STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Keith AKA TheHollidayInn

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Keith, also known as TheHollidayInn. Keith is an avid engineer who is able to work on both the web version and Android app. He’s also spearheading the upcoming group plans!

keith_promo

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“API-V3. This was not a solo contribution, but it was the first major project I worked on here at Habitica. The project was also the first time I was able to work with the team. Plus, cleaning code is always a good time.”

What are your secret superpowers?

“I can write a mean math proof. I’m not sure if it is too much of a secret since I have a degree in mathematics. However, when people ask me about what I studied in college, I tell them my last 2 years was doing that proof writing stuff you did in geometry grade-school times 10.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“Reese’s candies. This become even more evident around the holidays. Peanut butter with chocolate is hard for me to resist.”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“Skeleton Dragons. I have liked dragons since I was a child. They really brought me into the fantasy world. And, the little skeleton dragon pet is so cute!”

skeleton_dragons-copy

 

 

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“I use Habitica to track all of my current in-progress tasks. I do two things:

  1. Every week I prepare multiple To-dos (with checklists) of projects or study items I want to complete during the week.
  2. I create a To-do each day with a list I need to complete the next day.”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“I don’t use custom rewards much. I very much like gathering gold and in-game items. But, I do reward myself with a Friday dinner when I have completed my week’s tasks.”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“Yep! And I have Habitica to thank for that. I wake up in the morning to run/workout. Then, I begin working through my To-do lists. I will then take a break to knock out some of my Daily ‘academic studies’ – which include reading non-programming books and learning languages, etc. Then, back to the work list and finally a cleaning Daily to make sure my apartment stays fresh :D”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

“When I am not working on Habitica, I like to do many things! I read many books, hangout with friends, run 5ks, play video games, and take my dog Izzy to parks.”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?

“Use the Daily feature to get a routine. Start very small, but then slowly build. Once you get into a good routine, you will find yourself very productive. But always give yourself some margin of error. It is okay to miss a day or Daily.”

 

keith_alys_wizard_tower

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

“When I first started contributing to Habitica, I messed up a lot. I had very little experience with MEAN and Github, so I expected some mistakes, but I felt so bad about these mistakes that I messaged Alys apologizing. She told me stories of other contributors making mistakes and really motivated me to continue working on. I really think I would have stopped contributing if it wasn’t for her.”

 

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:
Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness
Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA Paglias

Spotlight on Phillip AKA viirus

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Phillip AKA viirus

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Phillip, also known as viirus. Phillip lives in Germany and is the chief developer of the Habitica iOS and Android apps. It’s thanks to his hard work that we can access Habitica on the go! 

PhillipStaffSpotlight2
Phillip, what’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“That would be the Habitica iOS app. It’s the first iOS app I wrote that actually got finished and released. Even though I’m still not entirely satisfied with it, I’m super proud of how it’s turned out so far.”

What are your secret superpowers?

“A few people have called me a cat whisperer, because on several occasions cats that normally hate new people got very attatched to me in short periods of time. As for more work-related superpowers, I learn and adapt new technologies and systems pretty fast.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“I’m really bad at knowing when I have to take a break and relax before it is too late. Also, relaxing itself is pretty hard for me, when I keep thinking of how much more I could get done!”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“Any color variation of the panda pet. They all look like they would be good to cuddle!”

panda promo

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“I mostly use Habitica to track my day-to-day tasks, like eating at regular times or cleaning.”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“I dislike the idea of not being allowed to treat myself to something when I need it, just because I haven’t done enough work to earn it yet, so I don’t actually use any custom rewards. But rumor has it that I do allow myself to buy bigger Lego sets only after finishing big tasks.”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“I try to, but I’m too disorganized. I really want to structure my day better and keep regular hours for sleeping, eating and work, but I am not there yet. I hope that with the help of some new Dailies, I will be able to change that soon.”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

“The few times I manage to break away from work, I usually play video games (recently a lot of No Man’s Sky), binge watch TV shows, and occasionally tinker with electronics projects. Building Legos is also something that really relaxes me. When my growing collection recently tried to take over my workspace, I had to dissemble some, which means I will have to build them again. Twice the fun!”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?

