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Reinventing Gaming Addiction with 360 Achievements

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the must-play-more-mutant-storm dept.

78

jayintune writes "An article from 2old2play looks at how the XBox 360 achievement system is bringing out the addictive qualities of console games by adding a whole new level of competition to 'single-player' games. At the same time, the achievements extend the life and replayability of the games. Do you actually get more for your money from a single player Xbox 360 Game then from another console? You be the judge."

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uhm...yes? (0, Offtopic)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738736)

uhm...yes?

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738749)

mmm yeaaahhhh that would be a no for me.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738885)

err...no?

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739727)

What I find amusing is that the assumption is that the /. crowd will do anything other than bash MS products.

Is what the Xbox 360/Xbox Live do(es) anything new? No. Do gamer cards and scores that are publicly displayed give greater incentive to obsession? Of course.

If I'm not mistaken, you don't even need to subscribe to be put up on the leader boards. Hell, that's about as close to a national/international arcade as I can imagine. I was saddened to see the decline of arcades in America, thinking that the advent of online play could keep the experience alive while allowing a more diverse pool of competition but Xbox Live actually isn't doing too bad a job. Then again, I wouldn't be able to put the time into getting a good score, nor do I even have a 360 at the moment (MS's announcement of 300,000 more 360s the week before Christmas did it for me)... but it seems to lend itself to community building.

The new Live gives players something gaming-related to be proud of if they so choose, so of course it enables addiction. But it's not like WoW wasn't already upholding the tradition for millions.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739759)

Ehh, I prefer the old way.

Snap a shot of your screen with an actual camera, send it into a magazine, are in the top X and it gets published.

Or arcades. There's no real achievement here. It's more like Ikaruga's web-codes than anything else.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739788)

But the point is that it's a scoreboard that's readily available for anybody to check, and multiple ways to seek a high rank by either each game or by raising your general gamertag score (I don't know if I'm butchering MS's terminology here... what exactly is a "block" of memory, again?).

It's true that arcades or good old Polaroids are better, but it's better than what consoles allowed two years ago... right, that was nothing.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740440)

A block is the smallest amount of space a filesystem can tell apart.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14743318)

Yeah, and that only matters to those people who read the magazine and bother to snap a shot of their screen. That guy out there who smashes everyone's scores, but doesn't go and do such a thing, ends up not being known.

Xbox Live leaderboards take care of all of it for you. If you're connected, your best scores will be up there no matter what. And how do you compare yourself to all your friends with the photo method? It's possible, but more annoying.

I don't see why you think a higher-effort lower-exposure method is preferrable.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14743294)

It does. I have gotten a quite a few messages since I got my 360 based on leaderboard position and the like. I had a LOT of people sending friend requests and messages when I was in the top 10 on Geo Wars (days long past, sadly). I've made a couple friends due to that. And I know the entire top Geo Wars crowd has gotten to know each other on Bizarre's forums and the like, shared videos of their scores, etc.

All of that really helps make Xbox Live feel even better with the 360. Of course, there are still tons of idiots out there. You just leave them feedback and go on with life.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

Red Cape (854034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739144)

uhm...no. They've been doing this for years. Tons of games have "percentage of completion" notifiers for the player. While it does bring a sense of accomplishment(gaining more things after you've beaten a game), Xbox 360 is by no means the first to employ this.

Re:uhm...yes? (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741586)

The difference is, it uploads your points and adds to your gamer score. Its fun to try to catch up to all of my friends who have had their 360s for a few more months than I.

Damn! (5, Insightful)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738760)

And we wonder why nobody RTFA? Please don't bother; that was the fluffiest nonsense I've read all week!

Summary: You think you've finished that game, eh? Well, try to do it with a melee weapon only! Then you can try it again without using any powerups! Only XBox 360 games have these innovative features!!

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14738858)

What the Xbox 360 does offer is external verification that the player did in fact complete the game a certain way. So essentially the "innovative" feature is bragging rights, e-penis++, and all that jazz.

