You have earned an Achievement!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dragonspeech, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Dragonspeech

    Dragonspeech Lady Dragoness Veteran

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    MA, USA
    First Language:
    English
    So. I earned an achievement on Steam. For some reason that got me thinking.

    In this day and age, a lot of Steam games, xbox games, Nintendo (Notably Smash Bros.) etc. have unlock-able trophies or achievements and MMOs have titles to display after performing a fantastical feat of prowess. What's everyone's perspective on them? Thoughts? Is it something that's really just purely mechanical that really doesn't lend itself well or is it something that can be potentially integrated to a story, and possibly reward the player with other in game perks? Can a game have too many achievements for a person to complete it all!? Like the achievement of getting all those bloody gold skultulas from OoT. (I swear there were too many of those dang things.)
     
    #1
  2. Nathanial

    Nathanial Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    First Language:
    English
    I like achievements that are... actually an achievement to get. 

    A lot of games do achievements and trophies for every little thing which goes against the point of having them in the first place (in my opinion).

    Achievements I like are ones that are hard to pull off. Something such as beating the game on a nightmare difficulty, or beating the game in under X:XX time. At least those are achievements that I think are attractive to aim for. 

    Then there's games like The Stanley Parable. That game has some really nifty fourth wall breaking achievements:

    • Achievement Name: Achievement
      Achievement Requirement: In the menu go to Options then Extras and Enable Achievements.
       
    • Achievement Name: Commitment
      Achievement Requirement: Play The Stanley Parable for the entire duration of a Tuesday.
       
    • Achievement Name: Unachievable
      Achievement Requirement: It is impossible to get this achievement.
       
    • Achievement Name: Go outside
      Achievement Requirement: Don't play The Stanley Parable for five years.
    Those are really cute/fun achievements that sorta break the achievement systems "purpose" but I don't mind it because it's rather unique and tongue-in-cheek.

    As much as I love The Walking Dead by Telltale, that game is an example of achievements that aren't necessary. As long as you play through the entire game, you will unlock all the achievements since they unlock on a chapter completion basis... and only a chapter completion basis.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
    #2
  3. Lunarea

    Lunarea Artist Global Mod

    Messages:
    8,847
    Likes Received:
    7,833
    I think it's great when achievements encourage the player to explore the world beyond the main story and to make note of the little details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Things like: exploring an entire map, making every recipe in the cookbook or reading from every bookshelf in the library, and so on. There's going to be a few players that will experience those things anyway, but adding an achievement would increase the number of people who are exposed to the content.

    I also like achievements that require the use of time management, strategy and skill. For example, achievement to kill the boss without having any of your party members die, an achievement to kill the boss in less than a minute or an achievement to go through an entire dungeon without a healer. These achievements shouldn't be so hard that the player feels like they're being cruelly punished, but they should be a good challenge for the player who's looking for more difficulty. :)
     
    #3
  4. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    4,288
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    An achievement list should not be things that a player would do anyway.  Rather, they should be a comprehensive list that gets the player to try out everything in your game and explore avenues they normally wouldn't (like alternate ways to beat bosses).

    I don't honestly think they should be insanely difficult so only people with no lives can get them...  Beating the game on the hardest difficulty is one thing...  But obtaining really random and luck based crap coupled on top of achievements that require you to play hundreds of hours...  Those are just stupid.  If your game is good enough that every player will obtain these naturally through simple play, they don't need to exist.  If nobody will obtain these achievements because your game sucks and they quit playing, they don't need to exist.

    An ideal achievement list sees 80% of players complete at least 75% of your list.

    You know what I'm a fan of?  I'm a fan of achievements that unlock other stuff in the game.  Remember Mass Effect 1 and what its achievements did?  Some of them unlocked stuff for other playthroughs.  I loved that.  Made me have even further incentive to unlock the achievements and see what else I could get.
     
    #4
  5. The Prince of Sarcasm

    The Prince of Sarcasm Prince of sarcasm Veteran

    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    Castle of the Lord of sarcasm
    First Language:
    Sarcasm
    I like most achievements, but what really irritates me are the dumb tiny super easy ones. Like in some games I play online, you get extra money and points for getting achievements like, "Credit where credit is due: Watch the credits. 1000$ 500 Gems'' Or where you have to play the game for a minute, or complete the tutorial to get tons of extra money. I like the ones that aren't insanely impossible, but are difficult, like the example given by Lunarea.
     
    #5
  6. Shian

    Shian Pervasively Incandescent Veteran

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    13
    On Steam I have the achievements popup disabled because it pulls me out of the in-game immersion, and often contains spoilers as to how far I am in the game etc.

