An important, but often overlooked element in game production is designing and creating an ending. The reasons endings oftentimes feel underdeveloped or badly written is because endings (for the most part) are given the least amount of production time. After all, why spend time crafting the ending of the game when most players quit playing long before the ending? Thus, endings are one of the last things game developers work on. The same is true for our team. While we are only creating a vertical slice of a game, the ending is on the lowest end of the priority totem pole. The focus for us has been on creating an awesome experience, not with crafting a master class ending. However, keeping up with the tradition of KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly), we are using our scope and time restraints to deliver a simple, but thematically consistent ending.
As previously mentioned, the goal of our game is to collect 3 stars to revive a constellation. Now, we also have a basic theme that as the player collects stars, the world gradually becomes brighter and darkness enters the world. So, since we already had a basic but component intro (a simple aerial view of the sky with trees in the breeze with the title of game), it did not make a whole lot of sense to create a brand new ending screen when polishing the game is more important. Therefore, we cloned the intro screen as the ending screen. That may sound silly, but not only does it help with time constraints, it also helps with showing the players impact on the world. The intro screen is dark as light is muted without the constellations. So, by changing the lighting and adding the presence of the stars you, the player, have collected, the end acknowledges your impact on the world. It is a simple change, but it helps sell the player on their importance on the world. In addition, the demo is short, so a simple ending works in favor of this.