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Zombies, Run! Transforming Fitness, Games & Story

Everyone wants to be fitter. The trouble is making yourself exercise.
Some systems use 'gamification' to turn exercise into points, and set targets and 'win' conditions. Zombies, Run! takes a different approach. We combine gameplay and storytelling to make an audio adventure with one way to escape from the zombies: run.
The game is out on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. It's one of the highest grossing and most successful smartphone fitness apps ever. We spent nothing on marketing or advertising, the IP is brand new, and we raised our funding Kickstarter.
In this talk, we'll explain why we think it works so well, thanks to: the motivational power of immersive storytelling where you can't wait to hear the next instalment; our focus on hands-free gameplay; ensuring playability by all ability levels; the high quality story by an award-winning novelist; and excellent sound design and engineering.
We think this might be the future of fitness gaming.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Zombies, Run! is very different from existing fitness apps that focus more on data and gamification; it's also different from existing location-based games that make more use of real-world surroundings and mapping. Why did we choose to go in a completely different direction, and how did it feel to take on this risk, in both concept design and production?
  2. How can you tell a great story that integrates with gameplay and appeals to a wide audience, while also making sure it doesn't get watered down and lose what can make storytelling so compelling?
  3. What things do you need to bear in mind when you're making a primarily audio-based game?
  4. How did we manage to charge $8 for it and what did this price point mean for our marketing, game design, and customer acquisition strategies?
  5. What are the special challenges for developing new kind of physical-activity-based game on three platforms - all syncing with a website - within only four months, and with a small team?



Adrian Hon, CEO, Six to Start

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