Frozen Synapse’s Changed Ending: A Mass Indie Effect?

By Alec Meer on March 22nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm.

Wot not starchild?

All the important games are changing their endings these days, you know. If you want a high profile, that’s the way to go – and as Mass Effect 3 teaches us, preferably after initially concluding your narrative with a last-minute bodgejob riddled with continuity errors, then subsequently bowing to fan ouctry. Frozen Synapse developers Mode 7 Games did no such thing, but have sensibly realised that the route to true success entails screwing around with their creative vision willy-nilly to suit whatever their community demands, and as such a new, happier (and far sillier) ending to their splendid turn-based strategy game will go live later today.

“I don’t mean this to be critical of Bioware even slightly,” Mode 7’s Paul Taylor tells me. “It’s just an experiment. I was so bowled over and fascinated just by the fact that such a change would even be considered, so I thought I’d see how it felt to do it.”

After quizzing the FZ community, Mode 7 went with a silly ending, taking on board such sober suggestions as “Moar ponies”, “Moar dinosaurs” and a promise to include the words ‘moist’ and ‘dolphin-proof.’ I won’t spoil the new ending here, but you can see a suitably ponydinotastic shot of it above and I can indeed assure you that these challenges were met. Also, that it’s a perfectly happy ending: it even includes a “yay!”

“It felt like vanadalising my own work,” admits Taylor, “and I feel really, really genuinely bad about any player who has been slogging their way through the game and is unlucky enough to finish the game in the week where this ending will be present.

“I don’t know why I’m doing this to them.”

Because you want to SHOW THEM, Paul. That’s why.

If you’re unwilling to complete the singleplayer campaign to see the new conclusion, you can do the following instead:

Open the console with `
playCutscene(alternate);
Close the console with ‘

And if you’re outraged by these shenanigans, you may be glad to hear that FZ will revert to its traditional ending next week.

Thus, the gauntlet is laid. We want to see more indie games jumping on this experimentation/ambient protest bandwagon: Change The Game deserves to be a worldwide movement, and #changethegame is its Twitter hashtag. Let us know if you’re joining in and we’ll do a round-up post in the next couple of days.

“I definitely think all indie devs should do this,” says Taylor. “It is very enlightening and a bit like a creative enema.” Ew.

So yes – CHANGE THE GAME. That’ll teach someone a lesson about something or other, probably.

More seriously, this is one of those things that makes videogames such a singular medium: even a concluded narrative can be deconcluded and altered at a moment’s notice. The way it went down and was responded to (by both sides) in the case of Mass Effect is all kinds of troubling, but the possibilities of story deformation are absolutely fascinating.

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94 Comments »

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  1. Xocrates says:

    You know, this would come across as genuine satire if not the fact that ending changes, in games and otherwise, have happened before for several different reasons. The only reason Mass Effect is special is because people have been so loud about it.

    Consequently, this “change the game” thing only comes across as either trolling or a knee jerk reaction.

    • Alec Meer says:

      And you come across as NO FUN WHATSOEVER.

    • Gilead says:

      I don’t care about Mass Effect’s ending either way, but it looks like you have a bunch of people asking for an ending that’s well-written and makes sense, and Bioware saying ‘okay it was a bit rushed, we’re looking into what we can do about that’. And then Mode 7 blunders into the room and starts raving about ponies.

      Not that it isn’t potentially funny, but it doesn’t seem like it’s trying to make any kind of point about the nature of interactive storytelling. Which is good, because it doesn’t. It’s a massive non sequitur inserted into the game ‘just because’.

      Also, judging by the Steam stats, only 0.8% of people were willing to slog through the singleplayer campaign to see the original ending, so this isn’t as disruptive as it first appears.

      Now, if the developers of the Witcher 2 were to alter elements of the game in response to fan feedback, that would certainly pose interesting questions for the process of creating interactive conte…wait, they did what? Oh. Why did nobody tell me?

  2. deanb says:

    I see no issue with this, and I would in fact encourage developers to have a play around with this ability. If you can patch balancing, new levels, units, so why not patch elements of the story? Portal did it and no one took issue with it (Well maybe the console guys who don’t get it). Though the current description seems they’re doing this more to mock, than doing it seriously which is a shame.

