Contraption: On Cheevos

As we recently announced in update 1.0.8, we now display badges at the base of your save models to indicate if you beat the level in a special way. On some levels, getting a badge will earn you an achievement and matching jangly charm for your controller.

First confirmed Contraption 100% completion!
First confirmed Contraption 100% completion from @eric_lobdell

Colin and I have differing opinions on “cheevos” in games. For Incredipede, Colin used anti-achievements where you have to leave your computer, go outside and play with bugs (and people actually did it!). Colin argues that achievements cheapen games by giving you a reward for something that should be its own reward, and that they can encourage you to do things that aren’t even fun.

I argue that achievements give you a reason to try new things. Say you always play Rebuild 3 by killing every faction in the city. There’s an achievement for that, but also one for allying with every faction. So to get every cheevo you have to try different play styles and explore parts of the game that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise. Achievements can also give uber players new and harder challenges.

Fantastic Contraption has a history of solution badges which we used for the achievements in the new game. You earn them by beating specific levels in some unusual way. The ones we’ve kept are:

  • Champion – goal ball stays in goal
  • Boomerang – ball returns to the build area
  • Clean – remove all parts from the level after winning
  • Green – win using no powered wheels
  • Brown/Gold – win using only rods
  • Lightning – win in a limited amount of time
  • Minimalist – use a limited number of pieces

contraption_cheevos

Our Steam achievements include beating Fetch Island green (no powered wheels) and Step Island boomerang (return to the build area), and Log Rolling lightning (within 5 seconds). That last one is so hard that we’re still debating increasing it to 6 or 7 seconds, and it took hours for Colin to finally prove it was even possible.

I hope they encourage Contraption players to be creative and test out different ideas. We may add a few more cheevos as we add more levels… that is if we can fit any more charms on those controllers!

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