How hard should achievements be?

damedebugger:

discovergames:

guilelessmonk:

I haven’t talked about achievements in a long time and that is a shame because they are actually super interesting. They can do many things such as be used as a tool for teaching players advanced mechanics, for example TF2 loves to do this with achievements that teach you special tricks for each class.

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But today I’d like to talk a bit about aspiratory achievements, achievements that want to push you beyond the scope of simply completing the game. The great thing about these kinds of achievements is that they give players something to do with the game after the beating it, they give the player a chance to push their skills beyond what the game would normally expect of them. This gives people more time, doing new things, with games they like.

This can great in intermediate step towards players speed running even. When asked what got them into speed running many simply say that there was this game they thought they were good at wanted to try and push themselves. By having hard aspirational achievements it gives players something to shoot for in between being able to beat a game and being able to speed run a game.

This does lead to the question though of how hard aspirational achievements should be. Very hard aspirational achievements can give people more to shoot for, more to aspire to, but they can also be incredibly daunting.

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My feelings on achievements have evolved over the years. At first I just didn’t “get it,” and couldn’t understand why a little meaningless blip at the bottom of the screen was so important to people. Now, I think I understand the basic joy in that, even if I rarely chase achievements.

More importantly, as OP noted, I think achievements can be used by developers to subtly (and optionally) guide players towards doing desirable things, like mastering certain mechanics or poking around the world a little more. I know for me, when I see an achievement that looks easily doable, so long as I use more dodge attacks or go off the beaten path a few times, I’ll gladly do it.

However, the subject of the OP was the upper-tier aspirational achievements, which are definitely a different animal. While those affect completionists who can’t help themselves, I usually see them more as a compact between the developers and their most rabid, ardent fans. It’s like the developer saying, “If you love our game so much that you are replaying it multiple times and mastering it, we want to give you something special, to both reward your loyalty and to give you a reason to keep striving and coming back for more.”

That’s a rosier view than I would normally take, and maybe even a bit naive, but that’s the way I see it. And in that case, I suppose the achievements should be as hard as the fans want it, in order to give them the challenge they want. It’s not a very specific answer, but it’s definitely a case-by-case kinda thing. 

I actually oftentimes ignore developer directed achievements and make my own based on my take on the protagonist or whatever I feel like mucking around with.

Eg: Tales of Symphonia has different protagonists you can play as. If I play as the researcher, I try to talk to every NPC and read every book in the libraries. If I play as the impatient and bored teen swordsman, I try to speed run dungeons.

That has me thinking about the feasibility of open sourced achievements, kinda like enabling modding.

People make achievements for the game and upload them (only after having been able to complete it themselves), people vote on how interesting and fun they are and how hard they are to get (or their difficulty could be based on how many people have achieved them).

A fun and systematic way to share community ideas and challenges.

(Reblogged from damedebugger)

edwardspoonhands:

The whole SciShow office is so freaking stoked about this it’s adorable. To be clear, I also have not been this excited about a movie (that wasn’t based on my brother’s book) since Deathly Hallows.

(Reblogged from edwardspoonhands)

Retro

Retro games typically have very modern design aesthetics. Shovel Knight for example is typically called retro:

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and it is certainly a pixally 2D platformer. Everything beyond that though, how the game is set up, plays, teaches and guides the player, makes it a very modern take on the 2D platformer.

For instance when you die the game takes a couple handfuls of money for you but then puts them back where you died so that you can pick them up should you get back to that point. This mechanic is very reminiscent of Dark Souls’ system for punishing death where it gives the player a chance to redeem themselves and a reason to try to do so. Still challenging but not as punishing.

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This is a modern way of dealing with a player’s defeat. Older arcade style games would of had a set amount of lives the player had and would make them start over after losing them all. Shovel Knight doesn’t have a maximum number of times you can fail, it just taxes you a bit for doing so.

Design wise, this game is far more modern then most AAA games.

(Reblogged from gamingfeminism)

alksjdhfg answered your post: How hard should achievements be?

Probably Darksiders, you can get a lot of content out of that game, but achievement wise, Halo 3 was amazing with its VidMaster achievements

I haven’t played Halo 3 so I can’t speak to that but I have gotten all the achievements for Darksiders. I don’t remember if I got all of them for Darksiders 2 though, they were a lot more grindy.

catslashfun said: The way that Valve designs its achievements are not to be banal quests nor symbols of statuses, but instead to encourage you to master all of the facets of the game itself. After you are good enough to fulfill the achievement, you forget about wanting it and then get it anyway. It's those incidental ones that I appreciate most, because it is not a task that I have to fulfill, but instead a recognition of my improvement.

I really do love value achievement design since it does combine tutorial and aspirational by giving players fun and class specific goals that are fun to try and get. For example in TF2 there is a Spy achievement for backstabbing an enemy medic within 5 seconds of them having healed you.

How hard should achievements be?

I haven’t talked about achievements in a long time and that is a shame because they are actually super interesting. They can do many things such as be used as a tool for teaching players advanced mechanics, for example TF2 loves to do this with achievements that teach you special tricks for each class.

image

But today I’d like to talk a bit about aspiratory achievements, achievements that want to push you beyond the scope of simply completing the game. The great thing about these kinds of achievements is that they give players something to do with the game after the beating it, they give the player a chance to push their skills beyond what the game would normally expect of them. This gives people more time, doing new things, with games they like.

This can great in intermediate step towards players speed running even. When asked what got them into speed running many simply say that there was this game they thought they were good at wanted to try and push themselves. By having hard aspirational achievements it gives players something to shoot for in between being able to beat a game and being able to speed run a game.

This does lead to the question though of how hard aspirational achievements should be. Very hard aspirational achievements can give people more to shoot for, more to aspire to, but they can also be incredibly daunting.

Read More

(Reblogged from discovergames)

How do you get a player to try new things?

You don’t want to overwhelm the player with a thousand mechanics the moment the game starts, so games decide to parcel them out over time. To this end blocking as a mechanic is often not introduced as a mechanic until a fair while into many games (starting them out with the ability to roll out of the way and then later giving them the ability to block and counter). When you do introduce it though you find there is a problem, players aren’t using it. Instead players keep using the dodge/evasive ability to get out of the way of enemy attacks instead of blocking them and counter attacking.

Players get used to dealing with things in a certain way, it become how they feel comfortable dealing with situations and so it becomes how they keep dealing with situations even when given a new way to deal with a problem. This is especially pronounced with defensive abilities like blocking as they are reactions and so the player is making a choice about how to deal with something in a faction of a second which will cause them to just use their default which isn’t going to be the new ability you just gave them.

I’ve talked about this before but even if new and shiny thing is fun and interesting in pressure situations there is a natural gravity towards doing what has previously worked over trying to do something completely new. This is a problem because doing the same thing over and over again gets boring for the player. How do we encourage the player to use the full range of play styles the game allows them to have?

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