**This is another great guest post from AJ Everton. She just told me about a new habit forming game (good habiets only!) that I’m absolutely loving. She wrote a post about it to help everyone get started. It seems like the ‘lift’ app that I’ve been using for a while, except with a game format, which is even better! Can’t wait to really get into it. Please read this great post, and consider joining AJ Everton and I in Habit RPG! ***
It is probably safe to assume that at least some freelance writers also enjoy some sort of gaming experience. Considering the fact that writers are looking for a way to work online full time, most probably also take pleasure in an RPG or other game once in awhile. Now there is a way to combine work with pleasure in such a way that will help you to improve your work ethic and to end bad habits, such as getting distracted from writing by playing games.
Introducing Habit RPG
Habit RPG is an online game that is linked to your real life activities. Your actions determine what happens next in the game. To start, you have a character that is somewhat customizable, and totally adorable as a little pixel person. Then you set up different habits you are working on, daily tasks that you need to complete, and to-do lists. As you make progress in any of these areas your character also makes progress, or “levels up”.
Starting out is simple. Go to habitrpg.com and make an account. It is fairly simple and straightforward for people who are used to being online. You can set up your character and the tasks. There is a mobile app, but it doesn’t have all the features that the website has. It is best to set it up on the website and then use the app to check off items you have completed if you aren’t near a computer. The game is still in development so they are making improvements all the time.
Habits, Dailies, To-Dos
Once your character is created you can start entering your objectives. One of the examples they give under Habits is taking the stairs. If you want to develop this habit, or something different like not checking Facebook in the middle of writing an article then you enter that in the Habit section. Then you determine if you want to increase or decrease this behavior. You set the plus or minus indicator accordingly. Then as you take action towards forming a better habit, you click that box. You will earn XP (experience points) and some gold or silver each time you do it right.
If you have daily tasks that you want to include you can add them in the Dailies section. For example, if you need to check four different websites every day and look for private clients, you make that a task in this section.
The To-Dos section is for one time projects or things you need to get done. So you could put something in there such as “write blog post for Mr. Levanduski”. Then you can add a due date, if you desire. In this section you can also divide it up in to steps, which will give you more XP down the road. You could make the steps as follows:
- Research topic
- Write article
- Edit and Submit
Then you can check off the boxes as you complete them, but you won’t get the XP and gold until all the steps are complete.
Leveling Up and Taking Damage
As you complete tasks or start to make good choices towards forming better habits you will gain enough XP to move on to the next level. Your progress bar, along with your HP (hit points) bar is shown at the top of the page. You can see how many more points you need to get to the next level. At level ten you can choose a Class for your character – healer, rogue, warrior, or mage.
If you do not complete the tasks you have given to yourself then you will take damage. You start out with 50 hit points, but if you reach zero then you will lose a level.
Difficulty and Streaks
Each task can be assigned a difficulty level. This is decided by you. The site does have some tips on how to decide how to rank things in difficulty but the decision lies with you. The difficulty levels are Easy, Medium, and Hard. The more difficult the task the more XP is received upon completion. However, take care when marking difficulty because the more difficult tasks deal more damage if they are not completed.
The game will also track how many days in a row you complete a daily task. It will show you how well you are doing with color shading, and will reward you with a badge for making a 21 day streak.
If you are going on vacation or have some event in your life that will prevent you from working on your habits and goals for awhile you can check in to the Inn and you won’t take any damage for not completing your tasks. Of course, you won’t gain any XP just sleeping in the Inn, either.
Rewards, Mounts, and Equipment
To add to the fun this game incorporates a reward system. So, while you are leveling up your character you will also encounter opportunities to earn pets which can eventually turn in to mounts, earn rewards, and to gain better equipment.
After you level up once the store in the Rewards section will become available to you and you will be able to use your gold to purchase in game items such as armor and weapons that help you along your way. These items can help you by increasing the amount of XP you get per completion, or reducing the damage you take if you don’t complete something.
Also in the Rewards section is a place for you to insert your own ideas. So if you want to take a day off from writing, you can write “Day off” in the rewards section and determine how much gold it will cost you. You might have to write a lot of articles before you earn enough gold to take a day off.
Enemies and Special Tasks
There are special challenges that you can decide to join if you want to spice it up a little bit. Or, you can create your own challenge for other people to join. There are special rewards for these tasks. There are certain enemies that can be fought that will give certain items once defeated. It makes writing a blog post more entertaining if you know it will damage the enemy and bring you one step closer to getting that polar bear you have always wanted.
Parties and Guilds
As if it isn’t fun enough to play on your own, you can also join parties or guilds. Perhaps there is a writer’s guild, or will be one soon. Parties are smaller groups, probably of your trusted friends. This is a good way to add accountability to your actions. If you are in a party with someone then if one member doesn’t complete a designated task then everyone suffers damage. Parties are a big advantage when taking on a special challenge like fighting a Boss.
The above examples for writers are obviously fairly simple, but you can make them as complicated or as difficult as you would like. They can apply to your writing career to help you meet goals and make more money. Or, you can use the task for your everyday life. The best part is that it is fully customizable to your life and your situation. It will surely help you to improve whatever area you decide to make your focus.
If money isn’t motivator enough, this game will give just one more reason to get to work and to maintain discipline. It is a great way to be rewarded and to visualize progress for personal improvement.
There are, of course, other features and fun parts of the game not described here. And, the development is a continuous process so there will always be more content added to your improvement adventure. The sky’s the limit with this task manager / role playing game, just like your ability to improve yourself every day.