    I honestly don't even care about them, but then even for me they do have a use:

    I can finish a game, then go and look at achievements and see the greyed out "beat the secret boss in sector H" or "talked to all NPCs in the Castle" and think to myself; "oh, this is an in-game experience that I missed out on this time around. That is good to know. I will see if I can experience it next time." So achievements are good in telling me which parts of a game I have missed in my first playthrough.
     
    #6
    Tai_MT likes this.
  7. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    4,288
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Yeah, I often use my achievement lists to see where I am in the game and what I have left to do.  I like using them as a measure of "game completion".  They're great for that too.  Plus, I can also use them to see if my friends have completed them too!
     
    #7
  8. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    784
    Location:
    Somewhere on Earth
    First Language:
    English
    I'd say the best achievements are the ones which push the player to their limits and to do things that may NOT be required to win the game proper (i.e. complete the main plot).  For example, the fun game Goat Simulator has some Achievements related to exploring the nooks and crannies of the game world.  Of course since that game HAS no plot (other than create mayhem) it may not be the best example.

    And in FFIV on Steam, there are Achievements related to completing the Beastiary, but most of them are basically useless "plot point check points."  So a normal playthrough will unlock more than half of the Achievements in the game.  I don't think those are really useful Achievements.

    If I added any to a current game, they would be the hard to find areas, or unusual or difficult ways of completing a task (such as "Beat the Dragon with the Mop"), or to indicate the player completed the game a special way ("Speed Run" - complete in less than an hour, or "Pacifist" for a PC who gets through a sneak game without killing any enemies).
     
    #8
    cybrim likes this.
  9. HumanNinjaToo

    HumanNinjaToo The Cheerful Pessimist Veteran

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    For me, achievements are useless but, I'm not that guy that tries to get every little thing out of a game. I want to experience the story and gameplay and, if it's a really good game then I'll keep it and replay it from time to time. So for me, the only achievements or extra's in a game that I like to look for are one's that give you an edge or bragging rights during online play. For instance, I will go out of my way to get every last bit of equipment in Dark Souls 2 so I can pull out those obscure, hard-to-find weapons/armor during competitive play but; getting all the games achievements that don't come with some kind of in-game reward is not on my to-do list.
     
    #9
    cybrim likes this.
  10. cybrim

    cybrim Tinker of the Nether Veteran

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    16
    First Language:
    English
    I believe that if you have achievements/trophies/awards your game shouldn't need them to be related to the story, personal progress, finding that rare dungeon, beating the hidden bosses, beating the game (maybe), surviving for so long with little to no resources, dying on every trap you come across (should warp you back to a checkpoint instead of showing the game over screen and add to a "death variable" as well as turn on the switch related to the death).
     
    #10
  11. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    3,654
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    My personal opinion is that Achievements that offer in-game rewards (even if they're something extraneous like Sound Test items or costumes) feel significantly more rewarding than simply giving you a Trophy or Gamer Points or a Steam Achievement on whatever network you're on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2014
    #11
    cybrim likes this.
  12. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    4,288
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Wow, I forgot I even posted in this topic.  Luckily I always check the "My Content" button on my profile!

    To be honest, I think most people prefer some kind of "tangible reward" when they get an achievement.  Collecting Gamerscore is fine...  But, it's not quite as fun as "You used Warp 150 times, now you can select it as an extra skill on any new character you create!". 

    Tangible rewards don't need to be insanely overpowered or really super interesting.  Ideally, they should add a new gameplay element to the game, or provide more options for play.  Personally, I'm not into costumes in games, but there are people who would prefer them as a reward for an achievement.  I would at least accept such a thing (as hated as they are for me) as a valuable thing to unlock for obtaining an achievement.

    But, why not have "XP is doubled" after you've beaten the game so new characters level up much faster... or the old one can max out faster?  What about store discounts for spending X amount of money in the game?  Tangible rewards, when linked to achievements, make the achievements far more fun to obtain than for the simple collection of them.  They actually force players to aim for certain ones to see what they can get for it, or get players to play certain ways in order to try to "maximize" their playthrough of the game.
     
    #12
    cybrim likes this.
  13. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    510
    First Language:
    English
    I prefer the achievements have some in-game use, such as if I perform a fetch quest, maybe my agility goes up, if I help a farmer with cutting wood, my strength goes up as a result of getting the Woodsman Assistant achievement.

