Episode 14: Overachievers

A variety of medals from running races

If you’ve played a game anytime in the last decade, chances are you’ve heard the “ba-boop!” sound that signals the unlocking of an “achievement”: a supplementary goal parallel to a game’s core objectives. Achievements have become an expected part of modern game design, but what can we say about how and why they work? What separates the great achievement structures that keep us striving for 100% from their more forgettable counterparts? Let’s open up the trophy case and see what we can learn about the motivational science and artful design of compelling achievement patterns.

Show Notes

  • Mice and Mystics by Plaid Hat Games is a terrific tabletop RPG experience for families and young players.
  • Dinosaur Polo Club’s Mini Metro is a strikingly elegant puzzle game inspired by the distinctive art of subway transit system maps.
  • Like the gaming equivalent of Pavlov’s dog, a generation of Xbox players will forever associate this unassuming sound effect with the thrill of victory.

Image credit: slgckgc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *