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Are Dynamic Goals the next step in innovating Achievements and Trophies?

Thoughts on the benefits developers can get by tailoring in-game goals around achievements and players unique styles of play.

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with our very own Jeremy Nusser (SVP of Business Development) at the Fuel studio. I always enjoy our chats because we get to dive deep into what makes games tick and what we feel could be improved in the space; you could call us closet-game-designers.


On this particular day we discussed a baffling question that stuck with me: Why don't Dynamic Achievements / Trophies in games exist?

The more we thought about it the more we realized how we wished certain games had it.

Achievements & Trophies need a makeover

Mobile is currently lacking any unified system for handing out in-game achievements linked to a player profile across multiple games. This is strange as the console world has proven that Trophies and Achievements are good motivators for engagement. I enjoy collecting trophies more than ever, thanks to Sony’s implementation on the ps4 and their ability to show how rare those trophies are compared to who else has collected them, but there's still room for innovation.

The question we came to for mobile games is why we don’t see more utilization of the technology available to us from a connected device and tailoring it to a specific user’s style of play.

Booting up an FPS on console, only to find that a quarter of the achievements require you to have to earn them in online matches seems like it could isolate players that prefer to play solo missions. For someone who loves to play online, this is great - for others, not so much. What if there were achievements created on the fly based on what the player likes to do in-game?

What are the major advantages of approaching achievements in this way?

Let's break down how achievements benefit the developer. The main purpose is to create a layer on top of the current game that allows players to get rewarded for performing the actions that the developer wants - this is especially critical to extending the in-game content and get the most use out of the development and production effort. If there were to be dynamic goals, engagement directly correlated to achievement hunting could increase dramatically. It also stands to reason that developers would see even more of the behavior they want by potentially offering rewards to each cohort of game players.

Instead of having predetermined goals that are not relevant to the player, Dynamic Goals would allow the player to be rewarded by playing the way they naturally enjoy. For example, if we can determine a player is spending the majority of his time playing stealthy using certain metrics, achievements could be created to encourage this style of play - boosting their engagement.

Having Dynamic Goals can also lead to another meta game in the overarching pursuit of achievements. Since achievements would be dynamically generated, the unlocking of new achievements gives players something to aim for. This could eventually lead to the creation of individualized Achievements / Trophies unique to someone’s game.

This mechanic doesn't exist yet. It's just an idea and yours to keep, but there seems to be a lot of potential for making games even more awesome as we continue to leverage technology advances.



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