One day recently, feeling particularly unmotivated, I had an idea. If the boring tasks in my life could be played like a video game – they might not be so boring. So after a cursory search to see if anyone had this idea already I became acquainted with https://habitica.com/ This is an online (or mobile) game that involves keeping track of your daily tasks, goals, and to-do lists. I enjoy it but it helps that I have a soft spot for most things 80’s, and the game reminds me of 8 bit games I played as a kid.
Now rather than talk about the short-comings, I will instead focus on the fact that this is an open source platform being developed by its own community. So naturally I felt the need to contribute. I won’t lie, I used to think that pixel art was too easy to be worth my time. After completing a few assignments however, I can tell you this could not be further from the truth! Pixel art is painstaking, and there is really no way to cheat and use the more powerful tools we have come to rely on as modern digital artists. Each image has to be created with a limited color palette, one pixel at a time!
I’m not certain I will continue to contribute art to Habitica, but I can certainly say I have a newfound respect for these artists. These low resolution images packed with ‘jaggies’ are a labor of love, and they are also most of the draw of using the platform as there are of course far more efficient tools for keeping your life organized. One might even say that the quests and accumulation of pixel art items is a distraction, but sometimes a small distraction like this can keep us sane and motivated. So check it out, and don’t feel bad if it isn’t for you. But if you think the artwork looks easy to make – I would encourage you to give it a try!
Above – Tar Pits background
Below – Fiery Centaur guild mascot