Contributor Spotlight: Alys

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Alys, one of our Moderators and Blacksmiths! She helps with managing the community as well as smashing bugs and helping to implement new features!

Alys, how did you get involved with Habitica?

I came across the Kickstarter and it looked really interesting. I quickly realised that if I decided to stay with Habitica, I’d want to collect all the pets and gear so I paid into the Kickstarter at the level that let me get all the backer items. My best decision ever! 🙂 I loved the novel motivation and was impressed by the open approach to seeking help from the community.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

The change to cron that stopped it running prematurely when you went through daylight savings or changed timezones. It took me three tries to find a method that worked well, but when we finally went through a daylight savings change without widespread unfair damage, it was a great relief!

What are your secret superpowers?

I seem to be good at testing when I have time to really focus on it. I also have an amazing ability to make friends with Australian wildlife!

What are your secret weaknesses?

An inability to focus on the most important things and get them done first. Freezing with indecision when I have too much to do.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Such a difficult question! I like Cerberus, the three-headed dog from the Kickstarter campaign, of course. The owls are adorable. The baby mammoth is just the cutest thing ever! The egg basket mounts are gorgeous! How can you choose?

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

My Dailies are all the things that really need to be done to stop my life getting out of control, like making sure the rubbish bins are taken out on the right days and that my inboxes are emptied each day (although that one is sadly red). My To-Dos are filled with things I want to do for Habitica but rarely get around to doing due to that secret weakness of mine.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Being out in nature, surrounded by trees, and watching wild animals and birds in my garden. At night, I love gazing up at the stars and imagining what it would be like if we could travel to other planets. I enjoy reading science fiction, although don’t make enough time for it, and I also have a fondness for P.G. Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling, and historical fiction in general.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

One thing I enjoy occasionally is using Fix Character Values to swap Health for Mana or Gold. When I have less Health, I’m more motivated to do my Dailies of course, and having extra Mana for attacking bosses or more Gold for buying gems and equipment is always useful. The wiki has a great page about being a Bloodmage or Berserker (such awesome names!) and other interesting ideas.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

The Report a Bug Guild! I quite like how that Guild’s turned out; I think it works well. It’s another thing I’m proud of.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight and Staff Spotlight tags on our blog!

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Contributor Spotlight: Dewines

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Dewines, one of our Moderators and the leader and creator of several fabulous Guilds! She helps manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy.

Dewines, how did you get involved with Habitica?

It was all because of the April Fool’s joke in 2014 when all the avatars were turned into fruits and vegetables. Jim Hines mentioned this on his blog, and after reading his post about Habitica, it looked like such a cool idea that I went to sign up to see what it was all about. It turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for to motivate me to actually do stuff, and more than two years later, I’m still here.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

Probably the Guilds I created. I still run some of them but I’ve also handed others over to new leaders. One of these was the Guild Leaders & Challenge Creators Guild, where people help one another by sharing good ideas related to keeping their Guilds active. Of the Guilds I created and still run, I’m probably most proud of the Long-Term Accountability Guild. This helps people plan long-term goals and also encourages them to monitor their progress. It’s easy to let goals slide if you don’t keep an eye on them. Finally, there’s the quirky Haiku Guild where everyone posts about what they’ve been doing in the form of haiku. I created it almost as a joke, but it’s turned out to be surprisingly popular.

What are your secret superpowers?

Being able to make a tasty soup out of random wrinkled vegetables found lurking in the fridge.

What are your secret weaknesses?

It’s not really so secret, but procrastination is my main weakness. Tasks and projects always take much longer than they should because I put off starting. If there’s an external deadline, I’m always finishing things in a panic at the last minute.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

I do love many of the new quest pets, especially the owl pets and the horse mounts. However, I think my favourites are the original fox pets.

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

As well as mundane things like doing the laundry and washing dishes, I’m tracking the hours I spend learning Welsh and using Dailies to make sure I get some exercise each day.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Knitting and crocheting, going for walks, writing and photography.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

It’s important to keep assessing your Habitica tasks to make sure they are still motivating you. My set up now is nothing like what it was when I started two and half years ago. I don’t mean you should be switching tasks round every day, but every few weeks, if you have a daily that you just aren’t doing, you need to ask yourself why that is. Would it be better as a Habit or a To-Do? Also, don’t be overambitious. Start with a few tasks and then build on success. Finally, Habitica is brilliant for finding people who will support you. There are hundreds of Guilds on all kinds of topics and it’s very likely there’s one where you’ll find people with similar goals.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

I’m in quite a lot of guilds but a couple of my favourites are the Long-term Goal Accountability Guild and Venture Outside Your Lair. I founded both of these because I wanted some way of keeping track of long-term goals and I also have a terrible habit of sitting indoors all day working on the computer or trying to read the entire internet. I’m also very fond of the Short-Term Goal Accountability Guild, known affectionately as STAG.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight and Staff Spotlight tags on our blog!

Contributor Spotlight: shanaqui

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with shanaqui, one of our Moderators and Challengers. They help manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy, and run lots of  exciting Challenges including Super Socialite and New Years Countdown!

shanaqui, How did you get involved with Habitica?

