Cliff Bleszinski pulled the plug on Boss Key Productions yesterday, after both LawBreakers and Radical Heights failed to achieve the critical mass required to keep the studio afloat. He said that he was going to "take some time off and reflect," but apparently that doesn't mean he'll be taking a break from Twitter, because today he began sharing some of the ideas he and other members of the studio had for future Boss Key games.
DragonFlies is probably my favorite of the bunch: Ninjas on dragons launched from giant airships fighting hordes of zombies in a feudalpunk world of floating islands is a very specific niche, but also very much my niche. (Although to be honest I'm not perfectly clear on what "feudalpunk" is.)
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/yX2ivPwezbMay 15, 2018
DogWalkers also looks cool, at least as far as a couple of pieces of concept art can carry such an impression. Faint echoes of the Battle of Hoth, but on Earth, and... bigger.
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/2UkGtwk2iHMay 15, 2018
Donuts, the "silly" one, might seem a little out of character for the designer of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, but remember that before all that he did Jazz Jackrabbit, and there are a lot of people who wish he'd get back to that kind of thing.
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/wNKef9QsS4May 15, 2018
"These were not purely my ideas, they were a collaboration between myself and BKP employees," Bleszinski wrote. "Tramell, Zach, Dan, etc.. all worked on them a lot."
Interestingly, he also touched on both the problem with publishers in the game industry, and why they're necessary. "You pitch something and the response is often 'too similar to something we have or out there so no' or ' this is too unique so we can't do a proper financial model for it.' I respect them but as a creative it's frustrating," he tweeted.
"Side note $40m budget. So not cheap."
LawBreakers was a very good game, and it really is a shame that Boss Key couldn't make a go of it. But when Bleszinski comes back—and I have no doubt that he will—I really hope he takes aim at something like one of these instead.
Check out some more concept art (which includes female characters for both DragonFlies and Donuts) below.