What do game achievements mean to you?

TheoAllen

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There are several games achievement you probably have encountered while playing games, including:
  • Literally starting a new game.
  • Kill x enemies.
  • Kill x enemies in specific ways.
  • Doing impressive things.
  • Doing stupid things like dying several times.
  • Finish the game in novice difficulty.
  • Finish the game in brutal difficulty.
  • Activating easter egg.
  • Luck-based achievement.
  • Etc ...
Some others might be a legit achievement while some others you might want to ask the dev a question... why? I also heard that some people just refuse to buy the game without achievements. Although I'm not in this category.

For me, the achievement is more like "a spoiler about what you can do in the game". Sometimes when I look at the available achievement, I was like "wait, you can do that?". Sometimes it could be a fun little challenge when I'm out of things to do in the game. It's nice to have a few trophies for what I've done in the game, but I never care about doing 100% achievement. Especially when it is quite demanding such as completing the game with the hardest difficulty or doing boring things. That said, if the game has hidden achievements, I probably won't even bother figuring out what it is.

What do game achievements mean to you?
 

FrigidGaze

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Achievements for me personally are just a way to elongate the life of games I may really enjoy, and want to find reasons to go through and perhaps do different playstyles/challenges and a good benchmark to see if I've done absolutely everything the game has to offer.

As a result, achievements hold more value in some games than others and I don't often stress too much about getting them in a game I simply had fun with, and I move on. But for the games I truly enjoy and want to explore every aspect of them, they can be a fun little way to expand the playtime.

Either way though, they're not a requirement for me to play a game. More just a fun little bonus and I try not to let them influence my initial playthrough too much.
 

poorrabbit

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In principle, I really like them. It all depends on the execution.

On consoles (and on steam) - they're largely meaningless, in that they provide no benefit to the player. They do however, provide some insight into potentially interesting activities.

There's a skyrim achievement for collecting ALL of the Daedric artifacts. I've done that one.
It was an interesting ride.

Getting one for (basically) watching the intro sequence of the game - less interesting.

However, in some rpgmaker games (or similar) there are occasionally achievement systems
that provide an actual reward upon being earned. In fact, in my current project I have exactly that. Escape from battle for the first time: achievement (Chicken!). It rewards you with an item to lower the encounter rate.
 

TinyRecorder

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Like you said they're just extra fun things to do when I've exhausted the rest of the game's content but want to keep playing. I don't always go for 100% but I still appreciate the inclusion.

So to me their a game's way of tipping their hat to you when do gaming in the game.
 

Iron_Brew

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Boring achievements are an absolute dearth of creativity imo. There's just no excuse!

I love a fun achievement, a funny achievement - kill X enemies, do X damage, walk X steps - those are just cheap little dopamine kickers that turn mundane activities into something the player can be proud of.

I really love an achievement that's like "do X fun thing you otherwise wouldn't have ever done", but "complete the game" or "reach level 99" feels like it should be an achievement in and of itself, even if you do arbitrarily recognise it, if that makes sense.
 

ShadowDragon

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I dont mind if there are achievements or not, but it can be challenging on
how to unlock them or hidden/secret ones (I use).

the reason for achievements can be different in each game.

- new game mode (or difficulty)
- new path opening on continue/new game
- more challeging bosses/hidden bosses to be found
- new title option for gallery? "behind the scenes"

or any other way.

another game uses achievements "points" than you can use when you beat
the game and spend it in a way on how to play the game.

- more dmg (40k) for a 1hit KO achievement
- no dieing or you lose the save file
- less healing from items/ or more
etc etc.

its how they design it, but I dont care, but I always try to get all achievements
where possible, as it also kinda force the player to look every where in each
corner to find something, speedrun, stealthy, etc.
 

Gunmetal_Dreams

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I only worry about something like that if it makes an actual difference, other than that I'm like "Oh ok" and carry on playing with no further thought. In Starcom Nexus, I finished the game without unlocking a bunch of achievements, but despite some initial curiosity, I'm not overly worried about it.
 

Milennin

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I don't mind a few basic "achievements", like one for completing the game for the first time, or for clearing it on the hardest difficulty, or for killing a bunch of enemies (as long as it's not some super ridiculous amount). But I really like achievements that are like challenges by themselves, like clearing a boss within a certain number of turns, or finishing the game within a certain amount of time. Things that help you get better at the game or find alternative viable ways to play the game.
 

Soulrender

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Answering the question on this topic

What do game achievements mean to you?​

I'll say it just short - nothing.

I play games not to achieve something, but to spend my free time and if the game has an engaging storyline I play to know the conclusion of that particular story.
 

