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How do I effectively write tragic and emotional scenes and bad endings?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:40 pm
by NadOtavlas
In the dating sim I'm making one of the potential love interests is a boxer in a boxing tournament. The climax of his route he manages to get in the finals and the protagonist roots for him while being in the crowd.

If the player fails to get enough affection points for him a bad ending will occur where he is accidentally beaten to death by his opponent.

How do I do this scene justice in the tragedy and emotional department? I'm worried about having forced drama which I find detrimental the story as a whole. Is this conflict too artificial?

Re: How do I effectively write tragic and emotional scenes and bad endings?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:28 pm
by Selidor
Unless your intention is to write a full alternate ending (i.e.: with a credits scene instead of a game over), don't drag it out for too long. Ultimately people are playing for the 'real' ending, and forcing them through extended misery to complete their CG gallery etc. is going to be a bit of a pain. It's okay to leave the player hanging after a point and let their imagination work out what happens afterwards.

Have a bit of fun with it. For me, the most satisfying bad endings are the really twisted ones. They're an isolated what-if scenario, so it's okay to push character's personalities to extremes that you never see in the main route.

Re: How do I effectively write tragic and emotional scenes and bad endings?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:15 pm
by High
I think you should make the Protagonist's presence in the tournament the very reason the Love Interest dies, or the thing that starts the sequence of events that lead to Love Interest's death. Something like:

(A)Protagonist attends the tournament.
(B)Protagonist and Love Interest are on bad terms (because he has low affections points) so they start bickering while the Love Interest is the ring with his Opponent.
(C)Opponent sees Love Interest is distracted bickering with someone in the crowd and sucker punches him.
(D)Love Interest falls down, hits his head on something and dies.
(E)Protagonist gets wrecked with guilt.

If the Love Interest dies just cause, then it will come across as very cheap.

Re: How do I effectively write tragic and emotional scenes and bad endings?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:27 pm
by NadOtavlas
High wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:15 pm
I think you should make the Protagonist's presence in the tournament the very reason the Love Interest dies. Something like : Protagonist attends the tournament, but he and Love Interest had a fight previously or are on bad terms (because he has low affections points) so they start bickering while the Love Interest is the ring with his Opponent, the Opponent sees the Love Interest is distracted bickering with someone in the crowd and sucker punches him, the Love Interest falls down hits his head on something and dies, Protagonist gets wrecked with guilt. If the Love Interest dies just cause, then it will come across as very cheap.
Sounds mostly good but I'm kinda confused about the MC and love interest arguing during a match. Seems kinda nonsensical. And why would MC even come if they got into a argument?

Re: How do I effectively write tragic and emotional scenes and bad endings?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:38 pm
by High
NadOtavlas wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:27 pm
Sounds mostly good but I'm kinda confused about the MC and love interest arguing during a match. Seems kinda nonsensical. And why would MC even come if they got into a argument?
Maybe the MC attended the match because he wanted to patch things up but then things got heated? I don't know if it makes sense for the characters and story you have, it was just an idea I threw out there.