Achievement Hunter

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Achievement Hunter
Type Private
Industry Entertainment
Genre Gaming
Founded July 28, 2008 (2008-07-28)
Founders Geoff Ramsey
Jack Pattillo
Headquarters Austin, United States
Key people Geoff Ramsey
Jack Pattillo
Gavin Free
Michael Jones
Ray Narvaez, Jr.
Ryan Haywood
Services Online video
Community website
Employees 13
Parent Rooster Teeth Productions
Divisions Community Hunter
Website achievementhunter.com

Achievement Hunter is a video gaming website and a division of Rooster Teeth Productions. Founded by Geoff Ramsey and Jack Pattillo on July 28, 2008, the website is largely based on the achievement mechanic found in seventh and eighth generation video game consoles. Since its founding, Achievement Hunter has grown to become a core component of Rooster Teeth, hosting a wide variety of videos related to video games. The most frequent videos are hosted by the six most prolific employees: Ramsey, Pattillo, Gavin Free, Michael Jones, Ray Narvaez, Jr. and Ryan Haywood.

History and development[edit]

2008–10: Inception and outgrowth[edit]

Shortly following his employment at Rooster Teeth, Jack Pattillo largely assisted Geoff Ramsey in the founding of Achievement Hunter.

In 2008, Geoff Ramsey's interest in gaming achievements resulted in the realization that no community-based website related to achievements existed. As a result, Ramsey approached Burnie Burns, then CEO of Rooster Teeth, about creating a website based on achievements; Burns agreed, and Ramsey created Achievement Hunter, which shares a similar design to the main Rooster Teeth website.[1] Alongside employee Jack Pattillo, Ramsey regularly released achievement guides and Easter egg videos, often receiving assistance from select volunteers from the Rooster Teeth community. David Dreger—who died in 2013[2]—also assisted in the founding of the company.[3]

Geoff Ramsey's interest in gaming achievements led to the creation of Achievement Hunter.

In 2009, Achievement Hunter began accepting freelance achievement guides from the community; notable community members who submitted guides include Ray Narvaez, Jr. and Michael Jones. In 2010, Ramsey and Pattillo introduced multiple shows to Achievement Hunter: AH Predicts involves the two simulating and watching artificial intelligence playing a sporting game and predicted the outcome; Achievement Hunter Weekly Update (AHWU) involves Ramsey discussing upcoming games, while Pattillo discusses gaming news; Fails of the Weak is a compilation of mistakes and glitches in various games, with commentary from Achievement Hunter; Achievement HORSE involves Rooster Teeth employees playing H-O-R-S-E using obstacle courses built in video games, such as Halo: Reach, Halo 4 and Trials Evolution. Achievement Hunter also launched a new YouTube channel, titled Community Hunter, in which community manager Caleb Denecour selects and uploads user-submitted videos.

2011–12: Employment growth[edit]

In 2011, Achievement Hunter hired James Haywood—referred to by his middle name Ryan—as an editor and manager; Haywood later began featuring in videos as a host in March 2012, becoming one of the main crew members. Four new shows were introduced to Achievement Hunter in 2011: Rage Quit involves Michael Jones playing difficult games, generally quitting due to anger; This is... features members of the staff introducing upcoming games; Things to do in... involves different activities that players can execute in various games, such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V; A Look Back At... involves staff members focusing on old games that may have been overlooked after release. The success of Rage Quit led to the official hiring of Jones as a full-time staff member in August 2011.

In December 2011, Achievement Hunter also began creating Let's Play videos. The success of the videos resulted in a weekly sub-series in 2012, in which the main hosts play Minecraft. Though various maps are often created by members of the community, the series' generally focuses on maps created by staff members; Let's Build is a series that focuses on the creation of the maps. Weekly Let's Play videos focusing on Grand Theft Auto games are also released.[4][5]

Achievement Hunter officially hired Gavin Free in 2012, who had been assisting with the company for many years. In March 2012, Achievement Hunter debuted Game Night, in which Ramsey and Denecour play games with community members; the series switched to a live stream format in 2014. Community member Ray Narvaez, Jr. was officially hired in April 2012, having worked as a contract host for multiple years. Later, in September 2012, contract editor Franco Scarcello created Five Facts; generally hosted by Pattillo and Ramsey, the series focuses on little-known facts about various video games.

