Creative ways to get an ending

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DarkClaymore
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Creative ways to get an ending

#1 Post by DarkClaymore » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:48 pm

Checking what ending the player got is usually just something simple like that:

If girl_A_love = max then get ending1
If girl_B_love = max then get ending2
else get ending3


While as a whole there is nothing bad about it, as it can become much more complicated if you add more conditions, I rather have something more creative.
Suggestions?

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#2 Post by Tsundere Lightning » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:12 pm

Reputation or virtue system. Track multiple different kinds of repuations, and have different endings require different proportions of those reputations.

For example, Keiko ending requires 50+ Innocence, 30+ Honesty, 10+ Courage, with more Innocence than either Honesty or Courage.
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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#3 Post by A Terrible Rabbit » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:18 pm

Well, I broke my game up into sections that get harder and harder depending on what you do.
Put in endings that only appear after getting another ending, or only if completed in a certain time, or if your character picks something up off the floor.

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#4 Post by sake-bento » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:23 pm

You can also base it on how much other characters feel towards you. Girl A might be overflowing with affection points, but if her best friend Girl B hates your guts, then you'll never hook up with Girl A.

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#5 Post by luminarious » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:30 pm

Tsundere Lightning wrote:Reputation or virtue system. Track multiple different kinds of repuations, and have different endings require different proportions of those reputations.

For example, Keiko ending requires 50+ Innocence, 30+ Honesty, 10+ Courage, with more Innocence than either Honesty or Courage.
Or go for the classic D&D aligment system where different actions change your alignment and the punk-rock girl requires chaotic neutral; the jazz-piano player has need for neutral good and the violinist loves seducing lawful neutral characters.. Something along those lines.. :)

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#6 Post by Showsni » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:54 pm

And you can always have a maze of menus leading to different endings, with some options only appearing based on affection points, previous actions or which endings you've already seen.

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#7 Post by Coatl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:15 pm

I would say that if you decide to get either girl A or B or C, you have to think of how well you treated her or the things you said, in fact there should be an action in an early part of the game where either one of these girls think of you as a loser, so your scenario has to be one where you have to show them you're worth the effort. and the you actions plus who you choose can have multiple effects on the ending.

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#8 Post by Koveras » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:13 pm

Randomized half-endings. The disposition value of each girl determines the probability of ending up with her in the first half of the ending. The computer randomly chooses one girl for you and plays the ending narration right to the point where the protagonist starts thinking of what could have happened if things turned out differently. At this point, you can either accept her (normal or good end, depending on the way you look at it) or run off to pursue your true love, whom you can choose freely. Again, the disposition of your true love determines whether you make up with her (good end) or fail and end up single (bad end).

While this approach involves a lot of writing, it introduces the element of chance, meaning you have to be very cautious about your actions throughout the game to ensure that you get the girl you like. If the difference between her disposition and that of the rest is high enough, you will likely get the good ending at the first attempt. If you have a roughly equal disposition with several girls, but favor one particular, there is a chance you won't end up with her and will have to risk getting a bad ending to try and get her, after all. At this point, it also introduces the element of free choice of the ending, even though there is a risk of failure... just as with any choice, actually.

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#9 Post by Showsni » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:33 pm

Randomisation in a VN? I don't know, that sounds like it would annoy quite a lot of people, because they wouldn't be expecting it... I mean, sure, choosing to study gives a random number of Int points from 1 to 5, but having a whole arc thrust on you at random?

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#10 Post by number473 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:22 am

I'd say there shouldn't be random story paths in a vn. For one thing it makes replaying to get all endings/cgs, well, random and it could take forever. One also would like to feel that it is one's choices that guide the plot progression in such a game. The exception would be rpg style games, where there could be an element of chance during combat.
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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#11 Post by Koveras » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:40 pm