“This might a very basic tip, but it’s really valuable: don’t add too many Dailies and don’t have too many of them active on any given day. It’s easy to end up overwhelmed and then miss important ones.”

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

PhillipWithPhone

“Back when I started working on the iOS app, it was originally meant as a side project to practice building iOS apps. I only started it because I grew frustrated with the old HabitRPG  app. After working on it on-and-off for about a year, I got a message asking me if I was interested in open-sourcing it as the new official Habitica app, and I eventually started working as a contractor. After a few months, I left my old job and started working for Habitica full time.”

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:
Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness
Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA Paglias

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Matteo AKA paglias

 

StaffSpotlightMatteo

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Matteo, also known as paglias. Matteo lives in Italy and is one of our most avid programmers. He manages many of Habitica’s coding projects, and also helps coordinate the volunteer translations for Habitica.

Matteo, what’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?
“It took a long time to build, but the thing that I’m proudest of is definitely version 3 of the API, in particular because it involved great teamwork with the entire Habitica staff and a lot of our Open Source contributors.”

What are your secret superpowers?
“If I start working on something I’m passionate about, it’s very likely I’ll try to finish it the same day, even if it means going to sleep at 4 in the morning. Hmmm… Thinking about it I’m not sure if it can be considered a superpower, but occasionally it can be very useful :)”

What are your secret weaknesses?
“If a deadline is too far away or if I’m not interested by what I’m doing, I can get distracted by literally everything and I can become a terrible procrastinator.”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:
“I’ve had the Base Wolf and Tiger as my avatar’s pet and mount companions since the early days and I think they’re here to stay. I can’t imagine my avatar without them!”

NPC Matteo and pets

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?
“There are some Dailies that have been in my list forever, like getting at least 8 hours of sleep – still working on it!  I also tend to have tasks for every project I’m working on currently. I try not to have more than 5-6 Dailies that I absolutely have to do every day.”

How do you use Custom Rewards?
“I don’t know why, but I never picked up using Custom Rewards, which also explains why I have a ton of gold in my account… I have to give them another shot :)”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?
“Not really, because I’m not a morning person. Thankfully most mornings I have to wake up and go to university, or I would lay in bed for way too long! I prefer to work until late in the night when there are fewer things that can distract me. It also makes it much easier to communicate with the rest of the Habitica team, since there are 9 hours of difference between Italy – where I live – and the Habitica HQ in Los Angeles.”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?
“I’m studying to get my degree, so that takes up a big part of my day. Otherwise, you can find me reading about random stuff on the internet or playing with my dog.”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?
“I’ve found that when I have too many tasks, it’s easy to start skipping some of them, even if they’re super important for my day. So I try not to overload my lists, instead keeping a clear separation between Must-Dos and tasks that would be nice to do, but not essential. Using a different difficulty level for each task is fundamental for this.”

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

Line of food drops
“One of my first important contributions to Habitica’s code (back when it was still called HabitRPG) was expanding the translated content on the site. When we introduced translated messages for drops, there was a bug that caused the name of eggs, potions and food to be displayed in the wrong language, so people started getting messages like ‘You’ve found a Kartoffel!’ with Kartoffel being the German word for ‘potato.’

It took a few days to find the cause and fix the problem, and in the meantime some users thought that Habitica had embarked on a mission to teach everyone a new language!”

 

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:
Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness
Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Vicky AKA Redphoenix

 

StaffSpotlightVicky

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Vicky, also known as Redphoenix. Vicky is one of our co-founders, and she handles our business and legal needs, as well as helping to manage the team.

Vicky, what’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“My proudest contribution is to the financial stability of Habitica, where we can now support several full-time staff members and contractors who can keep bringing you more and better features!”

What are your secret superpowers?

“Poaching eggs perfectly, remembering random details about interesting people I meet, even if it’s a single meeting going back decades, and making the most of limited resources.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“Overestimating how much work I can get done on too little sleep. I can also be completely derailed by good fiction and have been known to inhale even doorstopper-sized fantasy novels in a single sitting. As a result, I try REALLY REALLY HARD not to start reading one during the workweek. I once lost several working days to Harry Potter fanfiction. (This was before Habitica, of course.)”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“First chance I get, I always hatch the skeleton pets. The skeleton cactus pet was an early favorite, but I really just want to cuddle skeleton penguin and tell it that everything will be ok.”

