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Duke Nukem Forever - great summary


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This was linked from the 3DRealms forums, who have apparently decided it was too demeaning to them so they removed the thread:


Really, if you look a time line there is no point at which they could have restarted. Broussard used to say, "we switched engines a few times, started over a few times, we're late; sue us" or something along those lines. In reality, you can map DNF's progress onto a time frame fairly easily, and the only point at which they could've scrapped the project and started over was after the E3 2001 video. Here is the time line (now with highlighted points for your viewing pleasure):



Janurary 1997: Work on DNF started.*


April 1997: Quake 2 engine purchase announced. (they got it in mid-late 1997 before Quake 2 was released). Scott Miller states that he is confident that DNF will be released by mid 1998 and prey in late 1998 making 1998 a bit year for 3DR. He also mentions that his confidence is not misplaced.


August and September 1997: First screenshots in PC gamer (hummer, farmer i think).


May 1998: First DNF E3 video shown. You can see that a lot of work has been done.


Late 1998: 3DR announces switch to Unreal tech. It is expected to take no longer than 6 weeks and 3DRealms says "DNF is a 1999 game."


Mid 1999: 3DR admits that the engine switch took a lot more time than originally estimated.


Late 1999: 3DR announces upgrade to UT level tech. It is expected to take two weeks. 3DR releases a Christmas card saying that DNF will be released in 2000.


2000: I don't think anything happened. They released some sexy screenshots in late 1999/early 2000 (for the time). Broussard begins claiming that DNF development did not start until 1998. Inquiring minds wonder how they got so much done before May (E3) 1998.


May 2001: 3DR comes out of nowhere and puts DNF up at E3. They state that DNF will be released in 2001 and the end of the E3 2001 video says "WID in 2001". Many part of the video bear a clear resemblence to the 1999 screenshots.


October 2001: Broussard posts "sorry guys, it won't be a 2001 release" on the VE3D forums. "Don't worry, the last major hurdle is AI."


Unknown 2001: Broussard states that DNF will definitely be out before Unreal 2.


January 2002: Voodoo Extreme makes a list of top 10 titles to be released in 2002. #1 on that list is Duke Nukem Forever. Someone posts "when will we see something" in the 3DR forums. Broussard responds with "soon".


June 2002: The "soon" thread gets locked.


Unknown 2002: Broussard states that DNF will definitely be out before DooM 3.


2003: Broussard states that DNF has been "on track since early 2002" and that they haven't reached the light at the end of the tunnel, but "they finally found it." He wisps away the years between January 1997 and January 2002 and wishes people would consider DNF's development as if it started in 2002 (this is a strong hint that DNF was far from complete). Unreal 2 released.


Broussard adopts the "DooM 3 and HL2 will have been in development for 5 and 6 years when they're finally released -- DNF isn't taking that much longer" belief (notice: his numbers are very inaccurate).


Late 2003/early 2004: Take 2 complains about DNF development and expects it around "late 2005". "At this point we're just hoping the team [in garland] will finish the project."


2004: Broussard states that DNF development has been on track since "late 2002/early 2003", bumping up his earlier statement in an attempt to fight back release expectations. It is clear, from this behavior, that DNF will not be released this year or next. DooM 3 is released. Half Life 2's release is anticipated this year.



So the most reasonable points in which they could've completely restarted would've been after each of the E3 videos. They could've restarted after the E3 1998 video or after the E3 2001 video. Luckily, you can refute both of these possibilities by simply looking at what Broussard was saying back then -- the Unreal engine upgrade was certainly not expected to require them redoing much. Things were added and tech was changed, things were adopted. This was all stated in interviews with Broussard himself.


It is more difficult to question whether they've restarted at some point after E3 2001. Clearly, in late 2001/early 2002 when Broussard was saying that the last major hurdle was AI and "soon", he could not have just restarted the project. Furthermore, in 2003 he stated that development had been good since early 2002. If this was the case, then there was no point at which he could've restarted (unless you restart while telling fans "the last major hurdle is AI" and "soon").


* "We've actually been working on the game since January." -- Scott Miller, 1997.







