What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

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Kinmoku
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What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#1 Post by Kinmoku » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:15 am

I'm wondering... What are some of the best examples you've seen that show that a VN has multiple endings? And which compelled you the most to 100% complete them?

Personally, I don't like playing every single route, but I did with 999 and Virtue's Last Reward. I played VLR first and really appreciated the tree diagram, but I must admit 999 wasn't quite as compelling... I only did it because I knew for certain I'd really enjoy the story, as I did with VLR.

Galleries, achievements and music boxes are a nice way to unlock things, although I wonder how effective these are at player retention?

Please let me know your thoughts! :D

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#2 Post by RotGtIE » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:57 pm

Missing items in the galleries and other extra feature areas. It's a dead giveaway when there are blank spaces where CGs are meant to be, and the temptation to fill in those blank spaces is irresistible.

If anything, I would prefer to see these accompanied by tooltips giving the reader an idea of where to find the missing CG/Music/Scene in question.

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#3 Post by KittyWills » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:25 pm

CG Galleries or achievement galleries are the most common and I think they do their job well. Maybe having a percentage ticker somewhere in your menu as well. I've seen stuff like "45% of Dialogue Read". But it's not as common.

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#4 Post by Ghost of Crux » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:51 am

KittyWills wrote:CG Galleries or achievement galleries are the most common and I think they do their job well. Maybe having a percentage ticker somewhere in your menu as well. I've seen stuff like "45% of Dialogue Read". But it's not as common.
I don't know about that second one, to be honest-- I think if you want something like a percentage of dialogues read, it would be better off in a gallery menu. I've played a VN with such a thing in the game menu, and in a way, it just makes me want to breeze through everything. It turned the reading into a goal, and I'm not sure how good that is.

Perhaps a variation could be like, x% of total script read or something, set in the gallery menu alongside other things that indicate how many CGs are still locked?
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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#5 Post by Kinmoku » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:59 am

Hmm, I guess galleries, unlockables and % of total script read are ways to show there's more but, to me, they feel a little too obvious. Like they were put in as an after thought, or something? I guess I'm thinking of VNs that somehow incorporate it into the story/ gameplay. Perhaps seeing a tree diagram is the best way to see all the routes, though even that takes away some of the mystique.

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#6 Post by Ghost of Crux » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:05 am

Just had a thought-- perhaps something like a chopped up tree diagram could be a pretty interesting "transition" if done with good enough art assets. Perhaps something like... if each chapter's conclusions and stats determine what sort of thing you'll be entering later, you can sort of make an animation to show that you're entering one branch, and the other "fades" away? It would be an obvious reminder that you ended up on one branch while not being too obvious about what's actually on the other branch. It wouldn't show all the endings, though, but it would be a reminder to the player that their choices just made a difference.
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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#7 Post by sunwave » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:49 pm

While I don't particularly liked all storylines of 999's sequel, Virtue's last reward, the choice tree was very nice. You could see all the ways the story could progress, but they all ended prematurely. Sometimes when you reached the "end" of a tree, the tree extended further and the story continued past where you expected it to be.

Basically, there was always an empty branch on the tree that you needed to fill in, but you couldn't see the whole tree from the start, so you never knew which ones ended early and which ones continued the story. That was pretty good. Better than a random missing collectible, since you know exactly where to go and what choice to make, but you still have no idea what will happen (mostly). This way you can go for all scenes, but just ignore all insignificant changes, and you still feel like you completed everything.

I don't like the "X% of dialogue read" options, because sometimes tiny changes in text happen due to (a combination of) earlier choices. It seems like the same scene, but one line is different, and they count that. Those are horrible and they're the only ones I never even TRY to complete. (I think fate; stay night did that? Not sure though.)

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#8 Post by Suika » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:36 am

CG galleries, missing items, etc. always do a good job of compelling me to continue, but unless I know something about them to make me care about the content more than the goal (like knowing that a locked CG is part of an alternate root for a character I really like, or the item has a description that is intriguing, or seeing an interesting silhouette).

However, I think the most interesting system is a route map like what School Days did. This didn't occur in the game, but having the arc names above each arc is a great idea too. The map doesn't tell you what choices will lead you where, it just tells you where the forks are.

I also like it when new dialogue is clearly marked (using a different color after the first playthrough is pretty common) - especially when a scene is similar, but a little different. It turns me off when I'm stuck reading a long scene that sounds identical to what I read last time, but skip is disabled because some minor detail changed. On the flip side, when changes are clearly marked it makes me want to re-read the scene so I can get the full effect.

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#9 Post by Kinmoku » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:10 pm

However, I think the most interesting system is a route map like what School Days did.
Wow, that's one complex tree diagram! It sounds like it works really well though, with the names of the branches. I like that idea. It could be displayed in another way too, like "You stole item X" or "Character will remember that" etc, so it sends a clear message to the player that they have changed something that they can go back and do differently.

Compelling CG's work well too... Seeing them after you've completed a route, even just a small icon/ stamp, makes me want to unlock them all, like 999 http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/nin ... 1229060603

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#10 Post by n0tgin » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:37 pm

CG galleries are sort of an obvious way to show that there are missing bits in the game/story.
Obviously there are other ways to show it! I'd like the idea, where after a route is completed the title screen might change (like have a new item added, see: Fire Emblem 13's barracks every time a new character joins you). Etc.
Although generally speaking, I don't really play for completion, if it's an otome, I just play the route I like and if I don't like any other characters I don't play their routes. Same for bad endings!
I only played the safe ending and true ending in 999... to be honest... haha.

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Re: What are the best ways to show multiple endings?

#11 Post by Kinmoku » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:54 am

n0tgin wrote: Although generally speaking, I don't really play for completion, if it's an otome, I just play the route I like and if I don't like any other characters I don't play their routes.
This is me too, haha! I can't be bothered playing other routes if none of the other characters are likeable! With other VN's though, it depends on whether more of the story unlocks with play-throughs... If they're designed that way, I guess.

I like the idea of the main menu changing each time something is unlocked... It makes me think of Life is Strange, when the menu changes for each chapter.

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