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How do you end a game well?

April 20, 2017 | By Staff

April 20, 2017 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Design, Video

What makes for a great game ending?

We dug into the question a bit today on the Gamasutra Twitch channel as we wrapped up our abbreviated look back at Deus Ex, a seminal game that we've been quietly playing through in between our usual streaming smorgasbord of developer interviews and editor roundtables. 

As we saw in our haphazard romp through the game's final level, Deus Ex is designed to afford players some freedom in how everything ends by offering up three potential victory conditions -- at least one of which involves a nonvolent union with a global AI.

While the notion of a game asking players to decide the fate of a virtual world is not uncommon, it's still sort of interesting to look back at this nearly 20-year-old first-person game and see a path through to the end where it seems possible (albeit exceedingly unlikely) for a player to achieve ultimate victory without directly harming anyone.

(As you'll see in the video excerpt above, we did a less than perfect job of sticking to that path.)

Our trip through the last level of Deus Ex took about an hour, and in the course of that journey we wound up having a wide-ranging conversation about the nature of game endings and what's involved with designing a finale that feels satisfying. If you found this video helpful, or just want to listen to the dulcet tones of the Gamasutra editorial crew, be sure to follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more gameplay commentary, developer interviews and editor roundtables. 

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