The main point of this post is for me to ask you, “What gaming achievements do you like?” Feel free to skip the rest of this blog and just put your comments down below.
Even before video games tracked achievements for us, we often devised our own, unofficial ones. Win Space Invaders after shooting up all your defensive structures. Avoid activating any huts in Civilization. Keep Dogmeat alive all the way through Fallout 1.
The success of achievements on Steam has now made the concept ubiquitous in video games, and you can find them in tabletop games. I even know RPG GMs who come up with their own achievements for players who do something in especially spectacular fashion. This is one of the reasons games like the current edition of Fading Suns give players rewards when their characters do something especially cool or move the story forward on their own initiative.
Proponents of gamification point to achievements as one way to drive user behavior the developers want to see. In video games, achievements primarily stimulate replayability. In other apps, they might reward social interaction between members of a team, employees to comment on corporate wikis, encourage fitness app users to reach new health milestones, and so on.
Achievements also have a competitive aspect. Many players like to be the first to unlock or discover achievements, and there are entire web sites devoted to recognizing people who have unlocked all the achievements in certain games.
However, I have never seen a list of what kinds of achievements players prefer. As a designer, I want them to try playing my games in the way I consider fun, which is why I give achievements for winning the game, and then more achievements for winning multiple times. I also want them to try different aspects of the game, which is why I give achievements for winning in different ways or as a different faction. I also want them to play my games in nontraditional ways, so they even get rewards for losing or trying paths that do not clearly lead to victory.
There are certainly achievements that have left me shaking my head. I remember earning an achievement in Tabletop Simulator for having played my first hour without flipping the table – something which I had no interest in doing and which I still have not done.
So, I ask again, what kind of achievements in games do you like?
Here are the achievements we included in Noble Armada: Lost Worlds:
- Knight – Win one mission (other than tutorial)
- Baronett – WIn three unique missions (other than tutorial)
- Baroness/Baron – Win eight unique missions (other than tutorial)
- Earl – Win 15 unique missions (other than tutorial)
- Countess/Count – Win 25 unique missions (other than tutorial)
- Duchess/Duke – Win 50 unique missions (other than tutorial)
- Lion Rampant – Win 10 unique missions as Hawkwood
- Mantis Warrior – Win 10 unique missions as Decados
- Defender of the Faith – Win 10 unique missions as Li Halan
- Tahir’s Path – Win 10 unique missions as al-Malik
- Estancia – Win 10 unique missions as Hazat
- Inquisitor – Win 10 unique missions as Church
- Skirmisher – Win 3 skirmishes
- Pious – Win the Church Campaign
- Conqueror – Succeed in Seize Station Mode
- Bold – Engage four enemy ships with just one Explorer in Skirmish mode
- Mammonist – Win a mission with more than 3000 firebirds
- Impetuous – Win a mission with exactly 0 firebirds left
- Varlet – Lost one mission (other than tutorial)
- Neer-do-well – Lost three missions (other than tutorial)
- Blackguard – Lose 25 missions
- Delusional – Lost a skirmish with one Explorer against four enemy ships
- Possessive – Own 10 weapons not assigned to ships
- Grease Monkey – have four ships and all four crews at full experience
- Drill Master – have four ships and all four marines at full experience
- Unyielding – Kill 10 ships in one session of Onslaught Mode
- Boarder – Capture five enemy ships by boarding
- Marksman – Destroy 10 enemy ships at range