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Case Study: Ingress

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Michael Rabinovitch

on 25 February 2015

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Transcript of Case Study: Ingress

Case Study: Ingress
User Experience Path
Who did this?

Niantic Labs
(Internal start-up within Google)

What is it?

Locative mobile based, Massively Multiplayer Online Augmented Reality Game (MMOARG)

When did they make it?
Android release: December 15, 2013 (Closed beta on November 15, 2012)
iOS Release: July 14, 2014
Starting Facts
Developer Introduction:
Overall goals or intentions of the project
Related Readings
Down The Rabbit Hole
4. (Optional) Join online social media group like google+ to cooperate with other players in your faction
1. Create account and choose faction
2. Learn basics of game mechanics
Explore real world for in game objects to interact with (hack and build).
3. "Capture, Link, and Field" for your faction to earn personal points as well as points for your faction.
5. (Optional) Participate in live events hosted by Niantic:

At the forefront ingress is a game. But ultimately it is apparent the project is in one part an exploration into the mobile location based genre and another point "free" data collection for other Google applications.

Arguably, a less obvious but equally valuable aspect of the project is the massive level of data collection on user path finding in map navigation. If used properly this data will most likely be used to improve Google Maps functionality for pedestrians in 'turn-by-turn' walking navigation.
Success or Failure?
With blogs and a subreddit providing regular updates on the game’s progress, Wikis documenting the minutiae of the game’s story, and a weekly in-game web series produced by Niantic Labs drawing attention to some of the game’s highlights, focusing in equal parts on the narrative and game play. There is still a large amount of activity. There are a few community highlights as well, like when one passionate player got a tattoo of the game’s logo.

The game has a large and passionate player base but may be plateauing in attention.

Purely as a game it appears to be at reasonable success, but as a data research project it's unclear how much benefit is still to be gained.

Blog: http://decodeingress.me/

Subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/ingress

Wiki: http://niantic.schlarp.com/
Is there a clear story, story world, and/or concept deployed?

Sustainability: Sponsorship
"Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story."
Engaging the narrative over web accessible video, web forums and social media hubs creates a uniquely multi-medium experience.
"What's old becomes new. A story played out through media embedded in the real world as though the fictional events were really occurring. Often meant to be played by communities rather than individuals; often incorporating gamelike challenges like puzzles. "
"A transmedia text does not simply disperse information: it provides a set of roles and goals which readers can assume as they enact aspects of the story through their everyday life. "
-Andrea Phillips,
WTF is Transmedia?
-Henry Jenkins,
Transmedia Storytelling 101
Transmedia can become personal performance
-Henry Jenkins Transmedia 202: Further Reflections
Prof. Henry Jenkins definition of transmedia:
Andrea Phillips definition of Alternate Reality Game:
Full transcript