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Achievements

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Could anyone direct me at any design, theory, documents, etc.. concerning implementing an achievement system. Not using XBox Live or PS3 Trophies. This would be home brew.

This would be for a game/application, that is cross platform (iOS, Android, PC and possibly web).

Would a database be the ideal solution? Need a way to track when a user "reaches" an event, or a count of events occured, etc...

Thanks much for any help and ideas

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At it's simplest, an Achievement system is just a mapping of events to a counter.

So, you could define an Achievement as such:

Event: Killed An Enemy
Count Required: 10

So, in your code, when you kill an enemy, you would broadcast that event to the Achievement system (which keeps a list of Events and what Achievements are interested in those events):

[CODE]
enum AchievementEvent
{
Event_KilledEnemy = 0,
Event_Died,
//etc.
};

struct Achievement
{
// You could store additional info here, like a list of conditions so "Kill 10 Red Bettles" instead of just "Kill 10 Enemies"
int count;
int maxCount;
};

// Somewhere in your code where you are deciding if an enemy is dead or now you would broadcast out a message.
{
// ...
AchievementManager::OnEvent(Event_KilledEnemy);
// ...
}

void AchievementManager::OnEvent(AchievementEvent const event)
{
// Assume we have a member called m_Achievements which is just a std::map<AchievementEvent, std::vector<Achievement>>
// For each Achievement in my map for this particular event...
for(int i = 0; i < m_Achievements[event].size(); ++i)
{
Achievement & currentAchievement = m_Achievements[event][i];
if(currentAchievement.count != currentAchievement.maxCount)
{
// Increment counter on this particular Achievement
currentAchievement.count++;

// Check to see if the achievement is now completed, then do whatever you want - pop up a message, check a journal entry, or whatever your design calls for.
}

}
}
[/CODE]

Hope that helps you a bit.

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Achievement systems are popular targets for radical overengineering.

In general, they should be borderline trivial in terms of code: when condition X occurs, the achievement is "reached." If you find that you have a lot of common conditions, you can factor those into shared code. But don't feel guilty about rolling one-off pieces to handle them either; if you have a very specific achievement for very uncommon requirements, there's nothing wrong with a little hard-coding to make it work.

In my experience, building a shiny UI to actually look at your achievements in-game is far more work in terms of time expended than the actual conditions.

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