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Session Name:

Achievement Design: Lessons From an Xbox Live Community Study


Achievements have become an important part of Xbox 360 gaming and has played an important role in the success of the console. It has changed how gamers play, and which games they play. As a result, the way developers have chosen to integrate achievements has received a considerable amount of attention from the community, with discussions and even reviews of achievements. In some cases, the achievements have played a significant role in the popularity of a title, like the Pacifism achievement in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Sometimes the achievements create obstacles to the gaming experience like the achievement for killing a team mate in multiplayer in Turok.

This presentation will focus on what is at stake when designing achievements. I will also offer some guidelines for how to design achievements to fit them into the gaming experiences. Attendees will learn about the role achievements play in the intricate socio-technical web of Xbox Live. Gamers take these things extremely seriously and therefore, designer should do so too. Attendees will also learn through examples what unexpected positive and negative consequences achievement designs can have when games go live. Apart from receiving general guidelines for successful achievement design, attendees will also get some more specific advice.

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  • GDC Europe 2010
  • Mikael Jakobsson
  • Malmoe University
  • free content
  • Business & Management
  • Business & Marketing