2013–present: Popularization[edit]

In early 2013, Achievement Hunter introduced a competition series titled VS, in which the employees challenge each other to compete in video games. In April 2013, Achievement Hunter launched their own channel on YouTube, which hosts a variety of their videos.[6] Later in 2013, the company retired Achievement HORSE, replacing it with Achievement HUNT, in which a variety of employees challenge each other until the word "HUNT" has been spelled. Following this, Achievement Hunter unveiled the series GO!, where Ramsey challenges the other employees to perform a specific task in a video game; the winner achieves a sticker on the board, and a pizza party is held after an employee accrues five stickers. Lindsay Tuggey, a Rooster Teeth employee who had worked on various different projects at the company, was employed as an editor in June 2013, and often appears in videos; she married Jones in May 2014, subsequently becoming credited as Lindsay Jones in future videos. Community member Kdin Jenzen was also employed in late 2013, bringing his community show Coming Soon to the official Rooster Teeth lineup.

In 2014, Achievement Hunter introduced a wide range of new shows: Play Pals features Jones and Free playing a game together, replacing Rage Quit every second week; and Countdown, in which Jenzen creates a list of the best video games for a specific topic. At RTX in July 2014, Achievement Hunter hired Matt Bragg and Jeremy Dooley, who had both previously created content for Community Hunter. As a result, two shows from the community were introduced into Achievement Hunter: MegaCraft, hosted by Bragg, features items built by the community in Minecraft; and Imaginary Achievements, hosted by Dooley, involves creating a gaming achievement that does not actually exist. Bragg and Dooley, often accompanied by Jenzen and Lindsay Jones, also took over Let's Build, having much more experience in Minecraft than previous hosts Ramsey and Free.

In addition to the official shows, a number of pilot videos for potential shows were released: Let's Watch, similar to Let's Play, features one staff member playing a game while the others watch; Grab Bag includes sections of other videos that were cut; Remix features older games, played in a similar fashion to Let's Play; Oh My Mod! features PC games, often presented using modifications; Achievement Hunter vs. The World involves the staff members playing games online with other people. In late 2014, Achievement Hunter hired Steffie Hardy, who is responsible for the schedules of the recording and release of videos.

Video series[edit]

Series Year
Forced Enjoyment 2008
Jack Pattillo must play poorly received games. The series was filmed in a documentary format, with several segments per episode.
Pajamachievements 2008-09
Geoff Ramsey and Gavin Free play games with Ramsey's wife Griffon and a variety of her friends.
Achievement Hunter Weekly Update 2010–present
Geoff Ramsey, Jack Pattillo, and other Achievement Hunters go over recent video game news and releases, as well as their achievement of the week. Achievement Hunter fans also submit episode-specific intros for the group to use.
Fails of the Weak 2010–present
Various Hunters (mainly Geoff Ramsey and Jack Pattillo) go through fan-submitted "Game Fails" and give them commentary. Until July 2014, Fails of the Weak exclusively covered Halo failures. A "best of" compilation of Halo Fails of the Weak was released on DVD and Blu-ray in September 2013.
Achievement Horse/Pig 2010-13
Two hosts go through fan submitted "HORSE" maps in Halo. These maps include obstacle courses, shooting challenges, and other types of skill challenges. Due to the popularity of a handful of special edition Achievement Horse videos that took place in Trials Evolution, a separate series was created to satisfy fans that both wanted the return of the Halo videos and those that wanted more of the Trials Evolution videos. However, instead of a game of "HORSE" each week two hosts play a game of "PIG". In 2013, the series was replaced with Achievement Hunt.
AH Predicts 2010-12
Geoff Ramsey and Jack Pattillo use simulation in sports video games to "predict" an upcoming real-life match.
Rage Quit
Michael Jones plays annoying or difficult games, until he inevitably quits out of anger. This series initially began on Jones' personal YouTube channel, but was added to the Achievement Hunter lineup when he was hired in 2011.
This Is... 2011–present
This series goes through a recently released game, and explains the game's achievements. Pattillo has called this "the closest [they'll] ever get to reviewing games".
A Look Back At... 2011-12
Similar to "This Is...", this series includes older games that may have been overlooked. The series was created by recurring cast member Brandon "Fragger" Light, with the hosts being Light and Ray Narvaez, Jr.
Things to Do in... 2011–present
Typically hosted by Geoff Ramsey and Gavin Free, this series showcases unusual or cool things the audience can do in a video game.[7] The length of the episodes vary, ranging from a few minutes minutes to thirty minutes, depending on the format.
Let's Play 2011–present
All (or a selection of) the main hosts play a video game, with their live commentary dubbed over the events. New videos are released on the YouTube channel called "Let's Play" throughout the week with their flagship series being their weekly Let's Play Minecraft series on Fridays and Let's Play Grand Theft Auto series on Mondays. There are also non-Achievement Hunter Let's Play videos which feature Rooster Teeth employees who do not work in the Achievement Hunter wing. The first ever Let's Play video was in fact not released under the Achievement Hunter brand and was released in 2009. In addition to the standard Let's Play, Achievement Hunter produces several other Let's Play series. These include:
Let's Play Minecraft

