I said I'd make a post about bad ends today, so here goes. If you haven't played Lilith's Throne yet, this post will contain minor spoilers.
At the moment, as I'm sure most of you are aware, there's one bad end in Lilith's Throne. Namely, when you encounter Brax in the Enforcer HQ, if you lose combat against him, that's it. Game over.
I recently saw someone talking about bad ends, and it made me realise that I'd only added a bad end into Lilith's Throne because "it's what other games do". Thinking about bad ends, I realised that they have the potential to be a very frustrating experience for the player, especially when there's little to no warning that they're coming.
The current bad end works as follows: You fight through combat against Brax, lose, read a few screens of what happens next, play through the sex scene that follows, and only then do you find out that the game was effectively over a long time ago. Although some of you may have seen it coming, there's nothing that explicitly states that a bad end is incoming, so it must be pretty annoying to suddenly find out that you have to load a previous save (and what if you overwrote your previous save during the bad end?!).
So, with that as my first point, here are the reasons why I think bad ends are, well, bad:
- 1. They are frustrating for the player to encounter without a huge amount of warning text, which isn't always possible to fit into the story.
- 2. They revert a sense of progression. For example, maybe some of you liked the idea of carrying on as Brax's slave, but instead, you're just hit with a "Game Over" screen.
- 3. They make the story feel more linear. There's no "my character lost that fight a few times, but then eventually got their act together and won". It's just "my character won everything on their first try", which feels a little stale.
- 4. They block a lot of cool ideas for content. If I remove Brax's bad end, I can fit in a character progression as a result of losing to Brax (which you'll discover when I re-write it ;D).
And here are the reasons why I think bad ends can be good:
- 1. They provide a serious, easily understandable consequence to failing an objective, which makes that objective feel more satisfying to accomplish.
- 2. The idea of a bad end can be a big turn on. Seeing your character being made into a slave, and knowing that it's over for them, satisfies some people's fetish.
I think I can counter the first point by saying that I'll introduce serious non-game-ending consequences to failing big objectives, so the sense of accomplishment at avoiding a significant penalty will still be there. As to the second point, I can't really do much about that. There will, inevitably, be a few bad ends towards the very end of the game (losing to the final boss will be one of them), so there will still be content for that specific fetish (although not for some time).
With all that being said, I'm convinced that removing bad ends is a good idea. This might not happen for 0.1.65, but it's coming. To give you an idea of what Brax's bad end might evolve into, I'll be keeping the forced-transformation aspect, but Brax will let you go (with the slave-collar still in place) after he's had his fun...
Just so that's clear, "Brax's bitch" content will remain largely un-changed, but you'll be able to continue playing afterwards!
If you have any thoughts on the topic, or if you'd like to point out something that I've missed, please leave a comment!