    When you say it’ll revert, does that mean it’ll be gone for good, or does it mean it’ll go back to default but if we want we could still use the console to put the alternative ending in after next week?

    • Kollega says:

      For the record, i did take issue with Portal changing it’s ending, but that was entirely on principle. “What are they going to do next” this and “creative integrity must be preserved” that.

      • Bobzer says:

        To be fair though for some games it’s hard to argue that the ending shouldn’t be changed to preserve artistic integrity, especially when the ending destroys any artistic integrity the game had in the first place. *Cough*Mass Effect 3*Cough*

  3. Enso says:

    I always thought it was ‘Botch-job’

    • 4026 says:

      I think both are acceptable.

      EDIT: Interestingly, RESEARCH shows that “Bodge” has a subtly different meaning to “Botch”. A “Botched” job is one that has been performed incompetently and is not up to requirements. A “Bodge” is nearer a “Kludge”, in that it’s a barely acceptable or just good enough solution or stopgap. Thanks, Internet!

      • Apolloin says:

        To Bodge. A Bodger is an itinerant metal worker who traditionally doesn’t have the tools, skill or training of his more accomplished counterpart the Blacksmith.

        Something that has been Bodged has therefore been subjected to a rough and ready, makeshift, sort of repair that is only meant to hold it together until you get a chance to fix it properly. Hell, Bodge seems tailor-made for describing the ME3 ending.

    • Xercies says:

      I accidently read Blow job and thought this article was going into an entirily different direction but my mind is in the gutter lol XD

  4. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Brilliant idea!

    I always thought the ending of Braid should include the girl embracing Hitler, followed by a nuclear explosion.

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      stahlwerk says:

      Yes. Do you hear that, Mr. Blow? We knew it was an allegory about the Manhattan Project all along, now it’s your turn to prove us right!

      Also Ron Gilbert should make a patch for MI2 to make it jibe with the beginning of MI3.

      • Er00 says:

        No no no, Ron Gilbert should make MI3 to make it jibe with the MI2 ending!

  5. briktal says:

    It’s a shame so few games get the kind of “test screening” that big movies can get.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Isn’t that what the much-maligned focus group testing is all about?

    • Dowson says:

      Valve do it all the time, but apparently they get senile people in to do them so end up removing a lot of fun stuff.
      Things like people running round in circles for half an hour so they had to put in an arrow or seal a corridor.

      A real question would be why don’t games get tested by target markets, targeting core gamers? Get some core gamers in to test it.

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        stahlwerk says:

        I think it’s because “core gamers”, whatever that means, aren’t actually a viable target market for most publishers. (even if they won’t admit it in PR)

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        Devenger says:

        Because some of us genuinely struggle with navigating 3D spaces without a map, despite otherwise being fairly good at games, and some developers are kind enough to consider our plight.

        In their games, Valve make finding the way forward feel reasonably natural, using all sorts of clever stuff like colour palette selection and subtle signposting using features that look suitable to the game environment. In terms of stuff I’ve played more recently, Flying Wild Hog’s Hard Reset was good enough to include a toggle-able HUD arrow indicating the way to walk to reach the next objective (but never any of the secret areas), which I think is a very reasonable compromise. Does this stuff really hurt you, the so-called ‘core gamer’?

    • Matt says:

      “Test screenings” are how we end up with the theatrical cut of Alien 3.

  6. MarcusCardiff says:

    My favourite type of perfume is ‘Reb’l Fleur’ by Rihanna.

  7. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    On the other hand, why should Story be such a sacred cow, compared to virtually every other aspect of games being patched, modded, cut, re-inserted, back-ported, enhanced, gotied, DLCed, improved, degraded, optimized and hi-deffed post release?

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      An excellent point. It’s funny how when something is written poorly people defend it as artistic integrity.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        That’s what the “artists” want you to think. Hard working graphic designers, painters and media producers go “allright gove, your paying for it, I’ll fix it.”

      • Shadram says:

        I might try that at work. Next time the testers tell me my code is broken/rubbish/whatever, I’ll just tell them it would destroy my artistic integrity to change it.

    • djbriandamage says:

      That’s a really great question that probably has no right answer.