Their leading Let's Play series in which the main hosts usually play the Xbox 360 Edition in a world that Ramsey and Free created called Achievement City. They normally play in this world to compete for the "Tower of Pimps", a stack of four gold blocks on top of an obsidian base (replaced with either dirt or sponge for Narvaez) that was originally made by a drunken Free. Occasionally, the hosts may be joined by other Rooster Teeth employees or they may switch to the original PC version. The first episode was released on the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel on May 11, 2012[8] and featured all the current main hosts (except for Haywood who was originally not part of the group), while the following two episodes had the respective debuts of the Tower of Pimps and the Achievement City world. From Episode 119.5 onwards, they began to incorporate Xbox One Edition into their videos.

Let's Play Grand Theft Auto

Their other major Let's Play series in which the group play a Grand Theft Auto game on Xbox 360. It originally started as a one-off Let's Play video called Let's Play Grand Theft Auto IV (now named Let's Play - GTA IV Part 1) on May 13, 2013,[9] which they originally played the game in anticipation for the release of Grand Theft Auto V. However, the group enjoyed playing GTA IV so much that they ended making more Let's Play videos featuring the game, turning Mondays into a day dedicated for the release of a new video featuring the game. They switched over to Grand Theft Auto V when its Online multiplayer component was activated in October 2013.

Let's Build

A version of Let's Play in which Ramsey and Free build courses and arenas for future Let's Play Minecraft episodes. The first episode of the series was in 2012 as a one-off video and became a regular series beginning in 2013. In 2014, it was taken over by the newly hired Jeremy Dooley and Matt Bragg, as they had more experience and knowledge in Minecraft, and are often joined by fellow employees Lindsay Jones and Kdin Jenzen.

Full Play

A version of Let's Play in which Michael Jones plays through an entire game's single-player campaign. While Jones and Ramsey did play through the full campaign of Saints Row: The Third in 2011, it was not released under the name Full Play. The first official episode of Full Play was Resident Evil: Revelations in 2013. This show does not have a fixed schedule, as most of their other shows do, and is recorded whenever Jones finds time.

VS

A weekly one-on-one competition where two of the Achievement Hunter hosts compete against each other in a video game of the challenger's choosing. The winner of the game is declared champion of the office for one week and gets ownership of a WWE Championship belt replica and a golden rooster trophy for that time. The winner is then challenged by another Achievement Hunter member the next week in the order of the office seatings. The order was changed in the 52nd episode, the 'Reset', and from then on was based on rankings in a go-kart race.

Let's Fail/Things to Don't

A sporadically released series in which the gang attempt to record an episode of Let's Play or Things To Do In but can not complete the video or objective due to an issue they are having. Whether it be technical difficulties, the game not working with them, or just lack of skill.

Game Time

A series in which Rooster Teeth's Burnie Burns sits down with a fellow Rooster Teeth employee as they play through a game (or part a game) together and discuss the guest's involvement in Rooster Teeth. There are rare episodes in which the guest does not discuss their involvement with Rooster Teeth or the guest is not a Rooster Teeth employee. The first episode of the series was in 2011 as a one-off video, and was a series in 2013. It has since been discontinued, though one of the Lazer Team stretch goals was to release more episodes.

GO!

A weekly competition where all of the Achievement Hunter hosts except Geoff Ramsey compete against each other to accomplish a goal that Ramsey gives, which can be accomplished in any video game the participant feels would fit the goal. When one of the hosts has won five cumulative weeks (results being marked on a paper on the wall), Ramsey will buy him a pizza.[10] The series began in 2013.

How To:

A LP series featuring Rooster Teeth's Joel Heyman and Adam Ellis where they sit down with a fellow Rooster Teeth employee as they play through a game (or part a game) together. The first episode of "How To" Then "Let's Play with Joel and Adam" premiered on October 31, 2013.

Game Kids

A series in which Rooster Teeth's Burnie Burns plays a video game with his children. The first episode of the series was in 2014.

