Strategy games like Civilisation, Risk and Clash of Clans lack a real life element, while solitary sports like jogging can seem boring and isolated. Experience design studio PAN, based in Shoreditch, London, wanted to create a game that combines strategic thinking of digital and board games with the real world physical actions that make sports so much fun.
They have today launched a Kickstarter campaign for Run An Empire, a smartphone game where players compete against each other to capture territory in their local environment by running or walking around it. Using local neighbourhoods as an arena for play, the game will use a player’s smartphone’s GPS to record the path he or she takes, and record it in the map of the game, which is visible to all players.
To capture a territory a player simply has to run around it, and for a competing player to capture it back from them they need to run around it faster and/or more often. And while running is encouraged, players by no means have to be gifted athletes, as a slower but more determined walker can beat a faster, but more opportunistic runner. Control over territory will also decay over time, so it will remain a challenge to keep hold of a formidable kingdom even if nobody else is playing for miles around. The key is dedication.
The first iteration of the game will be developed for the iPhone, with an Android version as a stretch goal. PAN Studio are aiming to raise £15,000, and Kickstarter backers will have an opportunity to join the beta testing, help design Easter Eggs and chat to Pan Studio about the game, depending on how much they want to donate. The game is expected to retail for £3.99, and if £25,000 is raised, an Android version will be developed too.
Sam Hill, co-founder of PAN Studio, says that,
“We’re making Run An Empire because it’s the kind of game we’d like to play ourselves. We want something that requires the same tactical planning as the digital and tabletop games we already enjoy, but rooted in the real world where presence and physical actions make a difference. The game is designed for anyone else who might also enjoy a new way of playing strategy.”
This is a first Kickstarter campaign for PAN Studio, but the team are well known for other real world games experiences, having won the inaugural Playable City Award in 2013 with their project Hello Lamp Post, which has since been nominated for this year’s Design of the Year Award at the London Design Museum.
For more information about Run An Empire, visit: runanempire.com.