For my first idea, I had proposed to make an riddle based escape room. I would potentially keep the same idea, but as an individual project it would be a bit more difficult. So, individually I would develop it as more of a simple maze type game which would require the player to find their way out of a maze while battling a timer/darkness that follows them from behind. At the same time, they will have to tactfully avoid creatures that would kill the player in the maze. I would use Unreal Engine for the programming, Maya and Mudbox for the game assets.
If I could develop my solo idea into a big project with multiple people on board, what I would do is open up the project to more people, whereby people can readily add their own content into the game. Therefore, what would happen is that there would be a base game where a room is set up and the player must find their way out of the room by solving riddles or finding clues to unlock the door while facing an impending darkness. Other people will be able to create their own rooms and add them to the game, as well as add to the maze portion of the game. With an extended budget and timeline, I believe that I can have people manage the quality of the added content as well as to maintain the intense programming required to run this system.
As for the pair project, I propose to create a 2D survival game. Most survival games are 3D based games, so I think a 2D pixel based survival game would be refreshing. The game will also be driven narratively rather than open-world sandbox.