Salsa's dev index
Posted: 11 Jun, 2015 18:41
Last Edit: 13 Aug, 2019 21:22
A week ago (7.08.2019), I have abandoned official RetroAchievements.org server and resigned from being a patron after 2 years of support. This decision was an effect of extended all-out pressure put on me resulted from chain reaction of many concerns, but catalysed by introduction of support for PlayStation. I am not against bringing it to the site, by all meanings. Yet it's by far the most important system for myself, with which I spent most of my total gaming time (even more than arcade games), about library of game for which I know more then about any other system. I personally think PlayStation shouldn't be brought at this point, because a lot of other things should be done on the site and arround it before, and opening it right now will make everything much more problematic. Yet as I have mentioned the release of PSX is mainly a catalyst. There are many other considerations, which put together are much more serious and thus crucial especially synergizing.
Primarily, I want to emphisize that those are my personal point of views. I don't want to invoke polemics about those points. If you have different opinion, keep it for yourself. It's not that I don't respect you or your way of thinking. Only there is no point of trying to convincing me to change my mind, comparing it to other frames of references or common sense. At this point there is no way back to what was before (but I don't want this to be taking as something negative). I will explain it after bringing my concerns of objective nature more in detail:
1) MAINTENANCE OF ACHIEVEMENTS should be top priority not only for individual developers but globally de rigueur. Because RA promotes individually hermetic form of achievement production, there are multiple related issues, which will keep being replicated with increased developement activity. The most critical problem is the fact majority of developers only think about their own work or interests, a lot of achievement sets are abandoned, and because of that the overall number of tickets is just rising (and tickets are just top of the iceberg visible on the surface, cause potenitally a lot more of issues are not). Sort of side effect of relying on closed form of production is thinking that revision will fix all problems in the future (and this is ultimate excuse for everyone here, but also it could relate to most of issues I will call here). The critical flaw of such thinking is undeniable relation of revision with personal interests, and this relation is much stronger than in case of any other form of maintance. Such point of view will be ultimately damaging for the site, and it's visible in all of those poorly done and abandoned sets. Good idea might be to restrict any new content from being added to the base until such issues are resolved to respectable point.
2) AUTHORSHIP IS BADLY IMPLEMENTED AND A SOURCE OF FURTHER ISSUES. Something that will be potentially resolved by raweb v2, but still have huge influence on both players and developers right now. The person who intiated an achievement creating/cloning a vessel to which all triggers are attached, and only because of that they are indicated as authors, and becasue on RA sets are treated as units of attention, and there are no author fields brought to Rich Presence and leaderboard scripts, the people visible as Authors in the entry are recognized as people who created all of those contents, when in most cases this information is very completely divergent from the actual state. In my opinion RA shouldn't wait until v2 is being finished, but recognize a problem arround it and run a campaign bringing proper credits to everyone, or at least stop exposing incomplete information to the public. In case when the info is accurate and it reveals bad performance of individual person, it has bigger defaming effect to the site, than. It's more importan how something works, and how high the overall quality is, then who is guilty of bringing bad stuff. RA shouldn't be a gallery of performance, but provide quality content.
3) COMPELLED BY MAJORITY AND UNBRIDLED FOCUS ON QUANTITY AND FAST-PACED BUT LOW TO AVERAGE QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT PRODUCTION. There is almost nothing done to reassure achievement sets to be designed including proper balance (good ratio of progress, side and meta elements, if it's possible). Addtionally some elements on the site, allowed behaviour, resolving colliding matters through voting, but also the contents of the site in general, could deter creative developers from attempting to influence changes. The major part of contents on the site demands reworking, and a lot of set concepts requires redesigning. Someone could say - "It's your opinion", "You have high standards", or even "Don't try to enforce your own style of prodcuction on everyone"... especially because of such point of view on this situation, some people will stay away from RA, or leave it. Protection of personal vision (even if it's cheap) here is stronger, than care about quality and the difference between low and high quality is ofen recognized as "style". The fact that naturally the count of average developer is bigger, experienced and passionate creators are forced to go with the wave or deal with effects of being outside of the standard.
