15
May
2018

Cliff Bleszinski tossed out a bunch of unused game ideas on Twitter

Just two days ago, game designer Cliff Bleszinski, co-founder of Boss Key Productions and a major force in the creation of the Gears of War franchise, announced that he is stepping back from the games industry for a time. He announced on Twitter that Boss Key, the studio behind LawBreakers and, most recently, Radical Heights, “is effectively no more.”

Then, just a day later, he began posting concept art for games that Boss Key wasn’t able to make. In clearing out his desk at the office, such as it is, Bleszinski has dropped a few closely-guarded secrets on the floor for everyone to look at.

The first concept is for something Bleszinski calls “DragonFlies.” It includes ninja-like player characters based in airships riding dragons into battle against the undead.

Here’s one of the games I wanted to do codenamed “DragonFlies.”

Basically you were ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE “feudalpunk” setting on floating islands. (the airships = your “aircraft carriers”, the dragons = your “planes”) pic.twitter.com/yX2ivPwezb

— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 15, 2018

Bleszinski indicated the estimated working budget for the title was $40 million. He said that the concept was pitched to Activision, 2K, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and Warner Bros., but Boss Key was never able to get anyone interested. Lots of concept art was created for those presentations, at least some of it included the work of artist Shawn Lin.

  • Key concept art for Boss Key Productions’ project “DragonFlies.” Key concept art for Boss Key Productions’ project “DragonFlies.” Boss Key Productions
  • Bleszinski said that players would be able to outfit their mounts for combat in different ways. Bleszinski said that players would be able to outfit their mounts for combat in different ways. Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Players would also be able to find dragon eggs, and raise their own mounts. Players would also be able to find dragon eggs, and raise their own mounts. Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions

The goal, he said, would be to learn from the mistakes of Lair, a poorly received dragon flight-based combat game developed by Factor 5 and published by Sony as an exclusive title on the PlayStation 3 in 2007. Other inspirations included PlatinumGames’ Scalebound, which was canceled by Microsoft in Jan. 2017.

Another title was codenamed alternately as “Rover” and “DOGWalkers,” where DOG stands for Destructive Ordnance on the Ground. It was a title initially intended to be a virtual reality multiplayer tank combat game with five-man crews and five-crew matches.

Here’s another one, initially planned for VR, codenamed “Rover” but was shaping up to be “DogWalkers” – DOG stood for Destructive Ordnance (on the) Ground.

Inspired by WW2 tank crews/battles/the movie Fury. 5 v 5 v 5 v 5 v 5 Zoid looking walkers fighting it out in MP. pic.twitter.com/2UkGtwk2iH

— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 15, 2018


Boss Key Productions

Boss Key Productions

The last project that Bleszinski leaked onto Twitter is codenamed “Donuts.” He described it as a successor to the game Toobin, a fondly remembered Atari classic published in 1988 where players ride inside inner-tubes. Bleszinski said that in the VR title players would take on the role of animals that were hoping to ride rivers together in an effort to fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Here’s the silly/fun one – basically a VR spiritual sequel to Toobin, only everyone are animals – and a way to fight Seasonal Affection Disorder. (Mario Kart on water with animals in VR.)

Called “Donuts.” pic.twitter.com/wNKef9QsS4

— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 15, 2018

In yesterday’s Twitter stream, Bleszinski implied that these were just a few of the projects that the team had on the drawing board. It’s unclear whether he plans to return to them in the future, or how rights to this intellectual property will be handled now that Boss Key is being wound down.

  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Boss Key Productions

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