Friday, January 9, 2009

Question for the Crew

Here's an email we received from a listener:

Been lurking, now posting, yet still lurking but i got a topic for you to scratch your brains on collectively and its a topic ive been debating with a few people over at the Prince of Persia Designer blog yet i want YOUR little nuggets of wisdom on this:

Video Games Multiple Endings: A new Standard or a crutch

-Should it ALWAYS be there?
-What happens if theres a sequel planned?
-Comparing to Books and volumes
-Movie based games too?
-Enought of the light and dark stereotypes.


In the mean time, Good luck !

We'll be discussing this in Episode 48, dropping next week.


  1. Hey! I've been a lurker and am now posting as well. I totally dig the show.

    I had a quick comment about one of the questions. About "What happens if there is a sequel planned?" It is annoying when a game is designed with an obvious sequel in mind. Both Beyond Good and Evil and Psyops were games that I really loved and ended on a cliff hanger. Fortunately we are finally getting a BG&E 2 but Psyops is probably not going to happen.

    Cliff hangers seem like they should not happen in games because the amount of time between releases and ability of there to never be another game if the investment doesn't pay off. Something that just came to mind is, how often is a story in a game good enough to cause something like the fever that the Harry Potter books cause to justify the way that some games approach their story?

    Sorry, that seems a little incoherent.

  2. Thinking back at the Snes and Genesis age, we barely had that kind of cliffhanger ending, maybe its due to uncertainty when it came to sequels, or they were less money hungry back then, or maybe less doucheful. But its an interesting note, also have you notice that games with "So-So" ending -Status- for their characters will still be able to put out sequels? Ex: Jak and Daxter or God of War 1: You did what you needed to do and everything ends there, Boh-Bomb, done. Yet next installment: - "IT HIT THE FAN, HOLY SH****!!!" ZING!Sequel. Not a bad transition as it wasnt setup from the end of the previous game but not forced on unlike Halo 2 where everything stops in the middle of the conclusion, breaking it open for a direct sequel. Gotta wonder what goes on in the game designer's mind when it comes to theses.

  3. Oh and BeDrinkable, the crew had a small discussion on cliffhangers on episode: 10thMusePodcast11-29-07.mp3

    Just landed on it : D

  4. The only times that a cliff hanger is acceptable is when the 2nd game is already made. Otherwise, it's asking for trouble.

    Have any of you guys ever felt like a cliffhanger was satisfying? That's my core issues with them (and I'm sure I'll mention in the podcast).

    BeDrinkable, I'm going to have to re-read your question a couple of times before it will stick. :-) Then I'll try and respond with something smartie.

  5. Mokuu, "less doucheful" is the best use of the word douche evar.

  6. Its hard to remember any satisfying cliffhangers, Assassin cr....horrid. Final Fantasy 4..nm. God of war 2....ok close, very very CLOSE. That new produced knew how to make things work as well as Jaffe. Where Jaffe left us with an EPIC conclusion and "hidden prequel and sequel previews" in the first game, the second one strikes you first with somewhat of a feeling of failure then BOH-BOMB! Sweet revenge will be yours in the third game, well setup and no nasty feeling of incompletion. Yet this being the only exception, cant really think about any others, what about you?

  7. I'll weigh in...

    I feel cliffhangers should never exist on something that has a longer wait than a week. I say it's a cheap ploy to get people coming back but it just comes off as a stab in the back.

    The only time I have enjoyed something that is considered a cliffhanger is when something new is added to entice you about the next installment but is not pertinent to the current plot.

    For example: Hero saves princess and kills his evil twin brother. We find out that the king was behind the kidnapping and slay him. After credits roll we see a shadowy figure rise in the underworld laughing. Who is this? What does HE want? Find out next time.

    That is fine with me. Not fine with me: Hero saves princess and kills his evil twin brother. We find out that the king was behind the kidnapping and he just got away! Next year in "Generic RPG: 2010" give us 60 bucks and you can take a shot at killing him!