Happy Holidays From TrueAchievements

By Michelle Balsan, 6 years ago
Well, TAers, we've come again to that time of year where we're all looking forward to spending some time with our friends, families, and loved ones and maybe a little time (but just a little) away from TrueAchievements.

We're sure that many of you are aware, but the staff of the site is entirely volunteer. One hundred-plus people carve time out of their lives to bring various aspects of content to you for no other reason than they enjoy seeing the job done, and ensuring that gamers see the quality of content that they would expect. It should then come as little surprise that many of us are going to be taking a break over the next week or so to unwind and prepare for the new year. Speaking for the news department, I can let you know that we'll effectively be a skeleton crew till the New Year. We'll still be bringing you daily deals, but unless something really big drops, news will likely be a little quiet, so don't worry if that's the case!

This piece here is meant to give all of the managers on-site a chance to say happy holidays and to tell you how the year has gone for us, so I'll start with some words on behalf of the newshounds.

As you all can likely tell, this has been a huge year for us. Besides nearly 5,000 articles hitting the front page, we've also expanded into regularly providing reviews. This has been taxing on the team (the time required to play a game for review can be intense given our sometimes limited time windows!), yet very beneficial to the site. Not only is this helping us make greater inroads with developers and publishers, but it has also allowed us to ramp up the amount of giveaways we've been able to run. Not a single retail review copy we receive is kept by the reviewer - every last one is given back to a reader of the site (and many of them will be given away soon when we announce the winners of our year-end grab bag).

Several updates behind the scenes have also helped us greatly. Content has been working furiously to make game pages for games as they're announced so all news for a title is neatly collected in one place. TrueAchievement has added image uploading and an image viewer which helps us keep all of our content right here so we don't have to worry about external sources going down and images disappearing.

It's been a big and busy year, and Newshounds Assistant Manager (Though very much more co-manager than assistant), punkyliar, and Social Manager DavieMarshall definitely need a little shout-out, as do the rest of the hounds who really do put in sometimes obnoxious amounts of time to get all the news to you accurately and efficiently. Of course, our thanks as a team, goes to you the reader. Without you all coming back and commenting and suggesting things we miss and additions to consider, we would not have made many of the strides we have thus far. The new year is only looking to bring more growth to the news department here at TA. To all of you, have a very Happy Holiday and may the new year bring only good things to you. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Moderation Team Manager, Clever Jake
Hey TA'ers

It's been another busy year for the moderation team and I'd like to personally thank the moderators for the awesome job they do. It's not easy being a moderator, whilst all the other teams get to enjoy Christmas with their families; the moderators remain chained to their computers remaining vigilant towards the ever-present threat posed by trolls.

I'd also like to thank the community their contributions throughout the site, you guys are the best. Next year we hope to have a few extra tools at our disposal to make our job and your TA experience better.

Merry Christmas from the moderator team toast
Community and Events Team Manager, Chad and Jessie
Hello fellow TA’ers,

As 2012 inches towards its final days and we reflect back on all that was accomplished this year, for the Community and Events Team, I’d have to say 2012, what a year you have been. With events like http://www.trueachievements.com/music-mayhem.htm, http://www.trueachievements.com/viralmonth.htm, and http://www.trueachievements.com/game-of-the-year-2012.htm (don’t forget to VOTE by Dec 24th), as well as providing some support for events like http://www.trueachievements.com/bean-dive-2012.htm http://gspmarathon.net/ and http://www.gtasc.net/ we have not only keep busy, but have found fun and unique ways to bring the TA community together.

Looking ahead to 2013, I’m very excited about the potential of things to come. I’m hoping that next year’s events will continue providing this great TA community with enjoyable ways to enhance your gaming. Thanks to everyone who have participated in events and have helped make TA a fun, accepting, and rousing place to hang. Here’s to 2013 and to hopefully many happy gaming memories toast
Walkthrough Team Managers, drabik and Ergo Me Smart
Howdy all! Since taking over, we have continued watching over the great work that was started by the previous Manager, Tasty Pastry. As a team we have seen a great interest in walkthroughs over the past few months, and with this there has been an increase in the number and quality of walkthroughs.

We really cannot thank the community enough for their tremendous effort. Your contributions have helped the site surpass 500 walkthroughs. So far this month, we are averaging more than one walkthrough a day, which is amazing. We're certain that many of them will be put to use over this holiday period.

On behalf of the Walkthrough Team,

Happy Holidays!

Reported Content Team Manager, Beanpotter
Manager: Beanpotter
Age: Old enough to know better
Occupation: Potter of beans
Specialist subject: Blending in

Hi, everybody!

I became manager of this already well founded team earlier this year, taking over from Lozzy Denton. His sterling work had already seen him code some fantastic time saving tools for report writing. This allows the dedicated RC team to generate quick and easy replys to virtually any report the amazing community see fit to send us. We're constantly tweaking things to try to keep everyone happy and have recently published the latest version of the Solution Guidelines.