I think I just wandered into the Tavern one day, learned about socialite tiers, and decided to use my all-too-abundant spare time for something positive. I have less free time now, but I’m self-employed, so it’s easy to drop in.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

I’m pretty proud of the New Year Countdown challenges. It was just a passing idea to spread some gems around at the end of 2015, and then suddenly loads of people were participating and even donating gems for prizes; I was getting tons of messages from people who loved it; and incidentally some of the tasks benefitted charities or encouraged people to do positive actions in their communities. I started saving up gems to run it again as soon as we got to September!

What are your secret superpowers?

I can type at 100wpm, allowing me to ninja Alys. That’s a superpower, right?

What are your secret weaknesses?

I tend to resort to passive-aggressiveness and have to work really hard to keep a lid on it. Oh, you said secret… well, I’m actually not a very organised person. I like making lists more than I like sticking to them.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Pet-wise, hedgehogs! Mounts, I have an enormous fondness for the dragons; the first thing I hatch after using Keys to the Kennels is a red dragon, so I can dress my avatar up like the Welsh flag ready for game days. I also have high hopes for the upcoming hippos. But for now, hedgehogs and dragons reign supreme.

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

Books! I have habits not to buy books impulsively, a to-do for reading a set list of books per month, a daily for making time to read no matter how busy I am, a daily for writing reviews for my blog… These will probably surprise nobody. Also, from necessity, my class schedule: it’s an intense diet of cell biology, human biology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience, this year, which is exciting but takes a lot of planning and scheduling.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Read! I know, it’s a shock. Also crochet, gaming, sometimes writing, and when the weather is cool, walking. I like to do a lot of learning in addition to my actual BSc, so I practise my languages and play chess problems.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

If you’re feeling a lot of resistance to doing a Daily, it’s a good idea to reconsider it — whether that means changing the difficulty, only doing it on alternate days, or dropping it entirely. It’s a sign that it’s not working for you, not aligning with your goals or just not that important to your life right now, even if it’s something you feel that you should like.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

I’m nearly always in the Tavern, but I also love the Legendary Book Club guild and the Short Term Goal Accountability guild. Rare is the day I don’t check into those guilds, and the support from other members of the STGA guild is probably one of the reasons I’ve had so much success with Habitica.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight and Staff Spotlight tags on our blog!

Contributor Spotlight: Megan

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Megan, one of our Moderators and Pixel Artists. She helps manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy, and she has created some exciting pixel art for us!


Megan, how did you get involved with Habitica?

I don’t remember for sure… I think that I specifically went looking for task gamification and stumbled across the Kickstarter campaign or maybe a blog post somewhere. At first, I wasn’t socially active at all and I didn’t have a party. I was just toodling along on my own. I drifted away for a while, and when I came back I started lurking in the Tavern, and then I started answering some questions, and one thing led to another and here I am—still totally hooked!

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

The Egg pets! I still get almost giddy any time I see one in someone’s profile. I’m also deeply honored to be a moderator. It’s intensely rewarding to be part of this community.

What are your secret superpowers?

Attention to detail, and sleeping—I think my personal best was 14 continuous hours.

What are your secret weaknesses?

Procrastination, mostly because I get easily overwhelmed by the fear of doing a bad job. Also bugs. Adorable pixel art bugs are great! But real life bugs… More than four legs is TOO MANY LEGS. I can mostly behave like a rational person in the presence of bugs, but if I get startled or if they come right at me… there is shrieking. And leaping onto furniture. They might crawl on me, and apparently that is The Worst Thing Ever.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Foxes! The foxes have always been my favorites. I play with other pets and mounts sometimes, but I always come back to the foxes. I particularly love the Base, Desert, and Golden Foxes.

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What are some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

Habits and to-dos have never really clicked for me, but dailies have changed my life. I have depression, and I mostly track things that support my mental health. I like to give them gamified names when I can. So I have Armor Up (put on clothes), Venture Forth (go outside), Healing Magick (take my meds), etc. (I work from home, so wearing real clothes and going outside are actually optional for me most days). It’s like a set of guard rails. Most days, these things aren’t hard, but doing them helps keep the depression at bay. Some days, they are really really hard and I can only do a few of them, but even doing a few helps me get through it.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Read (mostly YA fantasy), snuggle my kitties, draw, journal, craft… Also nap. Naps are the best.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

If something’s not working, change it. Don’t worry about what “should” work, or how much reward you “deserve” for a task. There is no such thing as cheating in Habitica. Do whatever helps.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

Mostly the Tavern, Aspiring Socialites, and Newbies. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Planner Addicts of the Papery Kind.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight tag on our blog!

CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT: Blade!

Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Blade, one of our Moderators and Blacksmiths. Blade is a major guiding hand on Github, overseeing pull requests and making sure Habitica’s foundation of bits and bytes is as strong as we can make it.

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How did you get involved with Habitica?

I was scolded by my dentist for not flossing for the 4th or 5th time in a row. I decided I needed to make an app that would award me points for flossing, but it turns out that it already existed! I gladly joined and can say that since then my dentist has been very, very impressed.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

Strong-arming the dev team into focusing on test coverage whenever adding or changing features. [And we’re grateful for it! -Ed.]

