Check out Unlocking the Psychology of Achievements, via GameCyte.
I have an in/off relationship with Achievements; I love it when games use Achievements to highlight interesting gameplay native to the game, and I think they’re an interesting tool for creative teams.
But this part depresses me:
Based on personal experience, completionists need goals to achieve and do not enjoy open-ended game experiences.
In a way, it feels like Achievements cater to some inner obsessive-compulsive, rather than encouraging play in what I see as the right spirit. Is the player there to immerse himself in the experience or to carefully set up a situation where he can get three enemies in a straight line and headshot them all with one bullet?
Given the nature of our medium, I suppose both are actually valid in their own way.
Riding my bike this weekend, I came across a vulture eating a squirrel. Last weekend, I spotted a peacock in another part of town. Both times, the birds were standing in the middle of the road. They seemed cautious as I rode up, but not overly concerned. Both were beautiful in different ways, though it’s hard to tell from the phone photos. The vulture wasn’t hideous; shiny black feathers, gray bands running up its neck and head. The peacock was all irredescent blues and greens, though it didn’t see fit to show me much plumage. Sometimes you get one, sometimes the other.
I submitted a level for D3s Bangai-O Spirits level design contest. Learning the editor was fun and the level upload process works via recorded audio, which is interesting.
It took me a while to adjust to the game. I feel like if you’re giggling and thinking “This game is trying to kill me or drive me insane” but you’re somehow still having fun then you’ve entered into the correct frame of mind to play.