I’ve been too busy driving all over Santa Clarita and Burbank to write a post.   In fact, as I write this, I’m planning my next drive.

The Ingress intel map helps you plan out where to go and capture portals/make fields/farm for items.    There’s a pretty neat conversion app available here that makes the map load faster, and look a lot clearer.

Cleaner and nicer.    And neat info panel on the right.

Cleaner and nicer. And neat info panel on the right.

But the main point is – Oh My God.   If you’ve got an addictive personality like me, you’ve dealt with addictive games before.   Ingress is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.    It’s fun, occupies all your waking thoughts, and offers a challenge unlike any before – not just operating the console of a computer, but moving around and out-thinking or out-playing your enemies.

You can quite easily let it take over your life.    There’s groups of players who socialize together, often – sometimes on a nightly basis, sometimes weekly.   They keep inviting me to various get togethers, whereas all I’m after is working together to take over.    And guess what they do when they get together ?

  1. Hang out at an eatery/bar.
  2. Capture Downtown

It’s cool and all – but I have a family and a job.   And a gaming habit.

Over the past week I’ve watched Burbank change hands more times than I can count, and each time I take a major hand in taking it back from the greens.    I knock down their fields and rebuild mine each time they do so.    I’d give the edge to blue, as the town seems to get a bit more blue each time.    Santa Clarita is blue dominated, and I assist in keeping that so.

There’s a few areas that I’m building over constantly.   The area of Burbank known as “The Hills” has some obvious triangles to be made over it, and I trade those back and forth with the green team.    Downtown, however, is a jungle of crazy triangles to try and fit into the game.   This is what I like the best – how can I make triangles ?    It sounds kind of silly, but there’s a lot of factors involved in this.

  1. Can I access the portal ?    Some are not possible to get to, being behind locked gates, hours of operation, or located on movie studio lots.    Anything you can park in front of is best.
  2. Can THEY access the portal ?   I have easy access to some that are clearly difficult for the enemy to reach.
  3. Can I farm enough keys ?    I find the most valuable possession in the game is keys.    The “one key in inventory” mechanic makes this so.    You need perhaps three for any particular portal just to make one triangle, and if you’re using the portal to make many, you need more keys.
  4. Can I reach the portal due to time ?    Sure, you can drive anywhere, but how do I reach as many portals as possible.
  5. Can I take the portal ?    Every portal falls to me eventually, but the easiest ones are the best because we have limited time in the day to game.
  6. How many back-and-forth trips do I need ?   Key mechanics again – sometimes you want to drive to a portal to make links/fields, and then back to the same one again.   And you want to limit that for obvious reasons.

Clearly, the biggest problem with playing Ingress is getting any work done while playing.   When I’m at the office, I have the BEST POSSIBLE opportunity to play, and that’s not good.   I find myself staring at the intel map and watching the action unfold – or wandering the downtown area and Ingressing.     Not just for 10 minutes either – for HOURS in the middle of the workday.   This is not sustainable.   I have to stop doing this.    So I’ll see how I deal with this Monday.   Breaks and Lunch, that has to be it.

Strangely, since I have a family, it’s much easier to deal with on my home time.    They come first – no ifs, ands, or buts.    My son likes the game, and I haven’t introduced it to my daughter.   And they keep me from driving around the city.

Who remembers Killer Apps ?   Spreadsheets were the killer app getting PC’s accepted in workplaces.   Word Processors were the killer app getting PC’s onto secretaries desks.   Et Cetera.   I strongly encourage everyone reading to at least load up Ingress and play a little bit.   It really looks like a killer app for mobile gaming.

(oh, and join the Resistance !)