Design Sketch: Achievement Wars
XBOX Live, or a website with access to achievement databases such as 360achievements.org, should create a game where players can battle each other, Magic-style, with their achievements. Achievement structures in online services and consoles have reached saturation. World of Warcraft has them now, Flash sites have them, every console except the Wii has them, and Steam has them. There’s even an iPhone app called Booyah! that gives players achievements for writing journal entries about their real-life betterment experiences, such as hanging out with friends and exercising. Now that the market is saturated and achievements are a requirement instead of something that sets a platform apart, we need to figure out something to actually do with them. Because XBL already allows outside websites to draw on their databases for the instantaneous creation of GamerCards, like the one you see to the right, I think the 360 achievements would be the best system to build a Magic-style game upon. Those Playstation trophies you see on the card below the XBOX one? I had to add those manually. Sony needs to get its act together.
Here is the beauty of building a game on top of the 360 achievement structure: instead of having to buy booster packs to supplement your playing deck, you would just buy games. This would definitely drive sales on downloadable games. You could begin by designing the game around a limited number of disc and downloadble titles, perhaps the top sellers for the console. This would ensure the maximum number of potential players for the core game. Just as Magic releases subsequent evolutions of tournament-playable card series, you would slowly integrate new games into the system to drive the sales of those games. If the game were popular, devs would probably petition you to integrate their games into your system. At the least, it would fetch a decent amount of advertising revenue.
The most common cards in any trading card game are the energy, mana, land, resource, etc. cards. The most common achievement come from progressing through a game (ie: “You completed level 1!”). So these achievements would be where you drew your resource cards from. Instead of having elemental or color-based decks, you would base decks on the game genre. First-person shooters would be create an aggressive deck (Magic‘s red), simulation games a defensive deck (Magic‘s white), etc. Achievements for making certain numbers of kills against an eneemy type or with certain weapons would make your base creature cards. Obviously, the achievements renowned for their difficulty would grant hero cards. You could easily limit the number of these allowed per deck or in play. Achievements for executing tricky feats in games or finding secrets would become your spell and artifact type cards.