    Achievements for the sake of them mean nothing, but if they are the gateway to additional scenes, expanded story, cool items or equipment, new side quests, stat upgrades... I'm all for it.
     
    #13
  14. Tsukihime

    Tsukihime Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    8,230
    Likes Received:
    3,061
    Location:
    Toronto
    First Language:
    English
    No, a game can never have enough achievements


    The achievement for achieving all achievements is simply something that should not exist.


    Realistically, you shouldn't make achievements silly. For example, "Played first level!" even though I don't have a choice to avoid it. It is ok I suppose, but if you have mechanics that are unlocked only when you achieve certain amount of achievements, that would make it a bit difficult if you start to include silly achievements.


    Now, "Reached final level" would be a realistic achievement, because maybe the game is so hard that just getting there is already a feat. Or you have enough patience to actually play the game that long (which is the case for many of the hard badges on kongregate)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2014
    #14
  15. Matombo

    Matombo Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    105
    First Language:
    German
    when we are already at kongregate try out this game http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/achievement-unlocked?acomplete=archivment+unlocked

    (there are also 2 sequels to it) (laugth my ass of when i first played it)

    But I don't really like archivments in normal games. Most times it makes you waste time on playing the game how it's not supposed to be played (knive kill archivments in shooter for example, get out your knive and run over the whole map again and again getting killed most of the time till you get your 7 knive kills in one round not mattering about your team looses because it has efective one player less). And thats an example where there isn't actually any real skill involved.

    Also it grinds my gears that it kinda' feels like you haven't beaten the game 100% if you don't have all archivments, but most of them are so much pain to get.
     
    #15
    Tsukihime likes this.
  16. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    4,288
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Multiplayer achievements are stupid.  Any developer that implements multiplayer achievements is officially moronic and is just trying to get you to play their multiplayer mode.  News flash:  if your multiplayer is good enough to begin with, you don't need achievements in it to entice players to play it.  You just don't.  Multiplayer achievements tend to be extremely luck based or force people to play multiplayer in ways no sane human being would play because those ways are fairly stupid (knife kills example in shooters above).  Sometimes, players just don't want to use certain guns that the devs tell you to use because there's an achievement.  I'm not a sniper.  I never will be.  It's not my thing.  I don't have the patience for camping and I don't have the precision required to make long distance headshots.  But, I rage every single time there's an achievement in multiplayer for "get 100 headshots with sniper rifles".  No, screw you.

    If you must include achievements in multiplayer modes, make sure they are things everyone will achieve without much effort or time.  Nobody wants to play a competitive multiplayer mode and have to worry about obtaining achievements in it.  We're here for the competition, not for the Gamerscore.

    Oh, let's nix "grindy" achievements as well.  "Win 250 games of multiplayer" and other such nonsense should be left in the garbage bin.  As I mentioned before, if your multiplayer is good enough by itself, you don't need this kind of achievement.  Grinding is boring even when there isn't an achievement for doing it.  Why attach achievements to grind at all? "Press the A button in the game 9999999999999 times!"  No.  Screw you unimaginative douchebag developer.

    Achievements, ideally, should fill one of two roles:  Be fun to obtain or as a measure of skill investment in the game (like beating games on the hardest difficulty or beating a boss without using a single healing item).  Anything else, and you're doing achievements wrong.
     
    #16
  17. Harmill

    Harmill Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    129
    First Language:
    English
    Personally, I'm against multiplayer achievements in general, for already explained reasons. They have a tendency to encourage someone to play the game in a sub-optimal way so that they can get a specific achievement, but you COULD argue that this is merely a sign of bad achievement design. In the context of shooters, linking an achievement to a large kill streak or getting a rapid succession of kills seems valid, and they are something a skilled player could get through natural play. They are just annoying for the unskilled player who might be playing the game solely for the achievements...

    And that leads to problem number two: multiplayer achievements + achievement hunters. If you are trying to get all the achievements in a shooter, but you're not good at shooters, you are obviously going to be frustrated at any skill-based or grindy achievements. You'd rather it be "Win 5 games" than "Win 250 games" only because your only interest is getting that achievement and moving on to the next game. But the "Win 250 games of multiplayer" achievement is a symbol for the dedicated player who is genuinely playing the game for enjoyment and not for superficial achievements. Maybe he doesn't actively hunt achievements down, but he could still feel a sense of accomplishment or pride if he obtains that "grindy" trophy for doing something he's having a lot of fun doing.

