“A habit building program which treats your life-like a Role Playing Game. Level up as you succeed, lose HP as you fail, earn money to buy weapons and armor.”
Do you love playing RPGs? Are you a bit of a procrastinator in real life but great at leveling up your characters? HabitRPG seeks to merge these two worlds. Funded by Kickstarter, it is an open-source website that allows you to create a character and level up by doing your daily tasks. It has come a long way since its release and is ready to help you conquer your daily goals.
The main interface is fairly simplistic, featuring four columns. One for dailies, habits, tasks and rewards. Above these columns are your character (in a lovely retro style) and your health and experience bars. The settings menu, FAQs and tutorials are easily accessible. If you click on your character, you are taken to menus revealing additional features such as guilds, challenges, parties, pets, inventories and much more. While the default page displaying your tasks is clean and simple, the rest of the site is somewhat cluttered. These features were added in much later and will likely be updated and organized better over time. The developer of HabitRPG is quite active and easily responds to questions. There is also a public Trello board where you can view upcoming plans for the site.
HabitRPG is organized in a unique way compared to traditional task managers. There are three categories of tasks: dailies, habits, and to-dos.
Dailies are essentially repeatable tasks. The default is set for them to occur daily, but you can adjust this to be only certain days of the week. If you do not complete a task for the day, you will lose some of your HP, like being attacked in an RPG. If your HP is reduced to 0, you die and lose all of your gold and a piece of your armor.
Habits are activities that occur more than once a day. You can make them positive, negative or both. For example, if you would like to cultivate the habit of taking the stairs, you would put a plus and minus. You can then gain experience for taking the stairs, but lose health if you take the elevator. This is one of my favorite features because it combines the idea of a standalone habit tracker with your task manager. It is much more convenient to have both in one place.
To-dos are one-time only tasks. If you have a larger product, you can break it down by embedding a checklist in a single tasks and due dates can be easily assigned
For all three categories, you can assign tags such as home, work, personal, or school and then view only the tasks related to the selected category. One of my favorite features is that you can change the difficulty for each tasks. With this a large research project gives more experience and gold than running a simple errand. This provides plenty of incentive. At a glance, you can see which tasks you most need to work on through the color code. Blue means you have consistently worked on a habit or daily and can focus your efforts on other tasks. Green means you are doing well with a task. Yellow is a neutral color and is what all tasks begin with. If you neglect a tasks for too long, it become red and negatively affects your HP.
What do you do with this gold and experience you rack up then? Well, with various levels you can unlock new features such as pets, new quests, parties, and boss fights.
As you gain gold, the in-game currency, you can choose specific rewards you would like and can set the amount of gold they cost. One example might be allowing yourself video game time for 20 gold. You can also spend gold on equipment and weapons, which help you avoid taking damage and gain more experience.
As you complete tasks, you will also come across several kinds of drops. These include eggs, food and hatching potions. You use the hatching potions to hatch the eggs revealing one of the many kinds of pets. After hatching a pet, you can feed it food to turn it into a steed. This turns into a game of guess and check because certain pets prefer specific foods. If the pet does not look the food, it will have little or no effect on it. However, if the pet does like the food it will become a steed much quicker. I have yet to find the right combination, so I can’t tell you how steeds work. Finding the right combination is much more difficult than you would expect. For example, feeding honey to the bear did not prove useful.
Quests, another staple of RPGs, are implemented as challenges. You can search the list of challenges by going to the Social menu. Here, you can either create a public challenge or choose one to take part in. Some examples of challenges are learning a foreign language, meditating every day and studying every weekday. These yield larger rewards than individual tasks.
In addition to tasks, you can also join a guild. As a student, I joined the guild, The Scholars, which helps encourage high school and college students to stay motivated. There is a guild for nearly everything, but if you can’t find one you are interested in, you can create your own.
There are also boss fights to participate in, which require getting a party together. You can invite your friends by asking for their user id code or visit the message board to form a party of random users.
HabitRPG is an evolving task manager for people who enjoy RPGs and need an extra bit of motivation, with a growing community to participate in. It is not without its set of bugs, but it offers a good experience overall.
Web, Android, iOS
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