HexMozart88

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How would you go about executing a game without game over screens?
For a couple of the games I'm trying to make, I think game over screen would just look cheesy, but what I'm trying to avoid is "wait what? I... guess I lost?"
So how would you communicate to the player that they lost without a game over screen?
 

ShadowDragon

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there are 2 ways to make it a nice way, for some game I have seen it.

event a gameover screen to make the player walk:

<= Continue To Title Screen =>

there are other ways to bring the player to the last save point instantly
if you prefer that way, but it depends what you prefer and how to set it
up, but in a way I should choose is the first methode without "Game Over".
 

Philosophus Vagus

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Define "game over screen" because I don't understand how you could be shown to have lost without one. But then I see the game over screen as that very transition between gameplay to the main menu, or a reset of some kind whether it be traditional "game over" followed by a load screen or the "you died" message on soulsborne games or whatever as the gamestage resets itself, it is the conveyance of having lost in one way or another and the resetting of the game in some way that encapsolates what a game over screen is to me, which makes me unsure if I'm actually understanding what you are actually asking for correctly.

In a throwaway contest game that I never finished once I just had the character's father swoop in and cast a powerful heal-all spell whenever the party wiped as a feature of the story mode (easy in practice but called story/normal so as not to be all condescending sounding, after all you want judges at contests to actually play the whole game even if it is built upon strategy and easy to lose at) to effectively just eliminate game overs all together, but that doesn't sound like the kind of thing you are actually asking about.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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Define "game over screen" because I don't understand how you could be shown to have lost without one. But then I see the game over screen as that very transition between gameplay to the main menu, or a reset of some kind whether it be traditional "game over" followed by a load screen or the "you died" message on soulsborne games or whatever as the gamestage resets itself, it is the conveyance of having lost in one way or another and the resetting of the game in some way that encapsolates what a game over screen is to me, which makes me unsure if I'm actually understanding what you are actually asking for correctly.

In a throwaway contest game that I never finished once I just had the main character's father swoop in and cast a powerful heal-all spell whenever the party wiped as a feature of the story mode (easy in practice but called story/normal so as not to be all condescending sounding, after all you want judges at contests to actually play the whole game even if it is built upon strategy and easy to lose at) to effectively just eliminate game overs all together, but that doesn't sound like the kind of thing you are actually asking about.
Not sure why this posted like this, could have sworn I'd clicked edit and edited but it posted as a new post and a self quote, weird. Sorry 'bout that.
 

Cythera

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If you're doing a more story-based game, you could event a little cutscene that shows the player what happens if they lose.
Say they lose fighting a boss who's trying to take over the world. Upon losing, you could transfer them to a dungeon map and have text 'despite their best efforts, the heroes could not match the strength of [insert boss name here]. Now they wait, helpless, for the end of days.'
Then just cut to the title screen.

Aside from that, I'm not just how you could 'remove' something as time-tested as a game over screen. Why would you want to remove it, by the way? I can think of no player who would go 'UGH this game has a game over screen?! Ew, how cliché!' Just seems an interesting thing to want to remove in the first place :yswt:
 

ericv00

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This seems like an odd question to me.

Just say something else. Or have a fail state cause the game to revert back to a state before the fail state.

"That didn't work. Let me try again."
Narrator: "Sorry, I went off-script for a bit. This is what really happened..."

Context is important here, too. What are the fail states? I can't imagine it is terribly difficult to rephrase the fail state into something else.

Edit: You could avoid saying anything at all. Just fade to black and bring up the load screen. I think that communicates what happened enough.
 
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HexMozart88

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Well, My Dearest is story based, so I feel that a screen just saying "Game over" just reminds the player that it's a game. So I guess maybe what I'm trying to say is what should you say instead of "game over" so as not to break immersion? I would just say "You Died" but you don't die.

Edit: I was thinking something like Batman where you just have a notable scene that denotes your death.

I also have another game in which there are no graphics, so a game over screen is kind of not an option.
 

ericv00

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Well, consider the common threads of every fail state and express it. Is it relationship-based? 'You broke up.' Is it puzzle based? 'Solution missed...'

