[[Duke Nukem History]]
Duke Nukem Forever is destined to become the fourth official game of the Duke Nukem saga.
The gaming world was introduced to the Alien Ass Kicker through Duke Nukem the game. That game and Duke Nukem 2 were sidescrolling - platform games. The game that made history however, was the third installment, Duke Nukem 3D, which was a First Person Shooter. Duke Nukem 3D together with Quake and Doom make up the holy trinity of FPS games, responsible for the extreme popularity of the genre.
These three Duke titles are the only official games, even though some console titles did surface after the success of Duke Nukem 3D.
Duke Nukem 3D was released in early Jan. 1996 (shareware only, with the full game releases in May). Duke's signature phrase, "Come get some," was exactly what game players did, propelling Duke to the number one seller status for several months in a row, and number two for 1996, behind Warcraft.
Duke Nukem 3D not only sold well, it was praised by press and players alike for setting new standards in interactivity, level design (realistic environments), cool weapons, innovative inventory items, game humor, level editor (the first to be including with a first-person shooter), multiplayer "DukeMatch" fun, and most of all for the attitude-busting, non-PC character of Duke himself, including his direct-to-the-point comments heard throughout the game. Duke Nukem became an overnight star.
The Build engine, upon which Duke Nukem 3D was constructed, went on to become the most successful engine in terms of number of games released, a record still maintained at the date of this writing (May, 1999), with 12 published games. Notable games developed using the Build engine include Witchaven, TekWar, Shadow Warrior, Blood, PowerSlave and Redneck Rampage.
The Duke Nukem games were developed by Texas based 3D Realms, whose other titles include Shadow Warrior and Rise of the Triad as well as Max Payne (developed in partnership with Remedy Entertainment).
Duke Nukem Forever will be the first Duke title published by Take Two Interactive, who acquired the rights by purchasing Gathering of Developers, who had bought the rights from Infogrames who in turn had them by buying GT Interactive and so on and so forth....
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[[Duke The Man]]
Duke doesn't talk much, unless you count his smart - ass comments as speech, he is too busy kicking Alien Butt to speak. In a recent interview to MegaGames.com he insisted that we should mention that "My name is not spelled Nuke'em!"
The Duke Portfolio
When asked to comment about his work this is what he said:
Duke Nukem (My first game and kinda cool, but pretty lame by today's standards)
Cosmo (I was in a secret area, just chillin' after saving the world again and some creepy little green dude came in and disturbed me. Good thing I had stuff to do, or I would have kicked his ass.)
Duke Nukem II (Still kinda lame, but getting better)
Duke Nukem 3D (Damn... I'm lookin' good)
Death Rally (It's great to get out there and run over people)
Balls of Steel (Play my table and get your hands on my balls)
Duke Nukem 64 (The N64 people needed to kick ass like the PC people)
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour (The N64 people needed their own original game)
Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown PSX (We can't leave out the PSX ass kicking folks)
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill PSX (Even more PSX ass kicking!)
Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes PSX (About time we had a game all about babes!)
Duke Nukem Forever (The pinnacle of ass kicking - at least until my next game after that)
Duke says, "After saving the world yet again, I did run for President of the United States in 1996. I got cheated out by those Alien Bastards, though. Some of my other career highlights were writing my book, "Why I'm So Great", as well as making an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. However, I was swiped by some Alien Bastards right off the set of the show, so that pissed me off, and I had to go kick their asses. The Oprah people were cool enough to release a picture of me when I was on the show (actually I threatened to kick their asses too). I also recorded an album called "Duke In Love", as well as having released a rather extensive line of merchandise."
"When I'm not saving the planet from alien invasions, I like to kick back and play some pinball. Balls of Steel is awesome (that might have something to do with the fact that I'm in it!)
I also like watching action flicks. Arnold's stuff is pretty cool, but he's getting old. I think it's time I took over as the new action movie star. I also dig "Army of Darkness", and anything with naked chicks."
Other Interesting Stuff About Duke
What do you drive?
-"I drive a "Deliverator" (maxed out, of course)."
-What's your favorite musician/band?
"Henry Rollins Band (cause the dude has my haircut)."
-Favorite Sports Team
"Oakland Raiders, but only cause Howie Long played for them and he kinda looks like me, only
-Favorite Computer Games
"I'm too busy saving the world and scoring with chicks to play games. But if I gotta play one, I guess it's gonna be anything with me in it."
"It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all outta gum!"
