Oust.me, the Slovenian web startup that’s building a location-based game, has joined the ranks of the startup accelerator Seedcamp. Oust.me lets players conquer real territories in a virtual environment where you’re competing with your friends. I first wrote about Oust.me in April on Netokracija when they launched, when it looked like an interesting competitor to location-based games like Warsquare.
It’s (Too) Easy to Play Oust.me
Oust.me took a different approach than most: you don’t send virtual troops but actually acquire and expand new territories by checking in. Basically, Oust.me lets you play the game by going about your business. You don’t even need to visit their site or mobile application since all the data from Foursquare is gathered automatically. So you play by checking in as usual, while your territories expand inside Oust.me.
Oust.me is currently in private beta and supports logging in with Foursquare or Facebook in order to use their checkin information. After you login, you’ll see a map with your and your friends territories. You’ll have to check in to mark your own territories or take over other people’s. Since the game is based on your own network, you’ll only see your friend’s territories.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”371″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIxeZnMOz_0[/youtube]
The app was created by Matevz Luzar, Aleksander Vojnovic, Damjan Jagar and the well known Slovenian blogger Had. They created the concept for Oust.me and were then joiner by designer Ziga Polc.
Layers of a Good Business Model
While Oust.me is an interesting product, it still lacks a business model. Luzar and the rest of the team are hoping to use Seedcamp as a platform to fine-tune Oust.me into a popular and profitable location-based application. What they’re thinking about is quite interesting and they’re calling it Oust.me layers or Challenges:
Matevz Luzar told me how they plan to use layers to offer players a better experience and businesses a way to work with Oust.me:
From the beginning we are thinking about Oust.me as a gaming platform for different type of geo location games and this games we call – Challenges. Different Challenges for different type of users. It depends if you want to play a game alone or compete with friends or compete in clans. Users will also choose how long and where they want that this game takes place. There will be countless possibilities. Oust.me will also be a place where you could promote brands, events and business through the game.
Now that makes a lot of sense. With a lot of users checking in to Foursquare every day, why not run a game-based promotion with the help of Oust.me. Since players can use their existing location networks its easy to participate, while brands can get the flexibility of a challenge they are yet to be offered from Foursquare, or any other location based network for that matter. Lets imagine what companies could start with Oust.me Challenges:
- Scavenger hunts;
- Team contests;
- Hundreds of smaller local contests as part of a larger competition.
Luzar says that they feel that it’s most important to offer users access from Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places in one places. That way, he says, it doesn’t matter which services the user or his/her friends are using since they’re all connected through Oust.me. Finally a chance to get back on Gowalla and show those Foursquare users who’s boss 😉
Oust.me is planning to develop their own mobile apps, since at the moment they rely on their website and its mobile version to let players follow their scores. Oust.me looks set to build an interesting game, but time will show if they can pivot to a profitable business model. Do you want to become an Ouster?