SkeletonPets

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“Everything. Too many things. Basically I want to use Habitica to become Batman.

I should probably use my tagging system more than I do, but frequently it’s more interesting to think about organizing it all than to actually organize it. I guess I’ll go add a + Habit for properly tagging my tasks now….”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“One of the things I’m working on improving is spending money on things that I would enjoy. I get major guilt whenever I spend money on non-necessaries, courtesy of having grown up without much spare cash for luxuries. To help assuage the guilt, the total amount of Gold becomes a measure of how much I’ve accomplished, and I set an exchange rate of 100 gold = $1.”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“If I’m being good, mornings basically go: check staff chat, check Twitter shortlist, meditate, make the bed + get dressed, coffee, figure out what I need to accomplish for the day.

In the evenings, I’m trying to train myself to go to bed earlier by playing a bedtime playlist to help ease the transition from after dinner to bed. Depending on my energy levels and how much calming down I need, it’s either jazz, new age, or nature sounds. I know it’s time to go to sleep when even the lowest sound setting is too loud for me.”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

“It’s hard to break away because there’s so much to do! Usually, though, you can either find me at a public library, at a thrift store, or snuggling the dog. Or sleeping. Sometimes (most of the time if it’s a weekend) I just give in to the urge to nap….”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?

“Occasionally I’ll get into the zone and binge-perform a particular activity (and let go of everything else). Habitica’s dailies system and the damage from not doing so is a good reminder that balance and moderation are good things to aspire to, but sometimes it’s more productive and interesting to ride the wave and keep on the same project. I usually keep a to do item under a :bank: emoji tag, so if I’ve done extra of something (like instead of 20 minutes of cleaning, I’ve managed an hour and a half!) I “bank” it so that I allow myself to check it off on a different day when I maybe don’t quite have the energy to clean.

Also, tagging with emoji. Makes the checklist extremely interesting and also more compact.”

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

Vicky and Leslie in Tavern

“Habitica co-founder Leslie and I were at one point living less than three miles away from each other, but didn’t actually manage to meet in person until the following year, some 500 miles from home in a completely different city. When we finally sat down, we discovered that we shared the exact astrological sign–Aries on the cusp of Pisces–and that’s when we found out that we have the same birthday: March 22!”

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness

Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA paglias

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Leslie AKA Lemoness

Staff Spotlight Lemoness copy

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Leslie, also known as Lemoness. Leslie is one of our co-founders, and she works on designing and planning upcoming features, running social media and marketing, managing the community, creating pixel art, and more.

Leslie, what’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“Hm, that’s a tough choice. Probably the Seasonal Events! The first Halloween mini-event in 2013 was something I threw together on a whim because I wanted monster skins, but the excitement was so overwhelming that I’ve plotted larger festivities ever since, including new outfits, location reveals, and World Bosses.

I’m also super proud of how kind, welcoming, and creative the Habitica community has become, but I can’t take credit for that! I’m just lucky to know you all.”

What are your secret superpowers?

“Switching easily between projects and eating staggering amounts of cheddar.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“I have a -5 weakness against cold, a -5 weakness against mornings, and a -10 weakness against grey weather. On cold mornings with grey weather, I convert into a small, distressed slug, who needs tea and virtual rewards to coax her out of her cozy bed.”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“Foxes, Cuttlefishes, and Snails! The Snail Mounts are particularly pleasant.”

Snail Pet Promo copy

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“Er…. everything? Mostly keeping on top of my daily work tasks and long-term work projects, as well all those onerous but necessary activities like exercising and going to bed.”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“I use Custom Rewards to let me know when I’ve earned a break! If I want to spend a weekend relaxing in the Habitica Inn, I have to work very hard to earn enough gold first.”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“Awake and shake my fist at the sounding alarm, then stagger out of bed in search of tea and sunlight. Eat breakfast while working for a few minutes on a creative project, which is a fun way to trick my brain into charging up and thinking critically. Quickly catch up on everything that happened in Habitica overnight and make sure nothing is on fire, then leap into big work tasks for the day! (Unless, of course, something IS on fire, in which case there is a lot of frantic typing and a lot of extra tea.)