There is general problem with discrimination of good effort in the community, and through contents of the site. Everyone is "treated equally" here, and that's why creative people who don't just mind their own business ignoring discouraging distractions, could get easily detered. Because of set standard of focusing on game progress and other ingame contents (reflecting not using as a base), players could and are refusing to accept meta game elements (requirements different from regular game playtrough, which are mostly harder to perform) or even boycotting more detailed sets, as uncomfortable, because they require more time and effort to be completed. Creative elements like icons, badges titles and descriptions, can get replaced easily, no matter how good they are, no matter if developer had individual. It's just a matter of two things - what will be recognized as better by specific collective
The rule of "first come first served" is sort of ultimatly detering element. Of course it aplies to any other developer (noe matter how skilled, and how good ideas they will have)
4) CHEATING is still a really big problem, barely being dealt with. Some time ago,
Speaking about cheat protection, there is one very serious thing that need to be addressed especially in case of recent events, and that is battery save protection and enforcing battery save/memory card individuality. Something like this relates to extreme majority of games using saves already, but PlayStation adds a lot to the problems, especially when almost all of games in it's vast library require using memory card. The fact RA didn't had this before PSX being announced, doesn't mean this problem can keep being pushed away. It applies to forms of abuse like possibility to edit battery save file, or using 3rd party save files to do short cuts. Restriction to precise trigger point won't be good enough, when you can simply abuse a save done right before that point. The game itself might not provide ways of proper protection, and in some cases it will make it really hard or impossible. Although abusing saves like that is treated as cheating, it's near to impossible to deduce actual cheating, especially when the cheater will be smart.
To be able to properly protect specifically simple progress achievements, it would require all previous progress achievements to be unlocked, but also chain of progress detail checkpoints, which will need multisession (allowing to save progress of achievement porcessing between sessions), to avoid tedious requirements (like playing part of the game in one session) from the player.
5) CURRENT TOOLS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LACKY to think about using them for comepetent quality achievement developement for majority of games for PlayStation. Recently they were improved a lot, but their general capabilities are still below of what is required to produce. I'm not interested in making makeshifts of achievements, and returning to and update them when some features will be introduced. I'm a person who can't produce achievements to just have them done in form requiring update right after they are published. Expecting something like this is sort of insult to me actually. The fact achievements can be done, doesn't mean the system is ready to be added, as much as the fact achievement can be done, doesn't mean it will always be good to add it.
I realize the issues correlating with too simple tools aplies too all systems, not just PlayStation, but introduction of vast library of bigger, longer and generally more complicated games, makes significant difference, making turning blind eye about it and other issues impossible. Systems, which have similiar issues are GBA and N64. GBA was here before I have joined the site, and I always felt it's already a bit too sophisticated for availible toolset, to make it right, not just make it. Although it's not one of my favourite systems, I was really worried about adding support for N64. Right now some sets (for example
Current tools also don't give possibility to bring support to multiple regions and different versions of the game, without specific makshift treatment (in many cases it won't be possible regardless). Because of much bigger prominence of different regions in PlayStation library, the support for multiple game versions under one entry shouldn't be any time longer a low priority.
6) THE ASPECT OF SINGLNESS OF RETROACHIEVEMENTS WAS NEVER USED TO WHAT IT SHOULD BE USED FOR. My biggest concern is again the fact that RA should influence players and not vice versa. Starting with policy of proceeding system implementation - adding older systems first and ending with modern, giving more obscure systems more promotion. Instead of something like this, systems are released without proper campaign arround it or the campaign is rushed in, especially about very anticipated systems. Some players will get what they want and the hype will drop. Better organization would give it huge synergy, especially when all other issues are minimalized (through improved and exteneded maintance). PlayStation also was probably the last very exciting system everyone was waiting for, which will have it's attraction effect, but in front of what could be organized arround it withing it's introduction, it's a terrible waste.
7) RA IS AN INITIATIVE THAT FEELS MORE LIKE ATTEMPT OF TESTING SOMETHING WITHIN IT'S FOUNDATION... It continued to be pushed within the same rails, and regardless of many controversies arround it, and at least a couple of moments of high doubt, it's still on the same path. The staff, developers and players are used to what they have there, and that's why any change will be sort of compromise between old and new, without completely fresh point of view on it's foundation. A lot was done to make RA better, but ultimately it's more like giant with the feet of clay, who decided to take care of himself. Better looking, more operational, but still very much disabled.
