The Xbox One's new achievement system will include in-game "challenges" that encourage the community to work together, Microsoft has announced.
According to an outline of the new achievement system for the Xbox One, achievements and challenges are both considered Xbox Live achievements. This means:
You can unlock them and win their rewards.
Once unlocked, they are saved to your achievement history.
They each have an icon to visualize the cool thing you did.
They often are associated with a Game DVR capture to show your friends that you are better than they are.
Developers can release more of them after the game's initial release.
That's where the similarities between achievements and challenges end, however. Challenges will be time-based, meaning they will be available for only a certain period of time, and they also will not give out any Gamerscore.
In addition, challenges can span multiple titles, while achievements cannot. On top of this, challenges can be unlocked by the community and will typically represent tasks that a single player cannot accomplish alone.
"Imagine, for example, a game releases a headshot weekend challenge that requires players to cumulatively headshot 1 million baddies in a three-day period," said Xbox Live Achievement manager Cierra McDonald. "And every person who participates and meets the challenge's goals gets the unlock on his or her achievement history and reaps its reward."
Lastly, Xbox Live's new achievements system is cloud-powered, which McDonald said will allow developers to add new achievements and challenges on the fly after their game is initially released.
According to McDonald, this will allow developers to learn from and respond to user activity in a way that enhances gameplay.
"For example, let's say a certain game is known on community forums to have a fun little sub-game of kicking chickens," McDonald said. "Wouldn't it be amazing if the game developers noticed the community enjoying an unintended aspect of the game and creating a challenge around it, with a reward to boot?"
McDonald also reiterated that Xbox 360 Gamerscore will carry forward to the Xbox One and that users can unlock digital artwork, new maps, characters, and temporary statistic boots through achievements on the Xbox One.
In addition, achievements will no longer be tied to games, allowing those who use video and music apps to unlock early access, sneak-peek content, or subscriptions. However, only gamers will net players Gamerscore.