Fev Games – A Year in Review 2016
As we fast approach 2017, we wanted to look back on what a fantastic year 2016 has been here at Fev Games! This year has by far been our busiest year, as well as our most successful one. Fev Games is comprised of 18 members with ~8 of us actively producing content. This year we posted 123 articles, started major coverage of a new AR title (Pokemon GO), hosted 12 Ingress First Saturdays, participated in a Game Jam, and released our first Android app! Most importantly though, we had more community interaction and viewership than any previous year by a huge amount. We want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone that visits and participates in our community; Be it on the blog, YouTube, or any of our social medias. Lets look back on all our major milestones of 2016!
Top 10 News Posts
It’s no secret that the Pokemon community is massive. We saw this first hand when Pokemon related content dominated viewership vs Ingress content. This was interesting to watch since we collectively put more time and effort into our Ingress content. Regardless, we welcome our new audience that has helped transform us from being mostly an Ingress news website into an AR gaming news website. Another trend you see here is that people love our teardown posts!
- Pokémon GO Balance Update – August 20, 2016 – Author: Fevenis
- Pokémon GO Balance Update – July 29, 2016 – Author: Fevenis
- BREAKING NEWS – SIMPLE/COMPLEX Control Glyphs – Author: Sean Graham
- Pokémon Go APK Teardown [0.31.0] – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- Pokémon Go APK Teardown [0.33.0] – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- Power Cube Recycle Changes & Boosted Power Cubes! – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- Pokémon GO Japan Field Test is LIVE! – Author: Fevenis
- Pokémon GO APK Teardown [0.37.0] – Author: Fevenis
- Pokémon Go APK Teardown [0.35.0] – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- First Look at Pokémon GO Gameplay at SXSW! – Author: Fevenis
Top Original Content Posts
Most of our work is centered around breaking news content, guides, and events. Original content posts are my favorite kind of content because there is heart and perspective put into these posts vs just the raw details like you see in most news articles.
- Which team will you choose in Pokémon GO? – Author: Fevenis
- Where to find Pokéstops and Gyms in Pokémon GO – Author: Jordon Mizzi
- Walking a dangerous line. Pokémon Go and Unofficial API Projects – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- Pokémon Go, A deeper look into Dodging – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- How To Solve The Loitering Problem in Pokémon GO – Author: Fevenis
- The History of Ingress Series – Author: Connor Tumbleson
- My Ingress GORUCK Experience – Author: Fevenis
Ingress First Saturday
When Niantic dropped Ingress First Saturday, a hero emerged. Jordon Mizzi revived Ingress First Saturday and with the help of the IFS community, organizers, and IFS-UN, the event lives on! Niantic noticed our efforts and has partnered with us to assist in getting the word out about these events by posting them to their event page. Even better, Niantic has also continued to provide IFS passcodes for these events! We observed the 2nd anniversary of IFS this year and are proud to keep the dream alive.
Check out some of the smiles seen at IFS events and make an effort to attend one in your area (or start one if there isn’t one). Apologies to any communities missed in this video. We did our best to collect images/videos and if anyone was missed, it wasn’t intentional.
Pokemon GO Third Saturday
Similar to Ingress First Saturday, we piloted the idea of a Pokemon GO Third Saturday to mimic the event type and engage local Pokemon GO communities. The community reaction was a bit lackluster and our team was spread too thin to spearhead this event. I’d say contributing factors would be the nature of local Pokemon communities and lack of mechanics implicated to make a local event fun. My observations so far have been that local Pokemon GO players aren’t wanting to actually interact with other players face to face (not all, but most). When trying to engage other players, some will outright lie that they are playing, or feel too awkward to engage in face to face conversation. This could be due to lack of a chat system, or lack of incentives to engage with team mates or opponents. You don’t need other players to train up a high level gym, but if you want a level 8 portal or a big augmented field, you often times have to coordinate that effort with others.
The other issue is lack of ways to be competitive, or at least in a real time way that is meaningful. The closest thing we have to this is battling for gyms and comparing stats at the end of the event. I could see this becoming more successful of an event after trading and 1v1 battles are implemented, or something that is more engaging than boring gym battles. Until things become more interesting and we have more bandwidth, this project will stay shelved.
Our first Game Jam!
