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Steam Achievement Manager 'SamRewritten' has a new release

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Need to tweak your Steam Achievements? Perhaps a game doesn't correctly unlock them or you want to start fresh again on a game - SamRewritten can help you do that. It's an open source Steam Achievements Manager for Linux and there's a new release out recently.

New features from release 202005 (Version 2.0):

  • Implement stats
  • Implement showing protected achievements and stats
  • Implement CLI support to match the GUI
  • Use gtkmm rather than plain gtk
  • Implement timed achievement modifications (start a game -> input achievement modifications -> click the menu -> Start Timed Modifications)
  • Implement ability to show only locked/unlocked achievements.
  • Implement ability to open games in a new SamRewritten window

If you do intend to use it, the usual applies with external tools that hook in with Steam, it's all done so at your own risk. I've never heard of anyone having an issue though, and since you can unlock achievements so easily it would seem pretty odd if Valve ever actually intervened.

Find SamRewritten on GitHub.

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Flabb 25 May
Liam DaweIf global stats can be messed up so easily, then it's not exactly a very good system is it. I still remember the days where games came with cheats out of the box, often in the manual and it was a very normal and accepted thing. Now people are far too quick to judge.
How is it different from situation with multiplayer games with no anticheat? "If it's easy to hack, then it's not exactly a good game". However, we still prefer not to cheat in games like old CS or Quake just because of respect for other players.
I remember these manuals too, even whole books devoted to cheat codes in various games :) It was in time when not so many people had good Internet connection and most games were played entirely in singleplayer. Using these codes definitely didn't affect any other players, so it was considered normal and accepted. But as I stated earlier, tweaking achievements with SAM still affects others, just not in a very "breaking" way compared to cheating in multiplayer games. And communities devoted to achievement hunting could say that it affects them more (there is a reason why they prefer to build their own stat trackers and analyse every submission for possible usages of SAM).
So I'm not against usage of such tools when it doesn't affect other players in any way, but that's not the case with SAM, even though its side effects are mostly harmless. And even if the system is so easy to skew, I would prefer not using them just out of respect for other people who might want to use this system (see my remark about old multiplayer titles). Not mentioning the games where achievements are tied to in-game rewards (for example, some achievements in TF2 unlock in-game gear - how the game would react to unlocking them with SAM and what other players would say about such way of getting rewards?).
Liam Dawe 25 May
Liam DaweIf global stats can be messed up so easily, then it's not exactly a very good system is it. I still remember the days where games came with cheats out of the box, often in the manual and it was a very normal and accepted thing. Now people are far too quick to judge.
How is it different from situation with multiplayer games with no anticheat? "If it's easy to hack, then it's not exactly a good game".
Changing your own achievements, does not directly affect anyone else. It's that simple. Apart from the already mentioned global stats issue. Frankly, I don't get why people care so much. It's a thing, has been for years, on Windows long before Linux had it and Valve never stopped it.

Edit: I do think this is an interesting debate though, and I'm glad we're having it. I'm happy to have my mind changed on such software, as I haven't felt like changing your own achievements is really such a problem.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 25 May 2020 at 3:41 pm UTC
I used this once for Euro Truck Simulator 2 since one of the achievements wouldn't trigger even though I had all the conditions for it (own a garage in all cities). Turns out just having had a map mod installed once messed up the game and made the achievement unachievable.
Call it cheating if you wish, but since I already had all the conditions for the achievement I felt it was perfectly legit to use SAM.
Salvatos 25 May
Liam DaweChanging your own achievements, does not directly affect anyone else. It's that simple. Apart from the already mentioned global stats issue. Frankly, I don't get why people care so much. It's a thing, has been for years, on Windows long before Linux had it and Valve never stopped it.
Global stats are actually pretty much the only part I care about with regards to achievements. It’s interesting sometimes to see how many people have beaten the game, how many of those did a certain side quest, which NPC they chose to help, how rare a certain thing I did by chance is, etc. If people can just push a button to tick those boxes, the stats become untrustworthy and that’s a shame.

Even with the broken achievement use case, that means people who don’t know about those cheating tools will look at the global stats and wonder why only, say, 2% of people have unlocked that last achievement and why they can’t get it to work.
cwbutcher 25 May
Personally I enjoy achievement hunting in lots of games but not exclusively. Of my most played games two of the highest are sword of the stars: the pit at 184 hours which is designed to not really be humanly possible to get all the achievements as far as I can tell and xenonauts at 108 hours which doesn't even have achievements. Both thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

Generally I'd agree that what other people do doesn't affect me directly and I couldn't really care except for the fact that if people use this to get achievements that are bugged and don't unlock normally it can make things difficult trying to get developers to look into and fix things when it appears to them that things are working at least for some people.

I have contacted lots and lots of developers over the years about broken achievements resulting in some being fixed and at least one that I recall being permanently removed allowing people to get 100% completion. That was for a smaller game, too angry to space, where the developer could see that 0% of players had gotten a particular achievement so agreed to look into the code and found issues that wouldn't have been straightforward to fix so instead agreed to remove that particular one.

I've also found achievements that are definitely bugged and proven this to developers but as people had obviously used SAM to unlock the broken achievements it takes a lot more persuading by sending log files, save games, screenshots and stuff and some don't even want to know then if even a miniscule percentage have obviously used SAM to unlock a broken achievement. I forget which game it was now but a certain game that gave you achievements for each level completed had one level had a global percentage of less than 1% when the levels after it were all at least double digits and you couldn't skip levels in any way but as the developer hadn't heard of and didn't believe in SAM they insisted it was obviously working correctly. Really frustrating.

