Run An Empire

Run An Empire

Posted On: April 7, 2014
Posted In:
Comments: 8 Responses

A smartphone game where you compete against others to capture territory in your local environment.

Run An Empire is a game where players compete to capture and maintain control of as much of their local territory as possible. To capture somewhere you have to run (or jog, or walk) around it.

Currently it’s on Kickstarter looking for some cash to get it to the next stage of development and any and all help is needed to make it happen.

The game uses your neighbourhood as an arena for play.

It is a *deep breath*… persistent, massively-multiplayer, alternate-reality semi-turn-based strategy running game. To fund this project on Kickstarter, go here.

How To Play

To play, you just turn on the app. The game uses your phone’s GPS to record the path you take. To capture a territory you simply run, or walk, around it.

Everybody plays using the same map, which means nearby players can capture land from you – all they have to do is run round your most vulnerable turf.

To avoid this you can reinforce your territories by running around them multiple times. The more times you run around an area, the more secure you can make it against invasion.

Being successful requires a balance of maintaining the security of your own space and skirmishing within the territory of other players. But be careful – if you attempt to capture someone’s land then be prepared to face them as a rival.

Who Is This For

We’re making Run An Empire because it’s the kind of game we’d like to play ourselves. We want something that requires the same tactical planning as the digital and tabletop games we already enjoy, but rooted in the real world where presence and physical actions make a difference. The game is designed for anyone else who might also enjoy a new way of playing strategy.

Run An Empire will be playable internationally and accessible to people across a range of fitness levels. It certainly won’t be exclusive to gifted athletes. The play system will encourage running for folk who are able, but you can also take part by walking or jogging. Ultimately we’ll fine-tune the mechanic until it’s balanced towards dedicated and opportunistic players – not necessarily those with natural ability.

The competitive features of the game will really come into their own in towns and cities, but you won’t need to live in a busy place to play – we’ll make sure you can see how you’re doing versus friends and share your progress online. What’s more, control over territory will erode over time, so it will remain a challenge to keep hold of a formidable kingdom even if nobody else is playing for miles around. We think this feature will also keep the game accessible to late-joiners.


A Customisable Coats of Arms

The size of empires will constantly fluctuate so we want to show someone’s historic success as well as their current status. We’ll have a system where every square kilometre of land owned produces a fixed amount of points, or credits per day (For example, 10 credits per 1km²).

To communicate to the world your prestigious career (and represent yourself in the field) you will be able to spend these credits on personalising and upgrading every element of your own coat of arms.

Additionally, some components of the coat of arms will be unlocked by achieving certain goals – e.g. capturing a large quantity of land, or holding an area for a certain length of time.

We’re offering unique ‘supporters’ (the creatures holding up the shield) as a reward for backers – see the rewards column for details.

Health Analytics

Run An Empire is not what we’d call a gamified health app. It’s more like a strategy game blended with a sport – requiring both cunning and action. The primary objective is to beat other people at building and controlling the most successful empire.

However, we know that Run An Empire has the potential to encourage regular exercise and we’re excited that the game can also be used this way – we’ll make sure to provide health metrics alongside the game’s strategic data and we’ll include integration for existing health and running platforms’ APIs.

Existing Alternate Reality Games (ARG’s) and the Running Game Community

There are relatively nascent communities for both strategy AR and running games – notable examples include Shadow Cities, Ingress, Zombies Run! and Nike Grid. We love all these games. What’s more, they have given us the confidence that other people also want to play quickly and strategically on their feet.

We think that Run An Empire can make a valuable contribution to both of these communities with a unique, uncluttered and accessible play mechanic.

Will Run An Empire include in-app purchases?

If included they would only orientate around avataristic personalisation/ customisation elements. Once launched, the game will *never* offer players a paid-for advantage over opponents – the only way to build a successful empire will be through commitment and planning.

Who Are We?

We’re PAN – founded by Ben Barker and Sam Hill; a studio of designers, play-makers and developers based in Shoreditch, London. We design games, new kinds of experiences, and other playful systems across digital and physical environments.

We have created game-like, location-based mechanics before – last summer we were awarded the commission to build Hello Lamp Post for the Playable City Award (which has since been nominated for this year’s Design of the Year at London Design Museum). Hello Lamp Post is a city-wide experience that allowed people in Bristol, UK, to share stories and observations with each other via intermediary street furniture (benches, bus stops, letterboxes and parking meters etc).