I'm sure the team will join me wishing everyone a great festive season and remember; If you have an issue with any solution or review, This Button is your friend!

Game Info Team Manager, W1LLYMAN
First of all, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the undying dedication of the Game Info staff, the rest of the dedicated staff at TA, and most of all, our AMAZING community! Without all of you, we wouldn't have had a stellar 2012. With the dedication of all of TA's members, 2013 looks to be our best year yet!

It's been a very challenging year over at Game Info headquarters! We've seen the introduction of 3 new platforms that offer games with achievements; Windows 8 for PC, Windows Phone 8, and now something I thought we'd never see... a game on iOS with Wordament (WP) ! That's not to mention there are games available for WP7 devices but not WP8, games available for WP8 but not WP7, and others that are only available on Nokia devices! One things for sure, Microsoft never fails to keep things around here 'exciting'!

In 2012 we saw the addition of the Kinect Site Leaderboards and perhaps the biggest game info related change with the Game Info Submission Changes . We're looking to make a few improvements and do some fine tuning to the latter in the early months of 2013.

Our biggest plan for the coming year is to make some improvements to our genre system and to our achievement flags. We're currently evaluating all of our site definitions and will be rolling out some changes to both in the coming months. The work we've done so far is pretty exciting so I can't wait to share it with the masses! We finally added release dates to the games pages this year and we'll also be adding a couple new bits of info to each game's page as well. Game size has been info that has been requested by many of you for some time and we're going to get that added in 2013.

Thanks for reading and I hope all of you have a safe and happy holiday season! If you have any game info related ideas or questions, don't hesitate to send me a PM.
The Investigations Team Manager, who will remain nameless for obvious reasons
Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays from the Investigations Team. As we move in to 2013 the team remains dedicated to making a list and checking it twice of all the naughty boys and girls who decide to cheat. It's been about 4 months since NonStat and GamerScore tracking were introduced on the site and we think it has been quite a success. The current stats are:
Full Tracking: 206,774
GamerScore: 358
NonStat: 386
No Tracking: 7,469

Over 700 people who would have previously had their tracking completely disabled have been able to continue (or come back) to use the site to track achievements, participate in boosting sessions and submit content like reviews and solutions. We have more changes and announcements coming. If you are interested in joining the team, we will be looking for new members soon too, keep an eye out for that post. Have a safe, happy and cheat free holiday!
Last, but not least, site developer, coder, whatever the staff need him to be at any given time, TrueAchievement
To the ever-growing and ever-awesome TA Community

2012 has been an exciting year for the site. The department heads will no doubt cover their relevant areas, but I thought I would give you a little insight into what I've been doing on the back-end side of the site.

The infrastructure has been improved dramatically, and we now have one of the most powerful server setups I've ever seen (and I've seen a fair few in my time) now running the site, database, and support systems, recalculating those 366,610,286 achievement wins and 20,050,293 game records (at current count) every single day to bring you the most accurate TA ratios possible.

The site has also been moved over to a new network to protect us against network-related attacks.

On the fun side, our Gamer Stats pages have been enhanced with additional graphing and filtering so you can see exactly where you have been putting the time and effort into your gaming (if you've never checked them, have a look at this page: My Stats).

Our blogging tools have been enhanced, and it's now easy to spend whole days on the site just reading through what people are up to (believe me, I've done it!)

Our scanners have been completely rewritten from the ground up which has led to them being more than 3 times faster than before, making sure your scores are as up to date as they possibly can be.

We've added a lot of functionality to the tools the departments use behind the scenes to make running events, spotting cheats, enhancing news stories, adding game information, and detecting troll voters much easier.

Stay with us throughout 2013 - we've got some pretty spectacular stuff in the pipeline to continue to make TrueAchievements the best achievement site on the net!

Rich Stone

The year in numbers:

103,770,228 Achievement wins found
1,475,804 Gamer Feed comments posted
1,177,861 Forum posts made
37,591 New gamer registrations
27,672 Solutions added
4,727 News stories published
3,308 Gamers taking part in on site events
1,118 Game reviews written
278 Full game walkthroughs published
Before letting you all go, we also need to just thank all of you who have taken the time to write reviews, submit achievement solutions, volunteer to write walkthroughs, host gaming session and so on. The strength of TrueAchievements is in its vast community of people who step up and help and thank you all for contributing to that.

Have a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year!
Michelle Balsan
Written by Michelle Balsan
Michelle is the Assistant Manager of the Newshounds at TrueAchievements and has been a member of staff since 2010. When not contributing to gaming websites, she makes her living as a mild-mannered librarian. She can be compelled to play just about anything if there's a co-op component, and has been playing games with friends and siblings since the Atari 2600. As it's reportedly healthy to have hobbies outside of gaming, she also roots for some of the most difficult sporting franchises to root for, the New York Mets and New York Jets, but offsets that by rooting for the New Jersey Devils. She's also seen pretty much none of the movies you have, but she's working on that.