The Most Ambitious Project I’ve Ever Announced

War is coming…

After thinking about this idea for pretty much my entire life (exhibit A), writing about it years ago, and spending the last three and a half years cranking out 400+ articles for Nerd Fitness built around it, I’m excited to finally announce a project that a small team and I have been working on for the past eighteen months:

Rising Heroes.  

Rising Heroes is a half fitness tracker, half online role-playing game that takes place in the war-torn land of Arcadea.  As a hero of Arcadea, you’ll lift, run, swim, and sprint your way to a leveled up a character in-game by leveling up yourself in real life.  If you’ve been part of Nerd Fitness for a while, you’re probably familiar with the concept we were developing on the boards seemingly FOREVER called OMFG: Online Multiplayer Fitness Game.

Rising Heroes is what came of OMFG.

Rising Heroes is born…

Long story short: We’re a few weeks away from opening up beta portals to the land of Arcadea and letting people join the fray.

This is a MASSIVE PROJECT, and requires a tremendous amount of time, resources, and money.  We have a very small team of dedicated people working on this in their spare time, but we hope to be able to devote our full attention and effort towards Rising Heroes.

In order to make that happen, rather than look to venture capital from Silicon Valley, investment bankers, angel investors, or loans, we decided to keep the power and decision making process in the hands of the people who have made Nerd Fitness and our community into the incredibly supportive and amazing juggernaut that it is today:


Rising heroes is being developed by us nerds, FOR us nerds.  Although we might explore something like a kickstarter option down the road, we wanted to keep this first group of people involved to just members of the Nerd Fitness community.

How to get involved

If you are interested in helping us Rising Heroes to life, check out the Rising Heroes page we’ve created explaining everything (well, not EVERYTHING) about the game, how it works, and how you can get involved.

If you aren’t interested in making a donation, don’t like the idea, or all of this is video game RPG stuff is completely foreign to you, that’s cool too.  Check back on Thursday for your regularly scheduled Nerd Fitness article.

Aside from gaining early access by donating, we’ll be offering up beta portals in contests through the Nerd Fitness twitter, Facebook, message boards, and through the Nerd Fitness email list.  The more lists you’re part of, the more chances you’ll have to win your way in.

“But Steve, I’m broke and REALLY unlucky” – Don’t fret, my dear rebel friend.  Once we get through the beta portion of Rising Heroes, we’ll be opening the game with a free-to-play section and you can join up then at absolutely no cost.  Visit for more info and sign up for the interest list there.

Arcadea needs you

Two years ago, I quit my day job with less than $4,000 in the bank, no income stream, and no business plan.

Why?  Because I believed so strongly in the Nerd Fitness community that I knew I’d find a way to make things work.  Looking back, that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Welp, I feel like Frodo all over again – ready to embark on a new quest that scares the absolute crap out of me.  

This is going to be a long journey, but I’m so freaking excited to see what we will create.  I hope you’ll help us shape Rising Heroes into something world-changing.

Check out the Rising Heroes page for all the info you need.

Feel free to leave comments with questions…if I can answer it, I will 🙂

For the Rebellion!


P.S. We are looking for more Ruby on Rails programmers with actual game programming experience and/or MMO experience (as a gamer).  If you are a programmer, gamer, and Nerd Fitness fanatic and looking to be part of this project, please email us at with “RUBY ON RAILS PROGRAMMER” in the subject line.  We’d love to know what you do currently for work, your experience (if any) as a MMO gamer and a RoR programmer, and why you want to help bring Rising Heroes to life.

P.P.S. To answer your first question, we decided to NOT do a Kickstarter campaign for this for a few reasons.  We might explore that option in the future, but with the game in its infancy, we know how crucial feedback will be to start. For that reason, we wanted to keep the people involved to just people in the Nerd Fitness community, because this is where the game began.

If you’re not a programmer, that’s okay – keep an eye on Nerd Fitness and for more announcements.


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  • steve ward

    well they did have a mock up in OMFG, and while i agree with you the more they show the more people will pay. The problem is we are investor’s and there is one thing i’ve learned from investing you take a risk of loosing your money.

    That how i look at it, IF you have x amount of money set aside i would put that down or wait until they put more details down. As for me if i loose this money for any reason i will not miss it but if it is a success i have a bad ass training tool in exchange for money. 

  • Thomas Frank

    This better be even cooler than Sword Art Online 😉

  • steve ward

    LOL, i get that comment, i love that anime trust me if they get visor’s im so there

  • Slovien

     I know you said you don’t want a kickstarter but wouldn’t it not be that bad of an idea? I mean you do get a larger audience and it’ll draw people to nerdfitness. A lot of people still don’t know about NF but know about KS. But its your choice in the end.

  • Guest

    how much does it cost?

  • Ian

    So its kinda like Wii Fit or something? It would go more mainstream if you made it a mobile app/game. Crossover between fitness tracker like Jefit and Foursquare.

    Knew it would come one day… you can’t have NerdFitness without the Nerds 😉

    Good luck with it all.

  • Denny

     Being an actual investor, or just a Kickstarter supporter, you tend to get more than just a wall of text describing how awesome the project will be. Until there’s something else than a logo and text, it will be very hard to make a good judgement.

    #9. We question everything.

  • skendavidjr

    Have you ever played a mobile game with any sort of “depth”? If this became any sort of mobile app/game I would be extremely disappointed.

  • BenjaminOJ

    Yo Steve!!!

    What a fantastic combo! It is inspiring to watch a community like NF get to the point to have a freakin’ radical BABY of an idea like this one. I’m excited to watch it grow.

    Rock the world, Benjamin

  • steve ward

    very true Denny

  • 3xamine

    Paypal donations only? Yuck. $50 for adding Google checkout support. It’s super easy.

  • Steve Kamb

    hey guys

    Definitely not going for mainstream with this.  NerdFitness i think is the opposite of mainstream…and Rising Heroes will be tailor made for the people that have made Nerd Fitness what it is.  


  • Thistlefoot


    Like at least one other poster, prior to this I’d just been using Fitocracy and walking to Mordor, and musing about how TOTALLY AWESOME it would be if Fitocracy was more like a real game, with characters, classes, races, abilities, and, well, actual PLOTS or a STORY.


    Donated.  Will be vibrating in my seat until I get in.  😀 😀 😀 😀  I’m especially excited to find out what classes/professions there’ll be (I mean, beyond/in addition to the ones listed on the forums).

  • Arden Raaen

     What devices will Rising Heroes be on? I’m hoping I can use this on my Android. It’s a great idea, I can’t wait when this is ready!

  • crimsonstained7

    Sounds amazing, but I have no money to donate 🙁 I am subscribed to updates though. One thing I’d like to say is that while making a mobile game version would not be good, a mobile companion of sorts would be good. Like tracking the stats and such itself can be done on the app, and you can see your character and stuff, but you don’t actually play in the app. 

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  • Miss Hedgehog


  • Thistlefoot

    So….I’m one of the people who donated, and I’m still waiting. I totally understand if it’s still under construction, but I’d really like some more updates. Pretty please? 🙂

  • Thistlefoot

    PLOT, duh! Characters! Visuals! A setting! Classes and races and bears, oh my! Everything I always wanted Fitocracy to have–a narrative and reasons for me to do stuff other than just generic points.

  • Ricky Hart II

    I was thinking about the same concept. I look forward to seeing more. Btw love your blog.

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  • Jose Fuentes

    Hey what happened to the game? Did it ever come out? The website doesn’t give any updates?