These are not all concerns, that influenced me, only those I could fish out of my mind right now. There is multum of more personal things which caused everything too. For example the release of PlayStation basically nuked all of my other plans, and that includes rescoring processing, which I barely started. I have coded arround 50 simple sets for arcade games last summer, with intention to flood RA with it, exposing how easy it is to do just progress stuff, and the fact it's nothing "cool" or meaningful about having only basics of the gamplay reflected. But I retracted from it, realizing it's just silly thing I am forced to by how the things are here, my own ambition, and nobody will take it as I would like to see... They would love those sets, so what? I'm not here to rener current standard stronger. Ultimately I have decided to extend those sets to what I would be satisfied with in persent state. All arcade sets I published starting from september are the result. None of other will happend the way it was before...
At this point I want to say that I'm not blaming anyone for what happend earlier. I think staff is mostly doing the best they can nonetheless. Developers are forced to some things, or just doing what they did before, nonetheless. This specific "freedom" which favors those who care less here, was always detering. It's still there, and it will remain... that's why I am ultimatly assured that I don't fit here as who I was before. I need to adapt to stop trying to protect my old standpoint from my side of happening.
I need to take a break from RA in general, but I don't want to leave it completely. The fact my freetime only shrinks in general is not a good Right now I can't say anything else basically. I'm not sure when I will be ready to return, but I'm sure about one thing - I won't be able to support this initiative the way it was before.
1. Hello there. My name is Julia and I'm from Poland.
I'm a passionate retro gamer since the mid 90s. Got a famiclone for my 4th birthday and visited local arcades more than frequently. Have two older brothers, the other partakers in ours "who will play the game first" quarrels (among many other), but also baby sister bodyguards in the arcades until I could've take care of myself (aikido and shotokan karate practicioner, now officialy retired). I've also played a lot of 8-bit computer games - Commodore 64 mostly, and a bit later had Amiga 500 computer.
The nickname is beacause I really like to listen to/dance salsa, eating spicy stuff, and I am a big fan of Mother franchise.
Signed up immediately once I've noticed the site using achievements with emulators. Also I recognized RA as an community effort based initiative, that is counting on creativity and free hand of developing, challenge, competition and pure fun of gaming.
2. I have my private life, and it has a priority. I'm regular visitor of RetroAchievements site, and I'm recognized as one of the most active developers. That doesn't mean I don't have my private life, and that I'm spending all of my free time here. "Currently Online" and "Developing Achievements", does not have to mean I'm online and developing achievements. All what it does actually show, is that I've opened a game via emulator and memory inspector is currently active...That's it.
Currently I'm assigned to 3 jobs - forest ranger, forest area administrator and nature reserve conservator. At free time I'm doing reforestation related research projects. Regardless of professional occupation I'm also a parent of two girls and a regular housewife. Because of all that my time is greatly limited.
3. I'm a slow developer, aiming for quality and challenging achievements (not quick cheap point farming). In most cases, I'm also passionate about game I'm making achievements for. I never make achievements compulsorily - never doing them because I want to make them no matter what. In my opinion, the key to make good achievements is to get as close to game's RAM, as you can get. That doesn't mean a mere address hunting, but rather longer proccess during which, the developer is consolidating everything he/she want to give (achievement concepts, individually and the set as a whole), with that what game is eager to give (complete applicability of available RAM). In short: making good achievements takes time. A lot of it. The fact that I must accommodate it with my private life is a catalyst here.
Achievement creation is like cooking a winter soup.
The best tasting soup like this is hearty, has complex and rich flavour with a good ammount of spice. It warms you up and gives you energy.
The best achievement set is fun, has proper game content coverage, good achievement count-content ratio (big achievement count water it down), and fair injection of challenge. It should bring you something more than just reflection of standard game playtrough experience, and if it's possible teach you something or a bit more about the game or it's lore.
4. I like to take requests, but now I am forced not to do it anymore . It's hard for me to say no, but I am forced to do it more an more often right now. My list of planned sets is really long, and I still want to keep my declarations there. That's why, I won't take any requests, unless the game will be really interesting for me.
