Touhou Kourinden‘s main campaign has reached the grand finale with the final boss. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it also comes with a toll. Players will be overjoyed to beat the final boss and see the game’s ending, but creating these is an absolute desk banger. Why?
There may be many answers to this question. The most common reasons why game endings for story-driven games are an eyesore for developers is because of the sheer amount of material that must be written, illustrated, and programmed. Some games like the Chuhou Joutai games have multiple endings. Not Touhou Kourinden thankfully.
Writing a good ending for your game is challenging. Most people in school will have studied plot devices in their literature classes. The same can apply for any form of media including film and video games. Typically, game plots begin with an exposition to introduce the characters and setting, the initial conflict that sets the plot in motion, the rising actions the player must do in order to resolve the conflict, the climax which typically happens at the game’s confrontation with the villain, and the conclusion which follows after.
Some games don’t have a plot at all and are gameplay-driven. Take Minecraft as an example. There’s no plot other than having an objective of defeating the Ender Dragon. Minecraft: Story Mode, the game in the franchise with a story-driven experience, averts that.
The type of ending that would appear in your game varies depending on the mood. It certainly must be a culmination of what the player did throughout. Endings have had varying degrees of success. The basic endings for games involve having saved the whole world from evil, killing the main villain and saving the damsel in distress, or having to cope with the loss of an important character.
Endings can have an emotional impact on the player, partly because they finished the main campaign. Sometimes, endings may open the door to post-game content in order to keep them engaged in the experience. The difficulty of writing a solid ending can vary as it has to fit the conventions of the game’s themes and the characters’ values. I also have to mention the game genre and mechanics that also have to fit. If they don’t fit, the ending will fail.
Not all endings in all games are the same. Everyone approaches games with different goals in mind. Not everyone will agree on what endings are good or bad.