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The coming Avernum rewrites


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Originally Posted By: madrigan

How does a medal showing that I destroyed the Nephil bandits help with advertising?


Because when your friends check out your achievement list on Steam or whatever (yes, this is really a thing people do, just bear with me for now), they'll see what games you've been playing and how much progress you've made. If your friends see that you've earned a lot of achievements in a game, that suggests you played the game a lot and therefore probably liked it, which might be enough to spur them to an impulse buy if they know you have similar tastes in games, or at least to learn more about the game.

Some distributors do care a lot about this sort of thing. I've spoken to other indie developers, and they say it's much, much easier to get included in a Steam sale if your game supports the Steam achievement system.
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It's also a form of Skinnerian conditioning- you give a lot of little rewards fast to create the expectation of rewards, then begin slacking them off/increasing the time period/making it harder to earn them. People will then work harder in order to get them, and play the game longer.

 

It's really used more by MMORPG's, since the amount of time you play is directly correlated with the amount of money they make, but you see it in a lot of games where that isn't the case, too.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
It's also a form of Skinnerian conditioning- you give a lot of little rewards fast to create the expectation of rewards, then begin slacking them off/increasing the time period/making it harder to earn them. People will then work harder in order to get them, and play the game longer...

I do agree it's the first point, make the players play longuer the game. Many achievements are challenges, for example beat the game or a boss without using magic, and such stuff.

To have achievements some developers just define targets that a player playing the game will achieve naturally. I doubt a lot that players that take care of achievements are really interested by that type of achievement. It could be good to define some like that but the key point is achievements is challenge, and challenge is a way to increase players game time.

And in steam, for sure time spend in a game could be a publicity for friends. Also the longer a player is playing a game, the longer he will speak/write about the game, the longer he will make some publicity for the game.

Achievements could also be used for highlighting the game depth, typically when there's different way to do something, by defining an achievement for each way to do some stuff make player realize this depth.
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A good point. I think it does offer greater incentive to attempt crazier things as well.

 

Doing [X] task without [generally imperative activity] is usually meaningless, made up on the fly, and interest wanes as soon as the first few attempts fail. However, highlighting such an obtuse possibility with an achievement not only heightens the chances of someone actually trying something in like with said achievement, but also general awareness of the possibility in general.

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Originally Posted By: Vent
To have achievements some developers just define targets that a player playing the game will achieve naturally. I doubt a lot that players that take care of achievements are really interested by that type of achievement. It could be good to define some like that but the key point is achievements is challenge, and challenge is a way to increase players game time.


That kind of achievement can also be useful feedback to the developer, because they tell them how many people who played the game finished it, or reached a certain point, or used a certain class, or whatever.
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Honestly, that kind of achievement is perhaps the most informative. For instance, at the moment less than half of Avadon players on Steam have beaten the first dungeon. Are achievements the best way of tracking such behaviour? Perhaps not, but as mentioned, games get on Steam easier if you need achievements, so you might as well use them as a poor man's reporting system.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
It's interesting since the first dungeon takes about an hour to play through and you can't alter your character until near the end.


It's really not uncommon for people to buy a game on Steam when it's cheaply priced (such as the current $9 for Avadon) and then not getting around to playing it for a few weeks, since they're currently playing something else. And maybe they'll never get around to playing it at all. Don't underestimate the power of low-price impulse purchases.
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Originally Posted By: Sterno
It's really not uncommon for people to buy a game on Steam when it's cheaply priced (such as the current $9 for Avadon) and then not getting around to playing it for a few weeks, since they're currently playing something else. And maybe they'll never get around to playing it at all. Don't underestimate the power of low-price impulse purchases.


This. I have nearly 200 games on Steam. I have never touched many of them.
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