Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy end in

Some people have already been asking if I'm going to write a sequel to Mogworld. In brief, no. Those of you who have already read the book will know that the ending most definitely does not leave it open for a sequel. You know, when I said these very words on Twitter, some people complained that I was spoiling. So now it's a spoiler to say that a story has an ending? Are we all so bloody postmodern that this is no longer a given?

I am working on my second book, but it's not a sequel to Mogworld. It's going to be somewhat different fare. Still humour-oriented, but less gaming references. I'm trying to spread my wings, alright? There is a link to Mogworld in that it shares a couple of characters, but really it's a completely different story, this time not taking place in a non-existent fantasy realm. Except the standard one that all fiction takes place on, perhaps.

Anyway, speaking of endings, that was the subject of Extra Punctuation this week.

"The ending is important because it's the last thing the audience takes away, and this isn't secret insider storytelling lore, this purports to be common knowledge. Stand-up comedians are always advised to end the set with their best joke. Movie DVD extras will often include an alternative ending, and very rarely an alternative scene from forty-five minutes in. So why, since everyone knows endings are important, have I played so many games with incredibly disappointing endings lately?"

And continuing the theme of endings, here's the end of this update. Bye.


  1. I'd agree that most game endins are completely crap lately. Although I didn't mind the Mafia II ending myself. I DID think it was the character arc realisation that he must finally submit to the mafia's way of doing things. Also, all the other times he was taking "risks" but not going for suicide. The challenge at the end is that although he'd do everything for his friend, he wouldnt' die for him. What a bastard.

    Part of me disagrees the ending is any more important than beginning or middle. Even good games lately seem to be 3 legged stools missing one leg. They suck you in, are fun in the middle, then crap ending. Or good intro, good finale, boring slog in the middle (singularity). I think part of the reasons people like Red Dead so much was because it had a good intro, mostly good middle, and great finale. To me it's a Gestalt result. I loved Alpha Protocol partly because it had an ok intro, an ok middle, and an ok end. Not great, but at least altogether it worked.

    And I think you're wrong about developers/producers not caring about the ending as much. It's a flaw of human nature. Most people start creating things like stories, games at their beginning. Seem to have all the time in the world then. But come crunch time they can't devote the same care to the ending. They want to, they might be working twice as had on it, but lack of time means it gets the runts share. Although you say you've had experience with long-term projects (I have bought your book, enjoying it right now) I get the impression you didn't have a deadline. A deadline makes all the difference.

    Maybe they should create games like Bernard Cornwell writes Sharpe novels. Come up with an amaizing scene, the great battle, get that set. Then the intro and middle is all about manipulating Sharpe into that situation. Cornwell even said sometimes if it seems far-fetched he can add a macguffin in so it all works. Makes sense to design a game like that but as typically 50% don't finish the games they buy, maybe that's why they don't focus on the ending as well?

  2. May I say - good work on actually putting an ending into a book! Far too much of what's out there today is just a setup for the next novel in the series.

  3. What about games ending with player's input? My friend showed me the ending of one of the Devil May Cry for ps 2, and I thought it was one of the best endings in video games. (Don't remember, but it's the ending where you, the player, kill a bunch of monsters at the end credits, after some boss fight.) Sure, they could have added more interesting cutscenes, but they didn't and let the player do whatever they wanted.

    If you want decent story driven interactive endings, Shadow of the Colossus and Braid(I'm talking about the last level before everything went to shit) are decent, but I'd already tweeted that.

    I also liked how the Hitman games end; they usually involve some player's input.

    I liked "Water" ending in Silent Hill 2, but I feel like if I had gotten a different ending, it would almost ruin the whole gaming experience.
    Don't you feel that multiple endings can skewer the audience? (I guess you can say SH2 was "interactive" since it's dependent on how you play)

  4. I'm pissed off.. My local bookstore still hasn't got Mogworld!

  5. I really enjoyed the ending of Mogworld. It was epic! It read like it would be really hard to end well but you did a fantastic job! Thanks.

  6. Yahtzee really likes reusing characters even though the stories they are in are completely unconnected.

  7. I'm halfway through Mogworld and I just started it yesterday. It's a very enjoyable read, thanks for writing it!

  8. Ah HA! I caught Slippery Joe using a personal pronoun on page 145. I anticipate this being a very important, possibly crucial plot point... So far not by page 174, but undoubtedly it's coming.

  9. I finally received the book on Tuesday from Amazon, finished it today. An excellent book Yahtzee, it really reminded me of the first time I read the Hitchhikers books. I'll definitely get the next one you write!

  10. Just finished reading it after receiving it from Book Depository. Kudos to you for writing an awesome and "dropdeadlaughing" funny book. Sometimes I was on the subway and LOL'd, which doesn't happen very ofter. Incidentally, your writing style reminded me of Terry Pratchett although I can see you've developed your own distinctive voice. I hope to see more of your literary works in the future.
    Even though you probably don't care, you've got admirers in Portugal, myself included, who follow your work closely, so please keep up the good work: wether your fast talking into a mic or writing literary entertainment, you're reaching us out here.

    Cheers from Portugal

  11. I hate things without endings >__<* I just re-played Resident Evil 5 and the ending makes no sense! Question: If they are in Africa, then how do they plan on getting across the ocean in a heli! Stupid. It just kinda stopped all of a sudden with them escaping into the a heli...across the ocean. Is there an island, or maybe an boat big enough for the heli to land on? I guess I just wanted more from the ending. grr. I'm just so tired of TO BE CONTINUED.

    I guess what I'm trying to get across is Thank you for creating and enjoyable story with and ending Yahtzee!!

  12. Thank you for Mogworld. I'd become sad after reading your old work that I'd never get to see any of your stuff again cause it'd been years. Lucky me you wrote a couple hundred pages of it to get me my fix. Great job.

  13. Just finished reading Mogworld last night. I was trying to read it in small chunks to make it last longer, but it's now, inevitably, over.

    Fantastic book. Absolutely loved it, every page. Gutted it's over, really... Can't wait to see what Yahtzee comes up with next.

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