This project's funding goal was not reached on March 29, 2013.
This project's funding goal was not reached on March 29, 2013.
"The app...fills a surprisingly still-open hole in an increasingly social relationship between athletes and their fans." - Fast Company
"The thrill of playing a video game against an athlete who’s actually in the game is something beyond any experience you might have merely watching them play at a stadium." - ESPN
"It’s one thing to meet an NBA, NFL or MLB star for a minute to get an autograph signed, it’s quite another to spend 20 minutes playing against them in a game of Madden" - Forbes
Why are we on Kickstarter? Because we want to find an exclusive group of fanatics. Fans who want the opportunity to play against, to talk trash to, and to hang out with their favorite athletes. Only Kickstarter backers get access to OverDog in April because we want you to be the first to test the product, to hang out with athletes, and to design the next set of features.
OverDog is where athletes come to play. It’s simple: no mere mortal could hope to tackle Adrian Peterson or hit a David Price fastball, but when we put our favorite video game into the console, we are all equals.
OverDog connects fans (you!) with their favorite athletes via any video game title (Madden, FIFA, NBA2K, Call of Duty, HALO, just to name a few). We are working with athletes across all major sports (thanks to our friends at the NFLPA, MLBPA, NHLPA, MLSPA, NBPA, UFC, NCAA, and USOC) to build a premier gaming experience with the athlete in mind. Athletes are young, competitive, and tired after busy days at practice – it just makes sense that many of them spend that downtime playing hours and hours of video games.
At OverDog, we strive to make gameplay as easy as possible. Once you've downloaded our app, the Lobby page will show you which of your favorite athletes are playing right now (as well as highlighting some of the best videos and athlete profiles of the day). You'll be able to browse the existing challenge videos or wait until an athlete challenges you in your favorite game before you accept. Finally, if you're chosen to play, the OverDog system will "friend" you and the athlete via Xbox LIVE or PSN, send you into gameplay, and record the winner (so you have some proof when you brag to your friends).
Our challenge is building an experience that fans and athletes alike will embrace. This is where we need your help. To thank the Kickstarter community, we’re offering an amazing opportunity: until the full product launches in August, OverDog will be closed to the general public. That’s right, the only way to get access to OverDog this spring and summer is by supporting us through Kickstarter.
The OverDog team is putting the final touches on our Beta prototype, due out in April, which will allow athletes to send virtual and video challenges to their fans. The goal is to use the spring and summer months to test the product, build out remaining features, and deliver an amazing experience in August (just in time for the newest release of several of your favorite game titles). If we can raise $100,000, we will be able to green light the final product features on the development side: automated game results capture, leaderboards, athlete vs. athlete gaming, and fan vs. fan tournaments (for more on these features, please reads the FAQs at the bottom of the page). Your feedback will directly influence those remaining features. In addition, we’ll be able to finish an Android version of the app in short order. Your support will make this happen!
The OverDog prototype is going to be awesome, and we can’t wait to work with you to make the final app even better. Thanks in advance for your support.
Are you an OverDog?
Q: How does it work, exactly?
A: OverDog is a mobile app (iPhone first with Android immediately following) that connects fans and athletes via console-based video games. All you have to do is download the app, share your gamertag, tell us who you root for, then receive and accept challenges from all of your favorite pro athletes. Depending on whether the athlete challenges fans to a heads-up game of FIFA or a 12-person Team Death Match in Call of Duty, OverDog will randomly select fans from a drawing, "friend" all participants automatically on the console, and queue you to start the game. At OverDog, we don’t believe in fancy auctions – random drawing ensures that you always have an equal chance to play against your favorite athletes.
Q: What is a subscription?
A: Our app is free to download. It will always be free, but only Subscribers will have access to athletes and their challenge videos. By funding us through Kickstarter, you will have access to all of our athletes and all video content through the length of your subscription. That means unlimited entries into drawings to play athletes, and no cap on how many games you get to play.
Q: What are the specific features not included in the prototype that will be in the version released next fall?
