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Readying Yourself

Before you even start planning, you need to take a good look at yourself and
make sure that you are prepared for what is about it happen. Planning an anomaly
takes a lot out of a person, eating up a lot of time, emotion, and brain power. Youre
going to deal with quite a bit of adversity, risk, and challenges. Are you ready for that?
How do you handle high-pressure situations?
First and foremost, how do you handle pressure? Being an anomaly planner is a
24/7 pressure cooker, especially as you get closer to the event. You are going to have
constant questions to answers, concerns to address, and problems to solve. Every
decision you make is going to be second-guessed, and there are going to be rumors
and false perceptions to make all of these even harder. Youre also going to have to
deal with trolls, people whose sole purpose is to get under your skin to make you crack.
They may go after you personally, either with personal attacks or by bringing your
character into question, or they may simply attack the event, trying to make it seem like
it is one sided or sowing seeds of discord among the factions.
Think ahead, right now, how will you approach this? Do you have the ability to keep a
level head in these situations and quickly respond to (or ignore) these situations with a
professional demeanor? Are you sure? Because I warn you, even one public slip-up,
outburst, or moment of weakness can ruin an entire event. Your enemies will find that
chink in your armor and stick a pry-bar in it, and will use it to twist the minds of even the
most level headed agents.
Who is your rock?
I also cannot stress enough the importance of having a rock. Your rock is the person
you turn to when you need to let out frustrations or get out to someone what you really
want to say to the troll who is pushing your buttons. This person needs to be completely
trustworthy, someone that you know you can tell anything to and it will not slip out. They
also need to be level-headed and able to take a step back from the situation and speak
to you about what is going on from a different point of view. This person should also,
preferably, not be involved in the direct day-to-day planning of the event, so they can
keep that distance and perspective for you. They should take on the role closer to that
of an advisor, someone that you bounce ideas and frustrations off of.
Are you able to ignore the chaff, and focus on the goal?
Invariably, planning an event will cause drama of some sort. During this drama, a lot of
times other unresolved issues in your area will come up as well. People will call each

other cheaters, disagreements about past actions will come up again, names will be
called, egos will be on display, and feelings will be hurt. The fact is, planning an
anomaly for your area is a catalyst for bringing all kinds of bad blood to the surface. To
the event planner, all of this is nothing but distraction. You need to be able to ignore
this, and focus solely on planning your event. Just because youre putting yourself in the
position of planning an anomaly doesnt mean you have to be your areas guiding light
that magically solves all of the existing problems.
Now, that being said, cross faction events do have the effect of getting people to meet
face-to-face, resolve their differences, and bury the hatchet, so if this is a big issue in
your area I do recommend planning a few Cross Faction meetups prior to the event, just
to meet up at a local restaurant. The people that show up to these events usually walk
away as great friends with few differences between them, and often both sides agree
just to ignore the ones who are causing trouble.
Can you remain neutral, and make decisions that are good for both factions?
This might be the most important question. As the Anomaly planner, can you remain
neutral, and make decisions that are truly in the best interest of both sides? Regardless
of the answer to this question, cross-faction participation is vital, so you need to reach
out to the opposite faction and find someone on the other side that is willing to help plan
as well. Even if they do not do as much hands-on work as you do, they at least need to
be involved in the day-to-day decisions so that both sides can trust that it is being
planned fairly. There does still need to be one person who is clearly in charge though,
because sometimes situations will arise that require a quick, decisive decision from a
single person, and democracy does not always work in those situations. Can you be
that person? Can you display obvious neutrality so that people trust you to make that
decision, and are you prepared to explain your reasoning afterwards?
Can you communicate ideas and decisions clearly?
Finally, you also need to be able to communicate very clearly with others. This is
important in many different ways. Your rules need to be very clearly defined, your
Anomaly advertising through social media needs to appear professional and
trustworthy, people need to understand why you made the decision you did, the
questions you answer need to be detailed and specific, and people just need to know
that they can trust you in general. This does not mean that you have to be Dr.
SuperSerious, but people do have to be able to take you seriously.

Determining the Date and Time

The first step you should take when planning your anomaly is determining what
date and time you are going to hold the event. The obvious first conclusion is that it
should be on a weekend, so most people will be off work. Unfortunately this sometimes
excludes people in retail or service industries, but if you announce the date far enough
in advance, these people can normally ask off for work as well.
It is not as simple as just choosing a weekend though; there are a lot of different
variables you have to consider. This chapter is going to cover a few questions that you
need to ask yourself about the date, and some things to consider for each of those
Is there anything that will affect the mobility and safety of the agents?
On the surface, it may seem like a good idea to plan your Anomaly during a major
event. More people will be in town, and maybe some of those people will play Ingress,
right? Well, that may be true, but you also have to consider the logistic problems that
arise with planning during a major event. Remember that Ingress is a game in which
strategy for an anomaly will focus on the agents ability to move quickly and efficiently
around the battle field. If there is a large event going on, often there are roads that are
blocked off, large crowds, gridlock traffic, vendors that may be in the way, and a
plethora of other potential issues that would limit movement, not to mention creating a
safety risk.
Will the cellular data networks be hindered by a mass influx of people?
Another thing to consider with large events is the effect on the cellular networks.
Providers have a limited amount of spectrum in cities, and they often have just enough
to serve the city plus a buffer of 30-40%. When a large event is in town, it can easily eat
up the remainder of that buffer, and make the data in the area painfully slow. Carriers
have temporary towers that they can deploy for events to try to offset this, but often it is
just enough to allow for low data usage actions such as sending a photo, not enough to
support a data intensive game.
Does the Anomaly interfere with any other events?
Of course, you also want to make sure that there are no other planned events during
your anomaly, whether official or player organized. Niantic has been more aggressive
with their official anomalies lately, and player-planned anomalies are on the rise as well,
so make sure you scour Google+ and try to pick a weekend where people will not have
to choose whether to attend your anomaly or someone elses. Its also a good idea to

