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Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures?

Posted By: Jenny100

Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 06:07 PM

Yesterday I bought European Mystery: The Face of Envy.
I am regretting it.

The game "should" have been a game I'd enjoy -- a detective mystery set in historical surroundings.

But there are popups up the wazoo, announcing some "achievement" or other -- or any bit of progress made in the game, blocking my view of the game window, and occasionally blocking something going on in the game that I really wanted to see. Not only are there popups, there are all these little diddly things along the outside of the screen sliding in and out of view. I should correct myself here -- these things are not small. They obscure a good bit of the game window.

These kinds of things are something I'd expect in a pinball game -- not in a story-based game. But I'm not playing a pinball game.

Maybe it's because I started as an adventure game player, where the games didn't have these sorts of distractions. But I imagine even players who started with IHOG's and casual adventures (back before they added these distractions) may find them just as annoying.

Imagine visiting a historic town like Williamsburg or Old Salem, and having billboards flashing in your face every time you turned around. Would you be inclined to ever visit again?

I don't really care one way or the other about "achievements." I would not object to them being available through the menu screen. But the constant interruptions really spoil the game for me. I play these games for some combination of story, puzzles, and exploration. The constant popups interfere with exploration, interrupt the story, totally destroy any "atmosphere" the game environment might have had, and are totally unnecessary for the puzzles. I think I can tell when I solved a puzzle or not without having some huge announcement blocking my view of the screen.

I have yet to see a game where there was an option to turn these annoyances off.

I'm seriously considering dropping my Big Fish membership.
After all, if I can't enjoy the games, why bother?

Anyone else getting fed up?
Posted By: Marian

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 06:36 PM

The Achievement announcements don't bother me as much as they do you, but I have played a few games where I have been awarded achievements that I didn't earn, such as doing a HOP scene without using any hints, whereas in fact I had used a hint. I am reading that the new European Mystery is doing the same thing - awarding achievements when they haven't been earned. I don't know how difficult it is to program this feature, but it should work correctly.

I like the newer Nancy Drew games where there is no notification of having received an Achievement, and you can view them outside of the main game if you wish; it's not mandatory that you look at them and you aren't notified if you have earned one.

It would be nice to have a feature where you can turn Achievement notifications on/off. wave
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 07:24 PM

I like the collectable notifications but not the others. I also like when they come up and go away quickly. If they linger they annoy me. I would think it would not take much programming to turn off the announcements in game and let you choose if you want to see it or not.
Posted By: traveler

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 08:17 PM

Achievements and all those popups would drive me nuts.
On top of the distraction, you're being treated like a child.
Oh, aren't you a smart girl!
Here, have a lollipop!
Do people really need this sort of thing to encourage them to play games?

Gil.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 09:17 PM

Hmmmm ....

Rather vexed to hear about these distractions because I don't like them either - and I just bought The Face of Envy in anticipation of a good experience thumbsdown
Posted By: kazzmo

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/17/14 11:49 PM

I was also looking forward to playing this game, but after reading these post, I will not be making the purchase. I really do not like the silly popups and if they are incorrect that is a double dislike. What a shame that the company ruined(IMO) a game that should have provided an enjoyable experience for all players. If the companies insist on putting the popups in their games, they should at least do the consumer the courtesy of providing an OFF switch. thumbsdown thumbsdown
Posted By: gamenut

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 01:06 AM

Ditto to ALL said!
Posted By: Cappy

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 02:21 PM

I agree with all the posts and, in fact, suggested about a month or so ago that players be allowed to turn them off. That has not yet happened and it seems as though the interruptions are getting more prevalent and staying on the screen for even longer periods. It's a totally annoying disruption to what is usually a good game. I, too, am considering going back to adventure games where I can play in peace.

Jenny100, I wish I had read your post yesterday....before I purchased this game. Maybe BFG will give me my money back if I complain to them? I'll check that out. I guess it's going to take someone more powerful than us to get the developers to change. BFG could be just that someone.

Barb
Posted By: SharonB

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 02:51 PM

I agree with all said. I tried a demo of Spirits of Mystery - The Silver Arrow. I was prepared to buy this game and wanted to enjoy it. They had a LOT of collectible items and achievements. I kept getting interrupted in what I was trying to do. And then I was supposed to "clean-up" the tower while playing the game and gather coins to buy stuff. All that stuff is fine if you want to play that kind of game, but I was trying to play the story. It could have been interesting and I tried to get used to it. But, when I came out of the game I decided good story or no, this game wasn't for me. A little goes a long way and this was way overdone. It's a good thing they provide demos. I felt like a not very bright child being patted on the head for encouragement. sick

Sharon catrub
Posted By: Cappy

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 03:06 PM

Thanks for the heads-up, Sharon. Another game added to my do-not-buy list.

