Indie game developer BitBot Media is adding some nerdy fun to fitness with City of Epic, an exergame that’s, well, actually a game. City of Epic brings real-world exercise into an RPG storyline set in a quirky urban environment, letting players earn rewards, team up with friends, and face challenges while developing better exercise habits and working up to the office of Mayor. So, instead of just training for a 5k, you’re preparing for a looming zombie apocalypse. Instead of a mere 100 push up challenge, you’re helping a grad student neighbor subdue the hoards of bees swarming from the floorboards. And instead of just bettering your bench press, you’re taking down the Kraken.
Whereas many exergames function either as workout videos led by digital characters, or arbitrarily assign points to activities, the developers believe that a more fully game-like format will encourage long-term involvement. Participation won’t require any specialized equipment– though mobile apps and fitness tracking device integration are in the pipeline–so anyone with a computer or smart phone will be able to play.
City of Epic is planned to enter a closed beta early this summer, and the only way to gain access is to back their Kickstarter campaign running through June 15th. Check out http://kck.st/mcf2Y6 for more information and to watch a very special infomercial explaining the project.
About BitBot Media
Co-founders Kelly Maguire and Katherine Ramos teamed up in 2010 when they started getting competitive with Foursquare gym check-ins. When looking at the other exergames on the market, they realized that they wanted a more compelling system for “winning” at working out. With Kelly’s programming skills, Katherine’s illustration experience, and a whole lot of hours of gaming between the two of them, they formed BitBot and set out to develop a sufficiently geeky system for getting into better shape. You may have already seen some of Kelly’s work; she was briefly internet-famous for her hardware hack creating a “life size” Katamari controller.