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Thread: Paradox Achievement Design Guidelines

  1. #21
    While I dislike acheivements in general, I think your guidelines are pretty good. I don't like the addictiveness aspect of acheivements, and don't feel like that should be encouraged- but that's more me not getting the whole point of acheivements and being a crochety old man prematurely. ^_^

  2. #22

  3. #23
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    I like your design goals (particularly after playing a game by another company where achievements were necessary for gameplay, had a low skill component, and describing them as "feeling like a chore" was quite the understatement). However, i never play EU3 unmodded, so achievements won't matter to me. I can see where they might be handy for someone playing the game the first time, though.

  4. #24
    Mushroom Korps Field Marshal OrangeYoshi's Avatar
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    Regarding the mentioned "compromises" in the first post:

    Those "compromises" for games like HOI, Vicky, CK, and EU will be more along the lines of not allowing achievements if you have a modded game, and not disallowing modding, right? I used to think that I knew the answer to this, but that post shed a little bit of a shadow on it again...
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  5. #25
    Part Time Game Designer King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeYoshi View Post
    Regarding the mentioned "compromises" in the first post:

    Those "compromises" for games like HOI, Vicky, CK, and EU will be more along the lines of not allowing achievements if you have a modded game, and not disallowing modding, right? I used to think that I knew the answer to this, but that post shed a little bit of a shadow on it again...
    For achievements to be acheivements we need to only allow them in the vanilla version of the game. Otherwise you can simply mod the game so you have achievement already. This will spoil it for those people who want go out and have some fun earning achievements. It will in no way prevent people from playing Mods and having a lot of fun doing that.
    Nostalgia is not as good as it used to be

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by King View Post
    For achievements to be acheivements we need to only allow them in the vanilla version of the game. Otherwise you can simply mod the game so you have achievement already. This will spoil it for those people who want go out and have some fun earning achievements. It will in no way prevent people from playing Mods and having a lot of fun doing that.
    As long as you can switch between the vanilla "achievements enabled" and modded "achievements disabled" version every time you load, there's no big problem. And I'd be shocked if that wasn't the case, so I'm not overly concerned.

    What might be annoying though is if I can't do a minor modification such as change a flag or nation's colour without giving up access to achievements. Will it be in anyway possible to at least allow graphics changes without disabling the achievements? Or is it too hard? Because while I'm neutral about achievements, it's the flexibility to change little things like that so easily that is Paradox's point of difference. I'll still be able to, but it'll be a trade off.

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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by King View Post
    For achievements to be acheivements we need to only allow them in the vanilla version of the game. Otherwise you can simply mod the game so you have achievement already. This will spoil it for those people who want go out and have some fun earning achievements. It will in no way prevent people from playing Mods and having a lot of fun doing that.
    But what about the reverse?
    Many people play with mods and they lose the ability to have achievements. Can a mod create its own achievements? Can a player create a new achievement for others to enjoy (challenge.)

    In strategy games achievements don't add a lot - but converting them to objectives steers the game play. An objective is an achievement that you commit in advance to. This means that the game play can adjust so the AI, or other players, can try to stop you, it also means that by picking one objective others you didn't pick aren't available.

  8. #28
    Part Time Game Designer King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Kiwi View Post
    As long as you can switch between the vanilla "achievements enabled" and modded "achievements disabled" version every time you load, there's no big problem. And I'd be shocked if that wasn't the case, so I'm not overly concerned.

    What might be annoying though is if I can't do a minor modification such as change a flag or nation's colour without giving up access to achievements. Will it be in anyway possible to at least allow graphics changes without disabling the achievements? Or is it too hard? Because while I'm neutral about achievements, it's the flexibility to change little things like that so easily that is Paradox's point of difference. I'll still be able to, but it'll be a trade off.
    The system uses a vitrual check sum. To the best of my knowledge it does not include things like map colour or flags. Should this turn out not to be the case we will be aiming to correct this either during development or post release.
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  9. #29
    Part Time Game Designer King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagji View Post
    But what about the reverse?
    Many people play with mods and they lose the ability to have achievements. Can a mod create its own achievements? Can a player create a new achievement for others to enjoy (challenge.)

    In strategy games achievements don't add a lot - but converting them to objectives steers the game play. An objective is an achievement that you commit in advance to. This means that the game play can adjust so the AI, or other players, can try to stop you, it also means that by picking one objective others you didn't pick aren't available.
    Achievements are not modable and only open to the vanilla version of the game.
    Nostalgia is not as good as it used to be

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Kiwi View Post
    As long as you can switch between the vanilla "achievements enabled" and modded "achievements disabled" version every time you load, there's no big problem. And I'd be shocked if that wasn't the case, so I'm not overly concerned.
    One problem is that limitations of the moddir system mean that some mods have to overwrite the game files - this was aggravated by bugs in the release versions of HOI3 and V2 that made this worse - there is risk that if a mod is initially written to overwrite the game files because of a limitation in the moddir and the limitation is later removed that the mod won't be rewritten.
    What might be annoying though is if I can't do a minor modification such as change a flag or nation's colour without giving up access to achievements. Will it be in anyway possible to at least allow graphics changes without disabling the achievements? Or is it too hard? Because while I'm neutral about achievements, it's the flexibility to change little things like that so easily that is Paradox's point of difference. I'll still be able to, but it'll be a trade off.
    I agree - I make cosmetic changes to the interface to improve things on my high res display. Hopefully achievements will require only the correct checksum. However even that has problems, different digital distributions may have a different checksum, the German version of HOI3 has a different checksum. New versions have different checksums implying you have to go and get the achievement again - good if the bug was that the achievement was too easy but bad if it was too hard.