Barb
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 04:54 PM

The reason they give you a one hour trial is to see if you like the game and that it runs on your computer. It's really not a fair thing to expect a refund on a game purchased without seeing if it's something you like.

If you don't like it, let the developers know what you do not like. They may listen if you suggest that they add a feature to disable the popups but not eliminate. A lot of folks enjoy the achievements very much and replay in order to get them all. Most of us here were adventure gamers before playing casuals and we are not accustomed to being rewarded for playing a game. If you go other places where casual only players hang out, they love that stuff. I am sure if the developers were made aware that this is an issue, they could easily remedy it.

Ana wave
Posted By: SharonB

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 06:05 PM

I had read some reviews of the game before I started playing. Someone said they liked it because there was so much to do. At the time I wasn't sure how I felt about this so I tried the game. As I said, I tried to like it. And I did like the game itself but I kept feeling like it was talking down to me and I kept getting sidetracked. Now I know how I feel about the achievements. A little goes a long way and it's best to try the game first. Which I almost always do. Just expressing my opinion.

Edit: You're right about needing to express my opinion to the developers. I'm not sure how to do that but I did make a post in the review of this game in the BF forums and expressed the wish that they would make achievements optional.
Posted By: Starcom

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/18/14 11:22 PM

I agree with Ana that one should try the Demo first to see if you like the feel of the game, it is one thing to read reviews from others but one must remember that not every one shares the same taste in games, I bought many games based on reviews only and to my dismay found out that I wasted my money and deleted the game(s) not even making it to the halfway point.

As for the game that Jenny100 mentions “European Mystery: The Face of Envy”, I tried the Demo and she is right, there are a lot of popups, but is still a very good game but not good enough to buy the CE, I will wait for the SE game, then again, I buy mostly SE editions because I am cheap and I don’t much care for these extra collectables and therefore one gets less Pop Ups during the game.

Again to Jenny100 and others, have you tried the demo of : Obscure Legends - Curse of the Ring, I don’t know if they have a CE version of this game, so far I only played about halfway and loving it, yes there is a Popup when you collect coins to repair your ship, but so far when that area of pop-ups happens you also have other needed items to collect, so the trick here is to 1) Collect the coins first and ignore the pop up while you the collect the other necessary item(s) to further the game play.
Posted By: Tally Ho

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/19/14 12:27 AM

It would be totally simple for the programmers to create the option to turn this silliness off. After all, look at the options already available - various modes of difficulty; do you want a tutorial or not - they just haven't thought of this choice, or haven't bothered.

I really don't need to 'buy things for my helpful kitty or dog' That might have been cute in one game, one time only, but for everyone else to copy it is lazy thinking.

I frankly don't care for any of the achievements, but if they don't get over-pushy it doesn't matter. When they are constantly popping up, then that becomes too intrusive and destroys the enjoyment of the adventure.

Anyway, developers actually do read the stuff we write; let's hope they listen to us this time. One of our major players is considering quitting BF. Really! Pay attention, guys.
Posted By: Sparkle

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/20/14 05:33 PM

I'm not one to be interested in achievements, etc. But I don't find their presence in a game a deal breaker. Most of these games are still fun to play. I don't find the pop-ups distracting. I guess I've gotten used to ignoring them. As far as the "shops" where you can dress up your pet or provide a nicer environment, I don't pay attention to those either. I imagine there are those who find these extras to be a fun part of the game. I can see that new players and younger players might find these extras entertaining. I didn't used to like looking for morphing objects, but I've learned to have fun looking for them. I certainly wouldn't consider leaving BFG because of the way some of the games offered are designed. I don't expect BFG to exclusively cater to my personal tastes. My gosh, there have been so many good games released in the past year or so that I can hardly keep up. However, I can agree that if it's possible to provide the option to play without these extras, I'd probably choose to check that option. Seems it would be a programming challenge though. I've seen complaints on BFG forums re: the value of CE's and wonder if the addition of achievements, etc. is a way to provide more bang for the buck.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/20/14 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Sparkle
I've seen complaints on BFG forums re: the value of CE's and wonder if the addition of achievements, etc. is a way to provide more bang for the buck.

Unfortunately buying the Standard Edition does not get rid of "Achievements" -- at least not with the recently released IHOG's and Adventure Lite's. The only difference is that the "Collector's" versions allow you to actually do something with the extra garbage you collect. There is no difference in the constant popups congratulating you on things like opening a door or talking to another character or doing similar things that are necessary to progress in the game anyway (and therefore not really an "Achievement" at all). Nor is there a difference on the unnecessary objects you collect, and which you are usually notified about by slide-in instead of a popup (both block your view of the screen).

If Big Fish doesn't supply games I can enjoy, why be a member? Let them supply games to people who are willing to put up with the annoyances. If I wanted pinball-type or Vegas-type popups, I'd be playing those type of games, not adventures or IHOG's.