Re:Damn! (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739314)

What the Xbox 360 does offer is external verification that the player did in fact complete the game a certain way. So essentially the "innovative" feature is bragging rights, e-penis++, and all that jazz.

This reminds me of a scene from Tin Cup.
Costner's character tells Don Johnson's character, after having played the back 9 with just a 7 iron, "Well have you ever finished the back 9 with just a 7 iron?"
and Johnson's character says, "Hell, Roy. It never even occurred to me to try."

Re:Damn! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741472)

That's because a lot of people have no imagination. I remember Super Mario Bros. 2, which was the first game I had for nintendo because I didn't get it as soon as it came out. There was lots of ways to get creative. Beat it only with each character, without warping, without missing a mushroom, Always using the character least suited to the level, without dying (if you died, start over). A game doesn't have to provide you with much to make it have lots of playability. I'd rather play a game where I can make up my own quests, rather than have to follow the quests set out in the game.

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14739253)

This is the stuff your marketing department has to deal with when you are forced to rush a weak product out the door because your previous one flopped.

We wouldn't be seeing all these attempts to hype 360 gimmicks if the 360 hardware wasn't so weak.

Re:Damn! (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739606)

The hardware is fine. The games aren't there. I haven't had a desire to purchase one of those overpriced disks since the 2 I bought at launch. And im not all that impressed with the 2 either ...

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14739733)

"The hardware is fine."

If you have an 'everyone's a winner' attitude I guess...

Re:Damn! (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741784)

Which 2 games? Also, what kind of games do you like?

If you like Zelda-style games (by which mean N64 and later Zelda-style), then Kameo is a fantastic game. If it turns into a franchise (which it probably will, since everything's a franchise these days), it's the sort of game that will make me buy a system to play it.

If you're into arcade street racing, NFS: Most Wanted is a pretty good implementation of it, though it's not worth getting for the 360 if you already have it for another platform - it looks and runs better, but not an additional $60 better.

If you like more realistic racing, PGR3 is a solid example of the breed (still not what I'd call a driving sim, obviously, but a good racer).

If you like FPS games on the console, Call Of Duty 2 is the best WWII FPS I've played, and the implementation on the 360 is easily the best one available. Again, not enough better to rebuy it, but definitely better enough to make the 360 the platform of choice if you don't have it yet.

But, really, if it's your kind of game at all, I can't flog Kameo enough. Yes, it's Zelda-derivative, but it pulls it off well, and it's a fresh gaming experience.

Not that I'm a Kameo fanboi, or anything. ;)

Re:Damn! (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14747092)

I dont really have a genre of choice, although I typically avoid sports and racing. Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty were the two I aquired, and they both left lackluster impressions on me. Call of Duty I beat in a few days, and was well put together, but ... meh. Nothing really special about it. PDZ just kind of sucked. Haven't bothered to beat it.

Kameo I may like, although I just am not digging the $60 price tag. Maybe when it comes down to something more reasonable. I have more than enough PC games to keep me entertained.

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14739991)

By all accounts, the X360 is about as powerful as the PS3 and Revolution.

Well, unless there's a game that involves millions of unshaded, same-size triangles. The PS3 really excels at that.

Re:Damn! (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740334)

I think the biggest problem with these arbitrary achievements is that they may get an artificial amount of life out of the game. Playing the game thru again purely with a melee weapon is only a good achievement if the game is worth playing thru again with a melee weapon, or if it's been set up so this is a viable option. I'm assuming the game you're talking about it Condemned. All I hear about that game is "it was fun while it lasted, but it was a short game, and now I'll probably never play it again".

Compare this with, for example, Deus Ex. There are endless stories of people going "I finished it normally, and then I selected the crossbow at the start and stealthed thru the game" or "then I finished the game without killing anyone" or "then I made myself into an uber sniper and killed everyone from a distance". All this was in a game that never asked you to start again for a meaningless objective. People wanted to play the game more than once. And in order to have these 'objectives' (which seem pretty stupid to me) actually worth completing, the games themselves are going to have to be worth mulitple plays.

