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Duke in Trouble? 114

1up reports on rumours of trouble at 3D Realms, the long-term developers of the Duke Nukem Forever project. The duke project is apparently in jeopardy, according to the buzz, as several key developers have left the company for greener pastures. 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler has responded to these rumours, saying on the message boards "It's internal business - all employee departures and comings have always been that way. This is nothing new. People have left before, IT IS THE NATURE OF THIS BUSINESS. It's the way it goes ... There's honestly nothing to be concerned about. People leave. People come. There's staff on the project you don't know about."
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Duke in Trouble?

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  • Doesn't matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by repruhsent ( 672799 )
    I don't think anyone still thought this game was ever going to be released anyway.
  • by bunions ( 970377 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:40PM (#16024812)
    Honestly, who could have predicted this? I am at a loss for words.
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday September 01, 2006 @03:09PM (#16026036)
      I think this article is a dupe. I can swear I've seen the headlines "Duke Nuke'Em Forever Delayed" and "3D Realms in Trouble" before.


      • by AnXa ( 936517 )
        I guess you didn't read the article.
        It says:"Two guys left from 3DRealms" not:"DNF delayed, again". Suck it down!

        DNF will come someday. We just have to hope for it. Althought Take2 will push it out by force and makes it financially 'catastprofoundly' game.
  • by RoloDMonkey ( 605266 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:42PM (#16024824) Homepage Journal

    "We have top men working on it."


    "Top. Men."

  • It took... (Score:2, Funny)

    by shadwwulf ( 145057 )
    ...anybody this long to wonder if their project was in trouble?!?

    Good grief... Didn't the near DECADE development cycle give anybody their first clue on that front?
    • No, wait, it's not their fault.

      Duke was this close to going Gold...

      But then someone re-read the '97 design spec and realized that the New Duke was supposed to feature portal technology; now they're back to the drawing board.

      Hey man, I am so psyched for that release of Duke Nukem IV Forever 3D Portalicous. From the get go, 3D Realms was targetting the initial release at the PS3.

  • by BigNumber ( 457893 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:43PM (#16024836)
    Nothing to see here...in fact there probably never will be anything to see here.
    • by legoburner ( 702695 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:56PM (#16024942) Homepage Journal
      That is not entirely true, there is always the atari 2600 [3drealms.com] version.
      • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:56PM (#16025424)
        I'm still waiting them to release a version I can play on my Atari 1450XLD [wikipedia.org].

        For those who don't get the reference - Atari announced this top of the line 8Bit computer in 1983 as if it were already shipping. Two years later they "canceled" it. There were never any units actually made (other than prototype), yet they advertised it as a shipping product. I had the misfortune that my family decided to get one and we decided to not buy a new computer to replace our Atari 400 until we could get one of these. All the mail order houses "advertised" them with "call for price". I was 12 (with all that implies), so I called them every couple of days for about 8 months asking when they were going to have units available to sell. So, to me, the Atari 1450XLD computer is the epitome of vapor ware.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by daranz ( 914716 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:44PM (#16024844)
    So Joe Siegler is basically saying that the infinitely long developement process for DNF is going to continue as planned, and will be subject of jokes and speculations for many years to come... Good to know.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by greysky ( 136732 )
      ...process for DNF is going to continue...

      Okay, this is the first time I've noticed that the abbreviation is DNF. In racing it's the abbr for "did not finish".
      • just more evidence that it's an elaborate hoax. yes ... all the pieces are starting to fit together ...
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:45PM (#16024851) Journal
    ...Duke Nukem Forever was a geek joke. You know, like the coming of the Messiah, the second coming of Jesus or the arrival of the Maitreya Buddha. I didn't know there really was such a game in development. That's shattered my whole world view. I might have to rethink my views on religion now.
    • by Luctius ( 931144 )
      No you don't. You only need to do that when it hit the shelves. So no worries there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by soft_guy ( 534437 )
      I thought Duke Nukem Forever was a geek joke. You know, like the coming of the Messiah, the second coming of Jesus or the arrival of the Maitreya Buddha. I didn't know there really was such a game in development.

      Apparently you are correct.
  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:53PM (#16024921)

    In other news: Water is wet.
  • ...I thought this was posted for the obligatory September Fools joke.
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:56PM (#16024949) Homepage
    Duke Nukem has been in the making for 10 years! With an average lifespan in this undustry of 3 -5 years, how the heck could a 10 year project be completed with the same set of employees?

    "It's time to write code and chew gum... and I'm all outta gum."
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:57PM (#16024954)
    You get burnt out in the game industry unless you're constantly shipping high quality titles. Turn over in a couple years isn't amazing, but it's not a great thing.