  11. #31
    Achievements are not "just" for those who want a sense of direction, so they'll be spread all over the game, not just the tutorial.

    Let's just leave the mod discussion for now. We've done it a 100 times already: If we can support mods, we'll do it, but for now no, you'll have skip achievements if you want to play with mods.

    As for achievements as a whole. Some people seem to be missing how they work conceptually. It's kind of an abstract concept so if you haven't experienced it it's a bit hard to wrap your brain around it

    This is how achievements work:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG8Tm...eature=related

    This is from the excellent game Batman Arkham Asylum. There's an achievement in the game called "Catch!" worth 5 points where you have to throw the batarang and guide it back to you. It's not super tricky but it teaches you that you can control the batarang mid air.

    once you do that there's a little graphic that pops up and says "Achievement unlocked!: catch! - 5p". This is the ONLY time you'll see the achievement in the game. From now on its permanently associated with your account and added to your point total.

    Whenever you log into Paradox Connect you'll be able to view all your achievements.

    Achievements in EU DW will work exactly the same.

    1: You start the game
    2: Once in the game you'll be asked to log in to Paradox Connect. You can chose not to. Otherwise use your forum credentials to do so.
    3: Start playing
    4: Once condition x has been met there'll be a little sound and a pop up that says "Achievement unlocked - [achievement name] [point]". It'll disappear after a few seconds and you'll never see it again
    5: You can then bring up a Paradox connect overlay and view all your achievements and your point total.
    6: You can chose to display your point total on the forums so every time you post people will see that you were first to get all the 1000 points available in Divine Wind.

    Regarding the mentioned "compromises" in the first post:

    Those "compromises" for games like HOI, Vicky, CK, and EU will be more along the lines of not allowing achievements if you have a modded game, and not disallowing modding, right? I used to think that I knew the answer to this, but that post shed a little bit of a shadow on it again...
    Yeah exactly, primarily modding and stuff like that.


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  12. #32
    Great news!

    As I'm told now we'll be able to support mods that only alter graphics.

    We'll keep tweaking it up to and after release so this might change. But good news for now.

    /s
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shams View Post
    Great news!

    As I'm told now we'll be able to support mods that only alter graphics.

    We'll keep tweaking it up to and after release so this might change. But good news for now.

    /s
    That is good news. May I request an exception for localization files as well? One of the first things I do in Paradox games is correct province names for China.
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  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Shams View Post
    Great news!

    As I'm told now we'll be able to support mods that only alter graphics.

    We'll keep tweaking it up to and after release so this might change. But good news for now.

    /s
    That's very good news, it's surprising looking through threads like "Strange Screenshots" how many people have changed the graphics, a flag or a country colour without touching anything else. Thanks

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  15. #35
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    Something I just thought of: What about beta patches? In fact, will the need to integrate achievements delay patches at all?
    (I can't see that they would, but it's one of those questions that needs answering.)
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveh11 View Post
    will the need to integrate achievements delay patches at all?
    (shudders)

  17. #37
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    Have a question. There are some games on Steam by Paradox that have achievemnts already e.g CCOTA or L&G. If for example I've done 6 of the CCOTA ones would they be 'transfered' into my account when PI Achivements be in, or not ? Will the Steam achievements be the same for PI achievements for games that already have achievements on Steam ?

    Thanks in advance.
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  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by steveh11 View Post
    Something I just thought of: What about beta patches? In fact, will the need to integrate achievements delay patches at all?
    (I can't see that they would, but it's one of those questions that needs answering.)
    ? I don't get it. what do you mean with "integrate achievements"? in what? when?

    Are you asking if beta patches will be delayed in the future because we now have achievements in our games? In that case the answer is no, achievements (the design part) is very little work and not much of the technical side is done by the internal team.

    The games that currently have achievements elsewhere (like CCOTA or LNG) might receive patches to incorporate achievements. But it's unlikely unless you guys are really vocal about it.

    Warband might since there are a lot who play it.

    /s

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  19. #39
    Games Player steveh11's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll put it differently - may be a language difficulty.

    Will people who decide to run beta patches be able to get achievements, or would it be the same as running a mod? After all, the checksum is liable to be different...

    I ask because of cases like EUIII 4.1b, and HOI 2.1c. Off the top of my head I can't recall whether Rome is currently at beta. VickyII I've not yet bought (but intend to) so i can't say about that.

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  20. #40
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    OK, time to chime in with ideas/thoughts.

    1.) In the vein of subachievements, I think that broad clases of achievements (on top of subachievements) would be nice.
    * Beginners (EU3: Go 10 years straight without minting, V2: Balance your budget for 1 year while keeping at least 50% on Admin/Education/Military/Stockpile sliders, All: Run all tutorials)
    * Underdogs (reach goals as EU3 OPMs, V2 uncivs, EU3 pagans, EU3 tribal)
    * Economic (EU3: Monopolize 1000 ducat CoT, EU3: achieve 1000 ducat census tax, V2: Build one of each factory)
    * Hard core (V2: reach x industry score staying L-F entire game)

    2.) For grand strategy games, the Beginner level achievements should be explained in the strategy guide to show users how to gain them. Perhaps even a walkthrough could be created.

    3.) For AAR writers, it would be nice if there was a way to start a new save game with a flag set so that achievements are displayed even if you already have the achievement.

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