    That's the major problem I see with multiplayer achievements. There is a large "achievement hunter" community, and multiplayer achievements are the bane of their existence. They will buy a game that they have no interest in playing for the game itself, and only see it as another Platinum or another 1000 Gamerscore. So any trophy that will require some amount of grinding, be it single player OR multiplayer, they are going to have an issue with it.  I've tried Trophy Hunting on PS3 games for awhile and eventually I realized I was not having fun playing games anymore. The moment I realized that I dreaded booting up Uncharted 3 because some online friends were urging me to join them for some online trophy hunting when I'd really rather play a different game that's fun... yeah that's not for me. I'll stick to hunting trophies for games that I really enjoy playing, but I have a huge backlog of games... so why am I grinding for Level 100 if there's no in-game reward and only an achievement?

    As for single player achievements, I actually don't mind when they are tied to the story. I kind of like being able to look at a friend's achievement list and being able to deduce roughly how far into the game they got based on where their last story achievement was. I'm still more for the ones that have a greater sense of achievement to them, such as beating the hardest boss in the game, or crafting the ultimate weapons for each character. When I look at Kingdom Hearts HD Remix's trophy list, I think that's a pretty good list. They have trophies for beating the game with default equipment. A trophy for beating the game in under 15 hours. Beating the game without using a continue. Now, I guess the important distinction is that Kingdom Hearts is a relatively short RPG (10-20 hours), so beating it multiple times is not as big of a deal than if the trophy list required beating a 40+ hour RPG multiple times, but those trophies are similar to what a seasoned KH player might self-impose on himself if he was looking to play the game for a third or fourth or fifth time. Kind of like someone trying to beat Sephiroth at as low of a level as they can. "Guess what? I beat Sephiroth at level 50! Take that!" "Haha, oh yeah? I beat him as low as 46!" They are creating their own achievements to prolong the longevity of the game, and having fun doing it.
     
    #17
    cybrim likes this.
  18. nio kasgami

    nio kasgami VampCat Veteran

    Messages:
    8,590
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    Location:
    Canada / Quebec
    First Language:
    French
    I actually loving achievement who seem challenging like " go beat the impossible dragon" ...and you realise this a dragon level 50 and you are like level 30 ...this what I love..after I can stop to simply try to beat  this one for the only purpose...I can beat this dragon and have this little beautifull achievement 

    what I love somewhat are achievement you can only unlock to a certain chapter...so if you pass up you can't return back and complete this achievement...this force the player to explore more and complete the game to 100%

    this like the fact of legend of zelda who not have achievement but...in some kind of way they have achievement...

    like "collecting" all the piece of hearts in the game~...(never succeed to found all of them~)
     
    #18
  19. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    4,288
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    @Harmill

    I'm one of the mentioned "Achievement Hunters".  However, over the years, as my time has become more and more limited due to real life, I've started caring less and less about achievements.  Oh, I still care to have them all.  I still care to obtain as many as I can.  But, I'm not here just to obtain Gamerscore on "easy 1000" games.  I only buy games I want to play.  I don't rent games.  I don't buy used games.

    For me, the reason I hate multiplayer achievements is because they're not only done so stupidly... But, they exist merely to pad out the experience of multiplayer.  They also tend to include really heavily luck based achievements that will require you to grab a whole bunch of friends in order to boost the achievement.  This isn't even getting into games where 95% of the achievements in it are multiplayer based (Turok for Xbox 360, anyone?).  This also isn't even getting into games that have really terrible multiplayer either.  Perfect Dark Zero has a large amount of grindy achievements in its multiplayer mode...  But, it's multiplayer mode is so boring compared to other games (or even the original Perfect Dark).  When you have achievements in your game that are decidedly unfun to obtain (as in, take a ton of hours to obtain in a mode that just isn't designed well), then you've essentially got achievements for the sake of trying to prolong the life of your game.  I view doing this as wrong.

    Why do I view it as wrong?  Well, achievements are essentially another version of a "skinner box".  There's a reason achievement hunters exist despite the lack of any kind of tangible reward for obtaining them.  Because that little "plick!" with the score and name popping up sends that little pleasure jolt into our brain as if we'd accomplished something major.  When you start tying that to playing a game for 400 hours or getting 100 kills with every weapon in multiplayer...  You are essentially tricking people into playing your game longer than they normally would.  If your game is good in single player or multiplayer, it does not need achievements to keep people playing it.  It just doesn't.  People will come back and keep playing those modes regardless of the achievements.  This is true of any multiplayer mode as well.  If your multiplayer is fun without achievements, players will play your multiplayer regardless (Battlefield or Call of Duty, anyone?).

