigger and we decided to try and stall while Dom edited in some secret code to the TimeZero video. We used Morse code and some reversed audio. I don’t think all our codes got cracked.
: And we used some codes from the TimeZero event to embed to get the coding guys interested. Going backwards again between video release and the pub I started saying I’d lost the package to:
A) get Niantic attention
B) judge how valuable it was
C) stall for the edit to be finished
I even created a fake event and sent some people to look in the pub for the package. Then when the edit was done I Dom released it and I shared to g+, Quickly the ingress account called us out so I deleted their comments as fast as they made them. They then just clapped and knew we was pro. Especially when people started noticing code.
As soon as the first video was released we knew we needed a line.
So we got Sam to try fill us in on the story etc:
After that, we started working on the next document and video. And we started putting the pieces together.We thought being Scottish and the London event not actually having any of the lore characters at it for everyone to meet, we could get her to London.
: Lol, We was all at 2k limit. Who needs more inventory.
We had hacked like mad in Canterbury before TimeZero. Then virus arrived and the 1000+ L8 xmp were pointless.
Then we released the second video. It was a video selfie in my back garden. At the time I think we learnt so much, We really put the Google tools to good use. I think it enlightened us all a bit more, we learnt so much about the true meaning of enlightenment:
We’d written loads of quotes from members of the Scottish enlightened and it was all pointing originally to a portal. A statue of some Scottish guy that situated in London. Anyone remember?
: Out of curiosity, when you began to receive the messages from the XM Corps, did you start getting them as soon as you had the package?
: Yes Mustafa:
: The messages from the corps were getting very manipulative, pitching one against another.
: Yeah after video 2 which was released by Gonzalo they tried to bribe.
: The Corp messages got worse?
How so? I remember reading them thoroughly and all I can recall was that they just kept asking for Glyphs. Hulong was going to go ENL if you surrendered them
But in what way did they start to get more..aggressive in their demands?
: They offered the guys helping me bigger and bigger offers to stab me in the back.
: Yeah, Dom got one from IQTech:
: One was an offer of 20 HS per page of the package to betray us. at the time – an insane amount of gear. Yeah, that one. Richard, could you find Hank’s post to you when he first told us where to find Klue? It was somewhere on G+
: One sec
: found it:
: We used the time we had to get the portal and enlightenment organized. They really swelled and did us proud.
: At the time, as Hanke says, Portland was about 90% blue 8s.
: Me and Dom got to say hi to klue over video call at the time of the event.
: After all of that Richard H Loeb asked us to release the Glyphs to him. That’s when Sam came up with The Glyph Hunt.
: Loeb asked you guys to release the Glyphs?
: Yes. We spoke to PAC about the idea that we would create a small parallel game to release the glyphs. A sort of virtual treasure hunting for them around the globe:
(Most of the codes in that are probably dead but if not, have fun!-Mustafa)
: So after we got the codes, we came up with a list of portals we were going to use:
Dinghy Dock Restaurant (Puerto Rico) 18.302170,-65.299582 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=18302170&lngE6=-65299582&z=18
Angel Cemebterio Tibas(Cost Rica) 9.961735,-84.088614 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=9961735&lngE6=-84088614&z=17
Nicolae Titulescu(Romania) 45.645899,25.593818 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=45645899&lngE6=25593818&z=16
Iglesia de Conkal (Mexico) 21.074667,-89.520181 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=21074667&lngE6=-89520181&z=17
Escultura Centro Civico (Argentina) -33.121706,-64.334153 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=-33121706&lngE6=-64334153&z=18
Little Free Library (Russia) 53.208439,50.136097 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=53208439&lngE6=50136097&z=17
Bihuroaz Kamana Mosque (Maldives) 4.175963,73.510601 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=4175963.0000000005&lngE6=73510601&z=18
Estátua garcia de orta (Portugal) 41.161633,-8.664824 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=41161633&lngE6=-8664824&z=17
New Albuquerque (USA) 35.090461,-106.679512 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=35090461&lngE6=-106679512&z=17
Travelling Palm(UAE) 25.057251,55.273601 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=25057251&lngE6=55273601&z=17