5. I'm doing revisions for "complete" sets, and I won't stop making them.
The fact that a set of achievements has 400 points assigned doesn't mean it's completed. If the initial creator allocated maximum pool of points and declared the set as complete - this doesn't mean the list is ultimatly finished, and shouldn't be touched. The person who did the set in the first place don't own the set. He/she just had luck to work with the game before any other developer (that also applies to me). In most cases there is still a lot to do with the game. All valueable content (like secrets and bonus features) and custom challenges, which still wasn't covered in achievements on the list. Many of games here have only basic progress-oriented sets, which are very easy to complete, giving an opportuinity to score an easy site award. Progress achievements are also the easiest to make.
I know there are always a bunch of RA players who are upset when they have to replay the game to regain their points, and get these new achievements. To all of you - please calm your nerves, look at the revisited list, observe all other users who are returning to the game, think about it, before you accuse me of ruining the game set for you. You are here to "check off" the game and collect easy game "master"? Don't you think such behavior might indicate your disrespect for the game (your favourite game?), and give proof about your laziness, and overall lack of effort? Is this site is called "RetroGameLog" or "RetroAchievements"? Don't you think achievements should be well... achievements (a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage)? If you still think all games with 400 points assigned are finished and untouchable, just becasue they have 400 points assigned, that will be your own problem.
6. My Achievement Campaign Projects.
Roll-chan Evolution http://retroachievements.org/viewtopic.php?t=4252
Posted: 24 Jun, 2015 02:25
Last Edit: 25 Aug, 2018 15:01
Posted: 28 Jun, 2015 20:47
Last Edit: 25 Aug, 2018 14:55
Posted: 17 Jul, 2015 00:19
Last Edit: 29 Sep, 2018 15:14
Posted: 17 Jul, 2015 00:25
Thank you for all that work!
Posted: 17 Jul, 2015 14:42
Thanks! Recently, I wanted to challenge myself by creating one non-NES set, and ended up doing four :D. Still need to try RASnes9x, RAVisualboyAdvance (both for GB, GBC and GBA) and especially RAPCEngine. But I feel mostly wanted in supplementation of existing lists.
Posted: 21 Jul, 2015 16:41
Last Edit: 21 Jul, 2015 16:42
WIPs and planned
Posted: 01 Aug, 2015 17:42
Posted: 28 Sep, 2015 22:05
Last Edit: 29 Sep, 2015 10:22
Now proven to be stable
Additional achievements and/or helped with making/improving
Planned to produce or revise
Posted: 28 Sep, 2015 22:26
Last Edit: 28 Sep, 2015 22:28
Added a note:
In the "Planned to produce or revise" section, I've listed all of the games, I'm interested in making/revising a set for at the momment. Feel free to recommed which on should be made first.
Posted: 28 Sep, 2015 22:34
I would love to see those Parodius titles get some love here!
Posted: 29 Sep, 2015 10:25
It will have it for sure!
Posted: 07 Oct, 2015 10:38
Posted: 04 Nov, 2015 00:03
Last Edit: 04 Nov, 2015 00:11
Additional achievements and/or helped with making/improving
Planned to produce or revise
Posted: 10 Nov, 2015 14:02
Last Edit: 12 Nov, 2015 10:39
Hey Salsa. I compiled all my suggestions for additional achievements for The Goonies II in the thread I made for the game after the original one was deleted by someone. I remember some of the achievements that already exist triggered at the wrong time for me & others reported the same thing. If I remember correctly,
Anyway, here's the combined list with badges I made underneath each one:
1. Walkie Talkie: Get the Transceiver
2. 4 Keys: Get the 2nd Key Holder (this achievement should trigger when the key capacity increases to 4)
3. 6 Keys: Get the 3rd Key Holder (this achievement should trigger when the key capacity increases to 6)
4. 8 Keys: Get the 4th Key Holder (this achievement should trigger when the key capacity increases to 8)
5. 10 Fire Bombs: Get the 2nd Fire Box (this achievement should trigger when the fire bomb capacity increases to 10)
6. 15 Fire Bombs: Get the 3rd Fire Box (this achievement should trigger when the fire bomb capacity increases to 15)
7. 20 Fire Bombs: Get the 4th Fire Box (this achievement should trigger when the fire bomb capacity increases to 20)
8. 10 Bombs: Get the 2nd Bomb Box (this achievement should trigger when the bomb capacity increases to 10)
9. 15 Bombs: Get the 3rd Bomb Box (this achievement should trigger when the bomb capacity increases to 15)
