When we announced that we were working with Codemasters to create the GRID 2 achievement and trophy list, the response was incredible. Not just from our communities across both sites either, the whole internet was abuzz with the news – well, the gaming corner anyway.
What we didn’t really give though was details on how it’s going to work and what not, which may have caused concern. Fear not, we have a plan. We always have a plan. A plan so ridiculously detailed that I’m not sure even you were prepared for this, but like I always say in life, “when you do something, you have to do it properly”… and that we will.
After all, after Codemasters put their faith in us for this unprecedented collaboration, the least we can do is repay them with the best achievement list we have in our arsenal.
So, here’s how it’s going to work…
We’re not just going to send Codemasters a series of emails saying, “Hey, Codies, this is the achievement and trophy list for GRID 2, make it happen, yo.” Come on, that would never work. The process is as follows:
- We’ll be meeting with Codemasters’ GRID 2 team, from designers, coders, artists, testers and more, to talk about the list on multiple occasions. We’ll be getting their advise, seeing what works, and so on for the whole process.
- When I say “whole process,” I mean literally everything, so we’ll be with them from the conceptualisation stage right the way through to the finalisation stage – i.e. testing, creating the tiles, etc (see below).
- We’ll be testing GRID 2 extensively… and when I say extensively, we’re going to be spending a ridiculous amount of time with the game, all to brainstorm ideas and see what works. The fundamentals of creating an incredible list is knowing the game inside out and knowing when and where to reward players. By the time we’re finished we’ll know the game as well as the developers themselves. We’ll know its strengths, it’s spirit and what makes it tick. And that will come across in our list.
When I say “our coverage,” I didn’t really go into too much detail in our press release, namely because I couldn’t do it justice, but we plan to have features, whether written or in video form, pretty much every week/every other week tracking our progress and explaining our decision making, all the way up until launch.
It’ll be broken into a number of stages, as follows:
- Features on making the perfect achievement/trophy list.
- What we hope to achieve and what direction we’ll take, including thoughts from the dev team.
- A piece tackling the issue of balance, i.e. single-player vs. multiplayer, how many hours should it take to complete, difficult achievements vs. standard achievements, progression vs. creative achievements etc.
- Research into other lists (GRID, DiRT, other racing games) and possible limitations of genre.
Creation and Design
- What happens in the usual achievement/trophy creation process.
- ‘The Ideas Factory’ – our initial ideas for the list, with thoughts from the team.
- ‘The Fun Factor’ – we explore how we came about with some other ideas – whether by luck, random, or through repeat performance with our hands-on.
- ‘The Bare Necessities’ – aside from the creative achievements, we tackle where and how we should ultimately breakdown the rest of the list having played it extensively.
- ‘The Testing Room’ – we explore how much testing goes into each achievement/trophy?
- ‘Risk vs. Reward’ – how workable certain ideas are, covering the topic of workability – does the achievement work or is it too labour intensive to create? The limitations and flexibility of the code, essentially, will provide the focus here.
- ‘The Cutting Room Floor’ – a look at the ideas that just wouldn’t or couldn’t work, and the reasons for them. What couldn’t we achieve and why?
Closing Stages & Completion
- The selection and/or creation of the tiles for the list.
- The creation and thought process behind the individual achievement & trophy names.
- Point values and trophy weight – the process behind what makes it 100Gs/gold or 10Gs/bronze.
- The implementation of them into the game.
- Of course, we’ll be announcing the achievement & trophy list, while reflecting on the whole experience after too.
We’ll be creating a hub on the main-page that will appear in the next few weeks or so, so you can catch up on it all whenever and whenever you like through that one handy link.
What we plan to get out of it:
- One hell of an achievement and trophy list, a list that perfectly compliments the game. We won’t be creating the world’s hardest list. We won’t be creating the world’s easiest list. Balance is in fact a big talking point for us and we’ll go into more detail there in the coming weeks.
- An insight into a development process that has always been a mystery.
- To inspire other developers to use their achievements and trophies in the most creative way possible.
- To entertain you along the way.
Of course, plans change and schedules alter, but ultimately, this is our aim and we plan to stick to it. We might condense a few features here and there, but our ultimate aim is to bring you content every few weeks on how we’re getting along.
Here’s to the next 6 months! We hope you’ll enjoy this unprecedented journey as much as we will.