July 15th 2010 10:02 pm PT

Learn more about Xbox 360 Achievements

 

Like Achievements? Want to learn a little more about how they work on Xbox 360? Head over to the Xbox engineering blog and read this post.

 

Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Grubish360

    That was an interesting post. I liked it.

  • DarkGin87

    Very nice read, i even download the achievement sound at the bottom :P that be my text message sound soon

  • A Place for Us

    I’d love to be a guy who manages the achievements at a game studio. :P

  • rob18

    I love these articles, since I aspire to be a software engineer. If all goes well and a few miracles occur here and there, perhaps one day I’ll score a job at Xbox.

    I hope I don’t disappoint myself. :/

  • Chakaal Starr

    I wish that achievements had a different sound than friends logging in or messages. I have been working on hard achievement, where a friend logs in and you glance to see if it was the achievement and then blow it.

  • onemorechanc

    I have to agree with Chakaal Starr … a slightly different sound would be aces.

  • HeartbreakRidge

    It would be also nice if I could set BUSY but *not* have it block achievement notifications! I have to use Away instead. :)

  • mnemo

    Huh, huh, he wrote “trophy” in the text. :-)

    Too bad it doesn’t say what to do when translated (non-English) achievement texts are plain WRONG. :-(

  • CyberKnight

    Agree with everything so far. I love hearing the “inside story” from developers, especially since I’m a developer myself; also to see the inside perspective of something I’ve been with since the beginning (at least from the beginning of what was available to outside users — Xbox Live Beta user here).

    Also, different notification sounds/rules for achievements vs. friends/messages would save a lot of heartbreak. (“YES, I got the achievem—NO, it’s just another friend notification!”)

    Also: “…but it’s possible to award up to every achievement in the game in one call. Of course, you’d have to be pretty good to make that happen.” I’ve done this exactly once. Finished a game of NBA 2k6 and got “Achievements Unlocked: 5 for 1000G”. I wish I had a camera handy, because I’m sure I’ll never see that again. Kind of proves the point that earlier games’ achievements were “way too easy”, but it was still cool to see the one time.

  • mccalejk

    Nice reading material. On a slightly related note, since XBLA titles are getting bigger, their achievement max. should be raised to 500.
    .
    .
    Also, I emailed Major a month or so ago suggesting you be able to change the sound of your acheivements, friends online and messages notification chime so that they are not the same. It is annoying if you’re achievement hunting. :-)

  • bloodnutman

    An enjoyable read. What I have always wanted to know is about glitched achievements, especially on GFWL..I come across many achievements that do not activate when you have completed tasks that should “pop” the achievement..Star Wars Clone Wars on GFWL is the best example I can give..Are there ways of fixing these problems or is it up to the developer to patch the game?

  • GeneticOrchid

    interesting article

  • HsitH

    Interesting read. Kudos to Vince Curley for being an “Achievement Pioneer”. I have one question, what’s the problem with glitched achievements? I mean, you reach the requirements to get it, but the game doesn’t call the GDK function. Hope this get fixed in the future.

  • TBizzle4Shizzle

    As a programmer / aspiring game designer, that’s a nice article. One thing that I think developers may not understand the importance of right now is the exact actual timing of when an achievement is earned, especially crucial storyline achievements. Say it’s the final boss battle of whatever game I’m playing and I actually do beat the boss, but there’s some after where they are teasing the boss coming back for another fight or something. I’m sitting there with the controller in my hand in suspense, not knowing for sure if the game is over or not. I’ve played some games where the achievement will pop up IMMEDIATELY after the fight before the cutscene starts, and it kinda takes me out of the experience. I’ll see the boss struggling, and it’s not the same feeling because I know that it’s all over.
    /rant

  • The Dukenator

    @bloodnutman It’s up to the developer to fix it.

  • Destrin

    Is there ANY chance of getting the engineering blog through RSS?

    I keep forgetting to check it and it’s always got such interesting stuff

  • chiruno99

    The only problem is games such as The Orange Box and Guilty Gear 2 don’t stick to the guidelines. I stopped reading after that since it makes no sense.

  • Reaver 2009

    I love the sound of the”achievement unlocked”. I own 3 Xbox 360 (Soon 1 for every room) and never had a problem with them.However, it would be nice to give it it’s own unique sound.I may not have a big gamescore, but it’s a working progress considering the amount of time I had an Xbox 360. I believe the achievements are a good plan to wein out the serious gamers from the little boys. It gives a person the ability to choose who would be an enjoyable friend to go gamescore shopping, and not someone who will die all the time and hold you back in a game. “THE BEST IDEA YET !!!!”

  • X Cel007

    @chiruno99 I think that for The Orange Box, it got the bye because it’s 5 games in one. I know that for consistency it hurts the game (plus seeing 99 achievements is almost heartbreaking), but it makes sense, given the size. I didn’t play Guilty Gear 2, so I don’t know anything about it.

