Post-match mini-achievements are little trophies that are awarded after each match in a multiplayer game. They are similar in spirit to the awards such as "Double Kill" and "First Blood" awards that games like Unreal Tournament announce during a match.
Once a match is over, a screen displays what mini-achievements the player (or all players) have won. The Worm series has the most fun way of presenting them:
Here are some examples of the awards Worms gives out:
- Most Useless: awarded to the character doing the least things during a match.
- Most Boring: awarded to the character using only basic weapons.
- Doctor Dolittle Award: awarded to the character using the most animal-based weaponry.
- Most Entertaining Team: awarded to the team doing the most insane things during a match.
Sadly, only few games use mini-achievements. Besides the Worms games (which only included this feature for a few games themselves), the newer Call Of Duty and Battlefield shooters offer a few, but concentrate more on the awards the players earned individually (in contrast to Worms' team awards), and tally stats like "most knife kills".
What Can Mini-Achievements Do?
Mini-achievements can add humour, but they can be more than just fun little gags...
They Can Keep Players From Disconnecting
Suppose the awards are only given once a match is over. If you want to see them, and get potential rewards such as unlocks or XP, you have to finish the game and not irritate other players by quitting early. The overall quality of the match thus improves.
They Can Surprise the Player and Inspire Stories
"Remember when Anne's Worm got the "Longest distance flung by explosion" award? I didn't even know that existed!"
This works especially well with fun and unique challenges. If there are a lot of these, it might take some time to encounter all of them, and players can still be surprised.
(I still haven't figured out what the cockroach award is about. I'd speculate it's about surviving the most explosions or attacks.)
They Can Tie In to XP Progression
Getting a mini-achievement is an efficient way to give the player an XP bonus, if your game has such a system. Getting an XP reward for a certain unique action (like "threw most grenades in a match") is much more fun than having to rely on farming XP with ordinary actions, like winning rounds or defeating opponents.
They Can Be Tracked, and so Foster Competition
If tracked over all matches, mini-achievements can function similarly to high scores. You could potentially see who on your friends list has the most triple-kills.
They Can Keep the Player Motivated
Team Fortress 2 informs you, when you die, if you've beaten your own record in one of the many statistics it tracks, like staying alive for a long time, or dealing out damage. This can pick up your spirits after getting sniped or stabbed.
Post-match mini-achievements could also work this way, by reminding the player that, although they may have lost the match, they excelled in one or two categories, and will get rewarded accordingly.
They Can Count Towards Regular Achievements
While mini-achievements are distinct from regular achievements, they can be turned into some. "Unlock every post-match trophy at least once" provides a fun challenge. Other things like "Get 20 First-Blood-Trophies" do too.
Mini-achievements are gravely underused, despite being a lot of fun for players and relatively straightforward to implement. Including them could give your game a unique touch, and provide a lot of benefits in terms of gameplay and fun.
- Preview Image: Worms Elite trophy (not itself a mini-achievement!) from Worms Wikia.