Posted 12 October

Duke Nukem Forever Interview

In what some people were comparing to shaking hands with Bigfoot and riding the Loch Ness monster, I can now confirm (as if you didn’t know already) that Duke Nukem Forever is very real, it is coming to PS3 and I have played it.

I also grabbed this interview with the President and CEO of Gearbox Software, Randy Pitchford.

Duke Nukem Forever Interview

How does it feel to have this iconic character in the Gearbox stable?

It’s kind of surreal but I really have to forget about that and focus on the mission of finally releasing Duke Nukem Forever. I’m trying not to worry about pressure or expectations.

In what state was the code in when Gearbox first got its hands on Duke Nukem Forever?

The vision was certainly evident and there were several moments of brilliance scattered throughout the game. When 3D Realms shut down, there were eight guys that managed to take everything that had been worked on and stitch it together; they went through war to get it even to this stage. They now call themselves Triptych and they’re up on the 10th floor of our offices. They did an amazing job and they deserve a lot of respect.

Right now there’s a team based in Vancouver called Piranha and they’re working on some amazing optimisations for PlayStation 3. It was almost inconceivable, when we first received the code, that we could bring it to PS3 but we refused to accept that and have put in a huge amount of work to ensure that the software comes to that audience.

The nature of the project and the level of goodwill that surrounds it in the industry mean that we’ve had plenty of people willing to jump in and help.

Have you removed or adding anything?

A lot! It’s a complex piece of software and it would go well beyond the scope of this interview to detail the additions and omissions. Today, there are 70 people involved in the project, yet when 3D Realms closed its doors, there were 30.

In terms of the story, the design and the experience, it’s a 3D Realms game through and through.

Is the level of expectation around the game a blessing or a curse?

I don’t know yet. With Borderlands, the challenge was getting everyone’s attention. With Duke, we have the opposite problem.

Is there a sense of poetic justice in once again working with Duke?

Not justice at all – I was with Duke for a few years and there are so many people involved for longer than me. One thing I am pleased about is that Allen [Blum] is still involved. Allen created Duke; I feel honoured and privileged to be carrying the Duke Nukem torch but only because I’m carrying it with Allen and he is involved every day.

Are you including multiplayer?

Of course – I can’t imagine a Duke Nukem game without multiplayer. When 3D Realms was working on the game, they never got around to that side of things so Gearbox has enabled a huge effort on that front.

Do you see any discrepancies between the flavour of gaming of 12 years ago, when Duke Nukem Forever was conceived, and the tastes of modern gamers?

Sure, games have evolved in some ways but there are some areas where they’ve stagnated. For example, Duke Nukem 3D was really innovative, at the time, with its mix of combat and environmental puzzle solving. It was rich with interactive environments and plenty of secrets to discover if you veered off the natural path.

Not so many games bother with those any more. Half-Life does a good job with its pacing, I suppose, but hardly anything has the level of interactivity of Duke or does the hidden Easter eggs thing any more. Duke Nukem Forever does all of that.

When’s the sequel coming out?

I have spent zero mind share on anything beyond Duke Nukem Forever!

Finally and slightly off-topic, how is Aliens: Colonial Marines doing?

It’s looking great! We’ve been radio silent but we’re very excited. It’s funny you should mention it because if you go back and look at Duke Nukem 3D, we included facehuggers and there’s Aliens stuff up on the walls. I’ve been stealing from Aliens my entire career so it feels great to finally be involved in the canon.

Truthfully, the game was announced too early – the ink wasn’t dry on the contract and we hadn’t even written the first line of code, but we’re really committed and so is SEGA, and I’m sure that pretty soon we’ll be in a position to start talking again.

Did you enjoy this?

Comments

19 Comments 4 Author replies
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Good that Aliens.Colonial Marines is looking great hopefully it will be much better than AVP.

 

James, HUSTLE KINGS, when?

    James Gallagher 12 October, 2010 @ 5:13 pm    

    Tomorrow’s Store update. There will be a full post at 6 with more Plus news.

“H’m, looking good” :-)

James Gallagher 12 October, 2010 @ 5:24 pm   4

By the way, I did actually play the game for about 20 minutes so if you have any questions about that, fire away.

