XBLIG developers would like MS to add Achievements, a new storefront, offline play

Saturday, 19 March 2011 20:47 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Xbox Live Indie developers would like to see Microsoft implements a better storefront on the service as well as add Achievements to indie games.

Speaking in a Gamasutra feature, six different indie developers agreed that added Achievements would ultimately help the developers sell more titles.

“Platform fixes could have a quality assurance solution, which I have detailed in my proposed changes to XBLIG, as well as the inclusion of achievements with Gamerscore and leaderboards,” said Matthew Doucette from Xona Games. “That will fix everything. Sales will increase 10- to 100-times certainly the moment you give gamers credit for playing indie games.

“I respect the difficulties of both solutions, with the potential abuse by indie developers. My proposal addresses developer abuse wonderfully, but how to give games achievements is much harder considering regulations need to be brought into an essentially unregulated system.”

Changing the storefront would also bring more awareness to indie games on the service, but none of the developers see that happening any time soon.

“There is no long tail in the Xbox Live Marketplace because the product discovery tools are so weak — a few top 10 lists and an alphabetical browse feature,” said Deejay, creator of Binary Tweed’s Clover.

“Can you imagine Amazon without a search? Without recommendations? Microsoft could fix these problems, but it’s very likely that they won’t be able to.

“They have ongoing relationships worth millions of dollars with publishers that far outweigh the needs of the indie development scene. XBLIG getting any meaningful improvements in terms of eCommerce experience is as likely as a local farmer walking into Walmart, demanding they take his stock, and then insisting that customers should be able to walk straight to his products without going past anything made by Kraft or any of the other big suppliers.”

Another issue is the inability to play games offline, something gamers have complained about as well.

“[The addition of ] true leaderboards (instead of the hacked-in ones many of us currently implement) and Kinect support are two large issues that could be addressed as is the inability to play the games offline,” said Luke Schneider of Radian Games. “Another issue is the overall reputation of the service.

“But the biggest issue is definitely Achievements. Many gamers simply won’t consider paying for a game on the 360 that doesn’t reward their play time with achievements.”

You can read the full feature through the link, and it’s well worth it.