I wonder if this will do more harm than good to the completists out there. A game was pretty boring, or not worth of a replay, but I need that objective that says I play thru just using melee weapons. And I have to make sure I quicksave as much as possible so I don't accidentally use a gun, cause I don't want to drop the final boss with a bullet and cost myself the entire achievement. People will end up hating the game because of the amount of pointless playthrus to get achievements they've done.

Maybe I'll just making shit up, but the whole idea of achievements seems to try and get more out of a possibly lacking game. Make the game worth playing in itself, and people will create their own achievements on subsequent replays. Forcibly doing it risks alienating the people from the game that they once loved. You best remember the last time you played thru, for some lame objective. Not the first, when you played it thru to the end because it was new and fun. Not a good attitude to take away when being asked about the game.

Re:Damn! (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14743975)

Uhh... nobody's being forced to play. It's just that for games like Deus Ex (can you imagine what they're going to do with acheivements in Oblivion!?!) when the incentive is there, people will be able to see that you've gone through and done all those things. It's like OXM tried to do when it first came out, they issued challenges in each issue and displayed a leader board in the back of every magazine. I don't know how long that lasted but things like that are just fun to compete in, but I never did. Was I forced to play through crappy games to get my name on any list? No, but if I wanted to I would've been recognized for it.

Re:Damn! (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14754283)

Good point, as long as devs don't use the achievements system in place of extra content.

Completing Postal 2 without killing (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744426)

There *are* games where certain "replay" challenges are actually pretty rewarding. Beating Halo and Halo 2 on "Legendary" setting was a completely different game experience than playing it on any other level. And beating Postal 2 without killing, well that was something only a few people in the world have ever done.

-Eric

Re:Damn! (1)

pixelisfun (887208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740390)

I even remember spending tons of hours playing Tony Hawk 3 just to get all boards and the rest of the stuff... so if you are really into a certain game and there are "goals" to achieve, you keep playing until the day you know there is nothing new to do there, even if you completed the game long time ago.

Re:Damn! (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740672)

The sad thing is that I have spent a lot of time doing more than just "beating the game". With RPGs that I genuinely like, I tend to try to finish all of the side quests, beat all the optional bosses, etc. (I beat Prinny Baal in Disgaea!) Of course, no one really knows that I did this, unless I tell them. But having those recorded in some sort of leaderboard or gamer profile would be cool AND a further enticement to do all the optional stuff that's in many games these days.

Of course, some people might be embarassed that they actually spent the time to find all 500 doo-hickeys in a given platform game, but that's their problem. :)

Re:Damn! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744389)

How dare you insult the Lord 360, sir!! You'll smoke a turd in Hell for that blasphemy!

-Eric

Re:Damn! (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746406)

This guy obviously just woke up after hybernating for 10 years.

absolutely (3, Interesting)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738768)

I will load up even just the basic XBL arcade games to unlock more achievement points. Whenever i see "Achievement Unlocked" on my screen, i immediately have to check out what i received it for. Sad? Sure. But it definitely adds an element of " I Really gotta keep playing this game " to every game. Having the live updated gamercard available from www.xbox.com also makes it addicting because anyone can see your progress, or lack thereof. Very smart implementation.

Re:absolutely (1)

Fulg (138866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738943)

it definitely adds an element of " I Really gotta keep playing this game " to every game.

Indeed, achievements are the only reason I even bothered to finish King Kong, to get those +1000 points to my gamer card :)

Achievements are quite addictive and are an added incentive to actually finish a game. It also gives you some insight on the kind of gamer you're up against when playing under Live (eg if you have unlocked the All Platinum Medals achievement in PGR3, I do not want to race you). I think it's brilliant!

Speaking of King Kong, there are some more unlockables in the game once you finish it, but you don't get any achievements from them so I won't bother... (hmm, double-edged sword?)

