Realm Rivals is a live-service, multiplayer location-based casual sport mobile game, which uses the GPS technology popularized by Niantic’s Pokemon GO to create a fresh, active, and engaging experience which combines the best of digital games and casual sport. Realm Rivals differentiates itself from location-based games of the past through its focus on the same movement-based, real-time competitive multiplayer action that drives casual sports. Despite this, Realm Rivals leverages the magic of digital games to surpass the excitement of traditional power sports through power-up enhanced gameplay. Abilities like speed-boosts and teleportation impact player’s virtual locations, allowing them to access super-powered skills and actions while in their own bodies.
The ability to connect players in disparate parts of the physical world within a single virtual space is core to what Realm Rivals can do, and the Realms system allows players to team up with their friends to play, conquer, and create in the world of Realm Rivals together. The Realms system adds the game social platforms Gen Z is familiar with from video games to casual sports, when you create Realm with friends, you all have access to a shared virtual base which is used as a battlefield for team-based game modes.
In January of 2020, David Shields and Josh Francis, two high school seniors, began work on Realm Rivals, which was originally conceived of as a way for anyone to play capture the flag on their phone with their friends. David and Josh knew that they wanted to build an app that would lead to more meaningful social interaction and physical fitness among their already active friends. They quickly fell in love with the design process and soon expanded their original idea from capture the flag to a game where users raced their friends from flag to flag. In the initial months the app could only be tested on a laptop, but that didn’t stop David and Josh from playing their game. They could be seen running around the lawn outside of their classroom with their laptops in hand, creating the foundations of Realm Rivals.
When the COVID pandemic hit, David and Josh were unable to access the classroom that had become their development headquarters. However, with work on their classes cut dramatically, they were able to spend more time developing Realm Rivals. By the end of the school year they had an app with enough basic gameplay that David and Josh’s close friends were able to start playing the game. The game quickly became popular amongst their friends, who were soon playing it weekly.
After graduating high school and moving on from the height of the pandemic, the founders began to lead Realm Rivals testing events on Stanford University campus, gifting cookies and boba to users who played the game and provided feedback. By the end of the school year, David and Josh had hosted over a dozen successful testing events, gaining hundreds of users and invaluable feedback. From these tests, they also found that Realm Rivals fostered community building through physical activity, their express goal going into development.
By the end of the summer, David and Josh were able to raise pre-seed capital and hire two more employees. One of these employees, Jack, became the third co-founder and an integral part of the Flagon Entertainment team.
With the newly improved team now working full-time on Realm Rivals, development speed increased rapidly. Realm Rivals gained an entirely new server network that is now capable of scaling with user growth, and a complete UI overhaul leading to the easily navigable and intuitive UI that is in use today. As well, with the help of their new developer, Gilead, they were able to do a complete overhaul of the gameplay, from the simple Gold Rush gamemode to the full Capture the Flag mode in use today.
David, Josh, and Jack are now well on their way to achieving their goal of creating a more physically fit and socially fulfilled worldwide community of gamers.
- Real-time multiplayer: Play a real-time relative location-based multiplayer game with friends anywhere in the world
- Digital sport: Experience the mixture of capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, Clash Royale, and Mario Kart in the world’s first ever digital sport
- Realms: Team up with your friends to build, upgrade, and customize a shared base with friends. Then, challenge other realms to earn loot that will help you strengthen your own defenses.
- Walking mode: Earn in-game rewards simply by walking around and exploring the virtual world overlayed over the world around you. Find ability upgrades and increase your player level.
- Avatar customization: Make your digital avatar come to life with a customizable avatar that uniquely represents you. Acquire new gear and abilities and see yourself become the hero of your realm.
- Creative mode: Relive even more childhood games by recreating your own favorite games in Realm Rivals and sharing them with your friends. View all the games that other players have come up with and enjoy endless new content.
Developer: Flagon Entertainment
Publisher: Flagon Entertainment
Socials: @realmrivals on all platforms