Teemo’s goal is to bring “fitness fun with friends” to the large, stressed-out and underserved portion of the population who want to exercise, but don’t. Conceived, funded, designed, developed and launched by Ammunition in partnership with Bonnier R&D, Teemo is a fitness adventure game that combines proven training techniques, social connection and entertaining adventures to help people get and stay moving.
From a design perspective, Teemo is above all an experiment in moving beyond conventional (often cynical) approaches to gamification and social computing. From the start we set our sites on something better than points schemes, leaderboards, peer pressure, life logging, and self-quantification.
Ultimately, we took inspiration from the notion that the greatest source of happiness and motivation is caring, stable, and supportive connections to close family and friends. Teemo’s big idea is so simple, we think it’s radical. Getting together with friends to have fun in ways that also happen to increase overall fitness.
We live in a world that likes to force people into defining themselves as either a charged up athlete or a sedentary non-athlete. With Teemo we are working to create a realistic alternative with the power to help lots of people integrate simple, healthy exercises into their daily lives and relationships. Our goal is to help people get healthy and have fun by exercising together, even when they’re apart.
We wanted to create a health application that prioritizes game play and social interaction while tracking behavior in the background. Most fitness games are based on competition, but Teemo focuses on teamwork instead, letting you work together with friends toward a common goal.
Out of approximately 50,000 total downloads, Teemo currently has an average of 10,000 active daily users. 25,000 users are active monthly. Of the 10,000 most active users, the average person plays Teemo twice each day! Getting 10,000 people to exercise twice a day is exactly the sort of metric we were hoping for.
The feedback we’ve received from our users has been tremendously positive. Rather than playing alone, most users chose to play with a team of friends via Facebook. Teemo has done a good job of adding a fun, social, “real world” dimension to social computing.
In terms of business metrics, Teemo garnered nearly 50,000 downloads in its first two months, reaching the overall top 500 app list in 43 countries, and hitting #6 in Health & Fitness category in the U.S. App Store. And all without any paid advertising.
To put this in context, the average app receives 25,000 downloads over the course of its lifetime. (source: GamesBrief)
While most start-ups adhere to the “minimum viable product” credo, we knew that the game experience of Teemo would have to be rich, so we took more of a “maximal viable product” approach in terms of craft. Each of the challenge narratives was richly written and illustrated by our team. We’re designers and we really care about great-illustrated stories, so this was a great opportunity to put a ton of energy into a part of design that we just love.