Video game systems that have been released in DNF's development time:


Neo Geo Pocket Color



Gameboy Advance


Playstation 2









Major releases in prominent game series since first DNF press release on April 25, 1997:


Grand Theft Auto 1, 2, London, III, Vice City, likely San Andreas


Fallout, Fallout 2, All eight (to my knowledge) Infinity Engine games and expansions, and three Baldur's Gate console spinoffs


Final Fantasies VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2 XI, Tactics, Tactics Advance, Crystal Chronicles, Origins, Anthology, Chronicles and the Ergheiz & two Mysterious Dungeon spinoffs


Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening DX, Link to the Past GBA, Legend of Zelda GBA, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages


Unreal, Return to wherever the **** that was, Unreal Tournament, UT2k3, UT2k4 and at least 4 games off the top of my head that use its engine


Quakes 2 and 3, and God knows how many games used those two engines


Thief 1, 2, 3


The Sims and all seven expansions


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1, 2, 2x, 3, 4, Underground


Madden NFL '98, FIFA '98, NBA '98 and NHL '98 for the Super Nintendo, and NHL '98 for both the SNES and Genesis


Might & Magic VI, VII, VIII and IX


With the exception of Meridian 59, every MMORPG apart from MUDs (I may be off here; at any rate UO was released five months after DNF was announced)


Romance of the Three Kingdoms VI, VII, VIII, IX, Dynasty Warriors 1-4 (and 2 expansions), Samurai Warriors, Kessen 1 & 2, Dynasty Tactics 1 & 2, Mystic Heroes


Every Dance Dance Revolution game


Every single Pok?mon game released in the US


Every Deer Hunter game


Chessmaster 5500, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000 with 10th edition out in two months, just on the PC


Twenty (to my knowledge) Mega Man titles, for GBC, GBA, GC and N64, not including direct ports



Thirty (to my knowledge) Star Wars titles, again not including direct ports

And something new! Working Designs is famous for taking absolutely forever to release a product. Since the announcement of Duke Nukem Forever, WD has released Albert Oddesy, Magic Knight Rayearth, Sega Ages (maybe), Raystorm, Elemental Gearbolt, Lunar: Silver Star Story, Sillhouette Mirage, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, Alundra, Arc the Lad Collection, Raycrisis, ThunderForce V, Vanguard Bandits, Silpheed and Gungriffon Blaze, with Growlanser Generations out in two months. Working Designs CEO Victor Ireland has made approximately 3,710 Usenet posts since the announcement of Duke Nukem Forever.




The Voyager 1 spacecraft has travelled approximately 2.5 billion miles since the announcement of Duke Nukem Forever.


The rovers Spirit and Opportunity were proposed, authorized, announced, designed, launched and successfully landed upon Mars within the timeframe of Duke Nukem Forever's development.


The majority of the children who were entering high school the school year following Duke Nukem Forever's announcemnt are now eligible to drink.







Of the 21,400 Usenet posts concerning Duke Nukem Forever, here is one for every year.


April 30, 1997:


code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Actually I guess it makes sense. The article talks about> Duke Nukem Forever coming out a year from now. By that> time the Quake engine will be old hat as far as id's concerned.> > I guess it just follows along with Duke staying one generation> of technology behind whatever id's latest product is.It will be using the Quake _2_ engine. Read the link next time.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


October 6, 1998:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The other thing that crossed my mind is that we're officially in thePentium II age. Minimum requirements say's you need a P166-- goodluck. I've got a PII 266 with 64MB Ram and a Righteous I, and thething huffed and puffed. Ok, I like all my detail on and at least640X480 resolution. And with a PII, I expect my games to run assmooth as glass. It doesn't quite do that. With Half-Life and Sin andDuke Nukem Forever around the corner, future action games are gonnawant a PII. And since they feature 3dfx graphics why get them at allif you need to turn most of the detail off to play the game. (MaybeI'll just get a Voodoo II).--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


December 20, 1999:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------My cable modem service sucks and UT netcode ain't great(****!!!!!!!!!! DUKENUKEM FOREVER MIGHT HAVE SUCKY ONLINE PLAY!!!!!)anyway, i tried out heat.The server i was one had like 5 people and i got pretty good ping. So youguys should try out HEAT with a low number of players and see how your pingis--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


December 12, 2000:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------> What about Half-Life 2? Valve is being smart and keeping it on the QT, but> I think we will see HL2 by Xmas of 2001, which is sooner than we will see> TF2 or Duke Nukem Forever.Don't be so quick to write off Duke Forever. What many people fail torealize is that 3DRealms have quite a lot of cash flow from the consoleports and licensing of Duke. They're simply taking their time to finish thegame right. I'd look for it around September of next year provided itdoesn't come sooner. I'm using some tea leaves that have a little more kick.=)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


