Do you find it easier to motivate yourself in the fantastic world of an RPG than in real life? If so, look no further; Habit RPG turns your task manager into a role playing game complete with random item drops, a class system, quests, pets, mounts, equipment, and more.
The key mechanic of the app turns your to-dos and habits into a quest like system. You have the option to add habits, dailies, or to-dos. To-dos are exactly what they sound like, a one off task such as ‘get haircut’ or ‘write article about HabitRPG.’ Complete a todo and you gain gold and experience, and have the chance to find an item. You can further choose the difficulty level of the todo to fine tune how much gold and exp you receive.
Dailies are repeating tasks that you must complete once a day or you get hit with damage at the end of the day when your dailies reset. The amount of gold and exp is determined by the frequency with which you complete the daily. The more you complete a daily, the higher your streak bonus becomes. Miss a daily, and the streak counter reduces by one. However, at the same time the more often you complete a daily the less gold and exp you receive, but you take much less damage if you skip it occasionally. This rewards you for completing your more difficult dailies, motivating you to progress through the game and to form new daily habits.
And finally there’s habits. They function as a direct reward or damage system, designed to help you form new habits, or drop old ones. You can add simple plus or minus habits, such as “take the stairs.” You then get gold, exp, and the chance for an item drop if you take the stairs, and take a hit to you HP if you take the lift. You can also add them as simply a plus or minus, such as minus for smoking and a plus for cooking a fresh meal. They also function in the same way to dailies, the more you do something the less reward you get.
As you level up through the game you unlock new features. I won’t ruin the surprise of the different unlockables, if you’re interested you can head over to the Habit RPG wiki and check everything out. I will, however, mention the pet system, which is awesome. You can have a baby panda sit next to you as you ride a dragon, or a cactus sit next to you whilst you ride a giant panda; my life is complete.
There are multiplayer functions allowing you to join parties, guilds, group quests, and share group habits, dailies, and to-dos. Have you been trying to write that novel? Join a writing guild and get motivated.
Does it work?
I have used this for a few weeks and I’m slightly abashed to say it has improved my productivity. Once you get over the desire to just hammer one habit button to get gold and experience you realize that with a little bit of self control you can start to plan your day, get things done, and most of all, form new habits (and ride a dragon whilst you pet dire wolf stands guard.) Which leads to the reward system. You can plug in real life rewards, such as “watch one episode of game of thrones” that you buy with the gold you earn. You can also spend that gold on in game items, such as equipment. If you become a subscriber (for 5USD a month) you can exchange gold for gems, allowing you to quickly buy some of the rarer in-game items like food, eggs, and hatching potions.
Habit RPG has been out for a while but the developer has recently started putting more energy into improving the android app. If you tried it before and didn’t like the interface, now is a good time to try it again. You can also go to the website in your mobile browser and save the webpage as an HTML5 web app on your home-screen. In all honesty the web app still looks and performs better than the native android app, however, I’m confident in saying that with a few more updates the developers will have it up to speed.
Give it a go. You will either love it or hate it, and if you love it it is remarkable how much it can positively impact your motivation.