    Achievements should always be fun to obtain.  If not fun, they should be a legitimate, but obtainable challenge.  As I said before, 80% of your achievements should always be obtainable by 75% of your players.  If they are not, you are doing it wrong.  The other 20% of your achievements should be for the truly dedicated or truly skilled.
     
    #19
  20. Harmill

    Harmill Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    129
    First Language:
    English
    What you describe is merely bad achievement design. Achievements are a relatively new addition to games and designers either don't care about them (and therefore give very little thought in creating them) or don't even know what makes a good or bad achievement and so pick generic feats (reach Lv. 50) or randomly pick numbers (1000 pistol kills).

    First off, if a game is primarily a multiplayer game (ex: Call of Duty), it makes sense to me that the majority of achievements lie within the multiplayer. The presence of multiplayer achievements should not itself instill anger or resentment IMO.

    Secondly, if the multiplayer of the game is crap, as in your Perfect Dark Zero example, why should it be exempt of achievements? The developers probably did not intend for the multiplayer to be crap, so I'm not sure why they should have omitted multiplayer achievements or reduced the amount in this case. If a game has multiplayer, to me, it's a given that there will be at least one or two achievements tied to it. If the game winds up being crap, the achievements could be annoying to obtain even if there's no inherent flaw in the achievement design itself.

    And luck-based achievements? I completely agree with you. I hate them and they are the perfect example of horrible achievement design. If your game has a casino, there should NEVER be an achievement for getting a Royal Flush; that is a ridiculous thing to demand. So as I said before, the biggest problem with multiplayer achievements right now is that the designers are not putting enough thought into them and are creating these ridiculous and unfun conditions to unlock them.

    But not all multiplayer achievements are like this though. I will use Uncharted 2 / 3's online trophies as my examples:

    Uncharted 2 and 3 have an online co-op mode of 2-3 players and they require TEAMWORK and coordination / communication. They are ridiculously fun to play, though. In Uncharted 2, there is a trophy for beating all Co-Op Campaign levels on the hardest difficulty. This is something that takes skill and patience and it really feels good when you accomplish it. Uncharted 3 shifts the trophy requirements so that you have to beat any Co-Op Campaign level on the hardest difficulty without losing a life. Another trophy that takes skill and patience. Uncharted 3 also has trophies tied to doing something specific in a specific Co-Op Campaign level. In one level, you have to defend a statue for a certain duration, and the statue can withstand 5 hits from enemy RPGs. There is an incredibly difficult trophy that requires you to complete that segment on the hardest difficulty without letting the statue lose a single hit point. This requires teamwork, skill, and knowledge of the enemy wave spawns during that gameplay segment. I would use these as examples of good trophy design. Now Uncharted 2 and 3 have their fair share of horrible trophies as well, but I still think that multiplayer achievements, in and of themselves, should not be blasted with such hate. There are ways to do them well - the problem is that the designers either don't care or don't know how.

     

    On one mobile game that I worked on as a tester, one of the game designers sent me a tentative Game Center trophy list and asked me for feedback and ideas. That tentative list was made of the most generic set of conditions, and many of them were extremely grindy. Here's the reality, game designers don't always have the time to actually be playing the game during development. They are SO busy with the actual design process, that they are detached from how the game is actually functioning and playing out based on the systems they design. So they have almost NO basis for what actions in their game could constitute to a valid trophy. You need to play the game for a LONG time before you get a good sense for what's fun in the game, what's not working so well, and then you can decide which sections of the game to create trophies for. This is why when I was a tester, playing that game 8 hours a day, I could immediately look at his tentative list and pick out the ones that would be ANNOYING AS HELL to obtain, which ones would be fine, and then I could pitch my own ideas on what I thought would work well based on my extensive experience PLAYING the game.

    The point of that anecdote was that achievements are often nothing more than an afterthought. Many platforms a game is developed for (Xbox, PS3/4, Mobile) REQUIRE achievements for their games regardless if the developer actually wants to use them or not. It's hard to imagine that game designers may not really care about them and therefore only come up with the generic, grindy, useless ones, and leave it at that. Without playing the game extensively, they don't even know what are the coolest and toughest things to do in their own game.

    Is the solution to this problem just to do as achievement hunters would prefer? To only create a few extremely basic achievements (Win 1 multiplayer match!)? I don't think so. This is merely falling back to the whole "achievements should FEEL like an achievement" line of thought. I think play testers are a game designer's most useful tool for figuring out which actions could lead to fun and rewarding achievements. This is applicable to BOTH single player AND multiplayer.
     
    #20

Share This Page