0 Date posted: November 3rd, 2011 • Author Maroje Ljutić

Leaderboeards & achievements

There are different genres of games and every game keeps us motivated through their goals. For example, solving puzzle, rescuing princess, defending castle, solving quests and so on. But how to increase re-playability when the goals are reached? Maybe to improve yourself by approaching these goals. Therefore, most games have scores. Even the classic, Super Mario Bros, had a scoring system, Although it has strict goals, clearing levels and saving the princess. Yet, SMB is one of the most beloved games their players probably didn’t pay much attention on the score.

Online leaderboards

Competing only it own score or maybe your friends one isn’t that long-term amusing. With the expansion of the World Wide Web, fortunately it doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Nowadays, the most games have online leaderboards which gives you the opportunity to conquer with people all over the world.

In some case, seeing where you are compared to other players can be frustrating. As an example, you cleared a level in game Angry Birds with the highest three star rating. But, the surprise comes when you see your ranking on level leaderboard. Rank: 1’187’716., not so cool…

Achievements

Players love the bragging rights and recognition of accomplishment. Game achievements are the right approach to provide that. The three star level rating in Angry Birds is a kind of achievement. It rewards the player for doing something good (cause 1’187’716. Ranking isn’t that commending). But achievements have also other purposes then doing something good. They can guide players, introduce to new game mechanics or provide hints. Sometimes there are secret achievements and entire forum threads have sprung on how to unlock those achievements. However, achievements have become an almost expecting feater in today’s games.

 

Social network generation

With the expansion of the World Wide Web, a new generation was born, the «social network generation». Almost everyone on the Internet is using some social networks or communities. People are likening, congratulating, wishing luck, praising, one would say that the new generations are becoming very «social». Social Networks serve also to show off where you have enjoyed your vacation, show off your new motorcycle, show off your trained body or whatever.

So, What the hell do all this have to do with games? Actually not that much, but successful games nowadays have to be connected with social networks. Some players want to show off how they sliced 736 watermelons in Fruit Ninja, or raised 23 chickens in Farm Vile and in such a manner compete in a more public way. All this stuff is good for your games, it gives your game more replay value and exposes your game to more public.

 

Implementation

Implementing online leaderboard, achievements, social networks may seem complicated, but really it isn’t, especially compared to developing a whole game.

The easiest and probably the best way is to take an existing solution for online leaderboards and achievements. There are several available on the market.

For Smartphones the most popular game social platforms are Game Center And Open Feint. Game Center is Apple’s Official platform made only for iOS devices, whereas Open Feint supports also Android devices.

The Question is for which platform to go, and the answer is, both. Players are generally used to one platform and there’s no sense to force the user change his usual one.

Some hints for the developers out there:

  • There isn’t much code to implement social platforms to your games.
  • The Open Feints Official documentation is good enough, there’s no need to search forums and asking advice, at least we hadn’t to.
  • We recommend firstly to implement OF independently from Game Center.
  • After OF is implemented, it provides an easy way to add Game Center support to OF (this document is enough for this purpose).
  • If Leaderboards or achievements aren’t appearing immediately online on the device after setting them up or changing them (on the OF dashboard or iTunes connect for GC). Probably their server hasn’t updated yet, so don’t panic and relax.

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