The 7 Best Ideas for Video Games (That Will Never Get Made)

#3. Co-Op Horror, Alone

Amnesia Wikia

By Ishmayl

"I would love to see some sort of a real co-op game, preferably in the vein of subtle, creepy horror. Basically, it would be required multiplayer (at least two-player, but ideally, up to four-player). The plot starts when the multiple players must investigate (for whatever reason) an old deserted house/chapel/cathedral/mansion/factory and get separated. It can start as something pretty subtle to separate -- to get into Room A, Player 2 has to go X distance away to activate the Generator (I know that's not clever, I leave the clever shit up to the game designers). Then, SOMETHING happens that separates the two for the rest of the game. However, here's the trick to make it co-op -- built into the game is a communication system. Speakerphones, walkie-talkies, headsets, whatever. Sometimes, depending on the distance between the two players, or the weather outside, or whatever creepy thing is happening at the moment, the communication would fizzle, or even fade out completely, so for portions of the game, the players would be playing alone."

"Something along the lines of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but taking place between two players on opposite sides of the castle, trying to meet up in the middle before doing the final confrontation."

How It Will Make You 1 Billion Real U.S. Dollars

Horror is a communal response. A lot of the fear in the horror genre boils down to being utterly alone, away from the relative safety of society. The stakes escalate as it becomes less and less apparent that somebody will come to help us. And yet every game starts out fully escalated: You're always alone. Even if the game has you starting out in a crowded city, you know you're the only real person playing. There's nowhere to build. You have nothing to lose. Make that same game co-op, however, and it changes everything. The first time you lose contact with your friend would be one of the milestone gaming moments of our generation.

Imagine it: You're caught in a tense scenario. Say, a dark, abandoned hallway in an old insane asylum. Your friend is in the other hallway, across the darkened courtyard. Occasionally, you see his flashlight flicker across the glass. You're watching shadows for movement. You're sure there's something out there. You creep along carefully, and you catch something moving beyond the window. There was something there, right? No? Was it nothing? Probably nothing. Then, suddenly, the frantic screaming of your real-life friend -- another human being who you know is not acting, who you know just encountered something terrible, something that is probably coming for you next -- comes over the radio, and just as suddenly falls silent. No single-player game, no matter how well-crafted, could simulate that level of horror. Give us a game based entirely around that feeling, and we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.

#2. Clark Kent: The Game


By Batzarro

"I want a Superman game where I can play as Clark Kent. Or any superhero game that lets you play as the secret identity, at least for a while. I know that's sort of lame sounding, but it'd help a lot more to sell the immersion if they'd let you experience this important part of superhero mythology. I know Batman the superhero has what's needed for a video game (two fists), but Batman the character needs Bruce Wayne. Combine it with an open-world type of gameplay and real-time choice-driven outcomes ('If you don't beat up Electro in time you'll miss your date with Mary Jane!') and it'd be a whole new thing."

How It Will Make You 1 Billion Real U.S. Dollars

The superhero trilogy is an unstoppable moneymaker. But quick, what's the most successful installment? The middle one, right? Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, even The Empire Strikes Back fits the bill. That's because the first movie spends most of its run time on setup and origin: We learn the rules of the universe, and our hero's role in it. The second movie is the contention between said heroism and mundane reality -- relationships crumble, personal success is at odds with heroic success, characters we care about die.

Now, games have tried exploring this territory before -- GTA IV comes immediately to mind -- and collectively, we gamers hated it. Why are you stopping us from blowing up ice cream trucks just to take Roman fucking bowling again? But it's the dichotomy that appeals to us: GTA IV was about a normal guy, and the fun was in making him do extraordinary things, not watching him do the mundane shit we assumed he did anyway. A superhero game is about an extraordinary guy, and a little bit of normalcy would add some much needed stakes to the genre. In short: Give us the ability to bone Mary Jane in between punching the Vulture's gross, wobbly neck inside out, and we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.

#1. The Zombie Master

L4d Wikia

By Spyder0416

"[Imagine] you were in control of the zombies in Left 4 Dead, or the monsters in Silent Hill, and you have to get them to take out survivors and fight against the team. Since I saw a Steam Greenlight game with this exact concept, my version would be more strictly PvP, with players playing as the survivors in basic third- or first-person fashion as with any horror game, and the player in control of the monsters is basically the Director from Left 4 Dead. He'd have [...] limited resources and times he can dispatch hordes of enemies, or use special boss enemies, or environmental effects. And he could only see the survivors when at least one monster has eyes on them. With visibility as a major factor it would mean having to hide a lot from monsters, not just to avoid the monster, but to avoid the controller of the monsters from unleashing a boss monster or horde in that area."

How It Will Make You 1 Billion Real U.S. Dollars

A horror RTS is already a brilliant idea. I'd love to play that. But it lacks immediacy, and you wouldn't be the victim. It would be horror without the fear -- an interesting concept, yet lacking something visceral and vital to the experience. However, inspiring that tension and fear would be a brand new and intensely satisfying experience for the monster director if the survivors were played by other real people. Especially if he got to not only watch, but listen in on the survivors' audio if there were monsters in range. Maybe he could have a special variant of scout monster whose only job is to listen in and spot ... whatever, just as long as he could hear the genuine panic and dread as his fellow players rounded a corner right into a horde of ravenous clown-spiders. Game developers, you already know that Left 4 Dead was massively successful, and it only had part of this equation down. If you gave us another human being in control of our terror -- an evil mastermind to hate instead of a computerized director -- we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.


Did somebody already make these games? Awesome. Clearly we've never heard of them. Rather than being a total dick about it and keeping those games for yourself, why not just point them out in the comment section? Not a fan of these ideas? OK: Nobody's saying these are the best of all possible concepts. But seriously, like you've got a better one? No seriously, do you? Post it in the comments, go visit the thread; we don't care. There's no pride here. Just for the love of all that is holy, if you know somebody in the gaming industry, point them to this column and then sit on their neck until they agree to make at least one of these games. There's $7 billion worth of games right here -- you won't just be saving gaming, you'll be saving the economy.

Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Robert Brockway

  • Rss

More by Robert Brockway:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!