The Golden Rules of Achievements
Some games get achievements right, some get them very wrong. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to consider when designing them:
- Be creative. Make the player play the game in a different way.
- Vary difficulty. Easy is fine if it’s something quirky.
- Have some slow burners. Reward the player for completion and dedication.
- If you complete the game in a higher difficulty, it needs to unlock the lower difficulty completion achievements too.
- Make online achievements obtainable in a short amount of time.
- Have co-op achievements if co-op is an option.
- Make the player become an expert for a couple of the Achievements. Getting every Achievement should not be possible passively.
- Make your gamerscores relative to dedication – getting your first kill and completing the game shouldn’t both be worth 10G.
- Don’t be time/date constrained. e.g. “Play on December 31st 2012”.
- Don’t make the player top your online leaderboard.
- Don’t make the majority of them online-focussed.
- Don’t give the player odd Gamerscore points.
- Don’t be insultingly easy – passing the tutorial is not an Achievement.
- Dont’ make an achievement secret unless it contains spoilers.
- Don’t make an achievement outside of the player’s control (e.g. play with a developer).