I have a mission that I can't finish! I need your help! :)
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Join Date: Jun 2012
11-20-2012, 12:33 AM
Well, I'm still here. I just wish I had more helpful words to say to you.
(but I may have an idea...)
I don't envy the position you are in. IMO you should put out something, especially with all the work you put into the mission. But at the same time you have that pain of leaving things up and hanging or the project incomplete. I personally respect and agree with your sentiment of not leaving your players hanging, but that also means any editing you do to try and stop that trouble will... in your own words, ME3 it.
You have a few options, but a lot to consider.
Right now your missions are standing as a chart-topper. It's a really good thing for your name (and perhaps ego) to keep those gems as the only things the players know from you. Putting out a project you know your not going to be able to finish, or will not be able to keep up to par to the others has the personal danger of pride. How humble you are in putting out the project is only something you can answer.
You put the time into it, beyond just what you constructed, and no doubt want to see that get out there. However, you also know the time to devote to it just isn't there as well. The best option you have to make you the happiest, I think, is to put out what you have and hand it off to other authors. It is also the most dangerous. You'd share their good work as well as their failures. You can't really trust if you put out your first mission that anyone will come around and finish it the way you want it. Let alone finish it at all and not just stop half way.
There is the option of putting out two mission. One where it completes with a simple ending you are content with, another where it doesn't and is as you originally intended.
And this... this is where I am sparked with an idea.
I don't know the mission, but I think I get the feel you are after. I don't know what is involved, or what you originally intended, but... using your own mechanics from NOW, you can perhaps have your cake and eat it to.
This is just a really rough idea, and would take a lot of bouncing but... imagine this. You release the mission as two missions. One completely as you intended. Original Cliffhanger Ending included. The second, you copy that mission over to make a duplicate of it... and introduce a time loop. The player starts at the beginning of the mission again, but this time, they have the IC knowledge of it. You write the dialog around that with them and their crew. That the player (or the players whole crew) have complete for knowledge of the events. Using that knowledge, this time around moving towards the end, the mission completes with a counter the player character has been able to make the second time around. You re-use the same maps, and encounters, but with creative story telling you can have them wrap up the ending in this version of the story. That way, you can use what you have a second time around to construct an interesting, but complete(ish) ending that can be stand alone if you, or no one else, returns the project.
If someone does come back, they can take off right at the end of the first mission, introducing a mechanic that "wipes away" the 2nd missions events. Since time is woobly... wabbly time stuff, you can wave your hands, mention some tech babble, and move on. If that never happens, you still have a complete mission which still includes your hard work.
You'd miss out on the whole overarching project of a multiple direction story, but, you were going to miss out on it anyways. If you do something like this, you could always come back or at least leave the option open to completion the way you like it.
Short Version: Consider publishing Mission 1 as is and as you intended.
Copy Mission 1's Project to make a new mission. Introduce time goop, use the map/settings/story to have the player bring about the end to the first one, before it happens.
It would perhaps be different than you intended, but... you'd not be burning bridges and would require less work then making a full new mission. And, if done well, you'd avoid the feeling of a simple one map "yay we did it!" ending.
Some thoughts to think on. All I can offer. Hope it helps you as much as my first set of advice did.