Welcome to my concept for an event which would cover wildlife conservation, and the release of associated Shiny Pokémon. As always with my articles, I reach out to the main games, anime and lore for inspiration, and this one is no different.

The media often inform us species such as butterflies, moths and bees are in decline, which are an important part of our ecology. The connection between our ever reducing insect populations and an iconic feature of Generation 2 & 4 was not difficult to make, namely the Bug Catching Contest.

Recently, feedback has made me think a lot about how some Pokémon families, who are occasionally considered little more than fillers to the franchise, will get the attention they deserve. This made me examine the possibility of a more specialized, regular event which could be applied and bring them into the foreground.

The Bug Catching Contest events are not intended to coincide with Community Days. I genuinely believe Bug types would make a poor showing for a Community Day and, if released as part of other events, would likely be overshadowed.

With Generation 4 just around the corner, this article has been written specifically for a post-Generation 4 release. Additionally, while I will focus on bees, butterflies and moths in this example; the focus could also extend to beetles (including ladybirds), spiders, dragonflies, etc. for future iterations.

Niantic have hosted themed charity events around local and global efforts, we had the Mission Blue themed event as an example, so this is certainly not a far stretch, at least in my mind. The only difference being, they would be more regular than the one off or annual events.

Who are we helping…

It has been difficult to find a single, global charity for this type of conservation, and while there are many large European, American and Asian entities (to choose the main time zones attributed to PoGo) it is difficult to attribute something like this to just one of them. This is why I am showcasing my concept as a reoccurring event. Within the article are quotes with links to three sites full of documentation, but there are so many sites out there its mind-blowing

…and why do they need conserving

A teacher once told me: no bees = no flowers = no plants = no photosynthesis = no oxygen = no humans. Understand that this is a huge oversimplification, but sometimes simple is all that’s required to make a point; nearly 30 years on, I remember it. The media often bombards us with stories on insect decline which affect pollination and harvests.

xerces.org : Bumble bees, key pollinators of crops and wildflowers across the country and essential for a healthy environment, are declining at an alarming rate. Bee biologists discovered that several previously common species are now absent from much of their former territory.  Creating, protecting and restoring habitat is a very important way to conserve the populations of bees that remain.

As Trainers, this is a time for us to do our part, spread the word, and actively help the creatures that maintain our ecology, and which are fundamental to our way of life. While we may not individually be able to make a difference, giving funds to causes who are dedicated in specific areas can.

Event Synopsis

My conceptual event starts with a challenge, issued to all trainers, by Aaron of the Sinnoh Elite-4, who is promoting a large scale competition. This is in a collaboration with The Pokétch Company, who have produced a modified Pokétch, both as a marketing campaign and a research tool. Aaron is keen to show off the wonders and diversity of the Bug type, which are often overshadowed in competition.

As mentioned a few times now, the concept is that this is reoccurring several times a year to offer a challenge, a different mechanic and the chance to encounter shiny variants of the ~80 different Pokémon (up to Generation 7).

First Event Showcase

So, how many bees and butterflies (inc moths) exist within Pokémon? They are the staple of the games, Bug is often one of the first families we encounter. Up to, and including Generation 4, we have 6 families which can be seen in the tables below.

Including Generation 4, the below accounts for a whopping 18 shinys (tactfully ignoring the Burmy families forms). In future generations we have Larvesta/Volcarona, Scatterbug/Spewpa/Vivillon & Cutiefly/Ribombee bringing this figure up to 25 (again ignoring Vivillon’s 20+ known patterns/forms).

Apologies that I did not include the Ground and Steel Wormadam sprites, formatting went… odd.

butterfly-conservation.org : Butterflies are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems. They indicate a wide range of other invertebrates, which comprise over two-thirds of all species. … These collectively provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination and natural pest control.

So who are The Pokétch Company?

The Pokétch Company is a Jubilife City-based, family-owned company, and the manufacturer of the Pokétch. It was relatively small, unlike Silph Co. or the Devon Corporation, and actually started as a hobby of the owner, who made what he liked before the business grew to its present state.

Company Motto : Pokémon Watches for the World!

Over the years, the company has grown from its original form, as seen in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, and has expanded into other research and recording technologies. Based in the Sinnoh region, they have been expanding on the base Pokétch design to create a research tool.

As a field test, they are issuing the devices free to trainers to compete in the first Global Bug Catching Contest. Aaron of the Sinnoh Elite-4 however, is not only the “poster boy” of this event, but has worked hard with The Pokétch Company to develop a device which passively attracts bug types for study.

