Boss Key Gets a Somber Goodbye With A Violent Burst of Brilliant Color
Following yesterday’s announcement that Boss Key games has effectively shut down, studio head Cliff Bleszinski has chosen to show off some concept art from games that never made it off the ground.
The above concept art is from an unproduced title by the name of “Dragonflies.” Cliff describes the idea as a PVE “feudalpunk” action game, wherein players assumed the role of ninjas and samurai residing in airships, and fight zombies while riding dragons on floating islands. Aside from the most badass thing I’ve ever typed in my life, players could use melee weapons or guns, and deck out your dragons in armor before combat. Cliff wanted the game to “do for dragon riding what Halo did for vehicles.” Players could also find and hatch dragon eggs before raising the dragon inside and adding it to your roster. The idea was intended to learn from the mistakes of the poorly received Lair for PS3, and the recently cancelled Scalebound by Platinum games. Cliff also states that he would have liked to have seen a companion app where players could feed and bond with their baby dragons.
Cliff also shared concept art from Donuts, which he suggested as a “VR spiritual successor to Toobin,” an old school innertube racing game. Donuts is described as “Mario Kart on water with animals in VR.” Players could use roman candles to pop their opponents innertubes, and use ginger beer for an array of things including consuming for health or shaking up for an AOE attack, or crushing them against your head in an intimidating display of party dominance.
The third title shown was named “DOGWalkers,” DOG being an initialization for “Destructive Ordnance on the Ground.” Planned for VR and inspired by World War II vehicular weapon design (and the Shia Labeouf war film Fury), Cliff refers to the idea as “5v5v5v5 Zoid looking walkers fighting it out in MP.” Player roles included pilots, gunners, and repairmen, the latter of which sounds the most interesting with players having to repair limbs of the team’s mech, and potentially share a limited amount of equipment.
These were not purely my ideas, they were a collaboration between myself and BKP employees. Tramell, Zach, Dan, etc.. all worked on them a lot.
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 15, 2018
Cliff Bleszinski closed the Twitter concept art showcase by saying that these ideas had been pitched to Microsoft, Sony, EA, 2K, Activision, and Warner Brothers, and sobering statement about trying to get games financed in the modern day.
Takes a lot of stones to stand in front of a room full of executives and pitch and ask for $40 million dollars, folks.
Ah well. Biz is biz.
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 16, 2018
Hopefully if/when Cliff makes his return to the industry, some of these ideas come with him, or one of the other fine artists who contributed to these ideas can make something happen with them. Either way, it shows that there was a lot of great ideas present at Boss Key. Perhaps one of these ideas would have fared better for the studio if investors had been willing to take a risk, but like Cliff says, Biz is Biz.
Which one of these ideas would you have liked to see come to fruition? Let us know in the comments, and check out what Cliffy B affiliate People Can Fly is up to leading up to E3.