This project's funding goal was not reached on April 2, 2014.
About this project
Getting in shape is difficult, it takes time and a lot of discipline. We all know how hard it is to stay motivated. Now there is a way to make outdoor exercise more fun and more rewarding. We call it Rundercover, an audio-based immersive mobile game that will change the way you experience walking or running outside.
The concept is simple but unique: Combining adventure and exercise into a truly immersive reality game.
Become the hero you have always dreamed of! As the main character of a thrilling secret agent story, you will be assigned to various undercover missions in your local area. You will start as a newbie and work yourself up by learning essential agent techniques. Your missions include spying, collecting information and preventing serious attacks from happening. But beware: A Rundercover agent requires many skills and often ends up in tricky situations. You will be followed and attacked, bluffed and manipulated...
Every successful secret agent comes with fancy gadgets. And a Rundercover agent is no exception: Choose your favorites from a wide range of extraordinary tools and weapons to beat the high tech villains you will meet along the way!
To get started you’ll just need a headset, your mobile phone and your running shoes.
Rundercover is fully tailored to outdoor activities: The app detects motion patterns and listens to simple voice commands. So there is no need to stop and look at a tiny mobile screen.
The game is built on missions. With each mission, you will be given a set of challenges to solve in order to advance in the story. Within a mission you are put into various dangerous situations that require increasingly demanding agent skills.
How do you solve these challenges? We give you a set of moves and gadgets, that get more complex and powerful as you advance in the game. Correctly applied, you’ll be able to escape those enemies or maybe even eliminate them with your weapons.
Here is a mission example showing the different situation that occur along the track, together with the required moves to escape enemies, avoid attacks and succeed the mission.
Rundercover works anywhere, no matter where you are and where you want to run. The scene of the story might be your neighbourhood, the park, the woods, or even your favorite running track.
Depending on your ability to solve the challenges and complete the missions, you will receive points and rewards. You’ll be able to compare yourself to friends and other Rundercover players. Use the points in the in-game Equipment Shop to add new fancy weapons and tools or upgrade your existing weapons to be more advanced and more powerful.
The first version of Rundercover will be available for iOS and is scheduled to be available in the store this summer. In order to complete the Rundercover experience, we will need funding from this campaign to complete the development and record the sounds and stories. The release will include the following features:
- Several hours of an epic agent thriller story, keeping you engaged on all of your runs this summer.
- More than 20 Missions with challenges, skill points and leaderboard, coins for weapons and tools.
- Motion detection to interact with the game.
- Voice detection to interact with the game.
- In-Game Agent Equipment Store to acquire and upgrade your agent gear
- Game Center support for friend invitations and game challenges
And this is only the first step. With your help, we can make this game even better. Have a look at our stretch goals further down!
Obviously, sound plays a central element of our game. We don’t just want you to play the game, instead, be part of it - right there in the center of the action: The helicopter at 2 o’clock, the enemy behind you shooting short range missiles at you...
By using the OpenAL Audio Library, we model each sound source in 3D and incorporate effects such distance attenuation and doppler effect to create an unbelievably realistic sound experience.
Today’s mobile phones are equipped with a wide range of sensors. For motion detection, we utilise acceleration, orientation, compass and GPS. The algorithms we have been developing allow us to detect different motion patterns and assess them in regards of time and quality – regardless of where you keep your phone (e.g. arm strap, pocket, belt).
In the game, you select and use your agent tools and weapons via voice command. In order to make voice recognition work reliably in noisier surroundings, we use keyword spotting technology that also works well in everyday outdoor situations.
We have created some nice rewards tiers, trying to give you appropriate appreciation for supporting the project:
Reaching this goal enables us to release the game for iPhone by summer 2014.
Reaching this goal will allow us to start development for Android phones as well and release an android version immediately after the iPhone.
Reaching this goal would enable us to top your running experience with an amazing soundtrack, especially composed for Rundercover. It will play between game segments and keep you both in pace and focused on your current mission.
With reaching this goal, we will give you an extensive set of additional missions and challenges. Thus allowing you to enjoy the game for much longer. All this includes a full new set of fancy agent gadgets.
Reaching this goal would make Rundercover even more realistic! We will make the game responsive to your current environment in real-time. Imagine, the game knows about the next street coming up on the left, mentions today’s bad weather condition, and makes things take place at exactly the right time.
Should we reach this goal, we’ll bring the game to a whole new level. Join forces with other players (and your friends) to fight evil and ensure the safety of your hood - or the contrary. That’s up to you.
Knowing what it takes to start a company and the pros and cons attached to finding investment in the classic way, we are keen on doing it different this time. Having learned the lean startup approach, we want to stay away from complex investment structures as long as possible. Instead, we want to involve our users in building the project from the beginning. We believe Kickstarter is the ideal way to be agile, to be close to the market and to build a product our users will love.
So far, we have financed Rundercover ourselves and developed it in our free-time. The game is currently in an alpha stage, where we have reached proof of concept and technical feasibility. Already in this early stage, we are having a lot of fun with Rundercover.
We have completed a lot of the conceptual work and basically just need to put it in code and sound. With the Kickstarter money, we will be able to launch a first version into the store. Your pledge will allow us to allocate our own (and external) resources to coding, sound development and professional voice recordings.