    The fact is after EVERY game there's a good amount of turn over and even then that's a game that takes 2-4 years. People wanted to stay with the company til the game goes gold then leave. Duke Nukem has been going for far longer than any other game it's not a shock people are leaving the company now, especially before people have seen the game.

    This might mean the game isn't amazing or up to par and people want to cash out now, but more likely it's business as usual.
  • So if the list of developers is secret... Is there a chance that nobody is working on it? "We have secret people working on it" just sounds like an ongoing part of a joke. Maybe all the 3D Realms developers are really working on something else, and they just release bits of news about DNF whenever the company needs a laugh?
  • by ludomancer ( 921940 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:04PM (#16025009)
    After keeping the stupid project alive for so many years, I really am surprised. You'd think after 10 years it'd pretty much keep going forever, if not eventually get released.

    I really hope this game doesn't get cancelled. I really want to play this badly because I have the highest expectations of getting the absolute worst game ever. Something to love for it's terribleness. Something Mystery Science Theater 3000 bad.

    Please release this game. I honestly can't wait.

    • by sharkey ( 16670 )
      A game where you have to kill enemies smaller than flies [wikipedia.org]?
      • An infinite number of monkeys, on an infinite number of typewriters, will eventually produce the collected works of Shakespeare. John Romero's Daikatana was a ten-minute, five-monkey job. Found here. [bash.org]
        • by sharkey ( 16670 )
          On the other hand, as much as we like to run down the embarrassing side of Romero, at least he got to plug Killcreek.
    • I wonder if 3D realms is trying to create the ultimate Duke Nukem Forever experience with a paradigm shift. They could very well be experimenting with a old coding technique that was never really implemented. Anyone wanna take bets that there are 100 million monkey's chained to 100 million computers running basic hex editors? When any of them have typed, say, 4GB of code, it's thrown on a DVD and into a PS2/360/XBox/PC and tested to see if they get a 'Good Duke'?
      • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
        You bring up an interesting idea, though I doubt the validity of it - most likely DNF has become one of those "career" projects (all coders out there know what I mean)...

        Even so, there was a bit of technology out there at the time of DN3D that was interesting, but I never saw it implemented in a real game. Somewhere I have a demo of it for DOS. It was a 3D engine written as a demonstration of something called "voxel rendering" - it wasn't raycasted, and it wasn't done using a 3D primative system (ie, mesh o

  • C'mon now... Duke Nukem Forever is taking forever to release. The majority of people that were waiting for this game have forgotten about it. Those that remember it treat it as a joke. The hype surrounding this game once rivaled or surpassed Daikatana but, hey, at lease Daikatana was actually released. Duke Nukem Forever will go down in history as the one piece of software that completely defines the term "Vaporware".

    I would have appreciated it more if 3DRealms said "Hey, we fucked up on this one... DNF wil
  • We all know the forever in DNF actually stands for how long we have to wait before we see this game. I've some hope mostly because I go back and play the original D3D and its still fun and I want more. And they did finally release Prey.

    Thats also what I'm scared about - I just don't want it to be like Prey where the original claim was that there was going to be non linear gameplay and you could interact completely with your environment, destroying it or whatever. We did get portals in the end but heck I've
  • by zoomzit ( 860737 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:11PM (#16025074)
    My children's children's children have absolutely nothing to look forward too...
  • by BrunoBigfoot ( 996441 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:12PM (#16025087)
    He's not dead. He's frozen. And as soon as we find a cure for cancer, we're gonna thaw out the Duke, and he's gonna be pretty pissed off. You know why? Have you ever taken a cold shower? Well, multiply that by fifteen million times, that's how pissed off the Duke's gonna be. I'm gonna get the Duke, and John Cassavetes, and Lee Marvin, and Sam Peckinpah, and a case of whiskey, and drive down to Texas...
  • I never understood completely what all the fuss with DNF is about. They've been honest about the timing of their development cycle from day one. Hell, they even put it on the game title how long it would take: "Forever".
  • Huh... Wonder if this will cause a delay in the game release


  • I'd really like to know what's going on with this game. At this point, it's taken longer than an operating sSystem to develop, and it's been an industry joke for many years. What gives? Do they have like, 1 programmer working half time on it? I can't imagine working on a single product for so long, so it's no wonder there are people leaving, I'd just like to hear the actual story of why it's taking so long, and not just a press release version of "we'll ship it when it's done."
  • IDEA!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nascarguy27 ( 984493 ) <nascarguy27@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:40PM (#16025288)
    Since it'll never be completely done, open source Duke Nukem Forever. That way it can forever be in beta AND people can use it. Unless of course it's unusable at all now. Hopefully it's beyond that.
    • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
      I was thinking about that and yeah, that would be cool if they gave up on developping it and released the sources as they are, I'm sure lots of people would like to help with this project and get the work done. Actually I'm sure the result would be better by far if the open source community completed it than if 3D Realms did.
  • Seriously.