      Given that every game has the potential to be called art, they must have constraints, defined by a lead designervisionary, that are explored and challenged by the player. Those constraints can be somewhat elastic (patches, rebalancing, expansion packs) but need to be at least partially concrete so that the player understands those constraints. A good game tricks the player into believing the premise and constraints are a single cohesive thing – a “place”.

      Changing the ending to the story due to criticism takes away that essential visionary-imposed constraint. It’s no longer a place, it’s malleable software. By my own definition, that is the moment the game ceases to be art.

      • Xocrates says:

        And therein lies the rub, by your “own definition” that’s true. Thing is that art is such an ill-defined concept that generally accepted way to see if something is art is pointing in its direction and see if people nod in agreement.

        There are also a few other issues that need to be raised: 1) whether altering a finished product that fails to realize the artist vision is maintaining artistic integrity or breaking it; 2) whether the quality of a product designed for mass consumption overrides artistic integrity.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Of course my comments are 100% subjective and I don’t expect any two people to agree on what art is. I just feel that art should be something personal that makes a statement of some sort, and “personal” is on the opposite side of the spectrum from “crowdsourced”.

          Maybe some feel I’m just shoehorning the whole art thing where it doesn’t belong, but to me that’s the crux of this issue.

          • Apolloin says:

            I tell you what, you can rattle on about ‘Artistic Integrity’ until the cows come home, but if the Renaissance painters had painted without consideration of the expectations of their Medici patrons they’d have been told to go sit in the corner and keep painting until they got it right.

            Ditto Shakespeare. If he’d written an interpretation of Henry Vth where the English lost to the French because he felt like ‘stretching himself as an artist, darling’ then he’d have been begging in the street.

            Not to put too fine a point on it, but Art is a Whore the moment you make art for money.

      • Bobzer says:

        Yeah but I think we also have to remember that games are constrained a lot more than movies or books in regards what they can do. Deadlines are much tighter, especially with major publishers, it can be limited by technology and the story and gameplay have to fit together.

        The ending of a game might not actually be what they had in mind, maybe they just had to roll with it.

        • djbriandamage says:

          I haven’t played ME3 so I have no opinion on whether the game was rushed, but that feeds back into my argument about games as art as well. The Half Life games were all horribly delayed but after release nobody cares about that – we’re just impressed with how they chose to invest that time into their art. If an artist’s primary motivation is money (through either greed or necessity) their work will suffer for it.

          That’s why I quit in the middle of ME2 – I’d put about 60 combined hours into the games but the sequel felt more like a series of unrelated activities rather than a cohesive place I wanted to inhabit and protect. I felt it needed more work to bring those elements closer together.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Is it visionary when the deadline comes and goes and you just release the garbage on the floor? Not saying they did here. But most of those defending the “artistic licence” would not if they received a toe nail sandwich. Just because it’s “artistic” does not mean you can ask for your money back or a change when it turns out to leave a bad taste in the mouth. :D

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      stahlwerk says:

      Allow me to explain myself a bit more.. I’m all for artistic integrity, I’m actually quite appaled by the reaction to “Endinggate”. But, is there any way to define a definitive version of a work of art? The artist releases his version, yet many will argue that this is only the beginning of the process of creating a piece of art. Take Goyas Disasters of War (probably NOT SAFE FOR WORK google image search):
      http://www.google.com/imghp?q=Francisco+Goya+los+desastres

      Those are woodcuts that are full of gravitas, beauty, tragedy, pictures of deeply nauseating atrocities committed by man against man in times of war. Yes, this is art…

      …but so is this (definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK google image search):
      http://www.google.com/imghp?q=jake+and+dinos+insult+to+injury

      And that’s what makes art interesting. It’s not static. Both the originals and the derivations express things that transcend the mere work itself, and frankly, I like the remakes better. But no one would have asked Goya himself to “lighten up a bit” and make these changes himself.

      • djbriandamage says:

        You’ve highlighted the difference between retcon and remix. A remix is the reaction of one artist appreciating another. A retcon is an artist being ashamed of their own work.

        I consider Spaceballs a remix/caricature of the Star Wars space opera genre, whereas I see George Lucas adding CGI animals tromping around in the background 20 years later as fucking horseshit.

