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City of Epic: An Exercise RPG's video poster

We’re helping people stick to their workout routines by creating an online RPG based around real-world physical activity. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 15, 2011.

We’re helping people stick to their workout routines by creating an online RPG based around real-world physical activity.

About this project

You’ve just fallen off the turnip truck in Epic, a big city where all the inhabitants are inexplicably obsessed with Awesome. But Awesome isn’t just a concept here; it has physical form as AwesomeTokens, AwesomeStars, and the highly coveted AwesomeCubes. In short, your status revolves around how much Awesome you have. Since everyone in Epic is already incredibly intelligent and attractive, the most impressive thing you can do is show off with feats of strength and stamina. Gain enough status, and they might just elect you Mayor of Epic.


There are a huge number of "exergames" on the market now, but few of them get played once the initial novelty wears off. Why? They're good workout programs, but not very compelling games. In fact, many of them aren't really games at all: just interactive workout videos with a few cartoon characters.

How We're Different

We're building a browser-based RPG which turns our workout routine into a game by placing the workouts you already do (or mean to do) into an interactive storyline. So instead of training for a 5k, you're running from zombies. Earn points and power ups for consistent workouts, and play co-op challenges with friends to stay motivated.

We're doing all the design and development ourselves (conveniently, Kelly is a developer and Katherine is an illustrator), and are looking to raise money to cover both technology costs and a few packages of ramen noodles to fuel our progress.

Development of our beta is well underway, and we expect to start inviting people to the closed beta in mid-June.


  • One of the things that's great about games is that even though two games may seem similar at a glance, the story, art, and overall gameplay let them stand on their own. To the layman, the Halo series and Half-life series seem the same: they're both first person shooters. But each has its own core of dedicated players, and even a fair amount of overlap.

    That said, we're focusing on storyline and continuity in a way we haven't seen anyone else do so far. What's a story worth? Imagine Portal without GLaDOS. Sure, it's a fun game, but you probably wouldn't be racing to the end of the game quite the same without her. Where other sites slap points on a spreadsheet and call it a game, we're creating a game first, and then letting exercise be the driving force behind progress in it.

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  • We're relying on self-reporting. So theoretically, you could cheat. There are a few randomized checks in the game that will try to weed-out lying, but frankly if you're cheating at an exercise game... you're really losing. The social co-op aspect will keep some of that in check - there are no global leaderboards, just friendly ones, so if you say you went running and your friends know you were at the bar all afternoon, they can call you out on it.

    But ultimately it's a game for people who want to get in shape, so if you're cheating the game you're just cheating yourself. Also, you will still suck at running.

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  • Yes.

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    13 backers

    A contributor badge! You'll get a special in-game badge on your profile once the game has launched, noting that you helped make the game happen.

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    87 backers

    Super starter pack! You'll get a contributor badge, and an invitation to the closed beta.

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    9 backers

    Epic pack! You'll get the super starter pack plus a super fun set of three 1" pins featuring game art and a signed print of your in-game avatar.

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    2 backers

    T-shirt mania! Backers at this level and higher get a sweet City of Epic Zombies t-shirt! We'll collect your sizing info at the end of the campaign. Plus you get the beta code, avatar print, and buttons. You can put the buttons on your new shirt!

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    11 backers

    Naming rights! We'll name an NPC in the game after you (or the name of your choice, provided it's family-friendly), plus you'll get the epic pack!

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    8 backers

    Your Likeness, in game! It's like naming rights, but instead of just naming the character after you, we'll design the character after you as well. Your and your favorite sweater can be immortalized in pixels, bringing joy to the Great Aunt Sue who bestowed that sweater upon you years ago. And to top it all off, you will get a signed print of your custom NPC. Plus you'll get the epic pack!

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Custom in-game avatar. We'll create special artwork, just for you, for use in the game. Want to be a griffin? We will draw you as a griffin. You'll also get a signed print of your avatar, buttons, and a beta invite.

Funding period

- (30 days)