Habitica: hatching magical pets and collecting weapons because writing

purple-wolfIn an effort to establish regular routines (diet, exercise, leaving the house, writing actual sentences), I’ve been trying out a site called Habitica. Habitica’s aim is to ‘gamify’ your daily tasks so that every time you accomplish a task you’re rewarded with items completely useless in Real Life ™ but still fun to have. (I tell a lie, you can make up your own rewards such as ‘go to the movies’ but let’s pretend for a moment you’re going to stick with collecting weapons that give you +6 Constitution.)

I decided to try it out because using the site is free, and I don’t have to pay anything to play. Right now, I’m at level six, and I’m riding a totally cool purple wolf because I earned enough for some hatching potion.  I also have a dragon’s egg, a panda’s egg and a fox egg which I’ll hatch later. I also have some crazy  glowing spear thing that I haven’t used yet. Which is my way of saying that ‘yes’, so far this site has been effective in making me stick to a schedule.

Habitica is available on Android and IOS, making it even easier to tick off your tasks and earn more pretend money to spend on those strangely compelling pretend things. Subscribers can buy even more pretend things, and it also helps out the developers, but you’re under no obligation to do that. You can still effectively play without the gems that allow you to buy much cooler pretend pets and weapons.

There are limitations (sigh, there always is). This isn’t the place for a traditional To Do list. If you need an app to remind you about upcoming birthdays and anniversaries, stick with Google Calendar, Outlook or a specialist app such as ToDoist. But for items like; ‘don’t write and eat chocolate at the same time’, or ‘shower before writing’, or ‘stop wearing your pajamas all day’ or, ‘stop pretending you’re watching Netflix for research’, it’s ideal.

So, my fellow writers, if you need a way to motivate yourself, and have some fun at the same time, Habitica might just be the app for you.

Having said that, I need to report back in about six months from now. Just in case I get bored and let my Habitica avatar and pets die a horrible, painful death from lack of attention. I’ll let you know…


2 thoughts on “Habitica: hatching magical pets and collecting weapons because writing

  1. I’ve been tinkering in Habitica too for the last couple of months and I do like it. It was a natural tool of choice for me as a gamer. At first I kept only my writer habits/tasks in it but it was so successful the rest of my life threatened to fall apart and I needed to use it more holistically. I think I’ve got a good handle on using it effectively for my goals now but I know the game incentives are going to become ho-hum for me before long as pixel pets aren’t really my thing. (Having said that, just hit L10 and opened up the class structure so things are interesting again.) I think long term interest might hinge around player-created Rewards but I’d be interested to know if you have many Rewards directly related to writing that you find inspiring? In other words, when there is a novel to get through, what sort of writing-related treats do writers like?

    PS. Really like the font on this site right now.


    1. L10 has a class structure?! I’m up to Level 7, so only three levels from something interesting. Huzzah! Admittedly, I’m not much into the pets either, but if earning a magical hatching potion keeps me writing, then I’ll take it, ha ha.

      I have no writing related treats that I motivate myself with. Unless it’s ice cream. But I stop myself eating it because otherwise someone would find me four days later face down in a tub of vanilla. The tub would have fallen on the keyboard and there would be 300 pages of the letter ‘g’. If we were only counting output, that counts as a win.

      My only other motivation is telling myself that unless I write a best-selling novel I’ll die sad and alone and that buying friends through fame is the only thing that will ever work for me. It’s incredibly uplifting.

      BTW, the font is Noto Serif for the Header and Lora for the body text.


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