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Badges in multiplayer games

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Last week I put badges in Starfighter: Disputed Galaxies, and today I put more in Platform Racing. Putting badges in multiplayer games is a bit of a tricky subject for me, but here’s why I decided to give badges to these games:

1. The developers of both are pretty trustworthy, and I think they’ll be able to handle the traffic. I also don’t believe they’ll take either game offline anytime soon (hopefully their ad revenue from Kongregate will more than pay for server costs).

2. None of the badges in either games can be kept from you by other players. You can get all the badges in Starfighter exclusively through single-player, and you can in Platform Racing too, though the latter would be kind of lame (and take a lot longer, with climbing up to rank 300). But even if you’re always dead last in every game in Platform Racing, you can still get the badges if you play well enough. I’ve intentionally made the Platform Racing badges a little easier than usual just because I don’t want people to feel obligated to avoid acquiring them in online games with other people. I can assure you that they’re all very obtainable even when you have opponents stomping on your head and activating lightning items.

3. None of the badges from either game can be made significantly easier by collaboration among competitors.

I know it’s incredibly arrogant of me to say this, but I get really annoyed with the design of some of the achievements on Xbox Live. In fact, maybe when I have some free time, I’ll write an essay about the stupidest ones (expect to see mentions of the Bioshock badge that only awards the “good” path, the badge for completing Ecco the Dolphin 3 times, and all multiplayer Halo 3 achievements!).

Anyway, here’s what I refuse to do with multiplayer achievements on Kongregate. If you see either type of these on the site, you can safely assume that I’m dead and someone else is handling the badge system:

1. Halo 3-style “let’s all collaborate to pull off ridiculous bullshit” achievements. I don’t know where to begin on the stupidity of this system, but if you have a badge in Halo 3 that’s “kill 10 enemies with a single sniper rifle shot” or whatever, then congrats, we all know that you convinced people to line up for you, then traded off. I don’t want to have achievements that essentially require collaboration among competitors, where the game itself changes into unintended player behavior just because people want to earn badges.

2. Dead or Alive 4-style “streak” badges. There’s nothing more frustrating than other human beings preventing you from achieving a goal in the most annoying way possible: by having the nerve to actually beat you after 99 straight wins, 1 win away from a badge. This does not cultivate a happy community, and it basically requires collaboration among people who are serious about earning it. I might reconsider for a game that has random matching and doesn’t allow communication between players, but otherwise, this isn’t a good idea in general, I don’t think. Note that this does NOT including climbing a ranked ladder.

Anyway, so these are my thoughts on multiplayer badges. I know a while ago I said I wanted to stay away from them, but I guess I was just oversimplifying things a bit before I gave it some more thought. Feel free to post any opinions here.

 
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Woot! Platform Racer badges. I still disagree with the Startfighter badges because it is plenty too confusing of a game for some people to even start. As for Platform racer lets just say…a retard could play it.

 
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I still disagree with the Startfighter badges because it is plenty too confusing of a game for some people to even start.

That’s actually the main reason it has badges in the first place: to get people into the game (though it’s also the reason I didn’t really want to use Starfighter in a challenge). See also: Caravaneer.

 
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Hey, some new badges. Good to know that Kongai isn’t taking up all of your time =)

 
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ummmmm hey.

well greg i would like to say: i have halo 3 (i hate it).
i have all multiplayer achievements except for the double spartan laser kill shot….

and i only worked together with a guy to get 2 achievements :P (the mongoose mowdown, early on when i first got the game, and the vehicle hijack with my cousin).

so…yeah thought i would like to say that not everyone cheats. (i didnt exactly cheat.)

and well done on giving the badges to multiplayer games! hoorah!
if anything we need more multiplayer games on this site…hopefully by giving badges as incentives, more developers would create them….hmm just a thought.

 
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None of the badges in either games can be kept from you by other players.

Not 100% true in platform racing; if you’re going for good times other players can really mess you up E.G. lightning power up. Which means that you just have to get lucky and or fast enough to be able to play a course by yourself.

Both games highly deserved badges though, as does Kongregate racing ;)

 
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Greg, I disagree with starfighter due to the multitude of gamebreaking glitches. For one, there is the famous Thunderbolt glitch, whree thunderbolts continue to strik you after you die. I lost 750 kills due to getting triple killed by a barrage of thunderbolt mines when the game started. The next is improper saving of lives. I was recently playing and I had stocked up on lives (up to 7) and quit. I had left the page only a few minutes ago, turn the game on, and I go and do a mission. Bam, I die, it turns out that it never saved my lives. Another 400 something kills down the drain. Platform racing is fine, however.

 
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SuitedCriminal, the fact that you’re so aware of what I’m talking about only aids my point. The fact that you collaborated for a couple of your own badges doesn’t hurt my case either.

Which means that you just have to get lucky and or fast enough to be able to play a course by yourself.

That’s just the thing, though. There IS the option to play by yourself. And none of the tasks for the hard badge are so difficult that you couldn’t accomplish them in an online game with a bit of fighting among players. I hope people keep this intention in mind before they complain about any of them being too easy…

Greg, I disagree with starfighter due to the multitude of gamebreaking glitches.

I didn’t encounter any of these glitches, nor was I informed of them after spending a couple of days chatting in the Starfighter room. I apologize if they hinder your progress, but would it help if you signed off in a safe area?

 
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1. Halo 3-style “let’s all collaborate to pull off ridiculous bullshit” achievements. I don’t know where to begin on the stupidity of this system, but if you have a badge in Halo 3 that’s “kill 10 enemies with a single sniper rifle shot” or whatever, then congrats, we all know that you convinced people to line up for you, then traded off. I don’t want to have achievements that essentially require collaboration among competitors, where the game itself changes into unintended player behavior just because people want to earn badges.