October 10, 2001:



code:-------------------------------------------------------------------------------->what will be sooner released ? The new gn'r oder Duke Nukem Forever ? Or>will it be released in a bundle together ?From what I understand, the status of Duke Nukem Forever is in dire peril....the plot of the game involved protecting the president from assassination andalso some terrorist activities... which means the game will either be delayedat least a year in the interest of "good taste" or they'll have to totallyrewrite the storylines and stuff.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


April 26, 2002:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Many of these will be out by xmas... I think the Xbox sales will go throughthe roof this xmas...> Rumored Killer Apps>> - Virtual Fighter X> - Neverwinter Nights> - World of Warcraft> - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos> - Duke Nukem' Forever> - Doom III> - Return to Castle Wolfenstein> - Dues Ex 2--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


June 30, 2003:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------> > If bandwidth is cheep to you, be sure to download the 600MB E3 movie of > > Half-Life 2 from fileplanet.com -- it's worth it, no question.> > It's going to be a good September when this new game comes out.> > I really hope so. Aside from Deus Ex 2, it's the only game I've really > looked forward to in years.I'm looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever, but only to see if they'll finish it. When they started making it, I put $50 under the mattress so I could buy it, but my mattress gives a pretty good interest rate, and now I've just decided to buy all of 3DRealms with the money, and FIRE EVERYBODY FOR BEING TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. Following that, I'll hire John Romero AND FIRE HIS ASS TOO, JUST BECAUSE I CAN.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


March 24, 2004:



code:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------WTF? They don't owe you anything. They aren't hyping it. They aren't pushing out screenshots, movies and fake release dates. They're just quietly getting on with it, leave them be!And if that doesn't placate you, just think how good the strippers will look when it finally is released



By: GeorgeB3DR


Well, we're closer than last year, and certainly moreso than any previous year We actually make progress now.



My favorite part is the part about the Spirit and Oppertunity Mars rovers.

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Originally posted by gigapower@Aug 30 2004, 04:12 PM

My favorite part is the part about the Spirit and Oppertunity Mars rovers.

That was the best!


The rovers Spirit and Opportunity were proposed, authorized, announced, designed, launched and successfully landed upon Mars within the timeframe of Duke Nukem Forever's development.


How do they pay bills like this? Are they running at a minimum workload so it doesn't cost them much?



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Pretty much a 95% scrap. All the art has been redone. Not one pixel of the 2001 video remains. Some levels have been updated or kept, but they were just early shells anyway. In short, pretty much a full re-start.
-George B. on forums


This entire time, I have been working from the assumption that the 2001 video, which was very cool, was a stepping stone with 3 years on top of it. Apparently, they scrapped everything after E3. So they have only been working on this game for 3 years. Here is my feeling:


They have terrible project managers and game designers. The 2001 video looked very promising. And they were excited enough about it to show that video, so some BIG mistakes, design wise, and management wise, had to be exposed sometime in 2001.


I no longer have faith that they are perfectionists. Rather, they are a poor development team. This isn't to say that the team isn't very talented. Just that their whole is smaller than the sum of their parts.


I am very bitter knowing this new info. Of course, if it were a great game, I'd buy and play it. But I no longer am confident it will be a great game. In fact, I almost wish they'd license the property out to a different developer. I'm sure Valve has nothing to do after HL2.

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They did manage to put out that Duke game for Atari. At least they can get something out.


I do hope that they do finally get this game out, and that it's good. But at this point it's beyond Diakatana's status as a joke. The only thing that's saving it at all is that they don't talk about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...
I heard Duke Nukem Forever would be in the limited edition of Prey.

You heard wrong. The Prey Limited Edition will include a statuette, an art book, and a few odds and ends. No DNF in the package. The more important thing to remember is that after almost 10 years of start and stop development on the game, you won't see it as an add-on to an LE package.;)

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You heard wrong. The Prey Limited Edition will include a statuette, an art book, and a few odds and ends. No DNF in the package. The more important thing to remember is that after almost 10 years of start and stop development on the game, you won't see it as an add-on to an LE package.;)


Is the game ever ganna come out then? I hope so.

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