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Thread: Achievements and immersion

  1. #1
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    Default Achievements and immersion

    Do you think achievements add to the immersion of a game or detract from it? Is there a specific way or time when they should be used?

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    I tend to look askance at 'automatic' achievements unless they are at seriously major points in the game.

    Achievement for beating the final boss - Fine.
    Achievement for defeating your first enemy - Are you kidding me?

    By automatic, I mean things you can't play the game without encountering. I more enjoy achievements when they're optional, little flags that help me feel like my playthrough was different from other people's playthroughs and the game recognises my skills (or insanity, as the case may be.) "I finished Level 1" is not a meaningful achievement in my book.

    As a developer generic achievements (if public or reported to a network) can be handy so that you can track how much of the game your players are regularly encountering and completing, but that can annoy them.

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    I hadn't given it much thought, but I think papillon makes some good points. Actually, I did a 10k road race yesterday, and everyone gets a medal just for finishing. I have loads in my running drawer, and they kinda piss me off. There is no value or function with them, they just take up space, and I can't throw them out as that kinda feels irreverent.

    Maybe some people like that kinda thing though, same goes for achievements in games.

    Also, I don't think programmes make good barometers for what people typically like in games...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie W View Post
    I hadn't given it much thought, but I think papillon makes some good points. Actually, I did a 10k road race yesterday, and everyone gets a medal just for finishing. I have loads in my running drawer, and they kinda piss me off. There is no value or function with them, they just take up space, and I can't throw them out as that kinda feels irreverent.
    That feels like an achievement to me - not many people would even try to run 10k. Finishing that is more worthy than you give it credit, as it requires a lot of hard work to get to that level.

    But I get irritated by "easy" achievements too. They devalue the harder ones. And I also find rewards for insane quantities of gameplay a bit disturbing. Is it really an achievement to have spent (say) 1000 hours of your life playing a match-3 puzzle game? Or is it an indication you might need therapy?
    Last edited by Artinum; 09-03-2012 at 08:28 AM. Reason: Clarification
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    I'm old school but I'd rather my achievements mean something in game - leveling up, more buffs, a cool big gun, etc..

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    I agree with not doing automatic/easy achievements. However, I think some achievements that make sense in the context of the game are a good thing and can add replay value. For example, in Dirk Dashing 2 (which I just released), I have up to 4 end-of-level bonuses that I award: getting through a level without ever getting hurt, without ever setting off the alarm, with all enemies neutralized, and with 100% of the treasure. The achievements are not easy to get, so it's good to reward the player when they can do one or more of those things.

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    I agree with everyone above. Xbox achievements drive me nuts due to this. Almost all single player games are loaded with useless achievements that mean nothing. Sticking to rewarding the player with unlocks for significant challenges is much better!

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    I think there are situations where it can add to the situations - especially if it's a context in which someone might be receiving awards. So, I might expect a military officer to receive medals for "valorous conduct", for example. It might also work as a way of inciting people to replay, if it's the kind of thing where two awards are mutually exclusive on the first playthrough.

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    One of the best ways to achieve immersion through achievements is to integrate a leveling system into it!

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    Let me tell you, if there was no battlegrounds and achievements systems I probably would've played WoW alot less!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
    One of the best ways to achieve immersion through achievements is to integrate a leveling system into it!
    I think this is exactly wrong. If you make achievements part of leveling, then it's not really an achievement at all. You were going to level anyway, so what's so special about these achievements?

    Achievements should be something a player strives for to be noteworthy, not to simply be one among the regular crowd.

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    I kind of liked the way Lord of the Rings Online did it by giving 'rewards' such as titles and stat boosts for each acheivement. However, JeBuS is right, too much of that simply forces players to do an acheivement grind if they want to be competetive.

    Acheivements cater to a certain type of player, others couldn't care less. It's probably best to implement a system where players can grind out acheivements if they want, but don't have to if it's not for them.

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    Depending on the tone of the game, I like achievements for unusual or humorous activities. They make me want to explore the game more and/or try to do weird things.
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    It's nice to get an achievement when you're playing, as long as they're not popping up every five seconds. I get a little buzz when I see some glossy little badge pop up or whatever. If I was asked to explain why I would say it wasn't the sense of achievement so much as getting a glossy golden little self-contained 'thing', like the buzz you'd get from finding a $10 in the street even though it isn't that much.

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