    • copernicus_phoenix says:

      Good question – how many times have over-powered characters or powers been nerfed, or sub-standard equivalents buffed? It does seem that writers can get a bit too precious sometimes. Granted, I’d defend their artistic integrity a bit more if the three ending weren’t lifted wholesale from the orignal Deus Ex….

      • Chris D says:

        I think the difference is that those kind of changes don’t change the work in any fundamental way, they’re more the equivalent of a director’s cut if you will. But changing the ending of a story also changes how you interpret all the events preceding it so perhaps a better analogy might be deciding that chess is now won by wiping out all of your opponent’s pieces.

        I think perhaps also games are systems that generally feature a number of elements working alongside each other to generate the end result. Stories feature a number of elements building on top of one another and therefore are inherently more resistant to change.

        • Shadram says:

          Didn’t the Director’s Cut of Blade Runner do exactly that? Change the end, altering how one interprets the preceding events?

  8. Jim9137 says:

    There is something wrong with my screen, it doesn’t accept my soul, it won’t even take my spine. Any advice?

  9. DeanLearner says:

    Nintendo have been doing this for years.

    Let’s just say that originally, the princess didn’t bake Mario a cake, if ya know what I’m sayin? She didn’t bake him nufink.

  10. db1331 says:

    I’m surprised at how many people are going around saying that gamers are upset with ME 3’s ending because it was not “happy”. This isn’t the case at all from what I’ve read. They’re upset because they think the ending was bad, or rushed, or didn’t take their choices into account. Not because their Shepard didn’t get to ride off into the sunset with all their crew members. An ending doesn’t have to be happy to be good. Look at RDR, or Braveheart.

    Personally I’m still hoping that the indoctrination stuff is true, and that’s there’s no way the writers could have been that bad to have stained the whole franchise in the final 10 minutes of the third game.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      They don’t understand because their motivation is to dislike the “movement”. No amount of reason will get past them.

  11. rocketman71 says:

    Funny.

    ME3’s ending is still a stinking pile of shit, though.

    • Screamer says:

      Exactly, and hence needs to change. The fact that they are even contemplating it means somewhere someone inside Bioware is also not happy with it. I really don’t think they would be doing it just because the fans say so.

      But will have to wait for April, we might only get a comic book for all we know.

  12. D3xter says:

    Are you really actually taking this “Destructoid”-alike kind of view on the issue, REALLY? Scoffing at “them silliy gamers”, instead of maybe writing something like this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/03/16/why-the-mass-effect-3-protests-are-good-for-video-games/

    Are you actually taking EAs stance of hiding behind “artistic integrity” after they’re known for rushing games out the door prematurely, making FPS-rereleases of every classic they can get their claws on and cutting entire features or chapters, as well as selling essential plot as “Day-1 DLC” or “Project 10$” content, using bad photoshops of actual persons as amazing story-reveals, making you play the multiplayer to be able to get the “best” ending of something or bundling game content with every product that will have them from Dr. Pepper to Mountain Dew to forcing people to watch movie trailers, do you really want to protect that “artistic vision”? I’m truly baffled…

    • Alec Meer says:

      You could read the first paragraph of the post, you know. Or are you really actually taking the YouTube Commentor-alike kind of view on the issue, REALLY?

      • Torgen says:

        I felt that across the Atlantic.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        To be fair, the first paragraph of the post is so subverted by the rest of the post I wasn’t certain which was authentic or if you were just generally taking the piss out of so many angry people or not until you specified just now. I am now left in genuine good humors.

        Oh, oh, perhaps that makes this a metaphor about Bioware’s PR releases? Or something.

        Anyway the ending to ME3 was shit.

      • D3xter says:

        I’ve read it, I’ve actually read the entire article and while you say it is a “bodgejob riddled with continuity errors”, I can’t help but feel a sense of smug condescention in the air of it all defending “artistic integrity” amongst happy ponies, vandalism and lesson learning, maybe it’s just me misinterpreting things though and getting it all wrong…

    • Godwhacker says:

      People angry at others not listening to what they are saying are now not listening to what other people are saying and getting even more angry.

      I defend Bioware’s right to end their story with some phoned-in, lazy, nonsensical bullshit. I just wish they wouldn’t pretend to be surprised when people get upset.

