RuneScape-inspired exercise game WalkScape aims to enter closed beta this summer


One thing that’s been rough for the MMOARG genre is developers getting the game parts to work with walking parts. But someone’s trying to tackle the genre in multiple ways other games have done in piecemeal: the newly announced WalkScape, run by a two-person indie dev team.

While it’s admittedly in a fairly early stage in terms of MMO-ness, one of the big differences between Walkscape and most MMOARGs is the lack of GPS integration. This game uses your phone’s pedometer and can run in the background, with steps translating into game actions, which somehow tends be reserved to singleplayer exercise games. However, the team wants to include other factors, like calories burned or different activities tracked via smart watches/bands in the future.

Though WalkScape has announced closed beta for the summer, it’s admittedly looking more like a single-player game with MMORPG elements, at least at the start. Players will choose “actions,” like harvesting wood, or crafting, like making wood boards. While actions are repeatable so you can close the app and actually exercise, crafting requires materials, so they repeat only if you have the materials.

It’s a good start, but interested players should understand that the multiplayer features will be limited. Aside from leaderboards, the team hopes closed beta will be when parties will be launched. Parties essentially attempt to make a steps-goal, with the person who contributes the most steps getting a bigger bonus than the others. That’s something Pikmin Bloom already added post-launch, except WalkScape both wisely cut out GPS use and dodge security and safety pitfalls Niantic game fell into. Avoiding traditional MMOARG problems while still pushing exercise theoretically seems like it would give the game a big advantage when compared to other mobile exercise games.

There’s also a marketplace planned for sometime during closed beta, which is where players would be able to buy and sell materials with other players. Other than crafting goods, players will be able to find non-monetized chests with uncraftable goods that, at the least, will be able to help boost their crafting skills. It’s odd to think that players will have to do a lot of walking to participate in a gaming economy, but that’s part of the thrill for those of us looking for multiplayer games that promote fitness.

That being said, no combat is being planned for closed beta. The current ideas are that it’ll be turn-based and either skill up just by walking or strictly through fighting, with the former being the current preference. Privately, one dev mentioned that they’d like to do party events where, for example, a city is infested with rats and players in that virtual location (remember, there’s no GPS) would work together to get rid of them.

The team’s published dev blogs and updates on Reddit for those who want to catch up (though make sure to check the date on update 9).

Source: Official Site, Official Reddit Posts and PR Email
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