MarvinUyleman 12 October, 2010 @ 5:30 pm   5

@ James;

I assume you played the original games?
If so, did the demo feel like Duke Nukem at all?

It seems so out of place, that after so many years it’s being developed again, i just can’t put my hands on it. :(

    James Gallagher 12 October, 2010 @ 5:35 pm    

    The humour is definitely there – in the first scene, Duke is playing a game of his own life and one of the girls with him says: “Is the game good, Duke?” And he replies, “After 12 years, it [bleep] better be!”

    It also has some awesome weapons – the first one you get to use is a multiple missile launcher – and it’s really over the top. It’s got the spirit of the originals, for sure.

 
RedeyeCult 12 October, 2010 @ 5:31 pm   6

yes did you kick ass and chew bubble gum and of course you were all out of gum right? are those pig things still in the game? and is duke still partial to a strip club or two?oh oh here is a good one will the be any kind of online modes? co-op maybe? and my final question is when can we all get are hands on the demo 10days 10 weeks? 10 months? or 10 more years? lol

    James Gallagher 12 October, 2010 @ 5:37 pm    

    Definitely online multiplayer but I don’t know about co-op. There’s definitely a demo coming too but, again, I don’t know when. Yes, he is still partial!

 

Did those alien bastard shot up his ride? and are they gonna pay?

Man the day when this get released, and im stading in the store with a copy of it in my hand, is gonna one of the weirdest days of my life….

 
RedeyeCult 12 October, 2010 @ 5:46 pm   8

thanks james i know the demo is being given to people who buy the borderlands goty and the gearbox has said everone will get it but no word on when. i think it should have move functionality for us loyal ps fans that kept it alive on ps2 what you think? xbox got “a special gift for the fans” for dead rising 2 because of micosofs support of the 1 st game we should get somthing for supporting old duke all those years ago

    James Gallagher 13 October, 2010 @ 10:09 am    

    We actually asked him about Move. He said that he didn’t think that Move was the right interface for Duke but that he was definitely interested in the technology.

 

Such a surreal thought that this is actually coming out. I still have my decade-old PC Gamer where the game was shown off in a 6-page spread for the first time.

MarvinUyleman 12 October, 2010 @ 5:58 pm   10

@ James (Reply to #5)

Awesome, good to hear it’s still got the spirit.. hopefully i’ll be able to play a demo soon!

 
RedeyeCult 12 October, 2010 @ 6:04 pm   11

anyone remember Duke Nukem: A Time To Kill? now that was a duke game it saw duke time travelling to all sorts of periods including my favourite level the wild west oh boy was that fun. let me close by saying duke nukem is what a computer gaje character should be he is what we call the “ultimate badass” and the news thats he is back is amazing.its got me excited about games again! gearbox dont dissapoint me now

 

i just wish we could have gotten the old classic duke nukem 3d like xbox has

 
AKGermany 12 October, 2010 @ 6:47 pm   13

Aliens and most importantly Borderlands 2 is what I’m looking forward to from Gearbox. And I’m one of the (apparently few) people that liked the last Brothers in Arms and would like another game in that franchise.

 

getting another studio to do the ps3 version…. thats never a good sign. :(

BalramRules 12 October, 2010 @ 7:14 pm   15

duke nukem iz fab! =D

vonhammer 12 October, 2010 @ 7:41 pm   16

Lol,I’ve still got the E3 2001 CD with the trailer.I cant muster any hype or buzz for this any more,for nostalgic reasons it’s cool,and no doubt I’ll play at some point.

“Duke Nukem: A Time To Kill?”

Never played that one,but the N64 version zero hour was class.

Scourgewood 13 October, 2010 @ 9:12 am   17

I think I might have an old magazine around somewhere with the first screen shots of the first time the new Duke Nukem game was first announced. They were originally touting the localised damage engine, then there were renderings of the pigs amongst other things. I’d love to see it running to see if it lives up to what was being hyped the first time around.

 
playstion3man 14 October, 2010 @ 12:52 am   18

This feels like a dream. Never thought I would see the day this is even being talked about like its coming out soon.

vcdert545tgb 17 October, 2010 @ 8:54 pm   19

Can’t wait for this!