How many endings are enough?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
arty
Regular
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:55 am
Projects: White Monday
Contact:

How many endings are enough?

#1 Post by arty » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:28 am

Hi,

I was browsing through the finished games section just now and I noticed that most of the VNs there have .... many endings. I'm new to VNs (have only played a few) and I don't know what the "norm" is.

I am working on a pretty short VN, and even though it's still in the really early planning phase, I don't think I'll wind up making all too many endings. In fact my original idea was making it a KN, but I'd like to make it more interactive for the reader. And I guess that entails multiple endings, since I as a reader for example would feel fooled if my choices all lead to the same end result.

So my question is, how many endings are generally expected by readers? How does the number of characters factor into this? What if the cast is small and the game is not focused on dating? Will people be disappointed if there's just something like: Good Ending, Neutral Ending, Bad Ending?

Cheers!

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1829
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:05 am
Location: Your monitor
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:11 am

Too many endings (like 20) is not good. It is only going to confuse your reader or annoy them (in my experience)

In my opinion, one ending per LI for Otome style games is usually enough and for other genres, usually stick to no more than 6.

Nobody likes verbose fluff for the sake of fluff.
Warning: May contain trace amounts of gratuitous plot.
pro·gram·mer (noun) An organism capable of converting caffeine into code.

User avatar
Mammon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:09 pm
Completed: Pervert&Yandere, Stalker&Yandere
Projects: Roses Of The Thorn Prince
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#3 Post by Mammon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:14 am

The answer is one. A VN needs at least one ending, which coincidentally is also the minimal amount of endings you need to finish a project. Making multiple proper endings (as opposed to something that feels like a lazy last-scene split ending) can really increase the amount of work your VN requires. Try finishing your first VN (assuming this is your first) before you worry about what the reader might expect and demand. Add more endings after the first is finished.

As Imperfe3kt already said, too many endings wouldn't add much. At some point there are just a few endings that people can't find without a walkthrough or all endings become samy and incomprehensible. However, it's more important that the endings make sense than having a certain amount of endings. With LI's too, the amount of routes should corrolate with the amount of endings. Every one of them needs one happy ending. The same doesn't apply for bad endings, those can easily become just add-ons or too angsty. You can say that once you're on the LI's route the happy ending is inevitable, or you can give them a good, neutral and bad ending. The trick in that is to scrap the ending that isn't proper or adding anything. If you have 4 LI's and don't give one of them a bad ending because it doesn't fit even though the other three have one, that's better than an inspirationless bad end out of form.

And, as Telltale games already showed, several choices with just one ending is not necessarily bad. It might make people feel like their choices are pointless, but if you make their choices roleplaying and the story good such a thing is not necessarily a gamebreaker. That one ending just needs to be good and you can use more assets and dedication to make it.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

User avatar
arty
Regular
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:55 am
Projects: White Monday
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#4 Post by arty » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:35 am

I see, thank you for the responses! I'll try to keep these things in mind.

If anyone else has more opinions/advice, feel free to post also!

mikolajspy
Regular
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:05 pm
Completed: Jake's Love Story
Projects: NEKOKORO
Deviantart: mikolajspy
Location: Wrocław, Poland
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#5 Post by mikolajspy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:12 am

I agree that many endings are totally not important.
At first I didn't make reserach about that and ended up overcomplicating stuff.
My game has 9 different story endings and it turned out, it was pointless work.

I hoped to get players interested and increase replayability value, but...
Looking at Steam Achievements, most people are satisfied with one ending, and if they want they just skip the story with guide to get others without bothering to read alternative scenes in between etc.

User avatar
Gaudeamus
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:20 am
Deviantart: Gaudeamuss
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#6 Post by Gaudeamus » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:13 pm

As Mammon says, I think you should have only one final, the other endings or routes that you have are just fanservice for your audience.

From the perspective of the writer it is much easier to start from a scenario where you have a single ending and then start to create the environment of the other characters.

As an example we have fate stay night or clannad, in which although you have several routes or different ends it is more than clear which is the main route or the "real end"

In the extreme case, of the fan service we have School days, if I remember correctly are like 21 different endings, of course that all this lies in the fact that the protagonist is a guy who has sex with what is put in front.

As Mammon had already mentioned in this case it is very confusing to understand the VN in its entirety.

Another type of Fanservice more balanced would be for example the light novels turned into visual novels, for example Oreimo in which although we know which is the end of the story does not prevent enjoy the other endings.

One thing that I think in particular is that the first thing you have to think about your main characters how many are going to do 1, 2 or 3 and create a scenario and then depending on your character designer see if it's worth it in doing more routes or endings seeing how charismatic your characters are, this I say more as dev than as a public,in the end it is not that he finds a magic formula to create a perfect Visual Novel or that it is a success
Image

User avatar
Mammon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:09 pm
Completed: Pervert&Yandere, Stalker&Yandere
Projects: Roses Of The Thorn Prince
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#7 Post by Mammon » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:30 am

Gaudeamus wrote: As Mammon says,
I actually meant it more that he should try finishing the project before adding more routes, as about 50-90% of all works in progress around here never get finished because they're too demanding and long. Finish the story, then start adding.

Your opinion is valid, of course. The canon ending, especially if the story gets a sequel, can be better than the story having a dozen endings of equal value. And people prefer to think of the one good end as equally or more valid than the dozen bad endings that came before it. Though it depends on teh story if the other endings carry teh same weight or not.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

User avatar
catgame21234
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:43 pm
Completed: 1
Projects: Looking for a art job; Want some help? Join n we can talk https://discord.gg/fydp3Vj
Tumblr: catgame21234.tumblr.com
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#8 Post by catgame21234 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:02 pm

All you need is one. Write each ending like it was the true finisher to your game.
That way over time you can then realize which endings you had planned would or wouldn't be satisfying conclusions to your story (or great cliffhangers to encourage you to dive into the other paths to figure out the great mystery unfolding)
Oy! Just call me Catti.
An inspiring developer but mostly artist. You can see my artwork here. Want to get ahold of me? Click here so we can talk fast on discord.

User avatar
Gaudeamus
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:20 am
Deviantart: Gaudeamuss
Contact:

Re: How many endings are enough?

#9 Post by Gaudeamus » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:15 pm

Mammon wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:30 am
Gaudeamus wrote: As Mammon says,
I actually meant it more that he should try finishing the project before adding more routes, as about 50-90% of all works in progress around here never get finished because they're too demanding and long. Finish the story, then start adding.
:shock: Ah I see each one has its own problems (mine is that I am never satisfied with the visual design of my characters and I do them again, they even rushed me from a visual novel in which I was collaborating to delay with the design of characters)

As I said, I talked more about the way I do things, but as you say, first he should focus on finishing what you have done before you start with more routes.

Already analyzing the matter better I think you should ask rather who would be his public because in principle wanted to make a KN but the fact of wanting to add more routes is more to give more options to their players and there would have to assess whether it would be appropriate or if congruent with what you have done up to this point,
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users