David Hollin, a designer / technical artist at Niantic, gave a talk on the Animation On Display (AOD) convention yesterday, highlighting a number of events from the game’s history and sharing some info on the future of Pokémon GO.

Most notably, David shared some interesting info on why Trading was delayed and how they are approaching building future features.

Hollin started working at Niantic 2 years ago, in April of 2015, and has been in charge of the User Experience research and prototyping, working with both engineering and art teams. Hollin is also the one responsible for the inclusion of the AR mode and AR camera, as he came up with the idea.

New info shared by David Hollin

Hollin shared that Trading is definitely being worked on, but they are taking their “sweet time” to release it. In his words, they are afraid of releasing Trading mostly due to bots and spoofers running rampant: “If you think bots and spoofers are bad now…”

He also noted that he would prefer if trading was restricted to people standing next to each other, similar how Gameboy trading was performed in the “good old days”. We must emphasize that Hollin used “prefer” in his talk, indicating that they are exploring other ideas and that “real life trading” is the one he prefers.

He confirmed that they Niantic was finally able to incorporate different spawns based on the time of day/night, which is the exact phenomena we observed in our “Researching Nocturnal specie in Pokémon GO” article published recently.

He refused to comment if Shiny Pokémon were in the works or releasing soon, however, the APK data mining tells a different story. He also shared that players have probably discovered all of the Easter Eggs currently in the game, with the Umbreon/Espeon naming trick being discovered in the first 40 seconds of the Generation 2 release.

Other interesting tidbits he shared:

  • Niantic is currently working with Apple to see if they can come up with something that will count your steps while you’re exercising indoors, such as on a treadmill, so you can walk your eggs without actually being outdoors. No idea if anything will come out of this, though.
  • David really wants to bring in more weather-related spawns. For example, if the weather is hotter than normal, there would be more Fire Pokemon, and if the weather is colder than normal, more Ice. If it’s raining, more Water Pokemon.
  • Niantic staff is well aware that gym battling is not the greatest at the moment. Apparently, the saying at the office is “Battling is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s the worst thing in Pokemon GO.”