Imagine reading a book and having pop-ups obscure your view of the page every couple of seconds saying, "Congratulations, you managed to finish a sentence!" "Congratulations, you read 16 nouns!" "Congratulations, you found an adverb!" "Congratulations, you've been reading for 15 minutes." It's stupid and insulting.
Posted By: traveler

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/20/14 09:07 PM

Bravo!

Gil.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/20/14 11:46 PM

I simply can't find the time to watch demos or suchlike so I often buy a game purely because it appeals to me from its description smile
[ And obviously, this system has the propensity to go horribly wrong at times rotfl ]

However, not even the best of developers can ever please everyone so an "option button" for this type of stuff makes sense to me - and would probably generate more sales by the game reaching a wider market yes
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/22/14 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Mad
so an "option button" for this type of stuff makes sense to me

You'd think it would, but I'm not so sure it is a possibility.

Look at all the posts from people complaining about "sparkles" when playing on advanced modes (when there aren't supposed to be sparkles). This has been an ongoing problem for years, and you see complaints about it in user reviews for many games. Ever since "sparkles" were introduced as an option in "easy/casual" mode, the ability to avoid them was gone. Even though there is supposedly an option to turn them off, either directly or by choosing a more difficult mode, this option is at best only semi-functional. People get the opposite problem too -- no sparkles when they want to see them. Personally I don't much care one way or the other about "sparkles." They don't obliterate everything else on the screen and don't stop you from playing the game the way notifications do. But if an advanced mode is not supposed to show "sparkles," they should NOT appear when playing in that mode.

Look at the posts from people who get notices for "Achievements" they haven't earned. Even for players who want the "Achievements" displayed, I think we can assume they want them to be accurate -- and don't want notices for things they haven't earned.

If the developers can't even get these things right, how are they going to eliminate "Achievements" or "Achievement notifications?" Giving options for things they can't control (or can't be bothered with controlling) isn't very useful. I can easily see people who want "Achievements" not getting them while those who don't want them are bombarded with them.

With both the appearance of "sparkles" and the accuracy of "Achievement" notifications, either there is a problem with the beta testing, or the developers aren't paying attention to their beta testers.

I see little hope for anyone hoping to avoid "Achievement" notifications -- except to only buy games where there are NO "Achievement" notifications in ANY playing mode.

Not that they shouldn't try, or that players shouldn't DEMAND the options. But I don't see it actually happening.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/22/14 07:05 PM

Well it still "makes sense" to me, Jenny100 yes

But whether it can be done or not is another kettle of fish altogether - and with my meagre techy knowledge it would be rather presumptuous of me to assume it could laugh
Posted By: HeavenlyJoy

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/23/14 01:02 PM

I agree with you about the popups, I did cancel my membership. Mostly I like puzzle games, or adventures that have good puzzles without the hidden object feature, I had a hard time finding these types, and played most the adventure ones that are without the
hidden object type (looking for random objects in a room, that have nothing to do with the game)
I dont mind looking for a key or machine part, or something else with the story, but the Hidden Objects drive me nuts LOL
I would love to do more of the casual types with riddles and puzzles , but have a hard time finding these among them all and they dont seem to have to many,...

I do play some of the puzzle types, that are like suduko.. or pictures squares... and the pop ups I just try to ignore, I also find they dont offer much in the way of added enjoyment, I dont need an award when I finish a puzzle, doing the puzzle is enough reward.

It seems like something that could be an option like you said..
Posted By: colpet

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/23/14 08:00 PM

I'm playing less casual games, though I'm still a BF member for now. I hate the pop-ups, the sparklies even on difficult setting, and the relative ease of the games. The games have lots to do, but it's mostly a number of very easy little steps adding up to getting access to the next bit. Many of the games I recently played have the answers you need right in the same frame as the puzzle. One thing for sure, I now stay away from CEs and any game with cutsie companions. I'd really like more games like The Fall Trilogy, or the 1st Azada.
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 02/24/14 05:20 AM

I really liked those two games too colpet!
Posted By: 8dognight

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/04/15 08:16 PM

Resurrection of thread:
I loathe pop-up announcements in general. Announcements of achievements are the worst because they remind me that I should (and usually do) have better things to do than be patronized. While I buy games with these pop-up banners, I almost never finish one because the irritation is cumulative when coupled with the usual narrative incoherence.

After losing interest in casual games for several games, I have started playing again in order to have an immersive experience (a phrase I am lifting from Jenny100 because she articulated the matter so well). For me, immersion means willing suspension of disbelief, a state of consciousness difficult enough to achieve in a casual game without having my nose rubbed in how low the developers' and producers' opinions are of the target audience's intelligence.