Let's Watch

A series in which one of the Achievement Hunters play a game with the others watching them play the game and commentating in the background. The series premiered in September 2014.

Grab Bag

A series of never-before-seen and behind the scenes footage that were cut from various Let's Play videos. The series premiered in September 2014. At the end of the first episode, they showed a teaser of the Magic: The Gathering video they never released.

Oh My Mod!

A series in which the Achievement Hunter crew explore the world of user created content for PC games. The series premiered in October 2014.

GameFails 2011–present
A channel that contains several videos a day of fan-submitted "fails" in a vast selection of games. It was initially a spin-off of Fails of the Weak until that series became merged with the channel in July 2014 by dropping its Halo-exclusive focus.
Trials Files 2012–2014
Jack Pattillo and Geoff Ramsey highlight and provide commentary on a variety of user-created maps in Trials Evolution and later Trials Fusion.
Game Night 2012–present
Caleb Denecour and Geoff Ramsey play a Halo custom game with the Achievement Hunter community, recording footage of gameplay and later posting a compilation of the best parts that typically averages about three minutes long. As of 2014, Game Night has been replaced by Game Night: Live, an hour long live stream featuring four of the Achievement Hunters as they play various games with the community. Game Night: Live is only available to sponsors of the Rooster Teeth website and occurs monthly.
Retro-Active 2012–present
Hosted and created by recurring host Brandon "Fragger" Light, this series features games from the past generations of consoles and how they can be implemented into the current generation.
Quick Bits 2012
This series featured several clips from of Let's Play episodes.
Five Facts 2012–present
This series features five little known facts about a very well-known game or game series. The series was created by community member Franco for the Community Hunter channel and was recently added to the main channel lineup.
Coming Soon 2013–present
An in-depth look at what games are coming up in the following month, with gameplay footage, developer comments, and intensive details on what to expect from the game itself. Created and hosted by Kdin Jenzen.
Achievement Hunt 2013–present
Replacing Achievement Horse/Pig, two hosts go through fan submitted maps and challenges in any game of their choice, the two hosts compete in a "HORSE"-type race to spell HUNT.
Play Pals 2014–present
A series featuring two-player games played by Gavin Free and Michael Jones.
Countdown 2014–present
A series created by Kdin Jenzen, where the Hunters go over a ranked list of instances regarding a video game-related subject.
Imaginary Achievements 2014–present
A series created by Matt Bragg and Jeremy Dooley, where the Hunters make up their own achievements in video games. The series originally started on the AH Community channel in January 2013, and later moved to the Let's Play channel in August 2014.
MegaCraft 2014–present
A series originally created by Matt Bragg on the Community Hunter channel, where he and other Hunters showcase Achievement Hunter community members' Minecraft creations.

Cast and crew[edit]

Although video editing is mainly completed by specific employees, all main staff members have edited videos at some point; for example, Free previously edited all videos in the Let's Play Minecraft series, and Haywood often contributed to the editing of Let's Play Grand Theft Auto videos.

In addition to the Achievement Hunter hosts, other Rooster Teeth employees make occasional guest appearances, such as Burnie Burns, Joel Heyman, Barbara Dunkelman and Gus Sorola. There are also seldom appearances from special guests, including Chandler Riggs.[11]

Timeline[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burg, Dustin (July 28, 2008). "RvB launches achievement website, achievables unlocked!". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Lien, Tracey (June 21, 2013). "Ex-Rooster Teeth contributor found dead in West Vancouver". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (July 28, 2009). "Rooster Teeth creates Achievement/Trophy database site". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Amini, Tina (May 4, 2012). "Launch Your Friends Off Helicopters in Grand Theft Auto IV". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Vas, Gergo (February 27, 2014). "Almost nailed it! The Achievement Hunter crew is back on track with GTA V, and they're really pushing the limits of possible stunts this time.". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Let's Play - Important Announcement". Rooster Teeth. April 15, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ Lien, Tracey (December 28, 2012). "Achievement Hunter recreates Super Mario Bros. World 1-1 in Minecraft". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Let's Play Minecraft with Geoff, Jack, Michael, Gavin and Ray". Rooster Teeth. 11 May 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Let's Play - GTA IV Part 1". Rooster Teeth. 13 May 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Achievement Hunter Presents: GO! #1". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  11. ^ Rooster Teeth (11 July 2012). "Joel and Jack play Minecraft with Chandler Riggs from Walking Dead!". YouTube. Retrieved 22 January 2014.