moho_00 Curator Backer Posts: 3963 Registered: 6/10/2011
# 1 - Posted on 3/29/19 23:41:51

Would you be interested in Challenges?
Total Votes: 0

Hey everyone, I mentioned a potential new feature called Challenges in this thread and I wanted to gauge the community's interest in this idea and talk about how it impacts some existing features.

The bounty and mission features were created to help users work through their backlog. They're intended to be fun and unique, but totally optional ways to chip away at your backlog. While I feel they do an okay job of this, I have long been interested in improving them somehow to improve participation and ultimately help more users out there complete more games. Unfortunately, I feel they both suffer from the same primary issue: we all simply play games differently. Everyone plays games at their own pace, some of us like to play through an entire series (or a game and all of its DLC), some like to go for 100%, some like to replay them immediately for multiple playthroughs, etc.

With bounties, you have a limited amount of time to play a very specific game. With our themed bounties, you generally have one month or maybe two months. The other "normal" bounties can run for several months, depending on the size of the game, so they have a little bit more freedom. The very fact that there's a limited amount of time to complete the game is a problem for many. For example, let's say you're in the middle of Persona 5 and plan on playing it for several months. If a bounty is posted for a game you're interested in, are you really going to stop your Persona 5 journey to jump in on it? What's the incentive for you doing so?

Bounties provide you with Completionator points, but they don't really do anything, so there's very little motivation to see a point value go up. The only added motivation a bounty really provides is to see your name / avatar in green on the Home page.

Originally, I had hoped bounties would provide an opportunity to allow users to talk about the game while they're playing it, but again, everyone plays at a different pace and it just never really worked out. The site could certainly improve in this area by making it easier to communicate, but I don't know how much that would really increase communication (and ultimately bounty participation).

Missions have a similar, but slightly different story. With missions, someone can assign you anything in your backlog (or on your list, if you have one), which should at least be relevant to what you'd like to play (unlike bounties, which could be for things you have no interest in). You also have unlimited time, so no need to worry about it expiring. But again, where's the motivation? Don't get me wrong, this feature could desperately use some improvements to make it better, but I'm still not sure how much it would really motivate you to ultimately complete a game.

The other thing at play here is bounties and missions are very similar, but they're totally separate features on the site. I'm sure this is confusing to new users.

For a long time now, I've been trying to reconcile the shortcomings that I've touched on above and figure out a way to make them co-exist while also improving them so they reach a point where I feel like they're really making a difference in helping users with their backlog. And I guess that's sort of what started me down the path of "Challenges". I'm still working out the details, so I'll just copy what I posted in this thread:

The overall idea is to provide "challenges" for you to complete. To complete a challenge, you would need to enter a completion for a certain set of games. For example, there could be the "Classic Tomb Raider" challenge where you have to enter a completion for Tomb Raider I, II, and III. Upon doing so, the challenge would unlock, much like site achievements do. You could sort of think of them as multi-game bounties that never expire. I'm not sure if points would be involved and I'm not sure if this system would replace bounties / missions or if it would co-exist. You would be able to "favorite" or somehow target the challenges you want to try and complete. We would start with a large set of challenges and then look to add them at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, whatever makes the most sense).

My current thinking is that Challenges would actually replace bounties and missions to give us a single feature to all utilize. It would be a much more passive experience, much like unlocking achievements (as mentioned above) that would no longer be constrained by a time limit or relying on someone to assign you something you want to play. It would be critical that the site provides a large assortment of challenges encompassing various genres, eras, etc, but I'm confident we could figure that piece out.

So what do you think? Any feedback here would be much appreciated as I try to decide where to focus my development efforts

Sylaris Posts: 14 Registered: 2/17/2017
# 2 - Posted on 3/30/19 16:11:16

Didn't vote since I'm between opinions.

It sounds better to me, since I fall in the "not good with time limits" group. That said, missions still seem like a good way to suggest a game you enjoyed for a random user... but it wouldn't be that bad if they were gone. Could probably be replaced by a suggestion request/review sort of forum category.

The current setup isn't bad, though - that's not a strong preference.

Post Edited on 3/30/19 16:21:13
AllTheTrophies Backer Posts: 16 Registered: 7/27/2018
# 3 - Posted on 3/30/19 17:31:43

I didn’t get the chance to vote as I didn’t see this post in time, I however am a big fan of that idea. I like the concept of the challenge system as it’s described, but that could be because I always like completing/unlocking things.

That being said, I also like the bounty system in place still. Whether I complete the bounties I’ve accepted or not, it’s always cool to have those float by and update periodically, because they can encourage me to play something in my backlog I otherwise may not have gotten around (most recently with Cubivore).

As for missions, I’ve always liked the concept but I don’t see it being utilized near as much. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t personally had any experience with it, but for me at least, I like the idea of a challenge system in addition to the bounties

AllTheTrophies Backer Posts: 16 Registered: 7/27/2018
# 4 - Posted on 3/30/19 17:32:54

Additionally, I just voted on the post. For some reason when I first got to this page it should the poll as closed

jwcooley Curator Posts: 914 Registered: 2/28/2014
# 5 - Posted on 4/01/19 15:27:31

I like bounties. I don't participate as much as I'd like but when I do, I love completing one because it usually means I've tackled a game that was on my list but probably wouldn't have played otherwise.

I never use missions and have effectively disabled them from my side. Maybe if I had a better list for the missions, I'd use it.

That being said, I love the concept of challenges. Another way to incentivize people to play games is a win in my book.

Gogo Posts: 13 Registered: 1/9/2018
# 6 - Posted on 4/03/19 18:53:23

About the bounties, I think it would be nice if there was a page on your profile or somewhere else where it saved and listed each of the bounties you have completed, when you completed them, showed the other users that completed them and maybe what the bounty theme was at the time. I know there is already the playthrough section that kind of covers that, but maybe listing them separately could archive them better would make them more motivating to finish.

As for the poll, I am going to vote to keep both bounties and missions as well as the challenges because I think the missions could be tested out a bit more before they are removed.

moho_00 Curator Backer Posts: 3963 Registered: 6/10/2011
# 7 - Posted on 4/05/19 20:15:55

Thanks for the feedback! It sounds like there's some interest in having challenges, so I'm going to start exploring it further. It also sounds like there's still interest in bounties and missions, so I will not look to retire either of those anytime soon, but rather look to make some improvements down the line (especially with bounties). It might be a while, but stay tuned