Chad Gibson, Xbox Live’s Principle Group Program Manager has been interviewed by OXM and offered some interesting insight into the Xbox One Achievement System.
Describing them as ‘super-charged’, the Xbox One Achievements system is greatly improved over that of Xbox 360 and will feel less static than on the current generation.
Developers can now add Achievements to games at weekly, monthly or quarterly intervals without releasing them as DLC or add-ons. This is due to the improved Cloud OS available to Xbox One users.
‘We’ve found a pattern where a user will buy a game, they’ll play the game, they’ll max out the achievements within three to four weeks, and they’re still playing the game six months later.’
‘We really wanted to make our Achievement systems fully embrace cloud power. Which is why in this generation it’s all cloud Achievements.’
The end result? Developers can add an achievement to their game without ever updating their game client. This enables them to be reactive and adaptive to the way their game is played.
Microsoft will not make additonal gamerscore mandatory but will encourage it as a way for next generation games to continue evolving and expanding, encouraging players to come back for more, months and even years down the line.
Good thing we set up this website then, eh?
The most exciting part, however, is that there is no formal cap. Players can – potentially – earn ‘a couple of thousand Gamerscore’ and up from a well-supported title. Although, this may present an equally troubling scenario for completionists, especially if a flood of achievements are added in prep for a DLC hype-train.
Chad assured, however, that Microsoft are aware this could happen and will be paying close attention.
‘We’re mindful of it, and the corollary is that with a lot of games today, three updates later it’s a nice evolution of that game – it’s a different game that’s been modified and adjusted, based on what people are enjoying and having fun with. And we think that Achievements should match that.’
Chad said Microsoft has policies in place to ensure the system isn’t abused.
‘We are super-sensitive to people who are worried about wanting to get all of the Gamerscore, so we still have policies for developers to make sure that things don’t get out of control. like, we do not want a game offering 10,000 Gamerscore every day. We still have policies, so that user experiences are rational – users have an opportunity to complete everything without feeling constantly overwhelmed.’
The interview suggests that developers will have Gamerscore budgets, but it will be up to the developer how those will be proportioned.
On top of all that, the presentation has been changed. Players can track achievement progress from the dashboard without going in the game.
In addition, Xbox One’s Game DVR feature can be set to automatically record and share Achievement unlocks. This feature, in particular, has me the most excited and reminds me of OnLive’s innovative ‘Brag-Clip’ feature.
Perhaps the biggest addition, however, is Challenges. These are adaptive, regular occurences that reflect community-focused events, for example a Black Ops 2 Double XP weekend.
‘Challenges is a concept that you see in games today – like, ‘do this over the course of the weekend and you’ll get this reward,’
‘By implementing them at system level, we can then celebrate them within the experience, in that you’ll start up your new Xbox and you’ll say ‘wow, there’s these challenges available this weekend on these three games that I play’ or ‘these four friends are working on this challenge.’
Challenges can apply to multiple titles and can be earned by groups of players working together but they don’t earn you additional gamerscore.
The full article is well worth a read and can be seen here
Are you excited by these changes?