Housecup slack and discord bot

introducing gamification to improve community culture

HouseCup bot integration in both Discord and Slack channels.
Housecup slack and discord bot


The HouseCup is a Slack and Discord bot that utilizes Harry Potter™-style houses to award points to fellow team members to celebrate the small victories and acknowledge good work.

It admittedly started as a joke among the team as most of us are Harry Potter fans but it did not stay a gimmick for very long. Our theory was that 1) introducing gamification like awarding points encourages more engagement between members and 2) people appreciate being validated for good work and are inspired to continue.

After implementing the Slack bot internally, we discovered the results were true and being community strategists, we wanted to share the bot with others for free.

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improving our work environment first

the problem

improving team culture

Our team is not unlike others in that we have both in-office and remote co-workers. It’s a work environment that is fast becoming the new normal and with that comes certain pain points that we discovered:

  1. As a team grows, new members may not interact with others that are not in their department or have a reason to do so.
  2. It’s easy for chat channels to be filled with the day-to-day operations of work that small victories get missed.
  3. Team members can begin to feel low morale or under-appreciated.

start of the bot

building blocks of a product

As we started to develop the idea, there were several benefits to building it:

  1. So far we had developed tools for various software but Slack and Discord weren’t one of them. It was a chance for us to experiment and learn in a new way.
  2. We’re community strategists and saw the potential of this having real positive impact on other teams and groups.
  3. It was a fun initiative to start with our own team.

building the slack bot

defining the spec

the tech-stack

With the concept of assigning houses, awarding points, and earning the eventual house cup of the year, we had the basis of a fun project for our product designers and development team. Our plan was to build a reply bot, a simple method but one that we could easily integrate more features around.

Stability was a large goal of ours since any given server could have thousands of users. We needed to build the product in a way that could reliably scale.

Systems that we built:

  1. Onboarding process to offer tutorial messages on install to help onboard users into their houses.
  2. User permissions for staff members to be able to create houses and assign users to them.
  3. Create user groups and add in users. User groups can have a custom title and descriptions assigned to it.
  4. Register houses, in our case we held true to the Harry Potter houses, but the bot offers the flexibility to assign a title and description that bests suits your team.
  5. Dashboard experience for admins to manage user groups, users, and permissions.
  6. Leaderboard that tracks which users have the most points and which house is currently winning.
  7. Easily award or remove points by messaging @slackbot.
HouseCup bot in Slack awarding points to team members.

quick look at what we did


building the discord bot

next up, discord bot

two community spaces

Slack is a popular choice for community engagement but trends heavily in the professional industry by helping teams communicate. Discord has more of a focus on personal and gaming communities, and so we wanted to prioritize launching with a Discord bot as well.

With the logic in place and the code base for Slack already implemented, it was an easy transition for us to build a custom Discord bot as the two code bases between the tools are very similar.

HouseCup integration with Discord looking at a text channel with user awarding points and leaderboard among the team.

getting the bot ready to release

the visuals

building blocks of a brand

Once we formalized the name HouseCup, the brand team could begin to design the logo and aesthetic of the website. With the roots of the brand within the Harry Potter world, there was a lot of imagery we could associate with. From abstracted landscapes to a play on the house crest, we created a brand style that was playful, handmade in nature, and still a nod to the Harry Potter roots.


to highlight the product

We designed and built an accompanying website to detail what the product does with documentation and support available. We spent the most time on a fun exercise of animating the illustrated hero on the first load, all entirely built with CSS.

quick look at what we did


sharing with the community and the results

our goals

for a positive impact

Our hope for the product was to share the positive impact we had on our own team with others. Friendly competitiveness and show of appreciation can go a long way in building a better culture. After being released, we saw a number of large communities use the bot for their own teams.

satisfaction survey

for the initial release

Short of two years, we took a look back at the growth of the bot as well as conducting a survey to receive feedback; if people have been enjoying it so far, if it has had a positive impact on their community, and if there are improvements that could be made. We’ve detailed the responses to the survey in an article that goes more in-depth but below is a brief snapshot.


servers created


users onboarded


messages shared

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