Research Essay: Ideas and Discussion


Achievements or trophies are rewarded to players when they complete a certain task. Some of these are related to the games narrative and some are completely random, and also changes depending on the type of game. Some of these tasks are difficult to achieve whereas others are much easier and some are quite trivial. What is more rewarding for players challenge or no challenge?

Whether or not people feel more rewarded with achievements if they are earned by completing a challenging task/objective. Or do they feel more rewarded when given achievements more frequently and faced with less of a challenge. What are their preferences and does it depend on what type of player they are? Do they play video games often or are they casual players who do not play much, do they play console, PC or mobile games? Using inspiration from Richard Bartle’s player types can we determine the different types of players?

I will be exploring and discussing Richard Bartles Player Types, Flow theory, Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, and reward systems to help to support and further develop this idea. I will be comparing elements from both small mobile titles and RPG titles for consoles as it gives more of a variety of feedback.

When comparing games I will be taking into consideration:

  • Cost: Does cost make a difference? Can RPG titles on consoles or PC be more intricate do to more funds than the smaller mobile company. Are smaller mobile companies more interested in keeping players invested in their games so they give out achievements more often to keep them hooked.
  • Different target audience: Who is the target audience for mobile and RPG console players. Are consoles more for people who want more meaning or challenge to their achievements, for serious gamers. And are mobile achievements for players who are more casual and don’t have time to invest long periods of time into gaining achievements, so they need more frequent and quicker gameplay to get the rewarded feeling faster.
  • Different aims or are they the same aims?
  • Do consoles make a difference? Paid compared to free to play mobile.
  • Are achievements common in free to play mobile games?
  • Sometimes RPG games have strong story driven quests and other have quite trivial ones.

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