Evaluating Your Mad Gamer Skills

Obviously assessment of this sort requires a level of knowledge about the games that were played, and an appreciation for the massive amount of time and effort that must have gone into unlocking some of them, but in the end you have to factor in that side of game play in order to estimate the overall skill level -- and the evidence contained in her Gamer Tag clearly suggests that she is a gamer's gamer!

Wouldn't it be great if there was an easier way to evaluate the relative skills by which a gamer -- any gamer -- reached their level of Gamer Score and Achievement? A way that you could perform an evaluation that did not require so much personal knowledge and study? A system of weighting with numbers the actual value of each Achievement based on its difficulty rather than simply the number of Gamer Score that is associated with it, so that you have a better notion of what effort and skill went into the process of unlocking it? Yeah, that would be great... If only someone would go ahead and invent that, and even create an easy-to-use free site that featured it...

Oh, wait... They did that...

There is a story behind the creation of the TrueAchievement site and its app that is very interesting but that we believe is best explained in the words of the man who actually did most of the work whose fruits that we enjoy now on a daily basis there -- so here they are:

What's it all about then? I'm glad you asked.

Well, we were comparing our 360 GamerScores with a couple of buddies when it became clear to us that, as great as Achievements are, the way they are awarded isn't always fair.

Have a look at this appalling example - the 5 points for pressing the Start button in The Simpsons Game are worth exactly the same as the 5 points for completing 10 side missions in Just Cause. It's an outrage.

And, and you may wish to sit down for this one, the 1000 points for achieving a hit counter of 50 in Avatar: TLA: The Burning Earth (which takes about 5 minutes) are worth the same as the 1000 points for completing the whole of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, including The Inhuman Achievement (which takes for ever. Literally. Well not literally, or we wouldn't know, but you get the drift).

And that didn't seem right to us. Not right at all.

So what did you do about it? We became angry.

Very, very angry. We thought about whether we could come up with a better system. We believe the harder an achievement is to obtain, the more points should be received.

We've decided that an achievement's difficulty can be accurately approximated by using a formula based on how many people have that achievement compared to how many people own the game. We also understand the phrase 'accurately approximated' is a contradiction in terms but are refusing to remove it on the grounds that it sounds impressive.

From there we multiply the original points given to the achievement by our difficulty score and end up with the TrueAchievement score for that, for want of a better word, achievement.

By adding up the TrueAchievement scores for all the achievements you have won, you get your GamerTrueAchievement. Of which you should be terribly proud.

It's True... Achievements...
TrueAchievements is an Xbox achievement-tracking website that uses a novel method of assessment rather than simply relying upon the cumulative Gamer Score that is the point value for all of the Achievements that a gamer has unlocked over the lifetime of their Gamer Tag. Each individual gamer's TrueAchievement score is obtained by taking the base Gamer Score value of an achievement and multiplying it by its rarity, which it is thought results in a more accurate representation of the gaming skill required to obtain it.

In very simple terms according to Wikipedia:**

Score-GS is the actual Gamerscore, T-game is the number of members who are tracked as owning the game (defined as having at least one achievement for that game), and T-ach is the number of members who are tracked as having that specific achievement.

On 27th December 2011, the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim had 47,115 tracked owners. Of those owners, 25,314 of them had earned the achievement "Explorer" -- which is worth 40 Gamer Score Points. Using the established formula, that achievement had at that point in time a TA-Score of

In evaluating the base value for the score you should take into account that the TrueAchievement score is dependent upon the number of people who currently have unlocked that achievement; this will change over time, making the Achievement worth less as more gamers unlock it, which while it may seem to be a bit confusing actually works really well in the process of identifying the ones that really do represent gaming skill in the unlocking of them, which in turn illustrates the overall value of the TrueAchievement score.

Posted: 24th Jan 2012 by CMBF
Xbox 360, XBLA,