Re:absolutely (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14743985)

Well, I am replying to you because this is one of the few parent messages that seem like they know what is going on. (meaning you have actually used the system, not someone who has an opinion based only on the name of the company that designed the Xbox 360)

YES, I am addicted to achievements and gamerscore. And YES, I go onto my computer to check out how many points an achievement has given me right after I get one. Sometimes if there is a 5 minute lag in adding the score, I get a little anxious. YES, achievements make me play the games a lot longer than I normally would. (Good for MS, or bad?)

When I first heard about the achievement system I thought it was idiotic. Who cares about my score? But once I got started, it is a very big deal. I've even tried to explain the achievements thing to my wife...not that she gives a shit, but I think this is very, very cool.

I usually buy 1-2 games per month. A lot of them ended up being 'throw-aways' something I would play for 30 minutes and decided that I hated it, so I wouldn't play it anymore. Also, when I played a game and 'finished' it, I would stop playing. Not anymore- I need my damn points!

In fact today, I was just looking at my Call of Duty 2 score, thinking that I *really* need to go back and play on Veteran difficulty to pick up some points. That is odd because I NEVER replay first person shooters in single player mode. But I will do it this time.

If anyone cares enough to see my score, take a look at my gamercard. [xbox.com]

Yes, I agree it sounds stupid. Until you have your own gamercard...now I think it is awesome.

And on a more practical note, it allows you to gauge someone's skill when you are playing on-line, and it's great for comparing people in your friends list also.

Re:absolutely (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744787)

Sounds a lot like the minigames/modes in the Timesplitters series. You find yourself trying to complete all these little tasks just to see what you will unlock, be it more minigames/modes/some weird cheat/new playable characters/etc.

Reinventing addiction? (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738810)

While it's all well and nice that the 360 has added 'another dimension' to gaming by adding leaderboards, I still think we need to wait for the 360 port of NetHack before players of this particular console know the true meaning of the word "addiction" :)

Joking aside, I think it is small touches like leaderboards that can keep a certain element coming back for more, and if titles for the 360 implement this, more power to them. Competition in gaming is nice and healthy, for the most part, so as long as it doesn't descent to the levels of stat-padding for globally ranked games as seen in BF2; or the account farming [from the psst-hey-fella-wanna-buy-a-top-score? dept] of WoW (or other MMORPGs), it should be -- dare I say -- fun for the Xbox 360 players.

Re:Reinventing addiction? (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739033)

I think it is small touches like leaderboards that can keep a certain element coming back for more, and if titles for the 360 implement this, more power to them.

I'm pretty sure microsoft requires games to include achievements before clearing them for release on xbox 360.

Re:Reinventing addiction? (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744040)

Tomonobu Itagaki even has a quote floating around regarding acheivements. Something along the lines of "I don't know what the hell these acheivements are... but my game will have them."

And a balance really needs to be struck among games, I've heard Madden is one of the easiest ways to get a high score.

More Scared than Interested (2, Insightful)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738828)

Is anyone else concerned that your activities are being monitored even in single player games?

The flip side to this reward system is that companies will be able to tell when you most often play games, what games you play and how long you play in one sitting.

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738866)

Why the f would I be scared of that?
What do I care if someone knows that it took me tweleve tries to beat level 9?
Why would anyone monitor that useless information?

3 words for you:
tin. foil. hat.

-d

Re:More Scared than Interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14740205)

Doesn't it kind of insult you that companies are peeping in on your games so they can learn how to sell you shit better? If a publisher COULD brainwash the populace into giving them all their cash, no moral idealogy would stop them. That should scare you. Ignoring the growing presence of huge corporations in our livingrooms is what's going to completely fuck the future for our kids. If you can't look at the past 20-40 years of capitalism in the US to see this, you're just being stupid.

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744064)

Wait, wait, wait... you're concerned that publishers will look at my gaming patterns so their next game is more appealing to me?

Uhh... that's actually pretty exciting to me. If they can see that there's a certain part of the game that I wouldn't touch for weeks but kept at it in other parts and are able to infer that I just didn't like a former parts, then odds are those parts won't be in the next game and I'll like it more. How is this bad?

