Every one of us has a belief in what we know are our best behaviors and knows what would improve our lives. But when it comes down to it, we always manage to find an excuse or avoid doing the task.

Our team researched ways of regulating our own lifestyles while making an impact on the community, and come up with Motivals (a pun on Motivating Animals). An app that gamifies the process of habit building by giving you a virtual pet to play with. We've partnered with local animal shelters, so If you manage to achieve your personal goals and raise your e-pet well, we'll help you financially to adopt a real one.

What it does

Motivals is a web application that will allow you to create an account, sign in, and track your progress of how well you're maintaining your habit—through checking-in on the website daily. Every time you check in on the website and confirm that you’ve completed your task, you receive points and maintain a virtual pet. And as your points progress more and more, you will level up.

At certain levels, you will create a positive impact on real animals in local shelters through accumulated ad revenue (e.g. providing animals with a bag of treats, or buying them an upgraded bed)! Moreover, our application provides an interface for you to see your previous best and highest streak, as well as see how your progress compares to those around you on a leaderboard, building a further sense of accountability. Lastly, to help you keep up your habit, you'll get an email notification to complete your task if you are close to losing your streak.

When you become a great e-pet owner, demonstrating your great discipline, we'll reward you with a unique promo code for a discount to adopt an actual pet, from any local animal shelter in the GTA!

How we built it

We built the app with HTML/CSS, JS, Node, CockroachDB, Courier, and Express server, hosted on Heroku. We tried to make a full-stack web app to gauge our capabilities before expanding into mobile applications.

Challenges we ran into

Because this was our first time working with CockroachDB and databases in general, we had to learn all the syntax and how to build the connections from the database to our application, whilst sifting through tons of documentation. We ended up learning lots in the process.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're extremely proud of the fact that we had to pivot from a previous idea, and still managed to create an impactful application with numerous features. We’re also quite proud of our teamwork and ability to help each other out through many challenges, despite some frustration and sleep-deprivation.

What we learned

We learned that a lot of the time, it's about the way we approach the problem that makes for the best solutions. Patience, keeping an open mindset, and evaluating different perspectives can go a long way.

What's next for Motivals

We're actively working to expand the project; this includes implementing ads to generate revenue so that we can partner with actual animal shelters in the GTA, benefiting the community. In addition, we plan to increase the user-pet interactivity, diversify the range of habits that users can track, and perhaps even develop a mobile version of Motivals—to create an even better prototype for our friends and families to enjoy.

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