Challenge 5: Pokemon Go

How the Game Works Pokémon GO is an AR game that people can easily play with their smartphone. Basically, players need to move around the actual places to catch Pokémons by throwing a Pokéball to them. There is a variety of Pokémons and as more you catch them, you will have a collection of them. It is geo-based which corresponds to the real world, as not only players need to walk around to catch Pokémons but also they can collect more Pokéballs and special items by visiting special spots such as public spaces and historical spots. In addition, players can have battles with other players. Another interesting feature in this game is gym, players can have their pokemon fighting other player’s. Players need to choose one pokemon in their collection to fight other 6 pokemons at the gym they visit, and once they beat every pokemon, they can own the gym. The more pokemon you have at gyms, the higher the bonus you can collect in a daily basis. Pokemon Go blends well the virtual game and the real world, which enables the players to go out and play the game, and even encourages them to interact with other users in the real world. Who Enjoys It? Although Pokemon is generally targeted towards younger audiences, Pokemon Go’s audience, judging from their marketing material, was young adults in urban environments 16-30, or the demographic that played Pokemon growing up. However, within a month of its launch, Pokemon Go had been downloaded over 100 million times worldwide, and its player base had expanded to encompass not only gamers and nostalgic fans, but also people of all ages interested in urban exploration, people who wanted a way to spruce up commutes, or people who just wanted to have fun with their friends—proving that essentially anyone with a phone could enjoy Pokemon Go. It’s interesting to note, however, that the game lost much of its active user base over the next few months as many casual players stopped playing the game. This may suggest that, while the game can be widely popular and enjoyable, many of those who enjoyed it may have liked it more for novelty than anything more lasting. Design Decisions As Pokémon Go players physically move in the real world, their avatar move in the games map. The goal is to visit “gyms” and “poke stops” where they can gain experience (“Combat Power” (CP) for their Pokémon’s in a “king of the hill” match, and to collect poke balls and other helpful items. In the beginning of the game you have to create your account and avatar. This avatar follows you through the whole game, wherever you go on the map. The AR mode in Pokémon Go uses the phones camera to give the player a better feeling of being near an actual Pokémon when they meet. Also water type Pokémon’s are for example found near water, which also simulates and gives you a feeling of actually meeting the Pokémon in real life. This seems to be the main design focus in the game.

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