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

Within, you'll find just a small sampling of games so ingenious you'll punch your own crotch just to distract you from the pain of not owning them.
The 7 Best Ideas for Video Games (That Will Never Get Made)

It's a golden era for video games. Services like Kickstarter are funding everything from new low-budget titles to blockbuster sequels for long-neglected classics. If you have a good idea, you can now get funding and distribution and make some solid-gold-hooker money. But then, that's the rub, isn't it? First you need a good idea, and those are hard to find ...

Wait, no they're fucking not! Look here, and here. As gamers, we all have our brilliant, perfect, tragically nonexistent game idea. I started this thread to ask people for theirs, and below you'll find just a small sampling of games so ingenious, you'll punch your own crotch just to distract yourself from the pain of not owning them. And if you work in the game industry, you should know that all of these ideas, as well as those in the comments below, are up for grabs. You don't have to share any money with us, you don't even have to credit us -- in fact, we'd probably rather you not, as typing our names would take valuable seconds that could be spent building these awesome games and giving them to us right God damn now.

NOTE: The previous volumes in this series tended to focus on "how they could be better," or "how they could go wrong," which I realize now was stupid. Video game publishers are a notoriously fickle and cowardly species, easily startled by "could-be-betters" and "could-go-wrongs." So I'll try a different tack. I'll let the ideas stand on their own, and then try to sum up in no uncertain terms why each will make you 1 billion real U.S. dollars. It is a promise. Each idea: $1 billion. So start investing in bigger pockets, dickwads, because if you make ANY of these games even close to right, your pants will literally be exploding with money.

An Open-World Biker Game With Decent Controls

NINTENDO 3RD TEMP: TIME 1:24:00 :11:58

As a professional Internet, I understand that you may not trust me with your ideas. So if I'm asking you to show yours, it's only fair that I show mine first. So here it is: a motorcycle game. But here's the catch ... it can't be a total piece of shit.


Virtually every motorcycle game is just a re-skinned car racing game. Sure, there have been a few bulky, incredibly expensive arcade peripherals that have gotten part of the biker experience right, but it shouldn't be that hard to port a motorcycle racing game to a console. The standard controller is laid out a lot like a bike's controls anyway: You have two sets of pressure-sensitive triggers and buttons right next to each other on the underside of the controller. Those are your handlebars. Push on the trigger with varying degrees of pressure to push on the respective bar, and you have a pretty accurate simulation of counter-steering. Just above the triggers you have two buttons. On a bike, they're levers: clutch on the left, the front (or main) brake on the right. One thumb works the D-pad, which could easily control the 1-down, 4-up shifting pattern on a bike. The other thumb rests on the right analog stick, which controls degrees of throttle. For advanced users, the left stick could manage body position, and one of the buttons could control the rear brake. That's it: Those are all the vital controls of a motorcycle mapped perfectly to an existing console controller.

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

This is the only time having a keyboard/mouse will screw you.

Riding a motorcycle does not feel at all how it's presented in video games. They usually have you control the throttle with a trigger and steering by the analog stick. This gives you twitchy, inaccurate control, because it's actually too much input. You're not twisting a great big steering wheel on a bike; you're just subtly pushing on bars. The triggers make much more sense for steering inputs. Third-person sandbox games are the worst about this: Bikes are practically unusable in GTA or Saints Row -- they're just too fast for the clumsy controls, and you're too disconnected to manage them -- and yet that's precisely when it would be the most fun! I actively avoid stealing bikes in sandbox games, even though it is a consequences-free environment for me to explore the pros and cons of strapping my crotch to a giant steel missile. That's because in real life, you push, lean, and roll on the throttle to turn, while in video games, you corner tightly by yanking the handlebars, hitting the handbrake button, and "drifting," which is A) much less satisfying and B) a great way to volunteer as the ammunition for a meat catapult on a real bike.

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

Racing games occupy more of a niche market, like hardcore simulators. You're not going to make bank that way. But if you got the controls right first, then put gamers in the role of a hardcore outlaw in a GTA/Saints Row/Just Cause-style open world -- sort of like The Lost and Damned tried to do -- you would have all of the money from every motorcycle rider for the accurate controls, in addition to all the money of every gamer who just wants to ramp that fire escape without twitch-steering into a dump truck at the last second. Plus, this control scheme still leaves three whole buttons free! You could map those to hands, feet, and weapons for devastating combos to unleash against other riders at high sp-

Oh, you know what? Just make another Road Rash.

PLAYTER A BIKE BIFF oo 15 3 60 O 06 018 1 !:33 20

In fact, why are you making any other games at all, ever?

I guess that's what I'm asking for. Make an open-world Road Rash and get the controls right, and I will choke your whole family to death with my money -- just generation after generation of your loved ones, all suffocating and drowning in my cash, forever.

Possession, the Game


By kacerolo91

"My idea: A game where the protagonist is a spirit possessing people."

"Basically, it's as follows: You can possess other people, and you immediately can use any of their abilities/powers (that is, possess a soldier and you'll use their weapons, possess an old lady and you'll have to walk slowly)."

"The key of the game is you can only spend so much time controlling the same person until they start to struggle and fight back. They eventually kill themselves, leaving you without a body, and you can only survive a short amount of time without being inside someone. As the game progress, the enemies will know about you and your powers, so you will have to act as the person you are controlling so the rest of the people don't know that he's possessed."

