The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!
What would Habitica be without our four Grand Galas to celebrate the passage of the seasons?
Believe it or not, the first event was created on a whim by Leslie, whose fondness for seasonal decoration eventually led to her becoming the Seasonal Sorceress in-game. Shortly before Habitica’s first Halloween, she whipped up a set of monster skins for fun and we stuck them on the site as a silly extra… and were blown away by the delighted response from our community.
Emboldened by the success, we began to plan out a more ambitious winter event, involving decorations for the Non-Player Characters around the site, a winter-themed quest, limited-edition winter equipment, snowballs that turned your Party-mates into snowmen…. and the rest is history.
So what goes into making a Seasonal Event?
Answer: a lot of work.
Leslie usually has brainstorming sessions a few times a year where she batch-plans events, including art, potential features, and quests. When we’re a few months out from the start of the event, it’s time to talk to Sabe about what’s needed from a programming perspective, to make sure that enough time is budgeted. Finally, the new art assets are all completed a month or so before the event launches, so that we have time to build it out!
We quickly figured out that prioritizing things that could be repeated each year would free us up to keep innovating. That first year of events was pretty exhausting to implement, simply given the sheer number of new assets and features that all had to be prepared at once, but now we can reuse lots of art, code, and content. That leaves us free to add something new and interesting every year without burning out!
Now Leslie and Sabe aren’t doing it all by themselves anymore — Beffymaroo and various pixel art contributors pitch in! Even so, it still takes a lot of cooperation, coordination, and commitment to bring you a new Grand Gala. But when we see how much fun the community has, it makes it all worthwhile.
Until next time!