Arrest of a Stone Buddha dev reflects on incompletable easy achievement list

By Sean Carey,
In a world where the likes of Ratalaika and Xitilon have become household names purely due to how quick their games are to complete, you can see why other developers would be keen to jump on the easy achievement bandwagon. Yeo has done just that with its new game Arrest of a Stone Buddha — a decision Yeo has regretted ever since.

Arrest of a Stone Buddha Xbox One achievements

Over on Twitter, Yeo revealed that he wasn't happy with adding easy achievements to Arrest of a Stone Buddha (which launches tomorrow, May 14th), saying, "Making Arrest [of a Stone Buddha] with easy achievements felt like printing poetry on toilet paper." Yeo told us the reason why he added an easy achievement list to his game in the first place was because other developers had told him it's a quick way to make some cash.

"I found out that easy achievement games sell well," Yeo said. "And while I was happy for some devs who raised money that way, at the same time, I got jealous and greedy and thought: 'If they do it, maybe I can generate some money too? What's actually wrong with it?'" Yeo explains that he felt as if he betrayed himself by following in the footsteps of other developers. "I knew that it was a wrong road for me. I felt that I was doing something not right and betraying something valuable. Players would play the game for achievements and not for the message and meaning I was trying to convey."

Arrest of a Stone Buddha Xbox One achievements

"I always thought that achievements are something you need to achieve, like some milestones in a game, or some extra tasks for players, so they can spend more time in a game they like," Yeo continues. "But I found out that some games are sold just because of achievements — players don't have interest in the games themselves but just in making points. And it really demotivated me."

Yeo had given out preview codes for Arrest of a Stone Buddha and was quickly informed that two of the final achievements in the game were broken and not unlocking correctly. Yeo said at the time on Twitter he "felt so bad after adding easy achievements [to] Arrest for better sales" and was happy that the two achievements were broken as it would result in people not buying the game for the easy completion. However, Yeo also said that he wouldn't fix the broken achievements, leaving them to remain unobtainable for players — something he has now backtracked on. "I have to fix them," Yeo told us. "They're in the release build, and it will be unfair for players to get the game with broken achievements. I said about not fixing them in irritation because I really felt bad about adding easy achievements."

Arrest of a Stone Buddha Xbox One achievements

Although Yeo plans on fixing these achievements, he has said they will be "much harder to achieve," which would prevent players from buying the game just for the easy Gamerscore. "The game was quite hard originally, and many players complained about the difficulty on Steam, so I added an easy mode to the Steam version after release. For Xbox, I made easy mode two times easier, so it's really easy to complete the game and get every achievement. But I plan to make ending achievements harder by adding a requirement to complete the game on normal difficulty." Yeo also notes that he's considering adding another set of achievements to Arrest of a Stone Buddha for achievement hunters that really like a challenge that would involve bearing the game on hard and insane difficulty settings.

Yeo rounds off by saying that unchallenging achievements aren't all bad, and people are more than welcome to play easy games for the Gamerscore — just not his games. "Anyone can have fun [in whatever way they] want as long as it doesn't damage others, so easy achievement games and achievements hunters — this is all good. It's just not my road."

Arrest of a Stone Buddha, which the developer describes as an "experimental philosophical shoot-'em-up," launches for Xbox One tomorrow (May 14th). Yeo has already started working on a fix for the game's two unobtainable achievements. If you're interested, you can also check out Yeo's other game, The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa, which launched on Xbox last month.
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Avid Xbox and achievement fan, Sean has committed to playing the best RPGs, racing games, and first-person shooters Xbox Game Pass and his precious free time will allow. Prior to joining TrueAchievements, Sean gained a degree in journalism from Solent University.
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