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738877)

What exactly are you worried about? Are you distributing child porn and exhorting terrorism when playing XBox games?

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739906)

He's basing it on the 'slippery slope' argument that 'well, if it can be used for this...then it can be used for THAT too, and then THAT, and then THAT, and eventually you're just a mind controlled advertising slave". While technically a possability, there isn't any evidence that it's being used for this.

And to this I ask you, how many times have you activated Windows XP?

...

Yeah...

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740248)

>He's basing it on the 'slippery slope' argument that...

the slippery slope isn't an argument, it's a fallacy.

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741015)

And to this I ask you, how many times have you activated Windows XP?
I use a k'ed pirate copy, you insensitive clod!

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740619)

EdwinBoyd Plays GTA2000 for x hours a day. Terroristy also plays GTA2000 for x hours a day. THEREFORE: EdwinBoyd might be a terrorist.

Yes it is paranoia right now, but who knows for how long. Also think of the future marketing based on these demographics. Think of selling it to people with the info you give to Microsoft (not sure of their EULA or privacy agreement there).

And to premempt someone who posted further down earlier. This isn't slippery slope as in FALLACY. This is SS in the fact that things can be widdled away. Thing of it as the Darwinian theory of Dystopia.

Re:More Scared than Interested (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740633)

The flip side to this reward system is that companies will be able to tell when you most often play games, what games you play and how long you play in one sitting.

You know, that may not be so bad. If game companies find that original, unique, innovative, well-crafted games get more attention from gamers, rather than the crappy sequels they try to pawn on us, then I wouldn't mind sharing that information with them. It's like the Nielsen ratings. I'd LOVE for the networks to know what shows I like, so that they keep them on the air longer. (More Arrested Development, less American Idol!)

I totally agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14738851)

Nice article. I also find myself replaying the new arcade games over and over just to get more achievements. MS really made a smart move here with the gamercard idea. Personally I think they should allow you to trade in those points for actually Market Place cash but oh well. Anyway nice article, but I'm sure the anti MS people are going to have a field day with this.

I already do this... (3, Funny)

Mr_Tulip (639140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738891)

I have this dodgy PS2 controller, occasionally, the X button stops working, or the analog functionality disappears. If I want a real challenge, I just plug it in, and play Gran Turismo. Hours of extra fun.

I Was Starting To Get Worried... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14738906)

There hadn't been a 360 marketing story on Slashdot for a few hours.

No wonder digg.com is now the hot board on the Net...

Re:I Was Starting To Get Worried... (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740559)

digg is cool and all, but it's got a lot of crap on it. Just now the top article is as follows:
Seagate 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer Hard Drive $69.99 submitted by hankosky 20 hours 22 minutes ago (via http://www.tigerdirect.com/app... [tigerdirect.com] )
"Huge Savings! Seagate 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer Hard Drive This is the hard drive industry insiders are talking about and the monster HDD that garners top ratings in the computer magazines. See for yourself why the Seagate "

If it sounds like an ad, that's because it is.

Re:I Was Starting To Get Worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14741893)

Slashvertisement wasn't coined because a blatent ad posing as a story showed up once.

Re:I Was Starting To Get Worried... (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744015)

Sure. It happens here all the time, but with the obvious editorial okay. With digg, anyone can promote an item to the top if you've got enough user accounts (this time, 10 diggs was enough to push it to the top). I usually browse digg on the "digg for stories" page, which shows you up to the minute added content. There are lots of interesting things that doesn't get promoted up to the main page.

How much? (0, Troll)

suspected (907639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14738966)

So how much did Micro$oft pay for this "news" item?

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14739063)

God forbid MS actually made something worth while and gamers resonded with thanks.

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14739315)

Reguardless of what you think is "worth while", I'm sure the OP was referring to the linked article and the title "Reinventing Gaming Addiction with 360 Achievments".

Re:How much? (1)

garrett714 (841216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739072)

I was trying to calculate the answer to your question, and I got the BSOD.

