How the ID @ Xbox community influenced the design of HyperDot’s Xbox achievements

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HyperDot is a minimalist action arcade game with one rule: dodge everything. There is a common thread of “easy to learn, hard to master” throughout the game, and solo developer Charles McGregor wanted the game’s achievements to strike a similar balance. So how do you craft a list of achievements that appeal to die-hard hunters without alienating other players? You ask them.

Here are some of the top comments Charles received when he asked ID @ Xbox Discord server about his preferences for accomplishments. (All images on this blog reflect accomplishments in HyperDot.)

To do: give rhythm to the achievements to be unlocked throughout the game

Yes,
you can include a bunch of achievements that require amazing raw skills. Corn
it doesn’t mean you should let other players want it. The players who flew away
in the ID @ Xbox Discord showed a preference for unlocked achievements
gradually over the course of the game. This includes achievements that reward
progression (like “complete chapter 1” or “beat 100”
enemies “) as well as the playstyle (” beat 10 levels using only the
peteur cushion “).

What not to do: go beyond your welcome

Just a learning experience
Just a Learning Experience unlocks in HyperDot after a player dies 200 times.

This
the comments were universal. If a game takes 5 hours to beat, it shouldn’t have any
achievement that requires 50 hours of play. If a player defeats 500 enemies in
the course of the main game, they don’t want to see an achievement for
defeat 5,000 enemies. Players generally agree with a bit of
grinding (say, they naturally beat 500 enemies in the game and there is a
success to defeat 666), but in this case the community argued for a
Functional success tracker so players can see their progress.

Do: Avoid these GamerScore pet peeves

I didn't know the ledge
I had no idea the Ledge unlocks in HyperDot when a player dies at level 37: Know the ledge.

Charles asked ID @ Xbox Discord about
the most widespread criticisms of success. According to the community, many players do not like
achievements that do not end with 0 or 5 GamerScore. The players were divided on the
overall best way to award GamerScore – some recommended awarding the bulk of
GamerScore with easy achievements to appeal to gamers who don’t care
100% completion. Others warned that this method would be expensive late in the game.
achievements. A point on which everyone agreed: assigning 0 GamerScore to a
extra-hard accomplishment is right mean.

Don’ts: dealing with secrets

Impossible mission
One of HyperDot’s two secret achievements, Mission Impossible unlocks when players attempt an Impossible Try.

The
ID @ Xbox Discord players preferred secret achievements to be
attached to spoiler-related or must-see content. For everything else? Make
audience, and in addition, clearly indicate in the description how
to get it. It is tempting and fun to want to hide an achievement so that it
delights a player when he appears, but here’s the thing … players will go online and
look for the answer anyway. Tell them up front to cut back on the extra effort.

Do: Push players in new directions

Wouldn't it be cool if
Wouldn’t it be cool if… unlocks when a player creates a level that has four or more modifiers in it? HyperDot.

There is a fine line between encouraging players to check out every part of your game and arming strong people. A part of HyperDot where Charles has spent a lot of time is the level editor, but he knows that creating levels isn’t everyone’s problem. With encouragement from the ID @ Xbox Discord, he included some achievements to experiment with the level editor. The community agreed that it was nice to give players a taste of something outside of their wheelhouse as long as it didn’t require them to work on some part of the game that they weren’t interested in (like an achievement to create 100 levels).

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HyperDot

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$ 19.99

HyperDot is a minimal action arcade masterpiece with one rule: dodge everything. Escape enemies and test your skills in over 100 campaign mode events, outlast your friends in multiplayer battles, or create custom challenges with the level editor.

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