Duke Nukem Forever was originally the title of a side-scrolling Duke game being developed in Australia that was later scrapped. The DNF under development though, takes place in Las Vegas and all over Nevada. Duke's arch enemy in the game is Dr. Proton, a 7'6" (really tall) cyborg who also appeared in the first Duke Nukem game. Dr. Proton has taken over Area 51 and nuked Las Vegas. His plan also involves the use of the spaceship contained in Area 51 in order to contact and recruit aliens from all over the galaxy, Yes he is creating the ultimate Alien Fighting Machine. Dr. Proton has also reanimated the Area 51 guards, given them bionic enhancements and made them his goons. With all these forces at his disposal, Dr. Proton plans to take over the world and in order to do that he will have to kill Duke.
-Duke Nukem Forever will focus on interactivity and is expected to be much more player friendly than Duke 3D and Shadow Warrior. Duke's smart-ass remarks per second are expected to break all known records. Sources tell us that coming up with the remarks is the real reason for the game's delay.
-Duke will drive a Harley, a Humvee and a jet ski. He will also, in some yet unknown way, be able to control a jet fighter.
-Now that the Unreal Engine is onboard, locations such as Area 51, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the Las Vegas strip, and Morningwood, Arizona are expected to be extremely impressive.
-A woman character named Bombshell is going to debut in DNF, she had originally been cast as the lead in a 3D Realms 3D shooter which never saw the light of day. She will originally be Dr. Proton's sidekick, but will eventually be taken in by Duke's charm, even though Bombshell seems to be the only woman not attracted to Duke. Duke naturally assumes that she is a lesbian. Whether she actually is a lesbian is a well kept 3D Realms secret. Bombshell may be offered as a choice in multi-player games.
-Duke will meet an old miner named Gus in Morningwood, Arizona, a small mining town. It is unclear what exactly Gus will do for Duke, although his choice of partner is none of our business. COME ON look at his sunglasses, he looks like the star of the next George Michael video.
-Duke will fly, no the drugs won't finally get to him he will most likely achieve flight through the use of a jetpack.
-There will be a "use" key.
-This installment will see the return of the infamous Pig Cops.
-The game will feature strippers, 3D Realms have spent an extensive part of their budget, resources and man-hours researching the subject in order to provide full realism.
-Duke Nukem Forever will probably ship with an enhanced version of UnrealEd.
The release of Duke Nukem Forever has been through many stages. Before 3D Realms announced that they would switch to the Quake2 engine in December 1997, 95% of 3D their resources were focused on Shadow Warrior. Then on June 15, 1998 they announced "Duke Nukem 3D, will now be built around Epic MegaGames' highly praised Unreal technology...". 3D Realms also had to add features to the engine and redo everything including maps and meshes. Only textures remained unchanged.
When questioned about the apparent delay George Broussard, project leader for Duke Nukem Forever had this to say, "The fact is that we're not massively delayed. Going to Unreal did set us back, but mainly because we refused to be a TC and not advance tech. We added LOD, skeletal animation, motion capture, and tons of other little enhancements to the Unreal engine to make it more interactive. That all takes time."
Level designer Stephen Cole also adds, "If DNF was a TC, it would be done by now. Levels, art, models, all are easy and quick to produce. If you want a rehashed TC, that is. If, however, you want something you haven't seen before, it takes time. If you want something that won't be outdated when it comes out, it takes more time."
It is therefore, a wise move from 3D Realms to have no official, or even, projected release date for DNF. Their message reads "Duke Nukem Forever will be out when it's done".
3D Realms will not produce any add-ons for DNF themselves, since they want to remain focused on their next project. George Broussard in January 1999 said, "There will likely be several add-ons for DNF. I doubt 3DR will be doing any directly because we want to immediately jump into a new game. But we will monitor and enforce the quality of the add-ons for DNF, and make sure they are better than the ones done for Duke 3D. We'll know more when we get closer to the release of the game."
XBox and Other Consoles
A big question all Duke fans have is whether Duke Nukem Forever will be released for the next generation consoles. According to 3D Realms Duke Nukem Forever will initially be released for the Windows platform. A Mac version will eventually see the light of day. Plans of pursuong a console career for DNF are not yet determined but as Scott Miller said in October, 2000 "it would be crazy not to do that (an XBox version), in fact, simply because it's so easy to make an Xbox version once you've got a PC version."
It is however, premature to predict what other formats of DNF will become available. Some rumours suggest that the game will also be released in DVD. It is safe to say that all systems, whose hardware can support the game, will eventually get a version of Duke Nukem Forever.