I'm assuming if it is story-based, you have some writing chops. You just need a phase that encapsulates what your goal is and how you can no longer achieve it.
 

CraneSoft

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Without knowing the context the only real options are general terms like "Bad End" (which works for almost everything) when you want to end the game without the characters dying, otherwise... just straight away boot them to the title screen. Focus on making the final scenes convey that message to the player instead of using a static screen, you are not supposed to end a game with the players wondering "What? I lost?" in the first place if story-based game is what you are trying to create.
 

TeiRaven

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I always liked the Game Over screen text from the Aveyond series--"Ye wimp! Who taught you how to fight? Continue/Main Menu."

The Nancy Drew games (which I was always dreadful at) used "Fatal Mistake" when you screwed up something and the person who asked you to solve the mystery would like you to leave now, because you're making it worse. I don't recall what the exact screen was--I just remember I dropped a chandelier Phantom of the Opera style and back to my last save we went XD

What are the ways you can get a Game Over? In battle? In dialogue? In puzzles? I agree with Eric, that would be the best place to start to determine what ways you could theme a game over screen so it's not so...mechanical? Is that the word I want?
 

HexMozart88

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The main way you can lose is if you get caught doing something bad (murdering someone, doing something expulsion-worthy, etc.). If you get caught doing something bad by your lover, instant game over. If you're arrested, also game over. If other students catch you doing something, they'll call the police and you get arrested. So I was thinking like a scene for those things, like being taken away in handcuffs, getting apprehended, etc. But would that be obvious enough for the player to understand that they lost?
 

GmOcean

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The main way you can lose is if you get caught doing something bad (murdering someone, doing something expulsion-worthy, etc.). If you get caught doing something bad by your lover, instant game over. If you're arrested, also game over. If other students catch you doing something, they'll call the police and you get arrested. So I was thinking like a scene for those things, like being taken away in handcuffs, getting apprehended, etc. But would that be obvious enough for the player to understand that they lost?
Yes. Once the player experiences themselves being handcuffed, going through whatever scene, and then ending up at a check-point / last save / etc.... they'll understand that that is game over / they lost. And that they should avoid that same situation again.

To help with emphases on this part, you can go the GTA route, you could play a sound effect that only happens when you lose, and tint the screen to grayscale, and even possibly have text in the middle of the screen that says "You were caught doing X" or "You were caught attempting to kill X".

To me as a player, if the screen turned grayscale, a sudden sound effect played and some big colored text appeared that says I was 'Caught doing X' while a scene players of my character getting taken away in handcuffs.. I'd absolutely know for certain that I lost.
 

Milennin

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I just fade out the screen to black and return them to the nearest checkpoint. Apart from my game, RTP, I've always avoided game over screens because to me, they don't really add anything of value.
 

Frostorm

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I kinda like how the Pokemon games do game overs. Basically, it just sends you back to the last Pokemon Center (inn).
 

ThreeSixNine

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I didn't read every other response, but you could always just edit the game over image to say something else that fits your game.
 

Basileus

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Question: Does your game even need to have a "Game Over" at all?

Something I like in Dragon Quest is that you don't get a "Game Over" when you die. You don't get kicked back to the start menu or have to reload a save. You just get sent back to the last church you saved at, but you lose half your money. You get to keep any items you picked up and all experience you earned. So you keep most of your progress, but you will probably have to redo any story scenes if you die to a boss (although sometimes the game acknowledges that you lost previously and you get the short version).

I was able to do this in some previous projects. As long as any combat encounters are initiated with events, then you can set alternate conditions in case you lose. If your fail states are done in events, then you can completely bypass the default "Game Over" and just make a common event to tell the player they messed up and send them to a checkpoint.
 

HexMozart88

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I'm not sure? You raise a good point, but my game doesn't have combat (it's a Yandere game) so I'm just a little concerned that if the player just spawns at the last save, they'll just be like "wait what? How did I lose?" I think I'm leaning more towards the idea of greying out the screen and having text that explains what happened, like "you were arrested".
 

Trihan

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If the game is a story of previous events being told to a third party by a character, they could be like "Wait no, that's not how it happened!" as it fades to black and returns the player to their last save.
 

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