      • D3xter says:

        I don’t even care about some ending of some game I haven’t bought because of Day1 DLC, but these PR-derail maneuvers perpetuated by large parts of the gaming press from the apparent Attack of the Homophobes upon Metacritic, to the entitlement of gamers (seriously you gotta see that one…) and now the holy “artistic integrity” getting called upon just to avoid facing the music and justifying “10/10 GOTY!” is pissing me off big time.

        • Godwhacker says:

          I don’t think there’s any grand conspiracy here, I think there’s just a lot of lazy journalism against the usual background of internet juvenalia, mixed in with some very undergraduate takes on the meaning of art. But it’s still important to read all of what is being said before responding to it.

          Again, the ending was tripe, and calling it art doesn’t get them out of that. I wish it could be acknowledged that sometimes people don’t really know how to finish their stories.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Not a grand conspiracy, no. As D3xter said, it’s just journalists/reviewers trying to justify their glowing reviews before the game was released, with no mention of the awful ending. (How many do you think actually completed the game before writing the review? Not many I’ll bet.)

            Check out that ‘entitlement of gamers’ link in D3xter’s post. The IGN guy is sitting there defending Bioware while sitting in front of a giant Mass Effect galaxy map, presumably sent to them by Bioware wink wink nudge nudge. You don’t have to look far to see the institutional corruption, whether it’s an exchange of favours or just journalists trying to justify themselves.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I’d rather have ME3’s ending, for good or bad, than whatever we’d get had it been designed by a fan-committee. The amount of fan service that Bioware has been sticking in their games is bad enough without imagining what the narratives would be like if they let their fanbase write them.

      This is the reason I haven’t contributed to the Wasteland 2 kickstarter yet – the entire thing is “we’re going to do whatever the fans want!” I don’t want a game designed by fans, I want a game designed by people who are skilled at designing them.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Hate to break it to you but ‘fan service’ is generally done with all AAA games and called ‘market research’. You don’t spend millions of quid making a game without making it for an audience and trying to judge what they would want. The fact that changes are being considered after release is novel, but only part of the same process that should have been done better pre-release.

        Something that’s really interested me (following the skippable combat arguments) is why post release changes to narrative are so contentious, but post release changes to gameplay are industry standard.

      • kyrieee says:

        I don’t think anyone wants them to implement fanfic, except maybe the people who write it.
        The endings are shit and they could’ve made much better ones given more time. If they change anything I want them to make changes that they come up with on their own, and I don’t doubt that’s what they will do.

        • DK says:

          But you already have a game designed by fan-wank. It’s called Mass Effect 3. Bioware have even admitted that they changed the story based on their own forum fanbase. Hell, the entire Tali/Garrus creepy alien romance wasn’t supposed to be there.

          • Shadram says:

            I dunno, I found it really cute and funny when I caught Garrus and Tali sucking each others’ face plates just before the final battle. Unless you mean Shepard romancing one of them? Yeah, that would be creepy.

  13. Strabo says:

    Most people don’t necessarily want a happy ending (and I loved if that strawman would finally burn forever), they want a better ending, better in terms of quality, not necessarily outcome.

    And if Bioware had applied the same quality they did throughout the game and the series we wouldn’t have all reality denying “artist intent” and “slippery slope!” comments. Or that rather silly “Indoctrination”-conspiracy theroy.

  14. Vagrant says:

    My view on changed endings:
    “Nooooooooooooooooo!”

    Also, Portal 1 changed it’s ending and everyone rejoiced. Although that was more of an extension.

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      LTK says:

      That’s an interesting comparison, because the initial plan for Portal was to have it end then and there. But back then nobody complained that the ending was ‘not final enough’ or something. Probably because everyone just really wanted more Portal.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Apparently it’s ok for the “artists” to recon and ending to make more money. But not for the gamers to ask for clarification on a lack of an ending for the money they already paid. Go figure. :/

    • LionsPhil says:

      I think “everyone rejoiced” might just be fuzzy memory.

      Also, it was promising a sequel, for something that hadn’t yet certainly run its course. (There was some, mostly well-placed, belief that Valve could take their one-hit-wonder and expand it into a second hit without just undermining it.) To some extent, it was more a teaser; a little add-on past the end.

