Achievements 101For starters, what is an achievement anyway? In this case, we mean a sort of virtual badge. A reward in the form of prestige, awarded for some sort of action or conquest. Depending on the game and context, this may vary quite a lot. It might be rewarded for completing a quest, for winning a game or for being the top player for a month in a row. It would carry a point reward with it, and presumably all hub entries would have the same total tally of points to award (To keep values somewhat similar).
Achievements are no fun if you can't show them off, however. And for that matter, a game may want to show off things which don't correlate precisely with badges and one-time rewards; a game might want to feature top players and list them by score. We quickly found out that achievements wouldn't be enough for this â We needed to think about score and stat mechanisms too! It would be handy if you could show ladders or graphs of players and how they're doing, as a part of the hub entry. You might want to list the last 5 achievements obtained, along with the top 10 scoring players and maybe a land distribution graph for your game of conquest.
If you could set up all of this rather easily with a few procedure calls from your game and some hub setup foo, how could would that be? How you want to award achievements, what they're called, how many points each one is worth, what icon you want to give each one and whether you want in-game things to be affected by the achievements you award is all up to you. You'll be able to retrieve achievement information on a player from your game, to use as you'd like.
While the nitty-gritty details are still being looked into, thats the gist of it. Furthermore, other games would also be able to see what achievements a player has gotten in your game â Potentially giving you exposure, or allowing you to create sequel games that draw on past achievements. How the achievements are visible and how all of this ties into the hub and programming language is still being discussed, we promise we'll keep you updated as things go along.
If things go well with achievements, we'll look into implementing them on a more global scale further down the road. Until then, we're really interested in what you think about all of this. Would you foresee using this in your game? Have you thought of a cool achievement idea that this doesn't seem to cover? Or just want to comment on your opinion? Go go!
As a last mention, Tiberath posted his first DevTalk article called DevTalk: Game Frameworks - On why splitting up your game into core engine and content might be a good idea! Next week, DevTalk features a guest article by Lummox JR on improving your NPC AI by thinking about sight, sound, smell and more.