Optimism:
I have noticed that sparkles do seem to be disappearing in newer games with custom settings and that the option to toggle off twinkly mood spoilers tends to actually work or at least work better than it used to. Maybe the same will be become possible with those banners.
Posted By: Marian

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/04/15 08:20 PM

I wish I could remember the name of the game now, but there was one game I looked at in the last year where you could customize the settings such that you could turn the achievements announcements off.
Posted By: 8dognight

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/04/15 09:24 PM

If you think of it, let me know, please. I vaguely recall seeing one as well when I began navigating my way through BFG's whimsically alphabetized and categorized pc adventure index then trying and buying various games. At the time, I had no idea how important that option was.

The good things about complaints like those in this thread are twofold. First, developers and possibly BFG producers may read and heed as with the increasingly successful ability to play without unwanted sparkles. Second, I can username search and find games particular people liked whose standards may be similar to mine.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/05/15 07:14 AM

I just ignore all such things as morphing objects, collectables and achievements etc etc - unless they are absolutely necessary to move the game forward, which is hardly ever the case.

For me they are nothing more than annoying distractions rolleyes
Posted By: Reenie

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/10/15 01:49 AM

8dog, you are so right. The way BF groups its games genres is meaningless to someone who wants to search for a particular type of game (puzzle, adventure or HOG). I wrote to them once, and they blew me off. It is BF's way of drawing people in, I suppose.

I stopped playing games wherein you did not have the option to turn off pop-ups and sparkles. You have to download the Trial first, to find out if the game is going to annoy you, but then you can bail and it costs nothing. It cuts down on the number of games severely, but I enjoy the few that are left.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/10/15 12:02 PM

Well, usually, it's fairly obvious on a screen which items are morphs or collectables etc so by ignoring them I can play and enjoy the game MY way laugh
Posted By: 8dognight

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/10/15 02:47 PM

Mad, that was the first thing I tried. "Fairly obvious" says it all.

I get those banners by mistake fairly often. Then--wham--there are two banners in rapid (or should I say vapid) fire succession obliterating the far left quarter of the screen and accompanied by a mood blasting fanfare of music. It is hard to be sure in many cases that what is clicked on is not an ordinary object in the game. I have to play by a combination of search and avoid. I admire games that trick me with clever hot spots or more than one object to retrieve as I am likely to leave one behind then wonder why I am stymied. Padding with morphs and collectibles is not all that terrible per se although I could argue that it is in terms of story construction. What is terrible is the way their retrieval is trumpeted outside of narrative flow. Search and avoid is a method that irks me because one fairly large area of the screen becomes a blank spot removed from all else. Playing with a "just ignore it" mentality crowbars away a big chunk of enjoyment because for me clicking before thinking tends to be a good thing (and therefore one reason I do not play games I can die in on a regular basis with a single ill-considered click) and because that mentality spoils the exploration of new areas.
Posted By: Reenie

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/10/15 05:55 PM

"Fairly obvious." grin
Posted By: Mad

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/11/15 01:36 AM

"Search and avoid is a method that irks me because one fairly large area of the screen becomes a blank spot removed from all else. Playing with a "just ignore it" mentality crowbars away a big chunk of enjoyment because for me clicking before thinking tends to be a good thing ..."

Just goes to show how different we all are, 8dognight !! laugh

I find the "things to ignore" are (for me, anyway) pretty obvious so I can ignore them and quite happily play on through the game yes

Clicking before thinking, however, isn't something I tend to do at all woozy
Posted By: ramona

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/11/15 03:30 AM

Interesting discussion. The pops ups don't bother me if they quickly go away. Though I wish I were able to just play and not be in the back of my mind be thinking about them. It can be a distraction to just enjoying a HOP scene because I am worried about not getting the morphing scene or getting 5 objects within 5 seconds. This is more my issue than the developer's issue I think because I want to get all the achievements.
Posted By: Reenie

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/11/15 06:02 AM

Yeah, that comes into it for me, sometimes. Can't help it. A-Type Personality here. ha ha So I would prefer that they not pop up, and not be part of the game. It does "break the fourth wall," as people say when it happens in films.
Posted By: Reenie

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/11/15 07:23 PM

Yep, I absolutely loved the first three Amaranthine Voyage games that I played, but I just went to try the "Orb of Purity," and found it riddled with pop-ups. I swear, there was a pop-up every two minutes! "Oh boy, you found a thing, or you were so clever at that HOG, Yippee - you put a piece into a whatever." Sadly, I did not even finish the Trial game, and won't be buying it. I sure hope the game designers get the message. If they can provide customization of the difficulty and sparkles and all that other stuff, surely they can give you the option to TURN OFF POP-UPS. Pleeeeze. lol
Posted By: ramona

Re: Are "Achievement" Announcements spoiling casual adventures? - 10/11/15 08:22 PM

I am playing the final installment of Off The Record and will try to not be so determined to get every achievement. I will see how long that last.
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