"For example, if you are discovered and some soldiers attack you, you can take the body of that soldier and keep attacking and going after the guy you were possessing before. Then, you can go back to base with the soldiers and start a big mess from the inside."

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

There was a Nintendo GameCube title, Geist, that tried to do this. And it was pretty friggin' rad. But it was ultimately limited by budget and technology. It ended up being more or less a level-based shooter when it needed to be much more open world. I know I harp on open-world games, because they're my personal favorite, but I understand that level-based design is often stronger. Not here. This idea needs a Watch Dogs-style reactive world to flourish, and further, it needs some complicated stealth mechanics incorporated (that whole "hobble like the old lady/act like the soldier" bit is the best part of this concept).

That was the problem with Geist: We weren't quite there yet, technologically. At least, not on consoles. But look at games like Dishonored or, to a lesser extent, Assassin's Creed. They're massively successful, largely open-world games with mostly successful stealth mechanics that made pornographic amounts of cash. And yet no current sequel to Geist is being planned. If you want to cash in on the hottest trend of this gaming generation, the possession mechanic is your trump card. In short: If you give gamers the ability to stealth-assassinate elite guardsmen while wearing somebody's Nana, we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.

For the Love of God, Any Kind of Mature Pokemon RPG

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

This is the idea that crops up the most, so let's just take the two most common variants on the theme:

The Pokemon Army

By Spudfella

"Give me a Pokemon game where the goal is to take over the world. Same classic start-up; you get one low-level Pokemon. But instead of capturing Pokemon for sport or for some Professor somewhere, you're building an army. I want to ride on back of a Charizard and light Sliph Co. Tower on fire. Give me hundreds of Pidgeys and let me go Hitchcockian on Pallet Town."

"Honestly? By the end of the game I'll have caught a dozen legendary Pokemon and about two or three hundred others. That's a standing army, and I want a chance to test the might of my cumulative effort. That's what an RPG should be about, right? Let's strip all the arbitrary rules out of the Pokemon universe and let me become PokeMonarch."

"Maybe even add an option at the end, after you've beaten the Elite Four, you're given an option to begin conquest mode."

The Pokemon MMORPG

By Crossfiyah

"Two words: Pokemon MMORPG."

"No random encounters. Fully three-dimensional Pokemon, roaming the countryside, ala World of Warcraft. All to scale, all terrifying. You would have a companion Pokemon that walks around with you, and gets into battles while you give commands. You can carry six around like usual and swap them out mid-battle. It's the three-dimensional Pokemon RPG that should have existed back when the game started coming out on the N64. Or at the very least GameCube. Or the Wii. Why the hell has this never been done yet?"

"If this game came out, I would work just enough to keep the electricity and Internet bills on, and to buy enough food to keep me alive. The rest of my time would be spent playing this game."

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

Listen, game developers: I, like you, do not understand any of the words in the above paragraphs. I missed the window on Pokemon by a few years, and now it sounds like somebody reciting obscure Japanese stock prices. But visit the Perfect Game thread and you will see this notion repeated over and over. These people grew up with Pokemon, but that's the thing: They grew up. They're ready to explore some new territory with your property. Nobody's saying you have to stop making kid-friendly games, but give us a more adult-oriented open-world RPG-style Pokemon game -- let us Char our foes with Izards, or Poke an entire village into annihilation with our Mons, or whatever the fuck these guys are talking about -- and we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.

The Hunger Games, the ... Game

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

By garyglitter

"I really like the idea of Battle Royale: The Game. A game that's not long and not narrative-driven but totally randomized, so it takes only a few hours to finish the game, but every time you restart it's totally different. You get different weapons tools and start in a different place on the island. It's like the way you never play two games of solitaire that are the same."

"You load the game and it's the dead of night and you have say ... a frying pan and a butcher's knife. A map, a torch, some health stuff, and nothing else. Maybe the other players are real-life online players. Maybe they're computerized. But you're on a huge expansive island with amazing detail, you can use anything as a weapon, or to lure people (maybe you could get firecrackers as a weapon to make noise) into certain locations. All you do is fight whoever you find, if they don't kill you first (randomized -- no person in the same place twice), gain their weapons, and the object is to be the last one left."

"Realistic health levels and spacing out of the action would build tension, the longer you play on it the more you'd want to finish it."

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

The idea is pure, brutal, and simple: truly randomized PVP. It is random in every sense of the word. Random in the assortment of weapons. Random in placement. Random in supplies. And there is nothing else. There's no greater point to the game beyond straight-up elimination-style competition. I don't like multiplayer games, I especially dislike PVP multiplayer games, and yet I had only one concern while reading this Perfect Game idea: How would I ever stop playing it? The variations are infinite. And what's more, the technology and mechanics are totally feasible. This could easily be a Far Cry 3 mod, for example.

And yet by stripping away the unnecessary mechanics and totally abandoning the concept of fair and balanced gameplay for all players at all expenses, you might make the most addictive multiplayer game in history. Plus, if you strike now, you can tap into that Hunger Games hype. Fill the loading time between rounds with confused young girls lusting after pouty-eyed shirtless halfwits. We don't care. Do whatever you need to do to draw your demographic. We gamers do not give a shit: If you give us Battle Royale Island, even if it's littered with annoying teenage drama, we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.

Co-Op Horror, Alone

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

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.

The Zombie Master

L4d Wikia

By Spyder0416

" 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.

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

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.

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