What are your secret superpowers?

I can make my kid laugh just by looking at him.

What are your secret weaknesses?

Peanut butter based snacks. If you ever need to bribe me, now you know the currency.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Spooky Bear Cub and Red Octopus!

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

* Flossing
* Reading the Lectionary every morning
* Getting to inbox 0 (never happens)

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve recently gotten into playing Magic the Gathering. Wait. [checks to see if there’s a Magic the Gathering guild] (there is) [joins]

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Habitica community is wonderful and always willing to lend a hand.
2. Start slowly. If you find that you consistently cannot complete your dailies, turn some of them off.
3. Tell your friends about Habitica and then start a Party with them. It’s more fun to work together!

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

Aspiring Blacksmiths and Aspiring Comrades.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight tag on our blog!

CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT: Cantras!

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Cantras, one of our Moderators and Challengers. She helps to answer questions and safeguard the community, along with keeping Challenges running smoothly.

Cantras, how did you get involved with Habitica?

“I probably came to Habitica from a Reddit post, since I used to spend far too much time there. Then I mostly helped out in the Tavern and Newbies guild. I think I got noticed as maybe-future-moderator after trying to mediate a heated discussion in the Back Corner. Also, I run the monthly Habitversary Challenges and the matching blog.”

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“The Elven Grove Guild — where people can point out challenges that are past their expiration date (‘Push-up challenge June 2014’) or otherwise in need of help, and get it taken care of. I think the Tavern Challenge list is 2/3 the length it was when I started, and there’s a lot fewer questions in the Tavern like ‘I’ve been in this challenge a long time, is it EVER going to close?'”

What are your secret superpowers?

squirrel wrangling Weapons-grade diplomacy, and enough skill in Google Translate to sometimes make users think I actually speak their language. Also, I have two toenails on my left pinky toe.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“I can focus forever on a distraction — like spending 20 minutes leaning over my squirrel tank just watching her run on her wheel — but I have to buckle down with headphones and StayFocusd and so on to focus on something productive, even fun-productive, for more than a few minutes at a time.”

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

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“I’m partial to the dragons, but I’m also a fan of the ones that make me laugh when I hatch them — the red rock, the egg mounts, the skeleton snail.”

What are some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“All the things. Stuff I want to read, things I want to learn, skills I want to develop. And also making sure I eat breakfast and get sleep.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Lately it’s been a lot of Pokemon Go (if we walk until the dog is worn out, it counts as my fitness daily!) , but it’s also reading books and articles, and playing board/card games. I love Lords of Waterdeep, and we play a lot of Ascension.”

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

“People in Habitica talk a lot about what works for them — steal their ideas! Not everything will work for you, but if someone’s gushing about StayFocusd or Pomodoro method or flossing or meditating or Duolingo, investigate! I’d probably speak German, Esperanto, and Spanish by now if I’d checked out Duolingo the first time someone gushed about how great it was.”

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

“I hang out on my task page or else I’ll forget what it was I was in the middle of doing, but I almost always have the Chrome Chat Extension running for the Tavern and the Newbies guild. I’m also in the Legendary Book Club, because books!”

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Beffymaroo!

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Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Beffymaroo, who helps to manage our community and create our pixel art.

Beffymaroo, how did you get involved with Habitica?

“I saw a post about it on Lifehacker and decided to give it a shot! I pretty much fell in love with the site, the ‘gameplay’ and the community immediately — hence it is the only to-do list system that I’ve consistently used for over 2 1/2 years now!”

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“Hmm. I’m very proud of my pixel art for sure, but I think I’m the most proud of my Socialite and Moderator work. Helping people out and keeping Habitica a safe, happy place for our players is so important to me — it’s a really unique little spot on the internet in the best possible way.”

What are your secret superpowers?

“I’m a super empath!”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“I’m a super empath!

This can be really great and helpful, when it helps you relate to people and connect with them, even when you may not have a lot in common, but it can also be stressful and emotionally exhausting!”

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

“Oh, that is a tough one. I have to say the deer pets/mounts (as you might guess!!) and the Floral Pets/Mounts are my favorites at the moment.”promo_floral_potions2

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“Haha, everything! Cleaning, craft projects, my work for Habitica — and, importantly, tasks that assist me in self-care and mental health!”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I love cooking and reading. Also I have a loooong list of favorite TV shows. And I like to sew things! A lot of costumes for fantasy and re-enactment events I participate in, but also sometimes regular clothes. Oh, also said fantasy and re-enactment events — like Renaissance faires. My Mod avatar (made by the fantastic Lemoness!) is based on a photo of me in character at one such event.”

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

“Get social! Or even better, become a contributor! The site and its mechanics and gameplay are awesome, but I think one huge thing really helps people stick around long-term is the great community we have, from staff to contributors to just regular old friendly Habiticans who are happy to answer questions and motivate each other, as well as add to and improve Habitica itself!”

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

“You can often find me in Pixels In Progress or Anxiety Alliance guilds! I also am usually hanging out in the Tavern, though I’m quiet sometimes!”

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