GDC 2013: "Hackers and Modders are Really Fucking Lazy,” Says Rod Fergusson
Written Thursday, April 04, 2013 By Dan WebbView author's profile
For developers and publishers, there are so many more uses for achievements than just rewarding players for progressing through a game and performing impressive feats.
In fact, Rod Fergusson, former Executive Producer at Epic Games and current Executive Producer at Irrational Games, as part of the ‘Designing Compelling Achievements Microtalks’ session at GDC, says that achievements have allowed studios free data gathering tools and that they’ve noticed that “hackers and modders are really fucking lazy, and not at all smart.”
“Don’t forget that this is free data, it’s another cog in the toolset,” remarked Fergusson, talking about the importance of the info that achievements (and trophies) can deliver to developers.
Fergusson went on to reveal that in Gears of War 3, there were “50% more players than sales;” in terms of features, 75% of players played single-player (“25% never touched the campaign”) at the same time, 75% of people played multiplayer, while 25% never touched that aspect; and it even gave them an insight into the completion percentage for the campaign too. It was at 48%, which by current standards is actually pretty high, according to Fergusson.
It also allows developers and publishers to shine the light on more negative aspects too, like hacking, which Fergusson had a few choice words to say about.
“The really interesting thing that we never talked about until it happened for Gears of War 3,” said Fergusson, “is that it turns out that hackers and modders are really fucking lazy, and not at all smart.”
“We had achievements in Gears of War 3 that were ‘you must compete in 25 social events that we’ll hold throughout the year’ – it should have taken 2 years to get this achievement,” he continued. “There’s no way you could have got this achievement… Day 2 we had 1,000 people that had that achievement… We were like, “What’s going on!?”
“Oh so yeah, there’s a hacking thing and they’re automatically unlocking everything and not even bothering with reading what’s there,” so we’re banning them… they became a new indicator on who to ban… people who had achievements that were impossible to get.”
Ending on a lighter note though, Fergusson closed with the best advice he could give other developers.
“You can never have too many Princess Bride references in your achievements,” he chuckled.
Damn straight, Rod. Damn straight.