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Article - Always Bet on Duke

by Alan "Nessus" Schaeffer on Monday 30 October 2006

Anyone reading this website is well aware of the long and sordid history of the development of DNF, but one major aspect of the game is usually overlooked: the multiplayer component.

As of this writing, George and the team have had a working deathmatch component in the game for over eight years. Eight freakin’ years! Think about that—this game has been receiving fine tuning since before Unreal Tournament was even released! That could make Dukematch the most highly polished multiplayer game of all time. Just imagine if you had a team of developers to add to, tweak, and fine tune your game over the course of several years, how potentially good it could turn out. George Broussard has had just that, and the man has a history of showing he knows his stuff.

Back in the days when the release of Duke 3D was imminent, George Broussard, the lead designer of the project, noticed a problem. His team was enjoying multiplayer deathmatching in the office, but there was one catch: they were playing Doom and not the game they had worked so hard on and were about to release. Seeing this, Broussard took it upon himself to retool the game until it was so fun that his entire office wanted to switch over to Dukematch, not for simple testing but because it kicked ass. And those of us who played Duke3D back in the day can attest to just what a blast that game was. It was fast and colorful with great strategy elements like pipe bombs, laser trip mines, and the Holoduke, all of which combined to make a unique experience many games of today still can't live up to.

However, with the many iterations of Duke and the long development process, one question does come to mind: Will it be too polished? What if the new Dukematch is like an overproduced rock song that has lost it's raw edge and suffered for it's extra attention instead of benefiting from it? Only time will tell, but my gut tells me when the curtain is finally pulled back and the game is revealed (it could happen ), that the years spent will prove to have been worthwhile. Until that time we will just have to play other games and see how the dice are going to fall, but no matter what the odds we here at Duke4.net stick to a tried and true mantra: Always bet on Duke.