As a person who has replaced all sports with competitive gaming vods, it displeases me that most of my gaming time is spent playing casual, mostly graphics oriented games with low gameplay value. As compensation, I have speedrunned N
, TrackMania and done miscellaneous Quake trickery over the years. This has given me enjoyment and some vague sense of accomplishment for doing something few other have done well. Innovating in a competitive environment feels particularly good when you finally pull it off.
It's therefore interesting to note that few of these games even include a web based hiscore or achievement system - or sometimes even a proper timing system. But the one thing they all have in common, is smooth, responsive, and mostly fair gameplay. It seems that these days, however, this kind of achievement based gaming is mostly being falsely fabricated through steam/xbox achievements (of usually very easy games). TF2, for instance, has almost 400 achievements
ranging from very easy, to simply tedious or requires several people. This really isn't a substitute, but writing simple console scripts to automate parts of getting some of them was.
Interestingly, however, most people responded very angrily when I posted about this, lamenting that I had somehow tricked my way into getting absolutely meaningless achievements. Seriously. Achievements are usually not hard, often do not feel like achievements, whereas exploiting the system might. You may disagree with this, and that's fine too. The point is that what resonates with you with some sense of achievement is relative to your personal context.
With respect to gaming I have two defining properties to point out; an unusually long history in scientific academia, and much competitive Quake 3. These two factors define on some over-generalised level what I'm proud of: clever trickery, or exhibits of pure skill.
It's therefore with joy that I actually found hard achievements that rewards both: The Super Meat Boy no-death run achievements
. They require excellent micro, but they also reward tricksters by allowing situational character switching. It's a first for me to see developers take advantage of this so well with built in achievements (though, I should criticize them for also destroying speedrunning in a very well-suited for speedrun game by including a broken hiscore system, but that's another matter).
While these can become great personal goals to beat, they appear widely unpopular elsewhere; only one no-death run made it into X360 because they were considered too hard
for instance. There is clearly an element of danger here. Built in achievements are addictive and the difference between what I sought out to what achievements represent is that they present you with a goal
, not the other way around. You feel like you should be able to do many of them, and so you try. This is very natural with the right mindset.
Regardless, I advocate that people should just have to learn how to moderate their gaming time (vs. claims about addictiveness), and accept that there will always be players better than you (vs. too hard claims), but I know how persuasive such incentives can be. On one hand, I did all the meat boy no death runs
mentioned above, but I turned down the opportunity to do the two last bandage girl no-death achievements (cotton alley) because they felt too extreme. I would call it self-control, but frankly I just got bored. Good games are few and far between these days though, don't shit down other people's necks just because their addictive. We keep coming back because they are fun, not because we require our fix
zombie boy took 10+ hours, that was the end of my patience