Support for Agent-Run Events
This is an idea I have floated in the past, but I've refined it over time and it has so much potential that I felt like I should post it again. Over the years, agent-run events have been a great addition to the official events put on by Niantic. However, there is currently very little official support for running such events. (Basically, support starts and ends with manual stat exports.) I think providing tooling to support agent-run events would go a long way toward creating a more interesting and fulfilling community. This post describes a proposal for how such tooling could work.
I hereby release this concept to Niantic to use or not as they see fit without restriction. I welcome feedback from the community to refine this idea, with the understanding that such feedback would also be released for Niantic's use.
Creating an Event
An agent who wished to create an event could visit the Ingress Events page and click a "Create Event" button. After logging in with their Ingress account, they'd be presented with a form asking for the following information:
- Name of event
- (optional) Event logo
- The start and stop date/time for the event
- Whether the event is cross-faction or faction-specific (If the latter, it can only be for the creating agent's faction.)
- The names of any other agents will act as event hosts. (The creating agent is automatically an event host. Cross-faction events must have at least one host from each faction.)
- The geographic area for the event, specified by drawing a polygon on a map. Only actions taking place at portals within the event area would be considered part of the event. (Niantic may want to consider whether they want agents creating large-scale events, and if not, place a limit the size of the event area and/or the number of agents who can participate.)
- The event visibility, either "public" (listed on the events page, any agent can sign up), or "private" (unlisted, agents must have the event URL to sign up
- A freeform description of the event and its rules
- The actions and agent stats that will be used by the event rules. To respect agent privacy, only actions taken on event portals by participating agents during the event are reported.
- (optional) A medal image, which would be displayed in a separate area of the agent's profile to show that they participated in the event. There could optionally be variants of this medal awarded based on a single tracked stat:
- Tiered medals for achieving threshold values for the stat
- For cross-faction events, a variant medal for the faction that scores higher for the stat
- Whether to display a leaderboard during and after the event of the tracked stats
- (optional) A stat reporting webhook URL. During the event, this URL will receive periodic POSTs to provide an event stream and updated stats. This can be used to power custom scoring displays.
Possible trackable actions/stats:
- Portals: (unique) visited, (unique) hacked, (unique) captured, neutralized, scanned, XM recharged
- Resonators: deployed/upgraded, destroyed
- Mods: deployed, destroyed
- Links: created, destroyed
- Fields: created, destroyed, MU captured, MU liberated
- Missions: (unique) completed
- Other: distance walked, AP gain
The creating agent can save the event without making it live, giving them a chance to work on and refine the event.
Before it goes live, the event page is only visible to the event creator and those agents invited the event creator to be an event host. All invited hosts must visit the event page, log in, and verify their willingness to be a host before the event can go live. An agent who declines to be a host for an event will be removed as a possible host. Verified hosts may delete pending host invitations. Agents may not switch factions while they are a verified host for at least one current or pending event. An event that has not yet started may be cancelled by an event host.
Enrolling in an Event
After a public event has gone live, agents can find agent-created events through the Ingress events page. It could have filters to help agents find events of interest:
- official Niantic events
- agent-created cross-faction events
- agent-created Enlightened events
- agent-created Resistance events
- any combination of the above
Each event listing has badges indicating whether it is an official Niantic event and which factions may participate.
To enable people to sign up for a private event, hosts must distribute the event URL to participants. Agents must sign in before they can view information about private events. Agents of the opposite faction will not be permitted to view information about a faction-specific private event.
When an agent views an event page, they would see the information entered by the event creator (except the webhook URL, which is only visible to event hosts). They would also see a disclaimer that it is an agent-run event, and that Niantic is not responsible for how it is conducted. If they choose to participate, they simply mark a checkbox (while logged in). If later they change their mind before the event starts, they can simply uncheck the box. A page could also be provided to list all events that the agent has opted-in to, to allow them to quickly revisit the event page.
Agents may withdraw as hosts for an event after it has gone live but before the event starts, as long as doing so would result in the event having no hosts for an invited faction. Event hosts may also invite additional agents to become hosts.
During an Event
When the event starts, enrolled agents would be notified in the scanner, and, if the feature is enabled, the event page would display a live leaderboard for the tracked stats. The comm would feature a separate channel for the event. Event hosts can also post messages to the event page; links to these posts would appear as alerted messages in the event comm channel.
After an Event
Event hosts may make additional posts to the event page for ending announcements for a limited time for a limited time before the event officially closes. The event page remains up for a while (say, a week) before it is deleted so that people can visit it to view final leaderboards and posts. Event hosts will be able to download a ZIP archive containing final data for all tracked actions and stats. (They can download a sample file with fake data before the event so that they can prepare any additional tooling ahead of time.)