hate them, those Xbox 360 achievements have become a staple of the system. The little blips of joy are so annoying and addicting for some that we're shocked the PS3 and/or Wii didn't implement them. There's an interesting thread going on over at the International Game Developers Association forums started by Raphael Van Lierop (Relic, 3D Realms) where he believes the achievements have taken gamers off course.
Lierop writes, "I have many friends who LOVE achievements. They love the bragging rights, they love being able to compare achievements they obtained to other people ... Personally, I dislike them...a lot. I find they are changing the way we play games, and the focus of the games we play, and make. I feel that games should be crafted to have enough intrinsic reward, that a secondary external reward system should not be required... was it really necessary for us to go back to the old 'High Score' system from the days of arcade games? I would have hoped that the gameplay and immersiveness of the 'next gen' gaming experience would have been enough reward, and that we wouldn't have had to fall back on cheap gimmicks."
Now before y'all go flippin' out, go and check out the thread first. Remember, it's an IGDA thread, so for the most part these are the guys who make the games the rest of us play. And please try to keep the comments on the topic of thoughts related to achievements. Have you found "achievements" to be actual achievements as part of regular gameplay or have you found them to be asinine randomness? Should you only hit the 20% mark in achievements for a game after you've beaten it? Should you get the easy level achievements automatically if you beat a higher level (that one's annoying as anything)? The achievement system is here to stay, what can developers do to tweak it so that there's some uniformity to the system and only a minor amount of absurdity?