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14740406)

Every time you make a lame BSOD joke, a fairy dies. Why do you hate fairies so much?

Not sure if this is addiction (1)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739356)

but I wouldn't be too surprised if we started seeing crap games that have huge point rewards.

If a big title isn't selling well enough, MS can bribe gamers into buying it with the promise of huge point rewards.

Re:Not sure if this is addiction (1)

skyman8081 (681052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740069)

I wouldn't be too surprised if we started seeing crap games that have huge point rewards.

King Kong.

You see any retail game has a budget of 1000 gamerpoints(XBLA games have 200) that must be used for at least 5 acheivments. Unfortunately, There is no standard of difficulty handed down for the acheivments, so some games have a bunch of easy ones, others are damn near impossible to get all 1000.

Re:Not sure if this is addiction (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740654)

Actually, the MS published games tend to parcel out the gamer points a lot more fairly. I'd say PGR3 dishes them the best way. You get basic points for completing the game, and more at harder difficulty levels. And you get a few points for discovering all the side features in the game, such as photo mode, watching Gotham TV, etc. Without the achievements for some of those areas, I'd never knew they existed.

If anything, it's the non-MS games (EA sports games especially) that have done a lame job with the achievement system. I'm guessing they didn't put much thought into it, whereas MS definately wants to make the system worthwhile in the long run.

I do hope that all games do a better job of distributing points. Otherwise, yeah, you may have some developer that makes a crappy game that people buy/rent only because they want those easy achievements.

Re:Not sure if this is addiction (1)

dootbran (467662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14747206)

Its not just EA Sports game, NBA 2k6 is pretty easy to max out points on too. Seriously, turn the game time to max and play through one game, if you pay attention to what you need to do and make a point of getting in those extra assists, rebounds and 3-pointers then its pretty easy to get all achievements with only playing one game.

Most games I've played have been pretty good about making a good portion of the achievements a little hard to get but the sports games seem to lack any imagination.

Great idea! (1)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739767)

Sounds great for the statisticians and hardcore gamers -- and with no detriments to the casual gamer. Very clever, very simple. This would make competitive gaming much more fun; no longer do you have to compete directly against a player to determine dominance, now one can merely challenge a friend or enemy to a contest: "First to x points in game y wins prize z!" It would also make ranking players much easier, and expand rankings from directly competitive games, like wins/losses/disconnects in RTSs and kills/deaths/suicides in FPSs, to even the most non-violent and relaxed game (side scrollers, turn based strategy, puzzle, etc.). Overall, a great idea, and one that I hope will be integrated not only into Xbox 360 games, but other consoles and the almighty PC as well.

Fun factor is all that matters (1)

dysonlu (907935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740322)

It will not work without good games.

At the end, the only thing that really counts is the quality of the game. If you barely enjoy playing a game, would you really bother replaying and trying to defeat a boss with no power-ups or collecting all 50 amulets? Would you really care doing it just for bragging rights? If you're a fanatic of a given game, chances are you're already playing it over and over again, and the Achievement Points concept would be one more reason to keep doing so.

AP works only if the game is fun in the first place -- it won't do much for crappy games.

Achievements are genius (3, Interesting)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14740820)

Fluffy article or no, they're right. The achievements system is pure genius, because it adds public bragging rights [mygamercard.net] to the concept of 100%'ing a game, and suddenly I'm interested. They've tacked a level grind onto every game out there, and it worked.

I'm totally addicted to 100%'ing the achievements in my games. I've spent hours scouring maps for hidden items so I could claim the elusive "game complete" achievement in Kameo. I routinely start every game on the hardest difficulty level so I can show off to others that I've done it. I spent 3 days with a checklist from GameFAQs finding hidden gaps in Tony Hawk. I played Gun 3 extra times so I could have credit for beating it on every difficulty level.

The system isn't perfect. Some games, like King Kong or give away achievement points like they're candy. I'm more proud of my 25-point "Big Cheese of the South Seas" achievement in Hexic HD than I am of the entire 1000 points credit I have for King Kong. Other games like Quake 4 have achievements that almost nobody will win (be #1 on the worldwide leaderboards). Some games give you a full set of achievements just for beating them. We'll see how things settle out.

