So, achievements, in games you say? What are they? Where do they come from? Why oh why am I carrying this gnome? Achievemets in Half-Life 1?
As most of us know, a plethora of games for the various platforms occasionally come bundled with what we call 'Achievements'. What is an achievement I hear you scream, well, it is a small series of goals or objectives you must complete to unlock an achievement. Sometimes these tasks might be trivial and other times they can be complex.
Some examples of achievements can be found in Valve's latest games, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Half-Life: Episode 2, etc.. and the recent addition of achievements to Unreal Tournament 3 via Steamworks.
Ok, so you know what an achievement is and have seen some examples, but why do these game companies bundle their games with achievements? Replayability? Is that even a word? Ultimately the end goal of achievements from the companies perspective is to give the player more reason to replay their games, or continue playing in the case of multiplayer. Achievements work well for me, as you can see I have four achievements left. In due time I will go about completing the remaining tasks and feel that sense of satisfaction of accomplishing that monumental task of launching the rocket with that stupid little gnome inside, and ofcourse, obtaining all the achievements.
Now you might be wondering why I mentioned Half-Life 1 way at the top of the article. Well, it just so happens that I enjoy modding, and more specifically the programming side. I do dabble with map editors but I do not think I am good enough to release something satisfactory. After having replayed Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and completing a few more achievements I thought it would be rather novel to see an achievement system for Half-Life 1 and any derivative works.
If you would like to see a demonstration of the achievement system you can download it here.
PLEASE NOTE: It is incomplete. It has no fancy notification system or anyway for you to view what achievements you have completed in game. If you want to see a description of the available achievements and your progress on completing them, have a look at the XML files in the "Achievements" folder.
The unfortunate part is I have lost the source code for this, however there were several problems I encountered with the way it operated. The plan is to start the achievement system again from scratch and hopefully it will work alot better, with notifications and a way to view what achievements you have completed.
Who knows, maybe you will see this system in some upcoming goldsource mods ;)