Mechanic Idea - Ending Rewards

So, this is my first post; but i was thinking… Maybe this has been done, maybe its impractical- but what if losing was a way of learning?

Now, saying that, I feel a bit dumb; but what if all the necessary elements to a story were given, but when you lost it gave you information that was big but not necessary to feel immersed.

I came up with the idea when i was getting fristrated with the new Lifeline game- so its probably only viable with a linear story (minimal endings) but it seems like it might make losing less of a bummer?

1 Like

The upcoming RPG “Torment: Tides of Numenera” has a similar system in that loosing a battle or even failing an event can sometimes open more paths than a straight win. The whole point of it is to encourage people to carry on with the game rather than reloading everytime something doesn’t go according to plan. In theory, I think it shows promise, and I think it can be achieved here as well.

You can either rely on RNG (like Breach: The Archangel Job by @MichaelMaxwell) or stats-checking to see if an event is passable or not. If you fail the path you have chosen, your “reward” will be a new branching path that wouldn’t have been accessible otherwise. There should be some consequences for loosing, yes, but not the kind that punish you and make you go “I need to restart the game” in order to progress through the story… a few lethal dead-ends are ok but for the love of god, don’t over do it. There’s few things more annoying that “game overs” in every corner.


Failing forward is my mantra in writing. I want the game/story to feel awesome when you fail, and I want the player to feel like the game and writer has your back, in a sense. An adversarial approach to the player, where failed checks feel punitive is the worst. Ideally, if the genre is right, you can laugh along with the ridiculous results and see what sort of absurd situation the stat failure has put you in–but you should feel rewarded by failure in a story sense. At least, that’s my preferred method.