The chart below shows an approximation of how we will use the money.
As founding members of a previous Startup Spontacts, Daniel and Peter have been working together for many years. They launched a social platform, which has become a great success in Switzerland and Germany with close to half a million downloads.
Eager to build their next project, they have strengthened the team with composer and film musician Olav and game designer Tabea. The work on concept and prototypes started last fall, with the team passionately working to bring the vision to life! With this Kickstarter Campaign, they are ready to bring you Rundercover.Daniel Kästli - Product & Technology
His first experience with gaming goes back to the time when the numbers in C-64 were not referring to 64-bits (but let’s not get into that). He has always been interested in the cutting edge technologies, he has developed programs on every possible platform and using all different languages. Daniel even went down-under to get a masters degree on the subject. But what he likes most about it, is solving problems that matter. Both Spontacts and Rundercover come out of a real need in our society - and of course - his. In Rundercover, Daniel adds his expertise in product design and development, but also his experience of a once ambitious runner struggling to get back into shape.Peter Schiratzki - Product & Marketing
Until now, Peter always needed a football or a racket to get himself to run. With Rundercover everything changed: he can finally re-live his times as Indiana Jones in the Fate of Atlantis back when he was young (he’s kinda old now). Peter is the guy with the concepts he loves spreadsheets and making plans but is also the first to throw them overboard, if he sees a faster way to reach a goal. Holding a BBA degree, he has been working his way up: from advertising agency via online marketing manager at a bank to finally reaching the startup world. At Rundercover he’s throwing in all his conceptual and communicational skills, to drive the project forward.Tabea Iseli - Game Design
Tabea brings the street credibility to our team: Not only has she played all relevent games out there but she sees right through them. A degree in digital media design already in her pocket, she’s currently acquiring a Bachelor in game design at Zurich university. Like Peter, she’s depending on Rundercover to kick her butt in order to start taking running more serious. Or as she puts it: sports also need to activate you mentally. Well, here you go, Agent Tabea! Since joining the team she never misses to straighten the guys out make sure that concept and design get on the right track.
Norwegian by birth, viking by build, Olav is not only fluent in 4 languages and has absolute pitch, but is also a great person to hang out with! With his skill, experience and Master in composing and directing music, he could be living the life of a prodigy. But instead decided to make sure that Rundercover gets that extra wooow-effect (in 3D). He’s the only person who finds a twelve-note composition equally enjoyable as watching Trash-TV. Oh, and obviously, running up the hills surrounding Zurich is his other favorite hobby.
Marlene Hoffman - Advisor
Born, bred and breathing in Los Angeles, Marlene is our overseas outpost. She is our fresh pair of eyes and ears and gives us those critical outside reviews and helps with ze English language. Last but not least she fills our knowledge gap in the financial and legal perils that come with setting up and running a multi-continental startup project. There she sure knows the ropes thanks to her background in a legal firm and currently working as book keeper.
Leading up to this Kickstarter campaign, we’ve already received a lot of support in many areas (Big thanks to Christoph, Cécile, Fish, Joel, Lars, Liana, Lilli, Naomi, Päivi, Reto, Sevi, Sunita, Tom, Ivan and many more). Going forward, we’ll need them and other experts to make it work!
Siri - your personal agent assistant
Risks and challenges
Rundercover takes a fresh approach to gaming. In order to make it work - and fun - we see a lot of tests and tunings coming our way. On top, voice control and movement detection in collaboration with time and location awareness adds complexity. In contrast to other game sectors, there are only a few existing frameworks so so most of the technology will need to be self-engineered.
In the nature of any kind of development lies a risk of unforeseen challenges and obstacles. Despite our experience we are not immune to those. We carefully planned everything and strive to deliver on all our commitments in a timely manner.
We also know that telling a good story is a tough job, especially if it should appeal to a broad audience. That’s why we’ve already prepared to take some pros on board for support and we will take this campaign as an opportunity to collect inputs from all our supporters - and critics.
We are a small but highly skilled and dedicated team and know that we’re able to perform together. Combining the specific skill of game- and sound design with the broad experience of how to build and grow a sucessful mobile business, we are confident that we are up to the challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, even though there is many game scenes that require you to run and jump, you can still walk in between. Each mission can be played in multiple workouts, so you decide how often and how long you want to play.
Yes, they are definitely very handy gadgets for supporting an agent’s work and possibilities in combination with Rundercover are very exciting. However, we will consider integrating them in a later project stage, once they become more widespread along our agents.
The soundtrack will be composed by our team member Olav. He is an excellent choice with many years of composing experience and rewards in his fields. The soundtrack will be made exclusively for the game and ensure that you will keep your pace and be fully immersed into the agent world for many hours and days.
Since we are making use of the latest technology, the minimum requirements for the game will be an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 or later.
We love Zombies Run. It was the first app to bring story telling to jogging. However, even though the stories are entertaining and the zombies attacks fun for the first couple of runs, we never thought of it as actually a game - more of an audio book. With Rundercover we want to go a step further and make the runs truly interactive. In the role of a secret agent you shall become part of the story, interact and influence the story with various motion patterns and voice control. Rundercover has also a much stronger focus on gaming elements and a great sound experience.
- (30 days)