O Cristo Redentor, Corcovado, (Brasil) -22.951591,-43.210848
NGK Church, Worcester (South Africa) -33.620533,19.453380 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=-33620533&lngE6=19453380&z=17
Ingresso Sinagoga (Italy) 41.890272,12.478822 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=41890272&lngE6=12478822&z=17
Saraswathi Temple, Osmania University (India) 17.418156,78.525519
Agena Lion’s Club Memorial(Japan) 26.380295,127.851287 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=26380295&lngE6=127851287&z=17
The Little Mermaid Sculture (Philipines) 7.041331,125.584543 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=7041331&lngE6=125584543&z=18
Robert the Bruce(Canada) 51.061515,-114.092858 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=51061515&lngE6=-114092858&z=17
Oamaru Steampunk (New Zealand) -45.058611,171.003055 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=-45058611&lngE6=171003055&z=17
Life Saved (United Kingdom) 52.374538,-1.265341 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=52374538&lngE6=-1265341&z=17
Leipzig Statue 4 (Germany) 51.341880,12.381241 http://www.ingress.com/intel?latE6=51341880&lngE6=12381241&z=17
(For Sam’s full thoughts on the Glyph Hunt, its formation and more, please check out this post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SamAlbuquerque/posts/LrgztboRBzG)
: We knew giving the glyphs means letting go of our involvement in the story.
: Ingress is boring without us messing stuff up :p
: They didn’t let anyone else mess up after us.
: Niantic has kept the story close to their chest after you guys.
: But I think the player interaction in the story line was probably one of the good things that happened, even if for a short time.
: I’m crossing fingers it happens again. So, I want to ask a couple of questions to wrap things up. First one is a bit obvious: If you could, would you all have done this again?
: 100%. It was time consuming but my God it was fun.
: It was a blast to see it all unfold.
Okay, second one: You guys are really the only players that have done something like this. Ever since your adventure, Niantic has kept the story close to their chest and rarely lets it fall into players’ hands. Do you believe that Niantic should allow players more interaction with the story beyond Anomalies?
: That is tough. I can see it going wrong if everyone thinks they can affect the story.
: Naturally, not all players will do what you did. Some might go crazy with power. Others might go too far in trolling.
: If Niantic was to pursue a more player-oriented and driven story, how do you think they’ll go about balancing the stories of those with good intentions against those who might seek to cause chaos and disorder in the story universe?
: The thing is player interaction and players molding the story is the nature of arg games. So ingress is now missing that side.
: Niantic can still hold the control of the storyline. They should let it loose a bit, see how the players play it and when it does get too troll like, they could take the reigns back.
: Okay, so as the story begins to grow and evolve with the soon release of iOS and the rumblings of a third faction, how do you feel about these things and do you have any words of encouragement for the new wave of Agents?
: Apples are Green.. Come join us :p
: Mustafa – I’ll say this: The whole thing started as a bit of fun. We were annoyed that the story-line was so boring. What had initially attracted many of us to the game seemed lacklustre: we wanted to see if we could inject some fun into it… for us, at least.
Although it started with a lot of trolling and inside-jokes – the original hangout we set up was called “Troll Niantic” – we soon realized that we *were* able to play ball with the writers at Niantic and that they were taking us seriously. At that point, we started to take things a lot more seriously too, and ended up with an enormous appreciation for the complexity of the story line and the work that the ARG writers go into.
And so, in conclusion, what are we supposed to take from this? At the end of it all there are two things I’d like to share with you all to close out my thoughts:
It was all for fun. Just to enjoy an interesting idea and have a blast doing it. But it was also a huge responsibility and came with its own little struggles:
But despite all that, these guys had done all of this with a laugh:
At the end of it all, everything that had happened, all the drama and all the secrecy-it was all started from a simple idea to have a blast and enjoy the ride. And that is what changed the world of Ingress on June 30th, when the Enlightened managed to win the Anomaly and obtain Klue’s alignment.
Thank you all for being here during this special edition of Niantic History. Until Next Time!