avoid weekends for large events that people like to attend or watch on TV, such as the
Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympics, etc. Basically, you want to make sure that there is
nothing that is preventing you from having the largest turnout possible.
Will turnout for your event depend on out of town agents traveling?
This is going to depend on your area of play. You may be in a large city where
nobody has to travel and setting up an anomaly will automatically draw 100 agents just
within your city, in which case this question shouldnt be much of a focus for you. Or you
may live in a rural area with only 10-20 agents and will be depending heavily on people
traveling to your city, and in that case this question is of the utmost importance. As
mentioned above weekends are the best date for peoples work schedules, but the
actual time of the event is important as well. If people are traveling from out of town,
they may not be able to afford a hotel for the night, so you dont want to hold the event
too early, so they have travel time to reach your location, and you also dont want to
keep people too late into the night, so they can drive home the same night. Make sure
you are keeping these things in mind when setting your times.

Determining the Game and Location

Now that youve determined your date and approximate times, the next question
to ask is, what type of game do I want to play? This chapter will first cover some of the
questions to ask yourself, and others, in choosing the type of game, and then will cover
a few different game options and the rules for them.
Marathon Games vs Measurement Based Games
For starters, most of the games are broken down into two categories.
Measurement Based Games are the ones that Niantic usually employs, where agents
battle and a screenshot is taken at a precise moment, and the score is determined off of
that moment in time. Marathon Games have constant action with the game ending
either when a specific goal is accomplished or scored after a specified period of time. I
will go into more details later when we are discussing the games, but there are a few
factors that need to be considered when deciding between the two categories.
What is the weather like?
This was a major concern for the Panama City Anomaly. It was held in July, in
Florida, so the weather was expected to be HOT. Because agent safety needs to
always be at the forefront of your planning, we knew immediately that any kind of
Marathon game would be out of the question, because having people running around
outside for 2 hours in 90+ degree heat would have been dangerous. Instead, it was a
good idea to run a Measurement based game, with short 30 minute bursts of activity
with a break in between so that people could rest in the air conditioning. If weather
could be a major factor, then I recommend avoiding Marathon type games, so that
people can get inside and have a break from the conditions, whether it be heat, cold,
snow, or rain. Note that here I am just talking about predictable weather patterns,
handling unpredictable occurrences will be discussed in the Handling Event Day
chapter later on.
What do the attending agents want, and what is best for them?
As discussed in the Introduction, this is your anomaly, and you have to be careful
to not allow public opinion to drastically alter your course, but it is important to reach out
and get a feel for what kind of game the people who will be attending your event would

like to see. Dont be afraid to get out there and just start asking people. I wouldnt go as
far as creating a poll, because if your final decision goes against the poll majority that
can cause issues, but definitely talk with people and get some ideas. In the end though,
you still have to make the decision based on what you feel will be the most effective
game for the event. Some event types, such as Average AP Gain, arent as flashy as
the measurement based games, and normally arent exciting enough to draw people
from long distances, but they are still a good choice for areas that already have a lot of
agents in the area, or if it appears that one faction will have a major attendance
advantage. You can also somewhat mix-and-match event types to offset this. For
example, the PC Anomaly had two scoring types, one was pure portal control, and the
other was creating links over a variety of distances. The scoring was setup in such a
way that even if one faction had a superior showing, a small, extremely organized team
would have still been able to creating links scoring for big points.
What does the Intel map tell you?
One of the toughest decisions is deciding where in your city you want to hold the
anomaly. The best choices are usually an area of about a 1 mile radius with a high
concentration of portals, but different layouts will provide different kinds of environments
for games to thrive in. Make sure you consider the layout of portals in your game area
when determining the game type. For instance, if the area mainly has tight clusters of
portals, a game involving linking may not be the best choice because of the ability to
take out multiple portals with L8 XMP bursters. On the other side, if the area has portals
that are very spread out, AP gain would not be a good choice, because then the only
real AP gained is just flipping the portals back and forth. This is another area that input
from your local agents will be helpful.
What is my venue?
Your events venue is also very important. Even if a certain area with clusters of
portals would be best for the game you have in mind, it becomes a moot point if there is
no venue for people to congregate at before, during, or after the event. You have to
consider the weather again as well. If youre doing a measurement based game to
escape from possible weather problems, there needs to be a central air conditioned or
heated area for agents to congregate. If weather is not a factor, then it may be as easy
as setting up some tents in the park for people to get into the shade and talk with each
other. It is fine to have the after-party at a different location nearby, but you should at
least have a place to congregate before and during the event.
How will the event be judged?
Theres going to be an entire chapter based on this later, but for the purposes of
choosing your game, you also have to consider the judging options that you have in

front of you. As agents, we do not have access to the same tools that Niantic does for
judging events, so keeping track of every action or being able to see a large amount of
portals all at once is not available to you. When you are putting your game together,
make sure you consider how it can be judged fairly, with only the Intel map,
screenshots, and chat logs available as a resource.

Game Types

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