Qwestr is a productivity app for Android that I created in 2016 to fill what I perceived as a gap in RPG gamification / productivity apps at the time. According to Merriam Webster gamification is "the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation". Most RPG gamification apps were very superficial. By completing tasks, the user would "level up", which would result in visual enhancements and "stat increases" but little else. I wanted to make the completion of tasks feel meaningful and offer bonuses in the game, so there was a digitally tangible prize for getting things done.
Qwestr is different from other “gamified” productivity apps in that it has a fun and functional, addictive feedback loop that isn’t just based around “leveling up”. When a player completes a to-do list item in Qwestr, they earn currencies. Currencies can be used in-game at the Qwestr Casino, which features minigames that are played to earn items and other prizes. When items are equipped they can earn additional currency or change the way the Qwestr is played.
Part of Qwestr’s initial design was the tagline: “Get 1000 Things Done!”. The idea was to have a game with 20 levels that would require 50 completed items each to pass. Testing showed that this was a bit of a slog and users became disinterested. So I cut down the amount of total items needed to complete to 500, ditched the tagline and added little bits of story to give an additional layer of progression. On top of this I added characters that would join your party and give you little boosts and encouragement along the way.
Most interactions were displayed statically with descriptive graphics to enable the start of the design process right after finishing a wireframe sprint. The sprints of this phase were kept short and crisp to allow multiple iteration cycles if needed.