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Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

Last post 12/16/2008 9:30 AM by Dark Schneider. 61 replies.
  • 11/24/2008 10:37 PM

    Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    To me it is a misrepresentation based on the likely expectations of XBL users.  Is there any way to get an "official" ruling on this?
  • 11/24/2008 10:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I doubt you'll get any official ruling on anything. Best you can do is try to reach a community accepted standard.

    While I haven't failed any games for it, yes, I believe those names should be considered off limits. In a recent interview, Jason from Novaleaf games mentioned that he was asked by Microsoft to rename those items to something else after Biology Battle went up. From that I get the feeling Microsoft doesn't want those names in our games for the reasons you mentioned (they are not true leaderboards nor true achievements). Especially considering how simple it is to change "Leaderboards" to "High Scores" (or similar) and likewise "Achievements" can be "Awards", "Trophies", or any number of other words. It's such a simple fix to save on consumer confusion. Plus from Biology Battle it's clear that Microsoft would prefer it anyway.

    Therefore, I vote that using those names in your game is grounds for rejection.
  • 11/24/2008 10:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    We are spending quite a bit of time in the xbox.com forums justifying the lack of leaderboards and achievements (which is hard given the attitude of the average xbox.com poster!) so if games advertise they have it then its obvious that its going to confuse and annoy an already annoyed audience.

    I agree with Nick on this one - plus its going to cause you no end of problems and bad feedback when the xbox.com folk realise you 'ripped them off' (and other less savory phrases).





  • 11/24/2008 11:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Nick Gravelyn:
    Therefore, I vote that using those names in your game is grounds for rejection.

    Agreed. Maybe if everyone called them Trophies and High Score List or some such
  • 11/24/2008 11:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Well this is good to know because the first time I brought this point up in the Biology Battle review, several people seemed offended that I was questioning the use of the term "Leaderboard."

  • 11/24/2008 11:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    What would be nice is if we got our own "Community Standard" with not only names, but icons and display guidelines, driven by the community.
  • 11/24/2008 11:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    If I had to pick my favorite terms to replace these it'd probably be "Scoreboards" and "Awards".

    I don't care for "Trophies" because A) trophies are physical objects; an award is not necessarily physical and B) Sony uses "Trophies".
  • 11/24/2008 11:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I've been on a temporary hiatus from these forums, but I am now back and this thread has caught my interest. I have to completely disagree with everyone here saying that properly implemented Achievement and Leaderboard systems should not be called as such. The community has strived to implement professional XBLA standards and has succeeded in copying the benefits of the aforementioned systems; achievements track and reward the player for small actions / milestones and the leaderboards allow global score comparison. Using names the public is already familiar with allows instant recognition.

    I was unaware and find it alarming that Jason (aka Novaleaf) was asked by Microsoft to rename his Achievements and Leaderboard. My own game Artoon uses the word "Achievements" and I so far has received no such request from Microsoft.

  • 11/24/2008 11:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Oscar K:

    reward the player for small actions / milestones and the leaderboards allow global score comparison. Using names the public is already familiar with allows instant recognition.



    Thats exactly the problem though they are familiar but they are not the same thing... you know the difference... the average xbox game player doesn't. They expect acheivements to come with game points and show up in their profile. They expect leader boards to be the same ones they see on Halo etc.

    I know you have been posting in the xbox.com forums so you've probably seen the threads I'm talking about.

    You may have them in your game but do you publicizise them as features in your marketing and game descriptions. Jason's been pushing them pretty hard so I'm sure he showed up on the radar.
  • 11/25/2008 12:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Oscar K:
    I have to completely disagree with everyone here saying that properly implemented Achievement and Leaderboard systems should not be called as such. The community has strived to implement professional XBLA standards and has succeeded in copying the benefits of the aforementioned systems; achievements track and reward the player for small actions / milestones and the leaderboards allow global score comparison.
    But they aren't properly implemented. Achievements are not globally displayed and yield no gamer score. Leaderboards are not truly global as they exclude Xbox LIVE Silver users as well as anyone who doesn't happen to sync up with you.

    Using names the public is already familiar with allows instant recognition
    No, it yields instant confusion followed swiftly by disappointment when they realize you don't have real Achievements or Leaderboards. Achievements are expected to give out points and be seen outside of the game. Leaderboards are expected to work for everyone on LIVE and be completely synced for everyone. XBLCG games cannot match those expectations.
  • 11/25/2008 12:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I've had Leaderboards and Achievements in the games I've developed for ages now and never even gave it a thought until somebody mentioned it in feedback.  I agree that a community standard would be a good idea.  I prefer Awards to Trophies but they both sound a little bland?  Binary Zoo (original developer of DUOtris) have 'Zoots' (Zoo Trials) which sound much more cool and funky :)

    How about: Heroes (Leaderboards) and Badges (Achievements)?
  • 11/25/2008 12:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I have to completely disagree with everyone here saying that properly implemented Achievement and Leaderboard systems should not be called as such.


