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Josh Smith, AKA "Sm1tty Sm1t" is a Gaming/Tech Writer, podcast host, father, husband and heir to the Kardashian fortune. You can follow him on Twitter @Sm1ttySm1t or check out his podcast at PressAtoListen.com

Indie games need achievements!

“Yeah, it’s fun for an Indie Game,”  is not acceptable to me.  A game is either fun, or it isn’t, and tagging a description with “for an Indie Game” is insulting to both players and developers.  A bad game, regardless of who makes it, will always be categorized as a bad game.  So why does that flip when discussing the good Indie Games?

I play a lot of Indie Games — namely because they’re affordable, fun, and allow developers to “kick it old school” and deliver games based on old favorites, but with new spins.  I’ve played great games, good games, and awful games.  Every single time I download a game, I have an expectation.  Each expectation changes depending on the history of the developer, the screen shots available, and rating from other players.  A game like Toddler Tantrum, for instance, had an expectation of “giving my toddler a game he can enjoy.”  It succeeded greatly!  Cthulhu Saves the World, on the other hand, had lofty expectations of turn-based RPG’s of yester-year — and it too, delivered!  However, expecting Toddler Tantrum to meet the same goals I had for Cthulhu Saves… is asinine.  That’s why adding “for an Indie Game” is degrading and minimizes the work that has gone into these games.

I download the majority of my Indie Games from the XBLA Indie Game Showcase, and I’ve noticed quite the disparity between Indie Games and … every other game. Microsoft has set the groundwork that all retail games are released with 1000 gamerscore for players to achieve.  Xbox Live Arcade games, however, are set at 12 achievements totaling 200 gamerscore points.  On the other hand, Indie Games are allotted … nothing.

Granted, games like Rumble Massage or Shiatsu Massage obviously don’t have an objective, however the achievement issue could be solved by labeling these as “Indie Apps” and allowing other developers 6 achievements totaling 100 gamerscore points for anything considered a Game vs. an App.

How can gamers take Indie Games seriously when Microsoft doesn’t?  Achievements and Gamerscors have become a method of measuring a Gamer’s skill, play variance, and dedication.  By removing a feature as successful from Indie Games, Microsoft is limiting their success from the onset.  Indie Games need achievements and I believe, only then, you will see people venturing more and more frequently into the Indie Game Showcase and trying games that deserved to be played.

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5 Responses to “Indie games need achievements!”

  1. DeadStretch #

    I'm not to sure on them actually giving gamerpoints but at least have them listed in my recent played games.

    A few XBox games out there have some zero (0) point achievements. So maybe Indie games could get 10-15 achievements that will show on your games played but unlocking them won't give you any gamerpoints.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:29 am Reply
  2. ibcRandy #

    Pretty much all of the XBLIG devs agree with you, and they've been asking for that and actual leaderboard support for a long time.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:39 am Reply
    • sm1ttysm1t #

      It's such a small addition that would cause such a positive wave of energy to shoot through the indie world … why on EARTH would MS avoid this!?

      April 13, 2011 at 11:13 am Reply
  3. EthanCrad #

    Yes I agree 100%
    I like it when my friends can see what I play, and when it says "Indie game" its just depressing. Having Achievements also boosts the sales of these games and gives them a challenge, then when you complete them all you feel like you have achieved something and succeeded, thus giving us all satisfaction 🙂

    April 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm Reply
  4. I also agree. I also don't buy indie games at this time & probably for that reason partially, but I do play the trials, and more so because I scrape pockets to get the things I want most. I think indie games with achievements would really help produce sales.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:08 am Reply

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