  15. DeanLearner says:

    Has anyone here played Tribes Vengeance? That had a remarkable ending where basically you spend the whole game tracking down the bad guy (for reasons I can’t remember) and at the end you basically go “aaaaah forget it” and give up. No joke.

  16. zal says:

    I was pretty annoyed when valve changed portal’s ending to make room for portal 2, but then I played portal 2 and was ok with it. Not sure how things would pan out for Mass Effect 3, but if they want to start altering things I play through it and see if I’m OK with it.

  17. Legion23 says:

    Guess I am part of “Team No-fun” then because I find this pretty pointless. Especially when the issue was “better quality ending” not “happy ending”. Games often have a problem with bad-written endings, this is just the first time it became a center of attention. (Rage for example has a bad ending too, but it wasn´t as popular as ME obviously). Personally I wasn´t a fan of the late change of the ending of Portal either: For me there wasn´t any added value but it least it didn´t ruin the stuff that was before. Adding stuff later is no guaranteed good thing either: If you think about movies, think about the discussion that happend about “Who shot first?” in Star Wars.

  18. Dinger says:

    “Where’s gaming’s Citizen Kane” may be a question that critics continue to ask, the Fermi Paradox of videogames. But at least now we have an answer to “Where’s gaming’s Der Letzte Mann?”

    And people don’t believe in progress.

  19. BirdsUseStars says:

    As far as I’m concerned, all games have only this ending: http://youtu.be/GUDcSeUvkOw

  20. Dammekos says:

    While I’m all for video games being considered art and I agree that no matter what, the developer should have the final say about their game I really think it’s silly to consider it a negative thing that developers are willing to change their games based on what people do or don’t like. Video games are a “art” designed to be marketed to a mass audience, similar to movies. Heck, with movies they have test audiences and make changes based on that. Would you argue that something like that violates artistic integrity? No doubt there are examples of times where this benefited the movie and times where it didn’t.

    For example, the movie Dodgeball. A great comedy in my opinion that didn’t take itself seriously at all. However. in the directors commentary he stated that he wanted to end the movie with the Average Joes losing because “it taught a valuable lesson”. Yet they changed the ending because test audiences thought it was crap and didn’t want to end a comedy on a depressing note and I think the movie dodged a bullet there.

    Okay got a little off topic there. I’m not saying Mass Effect 3 or any game shouldn’t have a sad ending or even not be bittersweet. The point I want to make is that if you job as an artist is to sell your product, then you need to give the people what they want. If you take their money and then don’t they’ll let you know, and they won’t give a damn about your artistic vision.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Absolutely agree. And I have the sneaking suspicion given quite how bad the ending was that this was not anyones ‘artistic vision’ and was rather a product of time constraints. If indeed the ending was someones artistic vision then they need to conceed that perhaps their vision isn’t shared by their consumers and go and express themselves in a more private manner.

      • copernicus_phoenix says:

        That’s a bit unfair. I thought the endings were great, and that the outcry over the lack of ‘closure’ was baffling. After an epic struggle in the far future, you had three meaningful choices – destroy the machine, control the machine or merge with the machine.

        I choose to merge with the machine – I thought that the Illuminati would just write a new, tame, AI if I didn’t, and that JC Denton merging with Helios was probably the best option for the future. And honestly – I didn’t really care that the fates of Everett, Jamie and the rest were not filled in with excruciating ‘after deus ex’ stories.

        Oh, were we talking about Mass Effect 3?

  21. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    There seems to be real confusion as to what people actually want from Bioware re: the ME3 ending. Do people want a ‘happier’ ending or just a more detailed one? The former I have serious issues with, the latter, hardly any. But I worry that the original ‘demand’ for a more complete ending has been drowned out by people wanting it to be all rainbows and sunbeams, which is a remarkably childish thing.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I’ve not seen a single comment asking for a happy ending. Yes, some have asked “but how do people get home” etc. But it’s more of a “did they die?” question. So people just want answers as to “what on earth happened?”

      Some have asked for Shepherd to go “no!” and shoot everything. This might result in a happy ending, or everything going to pot. But without that option the current 3 “oh, ok I’ll just sit here while you destroy the universe” endings seem lacking.