The device itself is a watch-style diffuser, which releases fragrance and scents which attract Bug types. Different scents are available that can target specific Pokémon families, whilst the default can attract any Pokémon within the Bug type.

mothscount.org : Moth caterpillars have a great impact on plants by eating their leaves. This had led to many types of plant evolving special chemicals to make them less appealing to caterpillars and limit the damage. But moths also benefit plants by pollinating flowers while feeding on their nectar, and so help in seed production.

Wait, whats a Pokétch?

Diamond-Pearl Jubilife City 3

The Pokémon Watch, or Pokétch for short, is the Sinnoh version of a Smart Phone. In Generation 4, the mechanic was introduced and when the player reached Jubilife City they are issued one. It takes the form of a watch with a touch screen.

Diamond & Pearl Platinum

Much like a smart phone, the Pokétch’s functionality comes from the applications, or Pokétch apps, that are installed in it, making it a versatile tool for any trainer. By the end of the games, the player can accumulate 25 different applications, from game mechanics to flavor items.

However, unlike the base design seen in Generation 4, this new Pokétch has been overhauled extensively into a devise used for this event.

How do you pronounce Pokétch?
Phonetically its spoken as Poke·etch

We have talked about Who, What and Why… lets talk How!

In the main games, the Bug Catching Contest occurred every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. While I would like a Pokemon Go event to be that frequent, I would expect it to occur as a minimum once every 2-3 weeks, as a maximum once every 2-3 months.

At the start of the 48 hour competition, you are issued with the Pokétch, which can be activated or deactivated at will (on screen button similar to the PoGo+ icon). It will require scent canisters, which apply an incense effect and work in the same manner, only they will specifically spawn Bug types.

To refill your scent canisters, spin Pokéstops and Gyms. These would not take up backpack space, but I speculate a scent meter on the main screen which would be recharged with 5 minutes of scent for each spin. Additional on use canisters could be added to the Store to refill the meter to full, which would take up backpack space. This would help generate revenue for Niantic and funds for any charities involved.

In addition, you are issued with Sport Balls which are used to capture the Bug types you wish to register for the event. You are issued with 20 to begin with, but more are available from Pokéstops and Gyms, or the Store for Pokécoin. These are added to your bag and will be converted to Pokéballs at the end of the event. You can use them to catch non-Bug Pokémon but they will not count towards the event.

Sport Ball 2 by oykawoo Introduced in Generation 2, allows the player to catch wild Pokémon in the Bug-Catching Contest.

Mechanics

So we have been issued a new watch and it smells. What will this do and how will it work? Well the basics for this mechanic exist in Pokémon Go already with incense.

Items {
  TemplateId: "ITEM_INCENSE_ORDINARY"
  Item {
    UniqueId: 401
    ItemType: ITEM_TYPE_INCENSE
    Category: ITEM_CATEGORY_INCENSE
    Incense {
      IncenseLifetimeSeconds: 1800
      StandingTimeBetweenEncountersSec: 300
      MovingTimeBetweenEncounterSec: 60
      DistanceRequiredForShorterIntervalMeters: 200
    }
  }
}

What this script means, is that when an incense is activated for the default of 30 minutes, a Pokémon will either spawn once every 5 minutes or once every 200 meters moved. The minimum amount of time between spawning being 1 minute.

From the above, we can calculate that the maximum number of spawns from each incense used is 30; but also requires you to be going at least 200 meters per minute, which equates to 12 kilometers per hour or 7.5 miles per hour.

The Scent Canisters would work the same way, but unlike Incense, the effect would overwrite any active biomes or nests. Rather than a fixed timer, it fills up with each Pokéstop or Gym spin by 5 minutes, holding a maximum of 30 minutes of scent.

The generic scent is one that attracts all bugs, however, specific canisters will work for certain Pokémon, and allow targeted spawning for Shiny encounters.

These special canisters last for a fixed 30 mins, cannot be refilled and only spawn the showcased families. For the first event these would breakdown as indicated below

Canister Type Pokemon Family #1 Pokemon Family #2
Honey Fragrance Bees WeedleBugPoison CombeeBugFlying
Mint Fragrance Butterflies CaterpieBug WurmpleBug
Jasmine Fragrance Moths VenonatBugPoison BurmyBug

Below is a mock-up image I have done showing a Honey Fragrance being deployed by the Pokétch. I was aiming for a “pollen” look which would trail inside the radar pulse. The look should therefore not interfere with other effects applied such as Incense or Star Pieces. Different scents would change the colour.