Re:Achievements are genius (1)

GravelordBocephus (873797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741073)

At first, I thought this was completely awesome. I'm an obsessive perfectionist. Then I saw "be best Quake player ever" as on of the ways to get points. Yeah, I don't think this system is for me.

Re:Achievements are genius (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741088)

Yeah, well, they're still experimenting with it. It's like the leaderboard on Condemned, where game time is the crowning achievement. Some dudes have clocked several hundred hours in the game, probably by keeping the game on and not turning off the console at all. Topping that list is both uninteresting and stupid. In other games, like the marble blast game or robotron, the leaderboard is phenomenal.

Re:Achievements are genius (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741528)

Marble blast Ultras leaderboards are addicting. Aside from staring at times that i will NEVER be able to match, the "friends" leaderboard is geinus. Instead of playing single player, my friends and I will be in a private chat, playing single player while we beat each others times. Now that is some fun shit (multiplayer is fun too :)

Re:Achievements are genius (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742754)

This is a HUGE point - and combine that with the ability to instantly compare yourself to another plauer. I can see, for example, that I'm much better at Geo Wars than you are (I have 200 of 200), but that you're well past me on many other games. You can "brag" about finishing COD2 on veteran, and I can double check it and see - that yes, you've done just that. :)

No more having people talk crap when they can't back it up, cause you can just check it out and see who the idiots are and who's got the stuff they claim.

Re:Achievements are genius (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744950)

Good post. I agree with you for the most part. But my two cents are really loud and demand attention. I wouldn't call it genius to implement this system. I would call it stupid not to, if you had an infrustructure like MS does.

Achievements or whatever they call them is pretty cool. I've been doing that sort of stuff for a while with shooters and platformer games. Nothing like the people who try to go through RPGs without using a particular button or without certain charecters (check out gamefaqs for FF-X and you'll understand). I have a cousin who has played the original Tenchu (let's face it, they still haven't topped the original) so much that he touts his memory card around sometimes. I'd be over there and he'd be playing Tenchu. "This time I'm going through the level with only shurukins, no swords. Not even to defend." I would watch it and he would actually do it. Even on some of the boss stages.

Nothing special. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741592)

I don't know about anyone else, but to me, these next-generation consoles are about as exciting as a toilet that flushes itself.

These game companies keep reinventing the wheel and try to make it sound like something new and innovative.

Re:Nothing special. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744688)

Wow, I just got the most powerful sense of deja vu. It's as if we've had this EXACT same argument, again, and again, and again...

-Eric

Hmmmm... (3, Insightful)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14741699)

This is a pretty creative approach but I don't think it adds anything in general. Now, I don't know what the points/GP actually go to since I haven't really followed the 360 much. But unless it's awesome stuff, it just seems shallow.

Say I'm game company X. I make a mediocre game that people won't really enjoy. To compensate, I add a ton of points in the game to make people want to finish it. MS probably has to clear points but odds are they will allow reasonable requests.

Solid gameplay needs no reward such as points. Look at the people still playing Starcraft. Besides the Bnet ranking, they have no other real perks to playing. I would rather see MS reward developers of games that people that continue to play . I would certainly rather have better games as a reward than points.

I don't think this does anything to reinvent addiction. It's just like people playing MMOs to get enough gold to buy the next item they need. Play until you get what you want and then go do something else. It isn't addiction if you're just grinding it out.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744120)

Full games are required to have 1000 points in achievements. Live Arcade games are required to have 200. So far as I know, there will be no deviations from this formula, so no game can "point inflate." The most that could happen is games dole out their 1000 points for trivially easy "accomplishments." I sincerely doubt that the sales to be gained by the free 1000 points would compensate for the sales lost when people realize it's a crappy game.