ATT_Turan

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I seem to be in the minority with Soulrender :stickytongue: I view the invention of game achievements as a blow to the hobby, overpowered by few other things like launch DLC and micro-transactions.

That being said...
Sometimes when I look at the available achievement, I was like "wait, you can do that?".
I have appreciated some moments like that, where an achievement was indicative of some not obvious thing in the game.

I only worry about something like that if it makes an actual difference
This. The only times I have actively tried to get an achievement are in the few games where you receive some in-game bonus for having done so. If it doesn't benefit me, I couldn't care less.
 

Popoto_milk

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Sometimes when I look at the available achievement, I was like "wait, you can do that?".
I like these kind of achievements. Specifically when it comes to ones like "earned the chicken suit armour" or "made Marsha sneeze a fireball out her nose." Fun or silly things I might've missed the first time around. Same with easter eggs.

If the gameplay is fun, going for the challenge ones can be fun too. Don't really care about the other kinds.

I never look at achievements on my first playthrough since I don't want to be spoiled about anything, including gameplay. 2nd+ playthroughs are a different story and achievements can add some fun to a figured out and predictable game.

  • Literally starting a new game.
I've heard these kind of achievements can be helpful for devs who want to track things like progress or choice popularity.
 

RCXGaming

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For most conventional achievements? Not much, if they mean anything at all. If they're used for the developer to gauge what their players do, then that's a different story.

That said, the achievements I enjoy are the ones that force you to play the game to either completion or it makes you do something you would otherwise never do.

The one in particular I'm thinking of is a three-for-one combo from the Kingdom Hearts 1 port on newer consoles -
* (Unchanging Equipment) You cannot change equipment, so you have to use the basic Kingdom Key and cannot equip accessories throughout your entire run
* (Deathless) You cannot choose Continue when you die, so you must choose Load Game or you forfeit
* (Speedrun) You must complete the game in a certain amount of time or you forfeit

Combining all three of these together made a very intense playthrough that I would have never done otherwise.
 

TheAM-Dol

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Certainly someone has mentioned by now (and I think @poorrabbit almost got there) is that achievements make for interesting insight into player activity.
Calling them achievements on steam is a bit of a misnomer at this point. If you aren't aware, on Steam (and I believe other consoles as well) you can track the percentage of players whom have achieved specific achievements. Couple this with you basic "play the game" achievements and now you can see how far most players make it before they begin to drop the game.

Again, calling them an "achievement" is a bit of a misnomer, however, overall I definitely have grown to enjoy really basic achievements for playing the game because it's fun to see in what percentile group of players I am in. As a developer, I would absolutely love to implement these kind of achievements because it will be easy insight into my player's behaviors...well, at least an overview of their behaviors.
 
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As a new dev, Steam Achievement integration is the bane of my existence o_Oo_Oo_O As a player, I really like the ones that alert you to side-quests or other things you didn't know were available/things you didn't know you could do. And If I love a game, I'm a completionist :stickytongue::thumbsup-right:
 

TheoAllen

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I've heard these kind of achievements can be helpful for devs who want to track things like progress or choice popularity.
Couple this with you basic "play the game" achievements and now you can see how far most players make it before they begin to drop the game.
Yep, I also like this kind of achievement. Complete chapters 1,2,3 to end, simply because I could see the percentage of people who buy then never play and the ones who finished the game. I like seeing this statistic for fun.
 

woootbm

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Complete chapters 1,2,3 to end, simply because I could see the percentage of people who buy then never play and the ones who finished the game. I like seeing this statistic for fun.
Having at least one achievement of "complete the game" is super useful to the dev, even if the player doesn't care. So it's good to at least have that. But all of these milestone achievements are useful to the dev for the same reason: it's a form of feedback!

Just keep in mind that the majority of players won't finish your game, no matter how good it is. But having these percentages recorded can give you insight into where your game has friction points. IE, parts that rubbed your players the wrong way and made them quit. You can kinda deduce where your game has a weak point and think about what to do better next time (or maybe try to fix it in this game, if possible).

Anyway, the main piece of advice I have on achievements is: don't get hung up on the word "achievement." I see so many dev's get so obsessed about making achievements "mean something" (IE difficult or impossible to do) but then at the same time say they don't care about achievements themselves when they game. News flash! The only people who care about achievements are achievement hunters. And they tend to avoid the hard ones.
 

JohnDoeNews

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I think achievements are a great reason to play a game (again) after finishing the main story.
 