We at FG love gaming so much that we made a little game of our own! If you don’t know what a Game Jam is, it’s when a bunch of developers get together and design games matching a theme. Sometimes the community suggestions and/or votes a theme, sometimes the sponsor chooses one. The other core part of a Game Jam is that you have a super short amount of time to develop and present the game, be it 24 hours, a week, etc. This particular jam was done using LibGDX (the platform Ingress is developed on) with the theme Life in Space.
I (Fev) designed the game, Roberto Domenella was lead developer, Robert Vaughan of #RobWear did the graphics, and Chris Gheen joined on as a consultant developer. Our game was titled Singularity Escape, and the objective of the game is to make the right choices to help your ship escape from a black hole you’ve become caught in.
It was interesting and fun to see what we could do in a short period of time and we’ll be getting some more hands on experience with game development in the future. Check out the full article on our experience and try out the game yourself!
The Ultimate Ingress Guide
One of the crown jewels of Fev Games has always been our handy Ingress Guide. Robert Walker is always swift and makes sure the guide is up to date with the latest information (sometimes even before Niantic)! I also want to mention how proud I am of our community for helping keep this guide up to date. Instead of raging about how the information is incorrect, the reaction has always felt warm and helpful. We all want new and veteran players alike to have a go to guide when they need it. This guide isn’t new to 2016, but has grown and evolved so much that it needed a honorable mention.
The Niantic Investigation
We’re very fortunate to have a member of Operation Essex on our team, Mustafa Said. Mustafa maintains character pages and puts out a monthly lore recap called “The Niantic Investigation”. These recaps are the perfect way to keep up on Niantic lore without dedicating heavy time to investigating. Check out our lore category and see how deep that rabbit hole goes.
Jordon Mizzi loves his data. Like with Ingress First Saturday, Jordon creates anomaly reports in easy to understand graphs. Jordon also adds commentary to his coverage and you can tell from his words that he is excited to be witnessing and covering these anomalies as they unfold. See his report on the latest anomaly, Via Noir.
Endgame is coming?
I’ve done my due diligence on trying to find out what the heck actually happened to Endgame: Proving Ground. Some Niantic staff have told me it has been canned, though John Hanke has stated a few times that it is not dead and coming someday. I’ve also reached out to James Frey, but him and his staff have refused to comment.
Even if Endgame is coming, the lack of communication and dead air from Niantic and James Frey (since early 2015) have derailed any resemblance of hype straight into the Cahokia Mounds.
Pokemon GO Pokedex
Connor, Roberto, and I (Fev) have put some serious hours into building our Pokemon GO Pokedex. We had the framework of it built some time before the release of Pokemon GO and have since continued to add data and new features to it. This page beat out all our other traffic by some pretty huge margins. Our goal is to make this the most accurate and up to date Pokedex focused on Pokemon GO, and we’re proud of how it has turned out.
Ingress Forever Passcodes
Another pages that gets some serious traffic is our Ingress Forever Passcodes page, managed by Sean Graham with assistance from Jack Truong. Have a new agent starting Ingress? Haven’t been caught up on your passcodes? This page is perfect for you!
Interactive Ingress Timeline
Robert Walker has put together an interactive timeline for Ingress with assistance from our lore expert, Mustafa Said! Some serious time and effort has gone into this project and it certainly hasn’t seen as much love as it deserves. Travel back in time and check out events as they unfolded in the world of Ingress.
We released our first Android app!
By the time Fev Games was established as a gaming blog, many good ideas for Ingress based apps had already been done. Pokemon GO came along and we had a awesome idea for an app! Most folks diving into Pokemon GO had zero idea about Pokemon types or the weaknesses that came along with them. Enter GO Helper! GO Helper is a floating application that allows you to look up Pokemon and their weaknesses without exiting the game. This application with developed by Roberto Domenella with graphical aid from Robert Vaughan of #RobWear. We plan to give this project some more love in 2017, so stay turned for future updates!
Fev Games as a website turned 2 this year, though the brand turned 4! Prior to being the full blown website we are today, Fev Games roots started on YouTube in 2012. I’m super proud of my team and the content we produce. We are super excited for 2017 and plan to continue our coverage of Ingress, Pokemon GO, and any other AR titles joining this spectacular genera. If you know anyone from the FG crew, reach out to them and give them a quick thanks for all the hard work they do! Most of all, thank YOU again to our audience and community. Happy Hacking and Train On!