Whilst retroactive developer support of PS3 Trophies seems a little uncertain at the moment, the hope is that upcoming titles will all support Sony’s new Achievement system – and the upcoming PS3 version of BioShock is the latest title to join in the fun.
In an article on the 2K Games BioShock site, programmer Andrew Rudson of Digital Extremes (the studio handling the PS3 port) has written an interesting piece about the technicalities of implementing Trophy support.
“While working on BioShock PS3, I had the opportunity to be one of the first developers to make use of the new PSN Trophy system. Trophies are unlocked by completing specific in-game challenges, and are a much-anticipated feature among PlayStation fans.
“Each Trophy is graded based on its relative difficulty: bronze, silver and gold being the most difficult. Additionally, there is one platinum Trophy per title, which is automatically unlocked after you've earned every other Trophy.“From a development stand-point, the Trophy system implemented by Sony handles most of the work: displaying notifications; storing the status of Trophy; rejecting duplicates; etc. The game simply initializes the Trophy system, and at the appropriate time, asks it to unlock Trophies.“Integrating this system into BioShock was fairly smooth for the most part, but as with any new console functionality, there were some bumps in the road. We experienced slight delays in the game when the Trophies were unlocked with each new accomplishment – for example when you first hacked a machine, there would be a pause before the Trophy showed up rewarding you.“Additionally, we tackled the problem of processing multiple Trophies; if you were good enough to zap four Splicers in water at the same time, the system would want to give you four Trophies, and we had to smooth out the system so that even when you achieved several duplicate Trophies at once, the system only awarded you one, without delay. However, beyond these technical challenges, the Trophy system integration was by-and-large a painless process.
“We're in the final stages now, which basically just means testing that Trophies unlock when they are supposed to, and translating the descriptions of each Trophy into FIGS (French, Italian, German, and Spanish). The Trophies themselves are beautiful – kudos to the art team who made them a perfect fit for the world of Rapture on the PS3 – and seeing this system in its final testing stages is a wonderful example of how far BioShock PS3 has come over the past few months, and how hard everyone on the team has worked perfecting each new aspect of the game.”