A: OverDog wants to allow fans to bring their sports allegiances into the world of sports video games. That means we need to expand beyond Athlete vs. Fan games. Next fall, when Chicago plays Green Bay, we want to bring the excitement for that game onto the console. More specifically, wouldn’t it be great if we could live-stream a game of Madden25 between Matt Forte and Clay Matthews on the Friday before the game? And to get you more involved, we’re going to arrange Fan vs. Fan matches between Chicago fans and Green Bay fans to see which fan base earns bragging rights.
Features required for this experience, like fan v. fan play, leaderboards, automatic results-capture, and game broadcasting are all technologies that we need to build or license from a third party. We have road-mapped this development through August, but we need your support to pay the necessary developers and licensing fees. OverDog works closely with console makers (Xbox, PlayStation), game publishers (EA, 2K, and Activision for starters), and potential broadcast partners (Twitch.tv, Machinima Sports, YouTube) to make sure our roadmap leads us to the best possible final experience for our users.
Q: How do I know the athlete is who (s)he says (s)he is?
A: Authenticity is at the top of OverDog’s priority list. First, most of our athletes are going to issue video challenges – so you’ll be able to authenticate the athlete with your own two eyes. Second, if the athlete has his/her headset on during the game, you will recognize his/her voice. Third, OverDog works closely with the Players' Associations - all parties involved are very serious about authenticity and protecting athletes. Finally, with the advent of next-gen consoles (thanks PS4!), we will be able to leverage front-facing console cameras to provide picture-in-picture broadcast during the games.
Q: Why are athletes willing to do this?
A: Well, many athletes already play games with their fans, but they do it in a cumbersome way by reaching out to fans through Facebook or Twitter. We make it easier and more fun for the athlete by protecting their privacy and automating the friending process. Athletes also get paid by OverDog based on how often they play and how much interest they generate. In our experience working with athletes, the idea of getting paid to play a video game may be a large part of the draw, but what keeps them engaged on our platform has a lot more to do with the chance to interact with fans in a fun and personal way.
Q: Have you ever thought of expanding to include other celebrities, college athletes, or using this for PC games, Words with Friends, real sports, competitive origami, etc?
A: Yes, we have, but without going into too much detail, we are focused solely on providing an outstanding experience in this one specific area for right now. We can scale to include those experiences if and when the appropriate time, legal environment, or critical mass of interest presents itself. Yes, it would be cool to play Guitar Hero with Slash, Dance Central 3 with Usher, or a trivia game with Ken Jennings, but we don’t know if those people play those games. Athletes on the other hand, already love all the games you want to play with them.
Q: Who made your video?
A: Our friends at Roosevelt Johnson Productions. They rock!
A huge challenge for any company working with professional athletes is getting the athletes engaged. Luckily, we have been working with lots of athletes for months, both to provide input about the product and to help recruit their peers. Hunter served on the Board of the NFLPA, the association representing all NFL athletes, for 5 years, and he has enlisted the experience of fellow Board members and the talented NFLPA licensing department to assist in recruiting more and more athletes to OverDog. This access has helped lay key foundational relationships with everyone from the NHLPA, the MLBPA, and the MLSPA to groups like the UFC, the NCAA and Olympic athletes. Part of the allure of being an early backer of OverDog will be the chance to proactively suggest and recruit your favorite athletes to the OverDog experience.
Part of the draw for athletes is that OverDog will support them and their foundations with a healthy cut of our revenue. To date, athletes are lining up to be a part of the OverDog experience. After all, consider the fact that countless athletes already interact directly with fans through social media. Wouldn't moving that interaction onto a video game console make it more fun for everyone? Yes, OverDog will use some of the Kickstarter funds to help recruit even more athletes to our platform, but we will have an impressive list of people ready to go for April.
The secondary challenge is on the technology front. Though OverDog never touches the console or game IP, there is always a chance that the consoles decide to turn off our friending and back-end technology. To date, our conversations with XBOX LIVE and PSN have been incredibly encouraging - they agree that our service amounts to free marketing for their systems - but there is always a chance that they could change their minds. If they block us, we can still connect athletes and fans, but the Streamlined Gaming experience will take a hit.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (29 days)