My work schedule tends to vary heavily depending on each day’s meetings, important projects, etc. Still, I usually work in timed bursts of thirty minutes to an hour, and take short breaks in-between by doing a couple of exercises, a few minutes of chores, or a bit of a craft project. That way I’m not burning out, but every break is productive.”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

“I enjoy writing and reading, especially YA and fantasy. I also love crafting! On the weekends I hang out with friends, play games, watch comedies or cartoons, and go hiking.”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?

“When setting up a new routine, be sure to build in moments of evaluation. If a set of Dailies or Custom Rewards aren’t working for you, don’t berate yourself for failing; instead, ask yourself why you failed. What can you learn and adjust for the next time? Can you add in extra encouragement, or make your goals more achievable and gradually scale up the difficulty? There’s no shame in frequently adjusting your set-up to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it.”

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

Painting Matt

“For the first couple of years, Matt the Beast Master had blond hair in-game. Imagine my confusion one autumn when I ran into Matt Boch, the real-life Kickstarter backer, at a games party… and discovered that his hair was actually dark brown. Whoops! Apparently the picture we’d used as a reference for his NPC sprite had been misleading. To make amends, I turned Matt the Beast Master into a werewolf that Halloween, and his hair stayed brown when he transformed back.”

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:

Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA paglias

Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Sabe AKA SabreCat

SABEnewStaffPromo


Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Sabe, also known as SabreCat. Sabe is one of our main developers, and he does a lot of coding for the site, including monthly quests, bug fixes, and architecture improvements.


Sabe, what’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“The Orb of Rebirth. It was my first major new feature, and has extended Habitica’s longevity for many people, self included!”

What is your secret superpower?

“Turning people into giant robots to help them seek enlightenment.”


What is your secret weakness?

“My coffee intake must be carefully tuned. One cup gets me moving. Two cups and I get the shakes bad enough to make it difficult to use a pen or phone!”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“Tigers and cacti, of the base set. All the Magic Potion critters are gorgeous. T-rexes. Red rocks. And eggs / egg baskets!”

 

Easter_Eggs

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

Get the admin@habitica.com inbox to zero (Daily). Read a chapter or 15 pages of a book (Habit). Don’t use any electronics in bed (Daily). Scoop a litter box (Habit).”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“I use custom Rewards to slow me down on indulging particular timewasters and distractions. It costs me 2 Gold to check my personal email, Facebook, or Twitter. It also costs me 5 Gold to play a match in Magic Duels, the computer game I’m most preoccupied with right now. Those values are tuned to my current Gold generation pace such that I can do them a little bit without much trouble, but I won’t be able to collect my subscriber Gems if I buy them too often!”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“I have a set of regular morning tasks that I’ve collapsed into a daily ‘morning routine’ checklist: take meds, eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc. It’s not ritualized as such, but that’s a good idea!”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

Writing for my blog. Playing tabletop roleplaying games, like Dungeon World and Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine. Hanging out with my wife and our pets.

Top Habitica tips and tricks?
“Use Perfect Days as a measure of how many Dailies to maintain. I find the Perfect Day bonus most motivating when I have to push myself to attain it and thus only achieve it once or twice a week. When I start scoring three and four back-to-back Perfect Days, it’s time to add more Dailies to improve myself further! Likewise, if I go a couple of weeks without any Perfect Days, I take a look at what tasks I might not be ready to do on a daily basis and move them to Habits.
Also, have a long-term project you’re procrastinating on? Add a Daily for it: ‘More than Zero: [project].’ Check it off if you move the project forward in some concrete way, however small. It adds up!”

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

SABEhatching_potions_by_leephon

 “As of this writing, my contributor credit in the Hall of Heroes is ‘Kibbled the drop system.’ I was tuning the different bonuses that go into your chance of getting an egg, potion, or food, and one version of the algorithm that went live was far too stingy. The usual slang for making something less effective in a game is ‘nerf,’ but deilann felt the occasion needed a term more expressive of my cat-ness. Thus ‘kibbled’: turned a game system into crunchy meat bits that you’d feed to a pet. Whoops!”

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica?

Check out our other posts in this series:

Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix

Spotlight on Matteo AKA paglias
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness