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Feature: Five More Ways To Design Effective Achievements

In Gamasutra's latest feature, academic and designer Lucas Blair takes us on a tour for five more types of achievements, pairing research into human motivation with c
In Gamasutra's latest feature, academic and designer Lucas Blair takes us on a tour for five more types of achievements, pairing research into human motivation with common designs to derive best practices. In the latest article, the last of the three-part series, he examines Negative Achievements, Achievements as Currency, Incremental and Meta-Achievements, Competitive Achievements, and Non-competitive Cooperative Achievements. Some games, yes, give Negative Achivements -- achievements awarded for mistakes players make, browbeating them for poor performance. "Examples of negative achievements include the Command & Conquer 3 achievement 'awarded' to a player who loses a ranked game to someone 20 places below them in the official rankings, and the 'Getting My Ass Kicked' trophy for repeatedly dying in PS3's God of War," writes Blair. It's hardly a surprise that these achievements could have a negative impact on a player's morale. "Don't use negative achievements. Provide feedback within the system that can assist struggling players," he writes. However, so too can co-op achievements, depending on how they're designed. "One risk is attitude polarization in groups, which often leads to more cautious or risky decision-making as a whole. In these instances, team members will collectively make poor decisions they otherwise wouldn't if given the opportunity to decide by themselves," writes Blair. To find out how achievement design can affect player behavior, read the full feature: The Cake Is Not a Lie: How to Design Effective Achievements, Part 3, live now on Gamasutra, as well as the previous two installments -- part 1 and part 2.

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