"A lot of people ask me how to break into games, and my answer is always
the same: Join the annual gaming industry blood sport competition and
kill a man without blinking, like everybody else. Michael Swaim was one of
the more creative and hard-working young talents I worked with at
Cracked, but he's clearly made of tender stuff, since he's opted to go
the Kickstarter route instead. Please give this project your financial support."
--Jay Pinkerton, Writer of Portal 2
Welcome to a forgotten land.
Beneath the leafy canopy, amidst the screeching of howler monkeys and the growls of six-eyed things moving in the darkness, you see it: A ziggurat in ruin. The worn stones were once the towering bastion of a great civilization, bathed in the lights of industry, knowledge and cool floating crystals…now, fallen into disrepair. Welcome to your temple.
AKA your fat butt. Or well-toned butt, we don’t mean to assume.
“My Temple” is a proposed iPhone app that will combine genuine Rocket Scientist-approved mathematical algorithms with dynamic, engaging gameplay, PvP functionality, and kickass story elements to bring users a fun, rewarding, and effective partner on the road to health and the perfect body.
Users will be able to interact with the app on many different levels, from the hardcore gamer looking for a challenging RPG-like experience and six-pack abs, to the casual gamer looking to earn some Facebook trophies and lose a few pounds or improve their diet. And, thanks to SCIENCE (and our team of artists, writers and programmers), the app will be able to continuously adjust the difficulty of your workout to mesh with your chosen routine and performance on past missions.
Simply put, take a minute to download My Temple, and your phone will instantly become the personal trainer/coach/rpg/digipet/paperweight society never promised you!
ABOUT THE GAME
Your body is your temple, and if you’re anything like us, that temple could use some routine maintenance (or for advanced users, maybe that second floor addition you’ve been eyeing). By completing in-game missions with real-world exercise routines—initially walking, running, biking, swimming, and weight lifting, as well as sticking to your diet goals—you’ll be able to improve and repair your Temple, construct new buildings, upgrade them, and attract a population to inhabit your city as it returns to its former glory. You don't need to play missions to use MyTemple's functionality. If you want to, you can log workouts just like other running apps with the addition of in-game rewards used to beautify your temple complex for everyone to see.
The game is structured such that your efforts in the real world will be rewarded greatly, and on many levels: everything from trophies and badges to share with your friends, to new mission types and story beats, new building-types that actually add NEW FUNCTIONALITY to the app, and the chance to watch your avatar change physical appearance over the course of their journey.
As an example of the app’s “functionality additive” buildings, take THE ARENA, wherein you can pit your avatar against those of your friends in mythic and thunderous (PvP) battle. Of course, the winner won’t simply come down to the bigger set of muscles, or caloric intake…your avatar’s overall battle prowess is determined by how well you’ve PERSONALLY lived up to or exceeded the goals you and your app set together at the outset of the game. So it’s really a matter of dedication and heart…and if you happened to pick up that unique Arena item when you did the mission with the lightning-spitting mountain goats.
Despite how much there is to do in the game, and how many tools we hope it will provide to health-seekers (a calorie tracker, a run tracker, a photo journal, the ability to AUTOMATICALLY TAILOR mission difficulties to your routine and performance history), it will be in all aspects simple and intuitive to use. Users aren’t punished for not exploring the deeper aspects of the game; they are simply rewarded for doing so.
With lush, imaginative artwork from GABO BERNSTEIN and a script from MICHAEL SWAIM (Cracked.com, Those Aren’t Muskets!) and CODY JOHNSTON (Cracked.com), you can also look forward to the game actually not sucking out loud, like most games. It’s going to look beautiful, and it’s going to be fun, funny, and inventive. We’ve chosen the fertile worlds of Mayan, Aztec and Incan folk tales as our starting point, and slathered on thick layers of good old-fashioned sci-fi mysticism.
UNDER THE HOOD
The immense functionality of the app boils down to one basic truth: the man heading this project is GENIUS ROCKET SCIENTIST GRIFFIN ROWELL. Griffin had a vision, to take the addictive power of phone games and turn it into a force for good, a tool to help people have a blast while GETTING INTO SHAPE.
Then he did a bunch of math, and what he came up with was a set of algorithms and charts that are, frankly, quite boring.
But what it means to YOU is that My Temple isn’t just a fancy alarm clock reminding you to run. It uses approved CDC health guidelines and established kinesiological research to guide you toward a healthy amount of exercise, and put you on the right track no matter which options you choose in-game.
This strange power known as maths also allows us to track your “SPIRIT FACTOR.” As in, an ACCURATE MEASURE of how hard you’re really trying. We’ll use this measure, the FIRST of its kind used in a video game, to determine your battle prowess in PvP play.