Points are no worse or better at creating addiction than any other feature added to a game to enhance replayability. In fact, they're exactly the same thing, since they're often handed out for precisely the stuff that developers hope will have you run through the game again (unlocking cheat codes, acquiring every item x available, finishing below a certain time) that they've been including since the NES.

All the points do is provide a reasonably verified way to brag about your accomplishments. As such, they're just an answer to a market desire. That the desire exists is obvious from the people who post screenshots or Polaroids of high scores and the like.

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742302)

I think this is stupid for a variety of reasons.

#1 - Casual gamers won't play XBox Live b/c whenever they log in some punk ass Live kid will mock their achievement record. I don't think M$ is interested in "adding a new dimension to the gaming experience." This is the type of "feature" which really doesn't matter to most people, but at the same time it creates a profitable database of gamer information for M$.

#2 - XBox doesn't have any good single player games and Playstation will always dominate this realm. People buy XBox for the multiplayer experience, most single player XBox gamers get bored with what's available and trade the system in for a Playstation (I work at Gamestop, I observe these trends)

#3 - It may increase rentals, but no one will spend $60 to increase their "gamer score." Furthermore, only morons and kids will find the achievement points worth spending extra money + time. People who go out of their way to increase these statistics rather than allowing them to reflect their actual gaming habits belong in the ranks of people who sell MMORPG items on Ebay (i.e. utterly pathetic)

This rabid appeasement to the "hardcore" gamer is going to kill M$ the same way it killed SEGA (think SEGA-CD, SATURN, Dreamcast, GameGear/Nomad). The hardcore gamers don't control this industry anymore, it's the casual gamers who collectively spend more money than the "hardcore" crowd (that's why EA owns this industry). I have a lot of faith in Nintendo's upcoming strategy, but Sony has proved to be the only player who can consistently merge both demographics under one platform.

Since when is addiction a good thing? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742582)

Sure some good games can be addicting, but just because a game is addicting it doesn't mean that it is good. I for one find all those "addicting" elements (status bars, experince points, extra items, etc.) to be rather uninteresting, because they often add obsolutly nothing to the core game itself, but simply stretch it by forcing the player to do the same thing again and again just to raise his level a bit so he can continue with the next larger obstacle. I would much prefer if gamedesigners would make there game good by adding larger areas, less restricted levels, more complex controls (so that you, the player, has to learn, not just the hero has to collect more XP), more freeform gameplay and more dynamic in the AI (good games produce thrill by dynamic AI, not by prescripted events), instead of turning each and every game into a sort-of RPG with statusbars, XP and other stuff tacked on. I prefer games where I am the one who accomplishes something, not by XP-counter.

Re:Since when is addiction a good thing? (1)

Udderdude (257795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14743739)

You're right, but it's much easier to do the XP grind thing. So guess what they'll go for?

Even in a game I made myself, I added awards and a point total that you have to get up high enough to reach some extra levels. I feel it adds replay value to the game. Some other games really do try to stretch their limited content with repetitive crap (Every MMORPG ever comes to mind)

Re:Since when is addiction a good thing? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745461)

Good point, take for instance Battle Field 2, I stopped playing after two weeks, when I noticed peoples profiles and them having recorded totals in excess of 2000 hours playing the game. For those who are math challenged, that's near 84 24 hour days of gaming. That's just sick, and to me utterly pathetic to spend that amount of time playing a game.

What's the big deal here? (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745099)

Lots of games already have special extra tasks you can accomplish to show off how "hard core" you are.

The 'Ratchet & Clank' games for the PS2, for instance, had the Skill Point system. A skill point would be some extra challenging task you could complete, such as winning the a minigame race in under a certain time limit, or acquiring all the weapons, or defeat a certain level/boss with just your wrench, etc. You even got a skill point if you managed to get all the other skill points! Skill Points could then be used to unlock additional things in the games, such as different skins for your character, or silly features like making everyone's head extra-large.

The only new thing here is that now your accomplishments are stored online and are visible even if you aren't currentally playing the game.

What exactly are achievement points used for? It's not like you can turn them into cash or whatever online currency used to "buy" other Live stuff.
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