How to Build a Better Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go may be a global phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its own flaws. It’s a work in progress, and developer Niantic is still improving it with each month that goes by, but it’s been a little lacking from the start.

Using the theory of speculative design, The Escapist series Extra Credits discusses a series of alterations that could vastly improve the game (and other augmented reality titles) in ways that would push player engagement and possibly regain some of those 15 million players Pokémon Go lost in the last month since its debut.

The ideas aren’t too complicated, as you’ll find in the video below. Pokémon Go is in dire need of several improvements to its character, combat, and item systems, and it wouldn’t actually take much to flesh them out further and by doing so introduce concepts that could improve player retention. Extra Credits imagines that instead of PokéStops, there could be hidden caches of treasure out in the world just waiting for you to discover them. They could contain gear, loot, and other goodies that reward you for your time spent scouring the earth for them rather than a little bit of XP and the errant item.

But what to do with the items you find in said caches? A weapon and loadout system could offer new ways to monetize the game by offering up paid additional loadout slots and customizable characters to equip with level-based weapons and gear. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, though. The idea of introducing special events when a player walks four kilometers or offering location-based quests strikes my fancy, and it’s something that could take Pokémon Go from a mediocre yet functional game and transform it into an influential and addictive sensation.

Check out the video below and see if you agree with the ideas suggested within!

How would you change up Pokémon Go if you had the opportunity to improve on it?

Featured image credit: Niantic

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