Scoring

So this is a competition right, how do we choose the winner?

Each time we catch a Pokémon in our Sport Ball, the client will allocate it a score, based on 4 things. The client will record the highest value and attribute a final award based on that score.

IV – maximum of 45 (15+15+15) 

Level at time of Capture – maximum of 40 (1-40)

Shiny Status – overriding multiplier (2x)

Evolution Tier – overriding mutiplier (Tier 2=1.25x, Tier 3=1.5x)

This formula is a rough, fictional calculation I have thrown together as to how I think this could work

((IV Attack + IV Defense + IV HP + Level) x Tier ) x Shiny Status

Below is an example of 3 trainers

Trainer Ash Misty Brock
Attack (1-15) 3 6 4
Defense (1-15) 3 10 13
HP (1-15) 9 7 12
Level (1-40) 25 7.5 19.5
Tier (1/3) 3 1 2
Shiny (Y/N) No Yes No
Total Score 60 61 60.6

So in this example, Misty would get the highest score, even though only a Wurmple and not great IV’s, as a shiny it pips Brock to the post… and to think, she HATES bugs!

Ash, who finds a weather-boosted Beedril gets a decent score but its less than great IVs, lets him down.

Now, assuming that only Tier 1 are Shiny form, the highest possible score would be a Shiny, 100% IV, Tier 1 weather-boosted Pokémon with a score of 140.

A normal Butterfree with perfect IV’s and weather-boosted, would have a score of 105.

Rewards

So you have caught Pokémon, but what do you get from it, other than the warm glowy feeling.

When the score is known, an encounter is offered based on your total score. Pokémon one of those showcased, final evolution, IV >82%, Level 30 and the score ratio will determine the shiny chance of that encounter.

So, to use the above tables

Trainer Score Formula Shiny Chance
Ash 60 60 ÷ 140 42.8%
Misty 61 61 ÷ 140 43.6%
Brock 60.6 60.6 ÷ 140 43.2%

I gave some thought to applying a further multiplier based on number caught, or top percentage of players score, but I think this would make it quite difficult to understand how the numbers are calculated.

One of the first things I was taught professionally is K.I.S.S., an acronym for “Keep it simplestupid

Is something missing?

Yes, Aaron and Field Tasks are so far missing. While the easiest thing to do would be to include Catch {x} Bug Pokémon, either generic or targeted, with the usual mixture of rewards, I think we can do better than that.

Diamond Pearl Aaron.pngI’m a huge fan of bug Pokémon. Bug Pokémon are nasty-mean, and yet they’re beautiful, too… Would you like to know why I take on challengers here, in this room? It’s because I want to become perfect, just like my bug Pokémon! 

Plugging a previous concept article of mine, how about a single Task to Catch 100 Bug types. Upon completion and you get to challenge Aaron to a battle. If you win, you get a bonus encounter with a Tier 3, IV >90%, Level 35 Bug type. If you don’t, well there is always next time. The boss encounter would scale to your own trainer level.

Medals!!!

When a player takes part in a Safari Zone or PoGo Fest, they are awarded with a commemorative medal, there are no tiers or bonuses applied. With this in mind I have created a Bug Contest Medal.

I chose not to include a bronze, silver, gold medal for the number of times a player took part. The rewards and bonuses would effectively be triggered by catching 1 Pokémon in an event ball, which is no challenge at all.

However, if a tiered medal was introduced, then a gold medal could award a bug catcher outfit for our Avatar.

Image result for pokemon bug catcher

Is this even achievable…

I think that this is within the scope of what could happen. The assets required are limited compared to other concepts I have done, and the incense mechanic is already in the code. We know that Niantic does themed events. The primary difference is that rather than relying on a forced Overworld change with the event, it would be RNG incense based and generated by active participation, not enforced or trackable/scanable.

At the start of each Contest, Niantic can use their sale bundles to sell Canisters and Sport Balls. Proceeds would bolster Niantic’s revenue, as well as offering a source of funding for the nominated charities.

I need to add that I have not run this by any organisations which are associated with conservation projects of this nature, or any similar event. I did specifically look for an internationally recognised date which would fit the theme, and while several countries have dates, they do not coincide with each other.

I attribute all credit for the original screenshots, sprites and imagery to their original owners.

Here’s hoping Niantic is listening. Expanding content beyond the current game, can only enhance the game for both the solo player and the overall community.

Venasto1se