    They MUST be using Perl to code this thing because that's the only way it could take this long. I know I'm going to get trolled down by all the Perl babies out there, but can you honestly think of any other reason it could possibly take this long to code a FPS? And one with no plot line to boot?

    The only way would be code that looked like this:

    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Perl [uncyclopedia.org]
  • Obituary (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nahor ( 41537 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:46PM (#16025332)
    And soon, we'll learn that people killed themselves on the project, while in truth, they just died of old age.
  • maybe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:55PM (#16025415) Journal
    Maybe the DNF developers are leaving to join the exciting GNU/Hurd team with its quick and upbeat release record.
    • Maybe the DNF developers are leaving to join the exciting GNU/Hurd team with its quick and upbeat release record.

      I'm pretty sure we've been waiting for Hurd since way before DNF. Like by about a decade [gnu.org] if we count 1983 as the starting point of that project.

      That's just scary.

      • In all fairness, I believe you can, in fact, download and run the HURD, and have been able to do so for years. It just sucks royally when compared to any useful OS.
  • by kolding ( 55685 )
    I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but isn't it ironic that DNF in some racing (skiing, at least, not sure about others) means "Did Not Finish"....

  • What's interesting is the obvious amount of passion George Broussard must be putting into DNF. It's a virtual game of make believe, yet we are passing the decade marker. I'm really really hard pressed to think of any computer related product that has taken 10+ years in development before a single release. Maybe 3DRealms is banking on DNF to be the end-all of all games. If so he's sadly mistaken. If it turns out that DNF takes 10 years from start to finish, does 3DRealms think that equal time of 10 years DNF
    • Gnu Hurd has been taking longer, Windows Vista probably has been in development also for quite a while, but wont beat it.
  • This is nothing new. People have left before, IT IS THE NATURE OF THIS BUSINESS.

    Just sub in 'vaporware' and you get this.

    This is nothing new. Vaporware IS THE NATURE OF THIS BUSINESS.

    As a side note, why does Duke keep getting coverage??? Let the man rest in peace until the day he rises from the 3D Realms ashes and is born again at retailer near you. Until then, goodbye, Duke.

  • The truth.. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The only reason the truth hasn't come out about DNF is 3dRealms is a privately held company. They're not required to release any internal company data that show this project is/was dead. If they were a publicly traded company, Sarbanes-Oxley would have forced them to come clean and/or go to prison.

    I'm surprised the private stock holders haven't made a stink by now. There is no profit in lying for 10 years.

    Oh, wait a minute....I guess there is....
  • What's Phantom going to use now that their star title is floundering?
  • I've just been converted. It's a new religion! I get it now. Life is complete. I have no fear of death, for I am destined to live forever in paradise, if only I believe in the Duke.

  • Ohhhhhh... thats gonna hurt cum christmas...
  • The List (Score:5, Informative)

    by inotocracy ( 762166 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @04:49PM (#16026790) Homepage
    Has yet to be posted, so I shall do just that, things that have occured since the announcement of Duke Nukem Forever [a-13.net]:

    Popular Video Game Series Releases
    Final Fantasy:

    * Main Series
    o Final Fantasy VII
    o Final Fantasy VIII
    o Final Fantasy IX
    o Final Fantasy X
    + Final Fantasy X-2
    o Final Fantasy XI
    o Final Fantasy XII
    * Cell Phone Games
    o Before Crisis: Final Fantasy
    o Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
    o Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode
    * Tactics Series
    o Final Fantasy Tactics
    o Final Fantasy Tactice Advance
    * Crystal Chronicles Series
    o Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
    o Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
    o Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearer
    * Remakes
    o Final Fantasy Collection
    o Final Fantasy Anthology
    o Final Fantasy Chronicles
    o Final Fantasy Origins
    o Final Fantasy I & 2: Dawn of Souls
    o Final Fantasy III DS
    * Games Featuring Final Fantasy Characters
    o Ehrgeiz
    o Kingtom Hearts
    o Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
    o Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix
    o Kingdom Hearts II
    * Movies, Anime Series & Concerts
    o Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within
    o Final Fantasy: Unlimited, Entire Series
    o Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
    o Final Fantasy: Dear Friends, Entire World Tour

    Grand Theft Auto:

    * Grand Theft Auto
    o Grand Theft Auto, Gameboy Color Port
    * Grand Theft Auto
    * Grand Theft Auto: London 1969
    * Gr
  • They are just waiting for the PS3 becoming the market leader of the next gen consoles. Then they will release it as a PS3 exclusive...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have never programmed anything beyond Excel VBA. Yet my personal view is that developing _any_ program over the course of 5+ years is doomed to fail miserably - just from logic and observations about human behaviour.