  • chiruno99

    Guilty Gear 2 has 1055 Total Gamerpoints.
    WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

  • TheExMascot

    I am so addicted to achievements. My biggest grip, which isn’t really a big worry for my part, is that when I 100% a game the dashboard doesn’t credit me as 100% a game if there is downloadable content for it. I worked so hard to complete all of Peggle’s achievements but now with DLC it looks like I didn’t complete the game. I did, I just didn’t buy the DLC!

    The next is just a pet peeve. Why can’t someone from Capcom go fix their spelling in their achievement for Unbreakable?! “TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get the ture ending without being knocked out.” Ture should be TRUE. As a teacher seeing misspellings drives me nuts.

  • Daphoid

    Excellent read indeed.

    I’ll echo the other comments about early achievements.

    Example of Hard Achivements; Ninja Gaiden II. You’d complete an epic fight that would take you two days and cause many broken controllers and you get 5 gamerscore out of it? That came is epic fail for achievement values not comparing to the task involved.

    Now for examples of games with excellent achievements i’d say Crackdown 1/II, there are a few tricky ones but a lot of htem are just good fun like keeping a car in the air with a rocket for 10 seconds, jumping from a helicopter and killing an enemy, etc.

    I also really like that the game announces the achievements with a witty comment from the narrator, I wish more games would do this. It’d be excellent for say Madden ’11 to hear the announcer “and that’s another touchdown for a total of 50 touchdowns in a season, that’s one epic achievement!” *bloop*.

    - D

  • Daphoid

    Excellent read indeed.

    I’ll echo the other comments about early achievements.

    Example of Hard Achivements; Ninja Gaiden II. You’d complete an epic fight that would take you two days and cause many broken controllers and you get 5 gamerscore out of it? That came is epic fail for achievement values not comparing to the task involved.

    Now for examples of games with excellent achievements i’d say Crackdown 1/II, there are a few tricky ones but a lot of htem are just good fun like keeping a car in the air with a rocket for 10 seconds, jumping from a helicopter and killing an enemy, etc.

    I also really like that the game announces the achievements with a witty comment from the narrator, I wish more games would do this. It’d be excellent for say Madden ’11 to hear the announcer “and that’s another touchdown for a total of 50 touchdowns in a season, that’s one epic achievement!” *bloop*.

    - D

  • The Dukenator

    @chiruno99 There was no limit set when those games came out.

  • ZombieTron

    I really don’t like that the 100% completion goes away with DLC achievements as most of the time this is PDLC and I don’t always want to buy the DLC but still feel I have completed the game and would like for it to show as completed for me. But, oh well. :(

  • MACPH1ST0

    Your games still show up on the Dashboard as 100% complete regardless of DLC achievements, as long as you don’t download the DLC. I noticed that happened to me with Borderlands. I got 100% before Zombie Island came out, and then after it was released, even though the DLC achievements were listed, it still showed as 100% completed until I actually downloaded it.

  • rednax760

    Very interesting and informative post

  • Blue Thunder28

    I have the 100% in Force Unleashed and Resident Evil 5 for the original list of achievements (as well as many other games..) but since I didn’t buy the DLC they aren’t completed games when I look.. Doesn’t really matter so much since I just love seeing the 1000 on my list but it’d be nice to have an accurate Total Completed Games number where they tell you.. I just 1000ed Metro 2033 as well and their DLC is coming relatively soon so we’ll see if they take that completion away from me haha.

  • ZombieTron

    Good to know Macph1st0, but in some cases, like Burnout Paradise, you are forced to download the DLC in an update and then it just unlocks when you purchase it. I would be 100% on Burnout Paradise if it wasn’t for the pesky party pack!

  • The Dukenator

    Major Nelson had offered the achievement unlocked sound awhile back.
    Can’t remember when he posted about it, but no matter now.

  • The Dukenator

    Try replacing the Windows Notify sound with the Achievement Unlocked sound. Much better.

  • Mcmax3000

    @ZombieTron I may or may not have purchased the party pack just for those achievements because I wanted to be 100% in Paradise…

    I think it all depends on how the devs add the achievements. I think Criterion did it as part of that big update that you had to download, instead of as part of the actual content you purchased, which is why they show up for you regardless but more & more games seem to do it as part of the actual content instead of as part of the title update as I noticed that with the recent L4D2 DLC. I couldn’t see the achievements in my profile until I got the DLC yesterday.

  • The Dukenator
  • EveofLight

    As someone stated I hope the achievements and the other things have their own distinct sounds in the future; it gets confusing when you think you got those hard achievements you are working for to only find out it was just a friends who sent you a message or logged in.

 

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