As I thump the staff through the boar, the shadow splits open splattering small drops of black vapour. Where it touches my skin, I feel it burn, a thousand pricks of pins and needles twinging the muscles and sending shivers through my body. In the gap, between each swipe, the shadow tries to re-form, a shoulder, a leg, a mouth. So I keep on hitting. Erratic and clumsy I flail at it, knowing some of my swipes will fail to connect.
But when it does.
Black droplets run down the staff pooling in the creases of my hands. I grip the staff tighter as the liquid oozes under my fingers with each swing. I pant, miss, swing, hit, swing again and the trees are covered in black smears, when finally two red eyes droop from disintegrating sockets and fall to the ground.
In my hands the staff feels heavier and as I lean on it to catch my breath, the air around me shakes. The forest colours blur out of vision for a moment and where the staff touches the ground, the surrounding droplets rush in one great wave towards me. It glows with a yellow light turning the nobbled wood into a translucent rough shell.
When I look down, I see the droplets swirl into wild patterns along the grooves of the staff. Thin waves and lines make their way up and down until they settle at the end of the staff in a solid yellow band around its tip.
Starting out on a quest in Webland is a little daunting. There are many signs littering every hyper-linked crossroad on where you could go, what you could learn and who you could meet. Often it doesn’t feel like an evening wondering around Webland on your chosen subject has really amounted to much. In those moments, its easy to think progress is slow or non-existent.
For the digital adventurer on a quest a surer footing for the journey ahead is needed.
I searched in the internet for a way to track my progress over the next 11 weeks until the competition. It needed to track the history of multiple actions, as well as provide ways to light up next steps, track the completion of those actions and allocating a score as I’d previously outlined for my game.
I was considering having to break-out the spreadsheet building skills, when I came across this instead.
HabitRPG.com is a platform which allows you to fully customize your own set of habits and goals, track these on a daily basis and treat the whole thing like a Role Playing Game.
Whilst the system for earning experience points (XP) is not fully customisable, I’ve tested it out and liked it so far. I aligned the top 5 actions I selected previously for this quest against Easy, Medium, Hard values under the tasks’ advanced options and used tags to categorise them easily. Although there are some bugs around still, it does remove the need for me to build a whole new system to track and score my progress, all parceled up in a clean simple interface with a numbered leveling system also already in place.
I know this isn’t quite the fully designed system I envisaged and wished to test, but I hope some new features planned will allow more data and graphs to become available so I can further adapt it for my adventuring in Webland.
In the meantime
The staff has returned to its plain wooden colour, but the yellow band at one end remains as a reminder and promise of what’s still to come. When I step forward I see two rubies lying on the ground, a memento left by the boar.
I scoop them up, dropping them into my pocket and I feel their comforting warmth pressing against my hip, as I set off through the forest.
Sound Credit: SoundEffectsFactory YouTube (here)