    Under the current limitations it is not possible to properly implement Achievements and Leaderboards in the way Xbox Live users would expect.  Community games achievements will not give gamerscore which most users would expect with Achievements.  Even with peer to peer networked score sharing, community games leaderboards will not work with silver accounts.  You can fool the users into thinking they are getting something similar, but you are (in my opinion) being misleading.
  • 11/25/2008 12:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    PaulCunningham:
    How about: Heroes (Leaderboards) and Badges (Achievements)?
    I like Badges. But Heroes is a little weird in my opinion. What about "Rankings"?
  • 11/25/2008 12:14 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I like badges, it's like Boy Scouts all over again! :-)  Heroes.. nah..

    I think if using peer to peer networking, it should convey the requirement of a gold account.  I'm not sure what though.. Gold Account Scoreboard?


  • 11/25/2008 12:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    PaulCunningham:
    How about: Heroes (Leaderboards) and Badges (Achievements)?

    Badges is good. I'm not crazy about Heroes though. How about Rankings?
  • 11/25/2008 12:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Can some smart person set up an online poll and we can vote?  Run it for a week and then add the winning entries to the Best Practices doco.  Obviously it's up to individual devs if they then choose to follow the crowd but I think using common terminology can only benefit us in the long run.
  • 11/25/2008 12:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Forgive the crappy page:

    Achievements Poll
    Leaderboards Poll

    Obviously we can choose a name not on there, but since you asked for it and took me a whole fifteen seconds, I figured why not. :-)
  • 11/25/2008 12:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Impressively quick!
  • 11/25/2008 6:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    I'm not sure you really need a standard name, so long as people aren't using the default ones for Commercial and XBLA games. It's a tad utilitarian in fact to assign such specifics to a broad range of genres. Wouldn't it just be better if the inclusion simply became a standard, and the names could simply be themed to the game. One thing I have liked that some games have done is unlockables attached to these rewards, which frankly is a good edge, since very few Commercial or XBLA games even do this. I'd be just as happy with Goals and Champions as anything else, so long as there was some substance behind them that linked back to the actual gameplay.
  • 11/25/2008 6:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Nick Gravelyn:
    Forgive the crappy page:

    Achievements Poll
    Leaderboards Poll

    Obviously we can choose a name not on there, but since you asked for it and took me a whole fifteen seconds, I figured why not. :-)


    Badges are also already taken by Microsoft:

    http://zone.msn.com/en/general/article/genaboutbadges.htm

    Of course, I don't know if that matters.
  • 11/25/2008 6:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Louis Ingenthron:
    What would be nice is if we got our own "Community Standard" with not only names, but icons and display guidelines, driven by the community.

    We could collectively plan out "XBLCG TCRs". Though we can't really make them requirements, I suppose, so we'll call 'em Technical Certification Recommendations ;)

  • 11/25/2008 6:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Badges are also already taken by Microsoft:
    It's a different context, I don't think the average Xbox Live user is going to be confused by community games using badges.
    I suppose, so we'll call 'em Technical Certification Recommendations ;)
    Except there is no certification.  Could just call them CGRs (Community Games Recommendations) if you want an acronym.
    It's a tad utilitarian
    Perhaps, but when you only have 4 minutes to convey to your potential customer what is in your game it's better to not have to waste it reexplaining things they could implicitly understand.  Standards are useful for that.  No one is talking about requiring your game to use any decided upon terminology, but personally I think you would just be confusing your audience if every game you make has a different word for the community games version of achievements.
  • 11/25/2008 6:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Louis Ingenthron:
    What would be nice is if we got our own "Community Standard" with not only names, but icons and display guidelines, driven by the community.


    Isn't it possible to do exactly what you describe as a DLL that someone could add to their pipeline ? If I'm mistaken on that, than perhaps some portable code that could be imported into a project.
  • 11/25/2008 6:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Isn't it possible to do exactly what you describe as a DLL that someone could add to their pipeline ?
    Source would be better.  A canned component isn't likely going to work well in the for all games.
  • 11/25/2008 8:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Is claiming to have Achievements and Leaderboards a valid reason to fail a game?

    Reality Shift:
    Isn't it possible to do exactly what you describe as a DLL that someone could add to their pipeline ?
    Source would be better.  A canned component isn't likely going to work well in the for all games.
    IMO a document would be better. Implementation can vary widely for the exact same appearance, I think it's best left up to the developer how to accomplish a goal.
    Reality Shift:
    I suppose, so we'll call 'em Technical Certification Recommendations ;)
    Except there is no certification.  Could just call them CGRs (Community Games Recommendations) if you want an acronym.
    How about "Time-honored Creative Recommendations"? :P
    (Hey Microsoft uses TCR and Sony uses TRC, so there's gotta be something special about those letters, right? ;))
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