Game design in detail. Role of the ending in video games (Topic)

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Game design in detail. Role of the ending in video games


The games have to be played to the end, right? Cool video game endings are the culmination of them! Alas, according to the statistics, quite a few players do not complete the game, no matter how cool it is. For a gamer who is used to playing games completely, such a fact may seem strange, but for a developer, it may seem scary. However, the ending, while important, does not play a major role in the creation of a top title. Jason Vandenburg, former creative director of Ubisoft Montreal, who had a hand in Far Cry 3 and For Honor, talks about this in his article. From his material on the role of endings in games, we picked the most important thing about why players don't have to complete the game.

Who wants the end?

Game designers have more freedom when creating an ending than when working with other parts of the project. Whether the game has a final depends entirely on the wishes of the authors. A game cannot but have a beginning or an introduction, but an end can be absent, because it is perceived without it. The general opinion and impression is formed at the beginning and in the middle.

No one has ever "finished" football or poker in the traditional sense, because the very process of the game is important in them.


“Only a small fraction of the players still see the ending of your game,” writes Jason Vandenburg. “Of course, we, as an industry and as a culture, are still confused by this fact. We are disappointed that players are not eager to make it to the finish line in our games, and a player who puts off his controller before making it to the end has a vague sense of being removed from the creators. ”

But it is this feature of the players that helps the developers to be more free. And they, in turn, need to "take a steam bath" less about this and properly manage this freedom.

Sad statistics

Last year, CNN published a statistical material, which stated that only 10-20% of all players pass the final mission. We are not talking about some boring games, but about large AAA projects in which millions are invested. For example, the first Red Dead Redemption is a multi-budget blockbuster, and those who have completed it to the very end will say that it is impossible not to. What a plot, what a powerful ending! Alas, according to Rapt, only 10% of players made it to the end of the final mission.


That is, the game of the year, which was warmly received by both critics and gamers, that sold 23 million [in one year], only every 10 of those who started playing went to the end? Nonsense!

Who is to blame for this, the player himself or the developer? The author of the material on CNN explains this phenomenon by the fact that, firstly, people have an excess of time. Today, according to Entertainment Software, the average age of a gamer is between 30 and 41, and they are often men.

These people need to raise children, go to work and do other household chores. They need to go to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and other social networks, be witty about their god, or make a story on Instagram. Time is short and if they feel that the end of the game is not soon, they will not pass it.

In other words, the longer the game, the less likely it will not be abandoned.

Secondly, content overload. There are a colossal number of games coming out today, both small and large budget, than ever before. And when you have a dozen cool games in front of you, you will not waste your time on just one. Instead of spending 20 hours completing one, you can use this time to complete all 10 by only a quarter.

This is also due to the fact that multiplayer is popular today, where the gameplay has no restrictions, and the gameplay does not leave the player in devastation due to the fact that he did not complete the game - there is no end.

And although from the outside it may seem that this approach devalues the work of the creators of the game, but returning to Jason Vandenburg, he claims that passing the title from beginning to end is not the main indicator of success.


“I never finished the first BioShock, but it remains a game that I really enjoyed. Grim Fandango? Never made it to the end. But I fucking use it as an example when discussing game design! There are a ton of games out there that don't even have endings. Most arcade games and most MMOs have no real endings. The Sims has no end. Poker? Chess? Football? "- Jason writes.Image

When 30% of the players went through projects created with Jason's participation to the end, it was already a great celebration, and they opened champagne in the studio.

Games are not movies

The game designer believes that the problem is rooted in the film industry, which has its own etiquette. For example, if during the session a person just gets up and leaves the hall, this is a sign that he did not like the film. The same happens when he turns off the program on TV, closes the book forever. "I don't like the story, and I will not continue it." However, when this happens with games, there are much more reasons for refusal: my friend stopped playing with me, there is a lot of grind in the game, it has an amazing start, but the middle passed, I just don't have time to spend it on one game in 50 hours .

If the game is good, abandoning it is not a game designer's problem. Gaming is a lifestyle, and it must fit into the rhythm of a person. And if the game doesn't fit, then it's okay.

Turn the problem into profit

You need to look at the situation from the other side, especially if you know that most of the players will not make it to the finish of the game:

  • First, the person has already bought the game and you know they are having a good time. The main thing is that all your content is off the surface. In this case, the players will always be interested to know what else is hidden up your sleeve.
  • Secondly, the publisher will see statistics, prioritize more profitably, and the development of the ending will not be in the first place, as well as tight control over its creation. But because of this, you can implement all the craziest ideas in it.


The main thing is that the game itself was created from the heart and soul. You have to be honest with gamers. As an example, he cites the ending of Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare, the final mission of which was just a crazy and real cherry on the cake. Or the ending of Metroid, where the main character Samus Aran could simply raise the rifle up as a sign of complete victory, instead, she takes off her helmet and it turns out that Samus is a girl.


The freedom that game designers have in creating the last mission should be used to reward the few players for their attention.

An unexpected ending

As we found out, players, alas, often do not complete the game. Therefore, developers should work out the beginning and middle of the game well, show its whole essence in the gameplay, so that a person plays and enjoys until he gets bored, and not make him run to the end.

But do not forget about the ending, on the contrary, you need to reward the gamer for his time and attention, which will only raise the game in his eyes. I'll give you an example similar to what Jason himself did in his material.


If you are still reading this article, it means that you are interested in it. As a gift for your attention, I will unexpectedly insert the news that WorldOfTopics continues to expand its thematic format, and soon you will see anime content. How does this unexpected ending relate to the theme of the "game ending" material? No way. Thank you for your attention.

The Topic of Article: Game design in detail. Role of the ending in video games.
Author: Jake Pinkman