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RaMtiGA - Raising a Middleworld to its Golden Age
RaMtiGA - Raising a Middleworld to its Golden Age: Blog
Dec 25

Erstellt von: Jashan Chittesh

Design of the Awards-System started almost a year ago, Feb 14th 2010 - and now a first version is finally online. While many of the awards cannot really be earned, yet, the list of awards should already give you a pretty good idea of what's to come when Traces of Illumination is finally finished.

The basic database design and the first 53 awards were already completed on Feb 14th 2010. A few days later, I did the visual design for the awards and came up with pretty much what you see now on the site. A week later 24 more awards were added to the database. Those new awards also included the Boddhisattva award which you earn when you return to the game a while after you had completed it and took a little while of absence - and you invite others to join you and help them get through the game with your experience.

After that, for a long time, I either worked on other areas of Traces of Illumination - or was busy with maintaining my life (unfortunately, I didn't get to work on Traces of Illumination by far as much as I would have liked to). Finally, I gave myself my favorite x-mas present by adding another 72 awards related to levels (see below) and completed the Web-GUI for the Awards.

I've just put them online about an hour or so ago, and while doing so realized that the original translation I wanted to use for awards ("Auszeichnung") doesn't really work. It's one typical issue with German: Text is bloated when you move from English to German. Quite annoying, that can be, like when it trashes a Web Layout. So, I decided to go with "Erfolg", which would translate to achievement or success. Well, I'll still stay with Awards in English. Did I mention this is not WoW? ;-)

Next task is implementing the actual logic for receiving the awards in the game.

There are a couple of categories for the Awards:
  • Tutorials: Obviously, these are earned through completing the tutorials. They will become available with V1.1.1 of Traces of Illumination which will be released soon.
  • Single-Player: Awards earned through playing Traces of Illumination in single-player mode (which is the part of the game that's pretty much complete and stable). You'll notice that there is now also a Top High Score in addition to the time-based high-scores (fastest / most persistent). That hints to a pretty big change that is coming with V1.1.1. Returning to the roots of Snake, you can now collect apples. Seriously. Green, Yellow and Red apples, some of which are going to be pretty difficult to pick up (you'll need pretty advanced tracers to get to those locations). Also, you can now shoot the power up icons once the power ups were collected. This is difficult and costs you one shoot wall power up - so you'll be rewarded richly. You're lucky when you're reading this early and are getting ready to top those high scores because this will be getting harder and harder as more people achieve better and better high scores.
  • Levels: These are awards earned through completing levels. Obviously, each level you complete gives you an award. That was a low-hanging fruit. But there's more to it (that's the 72 new awards): Each level has a maximum score (defined by the number of "Apples" and power ups you find in that level). When you reach that score, either as single player, or as a team, or with your whole game group, you get an award. The tricky part here is that you'll hardly manage to do that on your own. So, there's also awards for the people who help you (see for example Maximum Score in The Cube and Helped Master The Cube). And it's very unlikely you'll manage to earn the award without farming power ups: In multiplayer mode, as long as you don't switch to another game group, you can keep your power ups between play sessions. So, you could collect power ups in one level, multiple times until you have an abundance of power ups - and then move to the level where you want to earn the award with all those power ups. That should be fun! And, when you have a look at the associated points, you'll also see that team work and game group work is valued more in this game than playing the maverick (see for example Team-Maxed Jumping Jack, Helped Team Max Jumping Jack and Maxed Out The Maze).
  • Tracers: Obviously, those are related to the tracers that you receive when completing all 12 levels with one tracer. There's two which work a little differently than just getting access to a specific tracer: Oldschool's Cool! is awarded to you when you've played the first 11 levels with your first tracer when you already have another one. No Need for High-Tech is the award you earn by completing the first 11 levels with the third tracer - which is the least powerful (and most ugly) tracer in the game: TRaceON Cycle V0.1. Getting through those 11 levels with that tracer is quite an achievement - and it'll unlock the world of hovercrafts. Finally Completed the Hero's Journey marks the end of the game - and the beginning of your in-game Illumination. If you're ready to let go, you'll have some fun with the Special Awards to be discussed below.
  • Activity: Those awards are based on your in-game activities. You should note that playing this game moderately (Stability is a Virtue) gives you 50 times as many points as becoming an Addict. This is not WoW ;-)
  • Social: As a multiplayer game, Traces of Illumination values the social aspects of playing - and that's what you can get your Social awards for. This also includes awards for "spreading the word" - both by directly inviting people (like Invited Some) and publishing your awards on the various social networks (like Let it be Known on Facebook, Let it be Known on Twitter, or Let it be Known on MySpace). I don't like it when games spam the various channels available in social networks - so, in Traces of Illumination, you'll always have to make a choice whether or not you publish an award you receive, and where you want to publish it to. Other social networks may later be added.
  • Special: Well, yeah, those awards really are "special". Did you ever notice that letting go simplifies everything? Well, here you will get awards for letting go of your in-game achievements. May sound like a paradox - but when you close your hand into a fist, you have nothing ... when you open you hand, you own the world. Same here. This goes so far that eventually, you'll have to let go of playing Traces of Illumination - at least for a little while. That will be the only way to honestly earn Off to Another World. Which is the prerequisite of becoming a Boddhisattva. The first 12 players of Traces of Illumination will gain a special title for their amazing achievement.

Will you be one of those twelve?


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