Tai_MT

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Personally, I use achievements as a "checklist", that many games simply do not have (and I desperately wish they DID HAVE). Here's the basics of what that generally looks like to me:

Achievements are a measure of how "done" with a game I am. I'm only 20% done with the game, only 50% done. I haven't yet done everything in the game. Seen everything.

Here's where it falls apart for me, due to VERY POOR implementation:

1. Luck based achievements.
2. Exceptionally difficult achievements.
3. Grindy achievements.
4. Get all the collectables achievements.
5. Multiplayer achievements.
6. Anti-achievements (lose enough times, die enough times, fail something in a specific way, etcetera).
7. Time-based achievements (play X hours, spend x amount of money, beat the game in X amount of hours, etcetera).

Generally speaking, I don't want to play any game "sweaty". I just don't. I'm here to have a good time. A good time does not include frustration and being stressed out from the gameplay. It just doesn't. It never has for me. I like a good and fair challenge that teaches me things, and that's about it. I don't like, "you play games as a test of honor" type of gameplay. No, heck no, go back to wherever you came from if you value that nonsense.

So, I want my achievements to be a "checklist" of things to do, things I've done, and how close to "done" with the game I am.

Because I want games to have this sort of "checklist", I find it very difficult to play games that DO NOT HAVE achievements... because most games simply don't have this "checklist" either.

A game like "Stardew Valley", I would play without achievements because it has those checklists. It marks whether you've sold one of every item, or crafted every item, or caught every fish, or got every mineral, etcetera. No achievements needed for me for a game like that (though I do appreciate most of them... except the really stupidly hard ones associated with the twin stick shooter crap).

But, a game like "Prey"? No thanks. Almost all the achievements are a variation on "play the game long enough to unlock this" rather than being a checklist... so I never engaged with the game, nor did I ever unlock all that many of the achievements.

I prefer a list of goals. Things that are "drip fed" to me as I play the game, or that I can engage with as I play. An example that I would love to see, is in a game like Warframe.

I would be far more engaged in Warframe if it had "mini goals" to achieve. A checklist of "weapons you have yet to attain" that isn't tucked away and hard to remember. If it popped up and said, "Hey, you can get this weapon now that you're Rank X and have completed Y amount of content, you can get it and check this box for getting it, and then check this other box for hitting Max Level with it". I'd be more engaged. Instead, it's just this "Codex" you have to look at and then go outside to a wiki to see how to get it... or even IF YOU can get it. Destiny 1 and 2 had similar problems for me. No "checklist". They had promised one going in, "Oh, you'll see a player has a piece of equipment, you can ask them where they got it, and then maybe you can go get it too, and they might help you!". There's almost none of that in the game. Random drop nonsense forever and no clear ways to attain much of anything... so the checklist doesn't REALLY exist.

I use the "Achievements" of a game to get the "checklist" that I think should exist in every single game there is. Achievements for "beat the game" aren't good enough for me. If your game is "fun", I'll do that anyway, and your achievements tend to be wasted on me in that way. But, if you've got this list of things I can do and should be doing at each leg of the journey, then I will engage more.

Generally speaking, this is why I enjoy achievements and particularly enjoy games where they're done very well. It's why I seldom engage with games that don't have them.

I'm not looking to "compare games to friends" all that much with them (I haven't done that since I was a young 20 something). I'm just looking to be able to see my progress, tick a box, feel like I'm constantly making progress, rather than "slogging" from one section to the next.
 

AkiraKotatsuhime

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There's a very big RPG I've played for over 140 hours now and really like how it sometimes reacts to the topsy-turvy stuff I'm doing with a new funny conversation (you have to manually confirm to come up) of the party talking about it. Made my jaw drop a few times already because I couldn't believe the devs thought about creating a little bit of content referencing that one of the many characters doesn't like a type of food just because I made them cook it over and over again in sequence.

What I mean with that is: If your game is collecting enough data about the player's behaviour and what they're doing in/with your game, the possibilities available to make them smile with something that is way superior to an achievement popping up may explode.

But if it has to be achievements, my suggestion still is to give the player weird and unknown tasks to follow, not too hard to do, but also not obvious and/or just grindy. Just some nice pieces of fun that some player might accidentally run into when acting and thinking a bit off-beat.

Typical achievements/trophies/whatever can still be fun to collect.
But they mean absolutely nothing to me.

~炬燵あ
 

Vati

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As a player, achievements are nice little milestones to get. I do enjoy them.

As a dev, I love them for tracking player behaviour, as mentioned above. How many people actually finish the game, for instance? Especially since my one game on team at the moment has several routes/endings, it's nice to see which ones people have gone for, and how many bother going for more than one. This is a useful feature that I definitely consider when choosing achievements for following games.
 

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