Should the player be able to die and how should one manage that?

I’m going to be honest, I’m almost completely against the idea of the game ending prematurely because of death. If there’s a generous checkpoint system, I’ll manage, but if you have to restart the game and flip back through it every single time, I’m personally going to avoid that kind of title. When I was a kid, I actually read a couple choose your own adventure books where you have to flip the appropriate page. It was just a guessing game, really, to see if you find out which choice wouldn’t get you killed. Not a lot of fun looking back.

If the idea is “Well the choice made was so dumb it only makes sense that you die” I would suggest simply, not including said choice in the first place. If you think the decision’s so dumb, you might as well leave it out. Maybe replace it with a smarter option that could lead to some kind of success instead.

I’m fine with a character dying at the end of the game if there’s a narrative reason for it, instead of you dying for failing a stat check or something. The best example I can think of being Dragon Age: Origins where you can choose whether to sacrifice yourself at the end. That type of decision is fine with me because it’s a narrative one that happens at the end of the story, not something forced upon you for making a bad decision.

Now if the story’s more lighthearted and has some comedic elements, and you decide to include a couple of comedic deaths depending on what choice the MC makes. That’s fine by me. One example I can think of being from a game called Outer Worlds. At the end of the game, if your intelligence stat is too low you unlock a dialogue option labeled “stupid” where you can decide to input the ship’s coordinates manually. The ship’s AI will warn you that’s a bad idea, but if you insist, you can go through the idea, and end up launching your ship straight into a star.

That’s the type of premature death I’d be fine with. It gives you plenty of forewarning, a chance to back out, and is also clearly there for comedy.

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That sounds awesome!