The History Of Ingress [Part 4]
Welcome back to Part 4 of our multi part series documenting the entire history of Ingress. If you need to read Part 3, head back here and catch up. This post is a culmination of personal experiences mixed with combined research from everyone at Fev Games. We left off at Part 3 with the upcoming Recursion anomalies and the new scanner version 1.41.0, so lets get into it.
Version 1.41.0 on the outside was a relatively small release only adding navigation to portals, mute functionality for agents and a few minor tweaks. Internally though via a peek into the application, we see the start of development for “glyphing”. Version 1.42.1 was another small release tweaking the tab design and fixing the Founder badge to not show any numerical values. Internally, this was a huge release. The native files moved from android-jni to android-native which was probably in align with the LibGDX update.
On the outside, the Beta tag was removed from Ingress. This didn’t mean much, except that blog sites and other avenues reported on the game causing a minor influx in players. The Pioneer badge and Liberator badge were added.
1.43.0 was an interesting release for two reasons. Community wise, this was the first teardown I wrote. I began writing these on my personal blog as I kept noticing changes inside the application that were not reported on. Visually this application version added “Show On Lockscreen” which was a short cut to go directly from lockscreen to Ingress. Internally this was the beginning of development for Regional Scoring and SMS Verification.
1.43.1 was a patch release, but enabled Regional Scoring. Research was everywhere from Reddit to blogs trying to comprehend out how the regions were formed, how points were calculated and more.
This changed local gameplay, the global score was too hard to change for some and the regional scores gave both sides 175 hour sprints to battle back n forth. The importance to field and keep those fields standing became a vital part of the game.
Development – Glyphs, Widgets and More
After the initial rush of regional scoring faded, 1.44.0 was released. As my teardowns continued I noticed glyph development and widgets. For me, this was a great release. My blog had caught traction and I went from a few hundred views to a few thousand between just two posts. I had found a niche and was excited for every new version to drop. Other community members were excited as well. I received multiple private messages about my blogs and met some great friends who taught me more about the internals of Ingress. The dates for Recursion were closing in and I was a 3 hour drive away from one of the locations.
Anomaly Badge: Recursion
Rumours and then facts started appearing that attending a Recursion anomaly would net you one of these badges. I don’t know why I was so attached, but that 3 hour drive to an anomaly became nothing because this badge was at the end of it. I was a student though in school and attending an event in another city would have to be a day event as money for a hotel was not going to happen. A good friend and local agent and I drove down early in the morning on Saturday, attended the event and drove home that night.
I remember since the badges provided were so low at our satellite site – the multi redeem badge trick was shared. This method had everyone jumping onto the same wifi network and prepping the live password on their scanner. On the count of 3 up to 10 people all hit “enter” at the same time. This allowed agents to redeem a single passcode for multiple people.
Badges & Updates
A new badge known as Recharger launched and this one was not retroactive. Everyone started fresh on the quest to recharging 25 million XM. This became arguably the easiest Onyx badge to obtain. Simply playing and recharging daily would get you this badge in no time. Version 1.45.1 released and brought SMS verification for a new Verified badge. This was an attempt to prevent the bot problem that was plaguing regions around the world. Without being verified you had limits to the max level, items and XM you could hold. Internally, the development on Glyph game continued.
Version 1.45.3 was released and brought Glyph Hacking live. Drawing Glyphs in order resulted in bonus gear output. However, you didn’t know what that bonus gear was. The early on glyph hack output just would say “BONUS”.
Version 1.46.1 released and the number of community researchers was enormous. News of Capsules was everywhere before I even got around to obtaining the new apk and researching. I tabulated my research on this new item and communities online were exploding. How would this item work? Would it count towards inventory? Could you send them along links? Questions were everywhere about how this new item would work.
On the outside, this version allowed you to the see names of portals on dropped portal keys. Prior to this – key exchanges would be difficult having one agent drop a key and the receiving agent pick up the key and check inventory to confirm its existence. The Glyph game also updated showing a hack bonus in addition to a speed bonus.
Version 1.47.1 dropped and was different in terms of the community. Teardown like material appeared on Reddit and a few other sites. Research was everywhere so nothing could hide. We learned that Capsule development continued along with a few minor tweaks in the interface. Version 1.48.0 came a few days later bearing the assets, models and more to the Capsule. Around the same time, a next generation Heat Sink was released which adapted the cool down period and provided a reset on the hack counter when deployed.
Version 1.49.0 dropped and kept development on Capsules going. The UI had tweaks to the profile display and the agent arrow got tweaked.
You can see from the image above that everything was repositioned. A few days after 1.49.0 dropped Ingress let us know that Capsules were live.
New Levels Coming
For the first time I felt defeated in my research. Hidden in the apk for a few previous versions was a hint at the new levels. The amount of code changes each version became unreal that I missed such a crucial piece of information. The Ingress Report and version 1.50.0 exploded with the news of new levels. The idea that badges would play a part in leveling was huge as agents were already planning which badges they were going to strive to obtain.
Version 1.51.0 came out and my personal teardowns had ended. I was approached to blog at Decode Ingress and write my teardowns there. This version brought a refined button interface and numbers on the badge pop up. Now you could easily see what number you had and how close it was to next badge level.
We will end Part 4 here. On the next part of this series we’ll dive into the new level release, the launch of iOS, and global challenges that both factions had to work together to complete.