Cliff Bleszinski Shares Some Scrapped Game Ideas

Boss Key Productions (Lawbreakers, Radical Heights) co-founder Cliff Bleszinski has been sharing some unfinished game ideas on Twitter today.

We don't normally get to see unrealised game pitches, but with Boss Key now out of business, I guess there was no point sitting on these any longer.

Part of the pleasure of running our Fine Art feature is that it gives us a glimpse at how games look as ideas, long before they reach our PCs and consoles.

But I normally run showcases on games that did eventually exist, so those glimpses are little more than curiosities: oh huh, this character I love used to have different pants, or that scientist character was originally an alien bear, and that's an interesting alternate reality to ponder for half a second.

Here, though, we're getting nothing but the raw original vision, and are left to extrapolate what came next. It's a tease, but it's a cool one; maybe these games would have been trash, maybe they would have been amazing. We'll never know.

First up is Dragonflies, which Bleszinski describes as "ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE "feudalpunk" setting on floating islands."

Most of Dragonflies' art is by Shawn Lin.

Next is Doughnuts, which was "Mario Kart on water with animals in VR."

And finally, my favourite art (and name): DogWalkers, a multiplayer VR mech shooter where players would each man different parts of a giant fighting vehicle.

It's easy to look at the failure of Lawbreakers and Radical Heights and wonder, gee, why did the company go with those busts when they could have done something new and more interesting? But market forces and money worries play as much a part in the greenlighting process as "oh this looks cool", so hindsight isn't going to do anyone any good here.

There's also the fact that these could easily have been the next projects the company had worked on had those first two games been more successful.

But hey, if someone wants to take that DogWalkers art and run with it, that would be neat, thanks.

(Oh, and if you were an artist who worked on any of these, let me know so I can add a credit!)


Comments

    Donuts makes me want a new Jazz Jackrabbit game.

    Why would you do this to us? This is worse than the time you guys showed us 1313 concept art years after it was cancelled.

    Many of those sound like pretty cool ideas, which don't involve trying to cash in on popular trends in fucking overcrowded high-mortality genres.
    I sure am glad they followed the 'sMaRt MoNeY' and KILLED THE FUCKING STUDIO.

    It's easy to look at the failure of Lawbreakers and Radical Heights and wonder, gee, why did the company go with those busts when they could have done something new and more interesting? But market forces and money worries play as much a part in the greenlighting process as "oh this looks cool", so hindsight isn't going to do anyone any good here.

    HINDSIGHT?! Every pundit with a scrap of industry experience predicted this was exactly what was going to happen the fucking nanosecond these generic-as-fuck trend-chasers were announced. Hindsight?!

      I think they are getting a bit unfairly smashed over following trends. They started law breakers dev in 2014 so were looking at it as more of a evolution of the quake/unreal style arena shooters. Considering the landscape at the time it was pretty much going up against TF2 as the market leader and was different enough to that to find an audience.

      Radical heights was 100% trend chasing. But it was a we don't have the time and resources to do a full game and get it out the gate, we will be out of business before then. So our only hope is a quick cash grab and hope it sticks and can pull us out of this hole.

      Safe money is better than no money. The 1st and 3rd idea look like really expensive games to make with no guarantee they'll make it back. As a mobile dev I'll often take existing, successful ideas and make small changes or execute them with a different style. The advantage mobile has over PC is that the turn around is very short so the risk that the trend will have moved on is very small. Arena shooters were a thing when LawBreakers was started, but that changed dramatically with the release of Overwatch, PUBG and Fortnite

        History shows that an online-only PVP title - including/especially arena shooters three years ago - is/was FAR from being safe money. Steam is a fucking elephant's graveyard of well-designed, good-looking ants that were crushed underfoot by the giants in that space, duking it out for player-counts. If anyone had done ANY research into that space, they'd have classified the genre as extreme risk, with potentially high reward.

        I mean, I was going to list all the titles that have fucking died in that space, but as I kept browsing and browsing and browsing, it's just blurring into a meaningless wall of text.

          With LawBreakers I guess Cliffy was doing what he knows best. After Unreal Tournament and Gears of War maybe they were expecting his name to carry more clout? Maybe it's just ego. Either way making a game in a genre that's already popular seems "safer" than making a new IP in a genre that was niche or completely untested.

    Dragonflies looks amazing, everyone likes ninjas and dragons.

    I can see why the other two titles got rejected if they were focusing on VR, they would of sunk anyway as their is no sales in it at the moment... also kart clones don't do so hot, and Titanfall showed even the best laid mech game can be savage, I think PVP only gaming is a high risk adventure which they proved twice can fall dead flat.

    Industry leaders LEAD not follow!

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