    Any program or game will be an interaction of modules. The textures can be seen as a module, the models as a module, the graphics engine a module, the AI engine a module, the menu system a module, the maps a module, etc. The final specifications for these are usually decided early - at the ver
    • by chromatic ( 9471 )
      ... secondly, all the tweaking of modules has invariably made them fit less well together, leading to random crashes. It would therefore be better to simply discard anything which has been in development for 5+ years, and redo it from scratch.

      "Invariably"? You claim that it's completely impossible to leave a unit of code a little bit cleaner every time you make a change? Very well; I claim otherwise.

      • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @10:10PM (#16031452)
        Well, maybe not completely impossible ... but the reality is that code tends to move from elegance to thorniness, and not the other way 'round. Call it ScrewMaster's Rule of Developmental Entropy. Fixes for this and fixes for that: over time the code will be inelegant as hell yet reliable and perfectly functional, but nobody in their right mind would dare try to rewrite it because nobody remembers why all those hacks and patches are there. I deal with that a lot in some of the older code I have to support and maintain. I wasn't the original coder, and I'd love to dig in and rewrite some of the stuff that truly offends my engineering sensibilities. I don't dare, however, because if I did I'd miss some of the special cases taken care of by all the thorns, wreak havoc amongst our customers, and would probably end up spending just as much time to make my new code work as well as the old. At which point, it would be just as thorny anyway.

        Ultimately, what it comes down to is that it is very difficult (if not impossible) for even a very good, clean, thoughtful initial design to account for all the eventualities that a codebase will have to face. You may truly want to leave that code cleaner when you leave, but odds are that time pressure alone will sometimes leave you with what you know in your heart is a hack. Trying to do everything perfectly all the time takes forever, which is unacceptable in most production environments. 3DRealms may be different in that regard. Certainly they don't mind giving their developers all the time they need.
        • by chromatic ( 9471 )

          I wasn't the original coder, and I'd love to dig in and rewrite some of the stuff that truly offends my engineering sensibilities. I don't dare, however, because if I did I'd miss some of the special cases taken care of by all the thorns, wreak havoc amongst our customers, and would probably end up spending just as much time to make my new code work as well as the old.

          Why would you miss special cases? That's what a comprehensive test suite is for. (Yes, I know many or even most projects don't have the

          • Because those "special cases" aren't necessarily obvious, which is the point I was trying to convey. For example, I sometimes see code using "magic numbers". That irritates me because it isn't readily apparent why the programmer multiplied a float by, say, .03092938E-3 to get the desired result (usually several constants were boiled down to one.) Often there are good reasons for coding that way, particularly in embedded systems with limited resources. But for the guy who comes along later, undocumented crap
  • ..at least now I don't have to worry about the end of the world coming anytime soon.
  • If some key personnel have left, does that mean it has a chance to be released? If these "key" persons have worked on the project for 10 years I think it's time to let them go and get some new people to actually finish it off.
  • A thought came to mind, maybe they left the company because it would be the last game they made at 3D Realms and decided to move on afterwards. Perhaps the game is pretty much done and all thats left can be done by the newbies? Sounds like it could be good news as well.
  • ... Graves or Nursing homes.
  • DNF in many racing sports stands for Did Not Finish
  • by AmazingRuss ( 555076 ) on Friday September 01, 2006 @11:00PM (#16028366)
    ...but a few did die of old age.
    • Somehow, this brings to mind that episode of TNG, Booby Trap; I keep seeing the bridge crew of the Promellian vessel in my head, only they're DNF programmers still at their Pentium III workstations. "Commendable. They died at their posts."
  • Unless they can release the game before the end of this year, they should cut their losses and kill development on it, IMHO.

    Apart from anything else, the level of expectation about it now means that no matter what they come out with, it's not going to seem good enough to those still waiting for it. The other side of the coin is the degree of apathy which I expect would have set in among the rest of the gaming population who know about it. A level of apathy that big is not something you want to have greet th
  • Why does anyone report on DNF other than its never going to be released?

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972