Quoted from Taxman:
There are lots of these or am I missing something? Obviously with the newer games having a complete computer system inside this could be expanded.
Yeah, you're missing something. What you've listed are basically goal-specific leaderboard lists. And having global leaderboards, while cool, has it's problems — specifically the fact that every game can operate differently and the glass can readily be removed.
What I'm talking about are achievements. Which are just as the word implies: a list of goals that exist and are collected independently of any one game you're playing on that machine.
The Pinball Arcade even has them, so that might be the best example for me to use. They call them 'Goals' and they have a list of 'Standard Goals' that, once you've achieved them all, opens up a list of 'Wizard Goals' that, as the name implies, are much harder to complete.
E.g. TZ goals:
Score a Yellow Award Skill Shot
Earn an Extra Ball
Score a Gumball Combo
Score a Dead End
Earn a Special
Score a Powerball Double Jackpot
Score a 4-Way Combo
Score a Mania Jackpot
Activate Lost in the Zone
As far as video games go, this is an extremely slim list of achievements/goals/challenges. I don't know the gameplay of Alien so I can't suggest achievements for it, but if I were setting achievements for TAF for example I'd include things like:
Complete (x) mode or earn at least (x) points in a particular mode
Score points in every mansion mode in one game
Start Tour The Mansion
Complete Tour The Mansion
Complete 100/200/500/1000 bear kicks ramps (across all games)
Max playfield multiplier
Complete the four-way combo
Score regular jackpot, double jackpot and triple jackpot in one game
Score a graveyard bonus of at least X million
Score THING bonus with both stars
Score 3/5/7/10 jackpots in one game
That kind of thing. The idea is that instead of encouraging the two typical kinds of gameplay in pinball (high score or mode/story completion) it encourages players to start a game with a particular achievement in mind and try to earn it. This adds considerable longevity to a game. And as a bonus it generates buzz around completing the tougher achievements. You know the 'I Finally Reached Valinor!' threads? You'll get those for Alien with regard to some of the tough achievements.
I hope that explains it to those who are unfamiliar with this kind of thing
Quoted from Aurich:
Tell you what, write up your proposal for trophies or score tracking or whatever into something self contained and I'm happy to pass it along to the programmer. Just easier if there's a block of text with the idea instead of trying to link him to a conversation.
The above is what I'm thinking. If you had a way to pick a profile or input your initials before you start playing, that would make it possible for the achievements/goals/challenges to be tracked per-user.
Taking the idea further these challenges would be synced to a website, but really I don't think it matters that much. Just including and tracking a big list of achievements like this would go a long way to adding significant replay value to the game and adding continual community discussion around it. That alone would be worth the implementation effort IMO.