Still not a particularly big deal and people are going to do what they want anyway but that's my only minor frustration with this bit of software and I'd personally never use it. I can understand why someone would feel the need though if they want to get 100% achievements but find something broken.

I'd suggest trying the developer though in that case as a lot of them I've found to be really friendly and helpful especially the smaller ones. I've even received several free steam keys over the years for pointing out bugs which is really nice. I would advise emailing them directly though and being patient. Lots of people complain developers don't fix things immediately after posting in the steam forums/discussions. Firstly lots of developers don't even have time to scour the many messages there and secondly lots of these bugs take a long time to resolve anyway even if they are willing.
Flabb 25 May
Liam DaweFrankly, I don't get why people care so much. It's a thing, has been for years, on Windows long before Linux had it and Valve never stopped it.
Yeah, Valve never did anything to protect against SAM, but I fail to see how it justifies the use of SAM. This situation is the exact reason why achievement hunting communities had to build their own achievement trackers and implement all anti-SAM heuristics themselves. Valve created achievements on their own platform, implemented network-wide statistics and scoreboards, but failed to implement any kind of protection against hacking, and therefore rendered these stats and scoreboards essentially useless. That's entirely fault of Valve.

I would like to answer to some common arguments that arise in this thread.
1. Some argue that there is nothing wrong with using SAM for personal achievements - but are achievement systems really personal? I think they never were. Their whole point always was in doing the hard work to get the cool shiny icon on your profile that other players can find and admire you for, ahem, achieving a lot in the game. They were always for bragging in front of your fellows about your skills and devotion. Having a tool that allows random people to randomly unlock anything they want kinda kills the whole point of achievements, don't you agree? And again, IMO it destroys the point of achievements in the same way as cheat engines destroy the point of multiplayer matches - if at least one user on the network uses this, there's no more need to play fair and be proud of your results. Basically, think about achievements as some kind of "offline" competition.
2. Game bugs that prevent unlocking of some achievements - those are corner cases that arise way less often than people imply. Not to mention that if this is really a common known bug, then it means that everyone else is in the same situation as you are, so... If no one can get the achievement, then it's fair that no one has it. Again, look how hunting communities deal with these cases - if it's known that a particular achievement is buggy, then they just mark it as "Not possible, don't care", not allow everyone to unlock it hackily.

Also I don't understand the stance on achievements of people who justify SAM for unlocking achievements that they can't get for some reason (lack of friends who play cooperatively, refusal to play multiplayer, etc.). I think that if you really care about achievement hunt, then you'll do anything to get them fairly, and if you don't care, then why would you want a related medal in your profile that you didn't really deserve and never really wanted in the first place?
My personal stance on this - I don't care about getting all achievements there is (I have 100% mostly in narrative games where achievements just mark the progress in game, lol), but I care about getting what I can fairly, and I even proud of some extremely rare and hard achievements I got in some Steam games. However, these achievements completely lose their value when other people just unlock them with press of a button and call it a day.
And if I can't unlock some achievement due to a bug, it's enough for me to personally know that I have done it. I won't use SAM for just unlocking the icon on my profile and skew the stats for people who take achievements more seriously than I am (e.g who see achievement hunt as a competition - from their point of view SAM users ruin the competition in the same way as cheaters ruin multiplayer sessions, and it's completely understandable).
Patola 26 May
What if we understand that achievements are not meant to be a competition but a social hint to friends? As they are not perfect and fail to trigger sometimes, or might have some issues, using some software to straighten them up (or getting all of them, if you really want to communicate that to people watching your profile) harms no one. I am appalled that someone demands that use of SamRewritten must be "justified". No! It's part of the personal user space and he/she should do whatever he/she wants with it. If you are upset that some people are giving themselves "prizes they don't deserve", unfriend them on Steam.
chr 26 May
Hey, does anyone have an idea if I can change playtime for my Steam games with this? Arguably that is another horrible invalidation of the pride of the achievement of some people having poured thousands of hours of their life (arguably a societal resource) into that game, but I have my reason.

Specifically I once upon a time wanted to idle cards. Now I'm finding it annoying that I have more hours in some games I have never played than games which I really care about and appreciate, but which just don't possess much replay value.
Ananace 26 May
This is quite nice actually, maybe I'll actually finally fix the Portal 1 achievement that's been broken for me since release.

I've unlocked the achievement for beating all the advanced maps, also the one for beating four advanced maps, but not the one for two advanced maps.
And as I've already beaten them all I have no non-cheating way of getting the achievement, the game code doesn't actually allow it.
aokami 26 May
I think the creator of the Stanley Parable got it all right, he made an achievement you can't earn unless you you purposely hack the game.. Says it all, can you stand a to only achieve 99% of a game ?

Some people have compulsory behaviour and game marketing divisions know that, and surely they'll have more people playing longer if you put in something like "Unlock max level in multiplayer" or "Unlock all content"...

Anyways on the other hand, global stats are SO valuable to game devs and marketing as it allows them track where most people stopped playing. It usually goes like that:
- Finish tutorial: 85% (a few people never played)
- Complete 1st chapter: 70% (a few people didn't like gameplay or what they've seen of it so far)
- Kill last boss: 30% (okay story and gameplay weren't this good or game was too long)
- Achieve game in difficult mode: 10% (these people liked challenge, should we have more or less in next game ?)
- Unlock 100%: 0.9% (these guys will buy DLC)

While it's just interpretation and roughly inaccurate, I doubt a fistful of people using SAM would actually change the stats significantly.

Last edited by aokami on 26 May 2020 at 7:48 pm UTC
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