Because if there’s anything you want today’s physicist rocket scientists working on, it’s figuring out WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT.
Risks and challenges
We aren't lying to ourselves about how difficult this will be. We are an international team separated by thousands of miles trying to accomplish the childhood dream of making the kind of immersive story- and art-driven game we spent countless hours playing. To top it off, we'd like to tie game performance to real-world consequences, in a seamless way that lets the game remain fun while encouraging and rewarding fitness in the user. Ideally, My Temple will be the kind of game you're glad you got addicted to.
The major setbacks we face are inexperience in this specific medium, and scheduling. Michael and Griffin both have full-time jobs outside of this project, but both are committed to doing what is necessary to complete the game.
We believe that Michael's recent experiences writing, producing, and starring in a feature-length film make him uniquely qualified to deal with any logistical issues that may arise. Griffin also has many unique administrative and leadership talents acquired as a military Officer. His various duties have required him to keep himself and others organized under conditions of extreme stress.
Above everything, we love games and see the potential they have to positively impact people across boundaries separating us in the real world. That is what drives us and it will be what allows us, with your help, to succeed in our endeavors. Thank you!
No! We hate micropayments. They have turned even the simplest time diversions into money sinks. MyTemple is primarily designed as a way to help people develop healthy habits so we do not want to taint that experience by having all of you feeling cheated every time you use it.
This is our most pressing reach goal. The iPhone is what we all use and makes the most sense to start with since this is, after all, something that we want to use ourselves. We have looked into porting MyTemple for Android and it looks like it will be doable as long as we have it as a goal when the development starts. If we can raise enough money from the start we will develop an Android version in parallel and will release them at the same time. We will begin this parallel development if we raise at least $100,000.
MyTemple exists, aside from the gorgeous art and hilarious writing, as a fitness tool. We want it to be something you can use to track progress and get better. In order to achieve this we need MyTemple to be as accurate as possible. iPod Touch uses an accelerometer which, aside from being less accurate than GPS, also relies on you holding the device in your hand for maximum movement. In addition to wild differences in arm swing, wearing the iPhone in a band on the upper arm destroys the functionality of the accelerometer.
That said, the iPod Touch will not support MyTemple, at least until we can figure out how to nullify these effects. MyTemple will also not initially be available for iPad because it doesn't sound like too much fun to exercise with a tablet. Later on we will look into making a MyTemple port of the single player world-building game utilizing your MyTemple account so everyone can enjoy Gabo's art on a bigger screen.
At the eighty-dollar level, contributors can look forward to seeing their names in the game’s credits, as well as a unique “Cornerstone” Facebook trophy to commemorate their generosity. In case you haven’t guessed the pattern yet, you’ll also receive all of the seventy-dollar incentives, and, as ever, a free copy of the game.
Those flashing BENJAMINS are entitled to special, limited-run signed prints of Gabo’s lush and astounding original game art. You’ll also get all of the eighty-dollar incentives and your own copy of…wait for it…the game! Ultra-mega-score-itude!
Have trouble staying motivated? NOT ANYMORE. You just bought yourself a two hundred fifty-dollar set of My Temple-branded exercise wear, so get out there and get ‘em all sweaty and horrible! You’ll also receive all of the hundred-dollar rewards and a copy of the game.
At the four-hundred dollar level, you’ll be invited to help Michael, Cody and Gabo conceive a My Temple complex addition of your very own to be included in the game. Naturally, you’ll need a free copy of the game in order to festoon your temple with your namesake, and equally naturally, you’ll also snag all the hundred-dollar incentives.
Shell out half a grand (plus change) and we’ll hit you with a Gabo-drawn portrait of yourself surrounded by My Temple creatures. You’ll also be invited to help design one of the DEADLY ARENA TRAPS that thousands of players will have to traverse in their struggle towards physical perfection. Add in a free copy of the game and all of the hundred-dollar incentives, and you’ve got yourself what we in the business call a super-ultra-mega-score-athon 9000!
A thousand dollars puts you quite literally into the world of My Temple, as a Gabo-drawn NPC whom characters will interact with or get missions from within the game. Contributors at this level also receive all two hundred fifty-dollar incentives and a free copy of the game to do with as they please (we suggest playing it!).
This is your chance to fly out to Los Angeles and meet Michael, Cody, and special guests! Talk comedy, fitness, apps, or just enjoy a free lunch at a swanky spot and stare deeply into their eyes. You’re the one that paid four grand; DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH THEM. We insist. You’ll also receive all two hundred fifty-dollar incentives, a copy of the game, and no less than two high fives.
Fund 4/30 of the game and we’ll fly you out for a private release party as well as put every single other incentive listed in your sweaty little hands, EXCEPT, paradoxically, a free copy of the game. You’re rich; pay the $2.99, cheapskate.