As I said, I'm an avid RPG fan, so I like playing the odds. ^^ The risk of failure is IMO the most fun part of a game. In fact, the biggest problem I've always had with visual novels is that they boil down to a rather complex yet static Petri net in my brain (which, I admit, was screwed up by three years of applied informatics at the university). Or rather, my problem is actually that VNs are called "games", when, in fact, there is nothing strictly gamist (in GNS Theory terms) about them. Randomized branches would bring the gamist aspect into the games IMO, breaking the purely deterministic, dramatist flow...
Showsni wrote:I don't know, that sounds like it would annoy quite a lot of people, because they wouldn't be expecting it...
That is only a matter of balance. :) Many games outside VNs use random numbers on crucial points, or rather, use the multitude of the player's actions to produce a pseudo-random outcome. While a frustration factor for some, it doesn't make these games unwinnable. In VNs, the player actions are limited to a set of choices, which is obviously not enough to pose a serious challenge (in the gamist sense) to anyone armed with a pencil, a few sheets of paper, and good memory.

I agree that randomized VNs are not strictly "novels", but they are a step towards a "game", which is all I advocate. It's an innovative approach, I guess, so I don't expect anyone to implement it right away. ^^ The way I imagined it, the player should be prevented from simply relying on deterministic workflows, giving them the opportunity to actually weight their actions, design strategies, then put them to a test with the ending. In other words, I want players to actually choose their path, invest some strategic thinking into a strategy, and earn their Good Ending, rather than trying out all choices in order to "get all the endings". It is just a different understanding of "winning the game". ^^
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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#12 Post by number473 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:27 am

One must remember that a VN is not just a game, but to a large degree it is a story of which the outcome can be to some degree determined by the reader. If you want the game aspect of a VN, it comes about in the first play, or in the next few plays, where the player is trying to "beat" the game or one particular character. Personally, I consider the first play through the "real" one (or the first time trying to win with a particular character). If I fail at that and I decide to replay it, it's because I want to see what the good ending would have been or because I want to see all the CGs.

Though you can implement an element of skill to a VN through the use of RPG elements, combat encounters, puzzle or other mini-games, etc., simply adding randomly selected paths does not add to the game imo, and could be frustrating.
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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#13 Post by JQuartz » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:19 pm

DarkClaymore wrote:I rather have something more creative.
Suggestions?
Here one:
Get Girl A hooked up with the guy of her dreams and get Girl B hooked up with the guy of her dreams. Then the Protangonist goes home and plays some VN, drinks tea, while reciting a deep haiku about love with the setting sun as the bg image.

Creative?: Yes.
Enjoyable?: Depends.
Fulfills the requirement of being creative?: Yes.
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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#14 Post by pinkmouse » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:33 am

Coatl wrote:I would say that if you decide to get either girl A or B or C, you have to think of how well you treated her or the things you said, in fact there should be an action in an early part of the game where either one of these girls think of you as a loser, so your scenario has to be one where you have to show them you're worth the effort. and the you actions plus who you choose can have multiple effects on the ending.
Or, just to be evil, a girl who will think you're a doormat if you're too soppy and submissive - so the player has to keep a little reserve. :twisted:

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Re: Creative ways to get an ending

#15 Post by tigerkidde » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Returning from the dead here myself, but just throwing two cents out.

Maybe there's the route with the romantic partner. But other factors (not too many here) can determine the quality of the ending.

King takes no Queen:
Bad) Rules the kingdom, under the stress of ruling, abandons his post and disappears from history.
Average) Rules the kingdom with a steady hand, but passes on without an heir and without note.
Good) Establishes a strong foundation and expands the borders, while creating a system to select an heir based on merit and character.

King makes Lady A his Queen and:
Bad) Rules the kingdom poorly and is overthrown by the queen's relatives.
Average) Rules the kingdom without rebellion, but without prosperity.
Good) Rules the kingdom with great prosperity and goes down in history as the best king eva.

King makes Lady B his Queen and:
Bad) Listens to the queen too much and asks why the people would ever want cake. The bakers overthrow the kingdom.
Average) King and Queen find mutual ground, but neither is happy, ruling the kingdom without event or cake.
Good) King and Queen agree to disagree and enjoy cake. They eat cake everyday and though their kingdom is invaded, their lives are spared, because their cake is just that good. Their cakes bring about an era of prosperity as it unites the world in taste, creates a world unfit for war, and becomes the stuff of legend!

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