10. 20 Bombs: Get the 4th Bomb Box (this achievement should trigger when the bomb capacity increases to 20)
11. Sleeping With The Fishes: Find the hidden underwater extra life
12. Lumberyard Life: Find the hidden extra life in the green lumber area
13. Konami's Orange Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the orange cave with the gray floors
14. Konami's Brown Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the brown cave with the waterfalls
15. Konami's Blue Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the blue cave
16. Konami's Volcano Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the gray volcano cave
17. Konami's Alternate Volcano Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the gray volcano cave using the alternate door (using the rock platform that goes up & down)
18. Konami's Red-Gray Superhero: Meet Konamiman in the red-gray cave with the orange floors
19. Biting The Hand That Feeds You: Visit Konamiman after punching or hammering him so he never refills your energy again
20. Goonies Never Die: Beat the game without dying
21. At Minimum Goonies Are Good Enough: Beat the game with only collecting the Hammer, 1 Key Holder, Glasses, Diving Suit, and Ladder (no extra lives, no visiting Konamiman, no other Key Holders, no bomb or fire boxes, no other shoes, no Magic Locator Devices, and no other item or tool of any kind; allow the Slingshot to be picked up so long as it's never used in case it's picked up accidentally on the overworld from an enemy drop)
22. Leaving Your Friends Behind: Get to the room where the locked door leading to Annie is without rescuing a single Goonie (you can't beat the game without saving all 6 Goonies, but this is an achievement to see if you can get to the end area with only 2 bars of health similar to swordless runs in Zelda 1 where you can't beat the game without the sword but getting up to Ganon swordless to prove you can do everything that doesn't require the sword without it; allow Konamiman, extra lives & all other items for this one)
23. Goonie Positioning Satellite: Find all 6 Magic Locator Devices (a Magic Locator Device disappears if you rescue the Goonie associated with a specific one before getting to the room where the Magic Locator Device is found, so get them before rescuing the respective Goonie); if this one won't trigger any other way because of the game for some reason not keeping track of Magic Locator Devices obtained, I'm sure it would work by getting all 6 Magic Locator Devices without rescuing any Goonies which results in 6 blue dots on the map, so if this is the case, attempting this achievement while going for the Leaving Your Friends Behind one would be a good idea
24. 100% Full-Blooded Goonie: Get to the dungeon room with the locked door leading to Annie with full life meter (all red), 5 Lives, 8 Keys, 20 Bombs, 20 Molotov Cocktails/Firebombs, the Slingshot with full 40 ammo, Boomerang, Hyper Shoes, High Jumping Shoes, Diving Suit, Transceiver, Glasses, Ladder, Hammer, Helmet, Waterproof Coat, Bulletproof Vest, Candle, all 6 Magic Locator Devices, and all 6 Goonies
25. Never Goonie Give You Up: Climb up the vine in the orange cave with gray floors to the bridge with the Boomerang in your inventory (not necessarily equipped), cross the bridge and climb down the vine to the blue cave without losing the Boomerang to the enemies that eat/steal it on the bridge
26. Goonies Radio: Get every Transceiver message there is in the game (use the transceiver in different 3d dungeons to get different messages; some dungeons have the same messages as others; every room of a particular dungeon gives the same message so only 1 try per dungeon is needed)
A. For achievements 2-4 on this list, the
B. For achievements 5-7 on this list, the
C. For achievements 8-10 on this list, the
So the badges for these are all done after I spent the last several hours working on them. I think these will make an excellent achievement set. The 100% Full-Blooded Goonie one should probably be worth the most points (I'd say 50 is a good amount) followed by At Minimum Goonies Are Good Enough which should get the 2nd highest amount of points (maybe 40 or 30). I'm not sure how you'll feel about the Goonies Radio achievement so if you don't want to do it, I don't blame you. I really hope the others make it since they cover aspects of the game that none of the current achievements cover in the way your Mega Man 1 achievements did for that game.
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