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Is Gearbox doing a good job handling the Duke Nukem IP?



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12 Years!!

Category: DNF
by Kristian Joensen, on Tue Apr 28 2009, 03:31PM

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the announcement of Duke Nukem Forever. Some games have been known to take a long time to develop, but over the years Duke Nukem Forever has become virtually synonymous with vaporware and has been the object of many jokes as well skepticism on the part of many as to whether or not it will be released at all. The development time has become so long that time passed since certain events within its development match or even surpass the entire development time of other games. For instance, September 14th of this year will mark the 5th anniversary of the announcement that 3D Realms changed the games physics engine to Meqon.

You may ask what in the world could be taking so long. There are a number of reasons for that. George Broussard, the project leader, has chimed in on that issue from time to time over the years:

"What's taking so long?": Lots of things. We had too few programmers early on. Some tech took too long to do. We switched engines. We started over a time or two. And a bunch of other stuff.
- George Broussard, January 13th, 2003.

Yeah. We basically spent 4 years trying to get to a solid tech base that we could make the game with, for varying reasons. Learned a lot of valuable lessons about licensing tech, as well as what's needed to alter it, when you're ambitions go beyond the tech that you licensed. So scrap a lot of time and work to a learning process.
- George Broussard, July 14th, 2004.

Scott Miller, the CEO of 3D Realms has also given some comments on this issue, here is a fairly recent one:

We here fully agree. It's disgraceful. We have tried to be far too ambitious with the sequel while being constantly undermanned as a studio, and we clearly bit off a hunk of meat we couldn't chew.
- Scott Miller, September 26th, 2008.

Is there then anything at all to be optimistic about? Well what people consider to be good news or good enough news varies alot from person to person. But certainly there have been some quotes in the last year or so that have given rise to optimism at least among some people in the game's fan community, here are two examples:

We do polish passes on things all the time. It just depends what the focus is. Some people are polishing and others are building new things, and it all changes all the time. There are times when we lock down for 3-4 weeks and virtually everyone works on polish as a core goal, too.
- George Broussard, June 6th, 2008.

It’s going really well. There are several hours of fairly polished game to play. We’re actively testing parts of the game and getting feedback from play testers and things are coming together. It’s fun, it’s in focus, we know what bits are fun and which are not, and it’s just a matter of time now. I’ve probably never been as happy or excited about the game as I am these days.
- George Broussard, August 25th, 2008.

For more information see this thread in our forums.

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