My point was just that games require goals and without them you're not playing a game. So once I've beaten HL2 ep 1 a time or two there's not much more gameplay in it without further goals.
If a game can't be fun without constantly having something new to do, then that's usually a sign that the game itself just isn't fun. That, or like I implied earlier, today's folks are just too needy about their games. Something that wasn't an issue when video games were (relatively speaking) being invented. Admittedly though, I've grown stingier too, since the NES days when playing through that Nth Mega Man game the exact same way again and again was just fun as it was. Everyone else seemed to think so too, heh. Good times. It was admittedly nice to play through the game without dying or somesuch, but achieving that wasn't the reason to for playing the game. The real goal was just 'to play through that fun game again'.
Now the game doesn't have to give these to me, I can make my own if I want to.
That's actually a good sign. The game is actually so good that you don't need artificial motivators from the developers or other players to enjoy it. The only motivation you need is yourself and your own desires. It also tells a lot about the game's flexibility if you can go about doing the goals you yourself design for yourself.
But it's nice to have something like ' the one free bullet' achievement to give me a suggestion for a new way to enjoy the game if I just can't get enough Gordon. And it also clearly notifies me when I've done it, which makes it feel more official.
I actually rather hate it when everything needs to be so official. The sort of "If you don't do exactly what I tell you to do, then you haven't really played this game properly" feel kinda ticks me off at times. Achievements shouldn't be the reason to play a game. It's just a sign that the developer was so lazy that instead of actually trying to make the game fun and enjoyable for the playing's sake, they had to throw in instructions disguised as achievements, about what to do to "officially" finish the game completely.
With that said, as a whole, I like achievements, as long as they're not too specific, or something you can only achieve in a very specific manner. Basically, when I can achieve them without hugely deviating from whatever way I want to play the game. For instance, stuff like "find 75% of all secret stuff in the game" is great. You don't need to fetch specific items, but any of the game's secret items, until you have a total of 75%, a combination of whatever items. You can go about looking for whatever stuff you want to, instead of just something very specific, like "find all 100 Item A's in the game", which is just tedious and forced at best. It just pushes the player to focus on one specific task/item, which limits the overall gameplay. Of course, if the game itself was actually fun enough, you'd find all 100 Item A's without even caring about whether it's an achievement or not. It'd come naturally. That's what developers should aim for. Making the game enjoyable and fun as is.
Whether it's the stated goal of the game or a side quest or achievement you have to be doing something.
Quite obvious. Definitely not what I was debating about.
What I'm talking about is the game/developers forcing specific tasks on the player, instead of the goals being so well integrated into the whole process that you're not even focusing on the goals as much as you are on just having a blast being there and smashing buttons in a satisfying way. That's a sign of a genuinely fun game. Now, if you can make a game like that, then you can build anything else on top of it. You can add achievements, hi-scores, whatever. They're just bonus on top of an already fun game. But again, none of the extra stuff is really required for a game to be fun. You do need a goal for a game, but it does not need to be the reason to play the game.