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 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!)