Thats true, but a lot of people that care about badges the most, feel the need to actually earn them. As long as they’re not used im competitions then the people who do them still get the most out of them for there actual purpose, and that is the feeling of achieving something tough.

2. Dead or Alive 4-style “streak” badges. There’s nothing more frustrating than other human beings preventing you from achieving a goal in the most annoying way possible: by having the nerve to actually beat you after 99 straight wins, 1 win away from a badge.

What does this have to do with multiplayer? I mean, even if it’s single player, than the AI bot is going to do the same thing, and isn’t this a bit of a conflict with you’re above paragraph saying players shouldn’t help you to get badges.

 
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Well the good thing about Starfighter is that every glitch is being adjusted and worked on. We do report all bugs and abuses and a new version comes out to address it.

 
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this sort of collaborating to earn achievements happens all the time in a lot of games…but when people say “want to get an achievement?” i usually ignore them. either that, or i listen to where they are gonna go and then kill them. :)

and yeah i have collaborated to earn badges on kong. (triangles, boxhead 2play rooms). but thats what the games are meant to be right? 2 playered? :D

 
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I agree with Greg’s logic 100%. There’s no point in making a badge that has obvious collaboration loopholes. The multiplayer badges released so far are reasonable because they can indeed be done single-player, and you don’t have to worry about cheaters ruining you (although this is questionable for Platform Racing, where I encountered many cheaters who in turn made me play more rounds than was necessary to jump rank. However, it was a negligible time loss). Furthermore, it all still remains competitive and still makes you play the game the way it was intended, as opposed to figuring out some gimmicky trick to get a badge.

 
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I’m wondering, is only greg creating Badges or every mods, you should let other mods or DEVs create badges so there will be more badges and everyone will be happy and and…out of words xD

 
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You want like 10+ badges everyday, I think we’re going to have more badges than games.

 
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That’s just the thing, though. There IS the option to play by yourself.

Depends if the people are like your “streak” badges. There are some people who purposely hold up the line to piss you off (especially with that dang 15 seconds) and lag can make it impossible, since after 4 people are done and the line is empty, you click, you’re not in. Oops, 4 more people suddenly appear. There needs to be a “private server” option.

 
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Greg, I signed off in a station… There isn’t much of a safer place than that. And the lightning bolt glitch might have been fixed, it was on the developers priority list.

 
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What does this have to do with multiplayer? I mean, even if it’s single player, than the AI bot is going to do the same thing, and isn’t this a bit of a conflict with you’re above paragraph saying players shouldn’t help you to get badges.

There’s a human psychological element to consider. If I have 99 wins in a row and need my final one against someone who already has the badge or doesn’t care about getting it, odds are good that I’m going to beg him to let me win, even though he has every right to fight to his fullest. The core of the problem stems from a win being much more valuable to one person than another.

Consider these 3 analogies:

1. You’re at a party, and you want a cup of punch. You walk over to the punch bowl and see one cup left. But before you get there in time, someone grabs it. Turns out that this person was closer to the cup, and he got there first. He has every right to the punch, so you shrug and grab a cup of water instead. This is the analogy for multiplayer games without badges.

2. Same scenario, but this time you’re at the party with your diabetic friend. He’s having an attack, and he needs sugar fast. You rush to the punch table, but the same thing happens: Someone grabs it before you get there. Now, as in the first example, this guy has more of a right to the punch than you do. He got there first. But you want it WAY more than he does, because your friend is suffering from a medical condition and needs it to relieve his pain. The guy refuses to give you the punch, and drinks it right in front of your friend. You’re incredibly pissed, right? This is the analogy for someone beating you when you’re one win away from a “streak” badge. Everyone’s within their rights, but you’re likely really angry when someone denies you from having something that you could benefit from much more.

3. Same scenario again, also with your diabetic friend who’s suffering an attack. This time there’s no one else who wants the punch, but as you rush over, there’s a mild earthquake that knocks the cup over and spills the juice to the ground. You’re frustrated, but you’re not ANGRY, since there wasn’t any PERSON behind the action. Same end result, but the psychology is completely different. This is the analogy for losing the 100th game against a computer and failing to get the badge.

Obviously a little extreme, but maybe that explains my logic a bit.

 
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wait, uhhh starfighter disputed galaxy"801 kills" is barely a collaboration badge, so why are we arguing because the “300 rank” badge in PFR is almost impossible to get with a partner/ partners

P.S. the most rank points you can get is 16 or 18 in the infernal hop level and it would be preetty stupid to work so hard to get 1 character up to 300…

 
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300 rank is easy, you just need to play going down a lot. as far as 801 kills goes…that one will take me a while.

 
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I just kept doing infernal hop… normally takes me 30 secs to finish under the right conditions.

 
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Obviously a little extreme, but maybe that explains my logic a bit.

Yeah I see what you mean now.

Though I guess still depending on the situation it can differ depending whats happening. Which makes multiplayer difficult

 
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There is another element to consider, but it is the opposite (and doesn’t work as well in games). Simply put, it involves cheating in sumo wrestling. Long story short, the tournaments have a “if you win more than you lose, you rank up, if not, tough luck” scenario. Also, if you win enough you get increased prizes. But if there are 15 matches, and you have won 7 and lost 7 and it is your 15th match, and another sumo you are fighting has won 9, then they will likely strike a deal and have the person who had the higher wins take the fall (literally) and then if they are in the same situation but reversed, they take the fall.

That is situation 4, IE the “Greg releases a crapload of multiplayer badges for different/the same game and you are playing with your friends or nice people” scenario.