    • kyrieee says:

      I dunno, maybe one where that green bar you spend the whole game building isn’t meaningless? That would take way too much effort to change though. What a shame.

  22. Tei says:

    The image of the article remembers me of this [NSFL]
    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17h4mszxd0qeegif/original.gif

  23. LionsPhil says:

    Hmm. But do I care to sit through Synapse’s singleplayer long enough to reach the original for comparison?

  24. Snuffy the Evil says:

    Has Frozen Synapse been updated on Steam? When I try to do that thing that was said in the article my game will hang on a loading screen.

  25. nootpingu86 says:

    I’m going to emphasize one thing: it’s still Bioware’s creative choice to indulge the demands to change Mass Effect 3’s ending. I don’t see the Bioware that wrote Mass Effect as possessing the type of creative ability and integrity to create a controversial piece of art, or storytelling, or whatever you’d like to call it as a result of introducing some radical new method or idea. The simple fact is ME3 was poorly written, and the ending and several things preceding the ending (including things in ME2) basically materialized out of thin air, because the developers took a cavalier attitude toward the story’s internal coherence. Why? I can’t discern any reasoning behind it other than a desire to shoehorn certain themes into the story or gameplay mechanics, because the writers set out with very little forethought when writing the series..

    The unanswered questions, retcons, and the apparent ad-hoc nature of the saga’s writing isn’t up for a charitable re-interpretation (unless there’s an agenda, I guess?) – the lack of simple storytelling logic is staggering by the end of the game. That’s what fans are mad about.

    Bioware wants to flesh out the world more in DLC regarding the ending now, too? Great, that’s what the fans want and that’s what will make them money. The video games are one of the most heavily commodified mediums, like it or not. IMO, Bioware’s writers wouldn’t even be able to hack it writing for an episodic TV drama, so they follow the dollars along with their publisher at EA.

    I think Frozen Synapse is a great game. I enjoy Mode7’s send-up of the whole situation, since it is outlandish to demand a game have a different ending nonetheless.

    • Yuri says:

      Eeeh. Dunno. Who or what is Bioware exactly? At what point does the story transfer from being the responsibility of the main writer/producer/studio?

      I think that’s the thing that most ME3 fans have an issue with. Especially the “Lots of speculation!” argument coming from one of the head honchos in Bioware.

      • nootpingu86 says:

        Well, again, games are a commodified medium — some of them, even story driven ones, are focus-tested. If the development team isn’t autonomous at Bioware then that’s tangential to the main point. Devs with EA, first and foremost sell a product. That’s not how it ought to be, but that’s how it is. The same state of affairs exists for a blockbuster film, pop album, TV show or genre fiction novel. Lo and behold the ME series is a smorgasbord of themes cribbed from the first, third and fourth items off that list and very little else.

        I find it much more plausible that the developers themselves came to the decision. We’re 3 games into a multi-million selling series and it’s already gotten its metascore high enough. Dragon Age 2 was another game fans did not enjoy, and on several occasions before this flip flop on ME3, they told fans to basically love it or leave it, or stick with Bioware games even if they aren’t so great. It takes a lot of nerve to tell your customers that if you’re in PR, I tell ya what.

  26. iwem.xo says:

    Here it is, for those lazy (yet curious) sods among you: http://www.youtu.be/lhpVbSuP25U

  27. ThaneSolus says:

    well thats a proper ending for Meeh Effects 3, that picture right there, SOLD!

  28. jalf says:

    Maybe I’m mising something here, but it seems everyone here are talking about ME3’s ending being changed.

    As far as I’m aware, they have only said (well, hinted at, really) that they might *add new* endings. Not change the existing ones.

  29. ShrikeMalakim says:

    The thing most of Bioware’s defenders, or those claiming “gamer entitlement” keep forgetting is that people haven’t been asking for a happy ending to ME3. People have been asking for the ending Bioware promised them, instead of the ending that showed that Bioware flat-out lied. So Mode 7’s response comes off as just as ignorant and petty, to me, as my friend who claimed the Mass Effect 3 Ending “whiners” would also have demanded happy endings to Romeo & Juliet and Othello.