How death could be applied without losing the readers interest?

First of all, i’d like to start with asking if the death of MC (not as ending but as “failure”) is a ‘game-breaker’ or simply a discouraging moment for you to restart and keep playing the game with the same interest?

  • Yes, it is definitely a discouraging moment and i lose interest in playing further.
  • Yes but that alone wouldn’t discourage me to quit the game.
  • I wouldn’t mind if it makes sense.
  • I don’t mind at all.

0 voters

I was wondering your opinions on how to make MC’s death not discouraging, maybe even interesting. Or instead of dying reincarnation or things like that could be used? That would be ideological tho and it is a belief so forcing someone to reincarnate might make certain people lose interest?

The idea of reviving with some sort of a super power came from @K4therine and that intercepted the idea to ask you this…
So, what are your opinions?

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My opinion is that if an author wants to add the MC’s death in the story, I would hope that they have something to write about this that it would make sense for it to fit in with the plot. Like say, a noble self sacrifice to save the world from a threat or someone that the MC cares about, in the style of Cowboy Bebop and the movie called “Léon: The Professional”

I actually meant death as “failure” not an ending. Updating the post now as it leads to misunderstanding :slight_smile:

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“Death” (besides its quite obvious literal meaning) can be displayed in a great number of ways depending on the context.

Rough Examples:

  • “It’s so fluffy! It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”
  • My girlfriend just broke up with me. I feel so dead inside.
  • (Caught stealing…) You’re dead, bro.
  • I got a 69 on my final? That’s not a passing grade. My parents are going to kill me.
  • The anger he felt died within him as he found a new and lasting peace in the meadow.
  • Day of the Dead? Oh, that’s a fun holiday. Did you buy candy skulls again this year?
  • Dude, my character just died. Did you lose any experience or items? Naw. I’m good.

Nice sarcasm there, would you like me to add “physical” as well… :unamused: :grin:

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Oh! My bad. Well in that case, then I wouldn’t really mind that at all, in fact it would motivate me further to pass the failed stat check by restarting and trying out different stats. That probably would show me new scenes that I haven’t saw in the original playthrough.

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I think it depends. If you’ve got a behemoth of a game that takes twenty billion choices to get to the point where the MC could die, and if they do you’ve got no checkpoint or something to save you the heartache of getting back to that point? That’d annoy me for sure and would probably make me quit if it happened too often.

If it’s a short little adventure (comparatively to the rest of the CoG/HG roster, at least). And restarting the game isn’t like hacking off a limb, then I wouldn’t mind that much.

Also if the deaths were hilarious, that’d take the sting out of failing a little imo.

EDIT: Because I noticed I said ‘now’ instead of ‘no’ somewhere in my little tirade.


Have we had a thread like this already? :confused:

But anyway, I pretty much agree with @Redthegamr: if it’s a longer game then it needs a checkpoint system or it’ll lead to a lot of frustration. Likewise, the choices leading to the death shouldn’t be arbitrary, and there should always be a way for any MC to survive (I did once play a WiP that had a checkpoint, but all four choices led to death because my character’s stats weren’t right… :confounded: don’t do that…)


I think more games need to have a sort of checkpoint system in there, especially if they’re on the longer side. (Not saying it’s a long game, but the option to replay a chapter in Choice of Rebels when you bungled things up royally in the winter cough cough got everyone killed was such a huge boon to me.)


I checked it out with relevant words but couldn’t find one. If we do, @moderators can merge this. (Then sorry for inconvenience :pensive: )


As @Redthegamr said, I think it depends on the length of a game and how far into it you have these scenes. Having chapter saves or something along the lines helps greatly here.

Then you can give the player an interesting chunk of plot relevant information/some insight to a character, that could not be obtained otherwise. That, at least for me, will definitely make these situations far less annoying.


A lot of this depends on the game itself, and whether death could be avoided/mitigated.

People have mentioned going through a long game, and then dying. Considering most CoGs don’t have a save system, this could be a death knell if you end up spending a long time making a character (think of the time it takes to make a PC in Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven).

If I’m playing a serious game, then I also want to be able to avoid the death if I do things differently, but not having to do a perfect min/max game. (This is one reason the Infinity series isn’t as high on my personal list as other games)


From doing my own research on the topic on the forums, it seems like many people would actually like to be able to “fail” their way through a game rather have to start over again, especially if we consider any form of surprise deaths that lead to game overs. I know I’ve set down games and have never touched them again for something like this. :weary:

As for normal deaths, if there’s a good story reason for why I died, or it’s obvious that I backed myself into a corner with bad choices or stats, then that’s fine most of the time. :slight_smile: It does get tiring/discouraging if I die repeatedly and can’t seem to figure out why or how it keeps happening, though.

And for my thoughts on the reincarnation thing: one way to subvert this is to establish early on that this is a part of whatever world the reader is a part of. There is a chance that someone will be turned off, but if the author does a good job of describing the world’s beliefs or explaining the innermost workings, then it won’t come as such a shock later on down the road and bring readers out of the story.

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I would prefer the death but only if there is a checkpoint system in place. I usually take my time reading and simmering in the emotions and becoming really immersed then to just die and have me start all over again really is a turn-off. I don’t mind if I die and have to do things a different way from the checkpoint, cause it’s only a small hiccup in the experience. If anything the threat of death reaffirms the need to complete the game with a good ending.

I honestly just wish that the saving function in demos was available for the finished product. (I was told that apparently, the save system is only available if an author implants their own. Please correct me if I’m wrong. :confused:) THANKFULLY THEIR IS A PLUGIN


We clearly need it visual novel style with a million and one bad ends.

Make the funny or give story tidbits you wouldn’t have otherwise.

omae wa mou shindeiru


Well, I don’t mind dying if it is for a plausible plot. And the checkpoint system is a good choice if the game is longer.

I think that dying should be for encourage the player to pay more attention to little details or in what they’re failing, not just in stat.

Uh, that sucks :anguished:


I think death is fine as a failure mechanism so long as there’s some kind of checkpoint system. It’s disheartening to spend 1 or 2 hours reading through the story only to die and have to hit the restart button.

THAT SAID now I kinda want to make a story where MC dies about 1/4 of the way through and then comes back. They now have to deal with the consequences of being dead for x years, while all of their friends and family have moved on without them, aging and living their life while MC is still the same age they died at. All your college friends are now married and have jobs, and your parents and siblings have moved on with their life. Now they all have to deal with the grief of your loss again coupled with the confusion of you returning, and MC needs to find a new place for themselves in the world.

Alrighty that’s enough nerding out for one post.


That moment when the sibling you teased for being younger is now older than you…


I love it, even if it makes me a little sad, but i would definitely play a game like this. I’ve seen a writer prompt in Pinterest similar to that and it was really good.

First of all metal af, secondly I feel like there should be some sort of cop-out option at that point. A choice worse than death. basically a way of continuing the game but still having a consequence such as stat reduction or another character dying.

I would play the fuck outta that but I feel like that would just be the main focus of the story instead of just a pitfall. and if not then you would have another storyline to deal with it by some miracle they happened to live.