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The Nuking of Duke Nukem

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the nero-fiddles-for-the-soundtrack dept.

Businesses 325

Rick Bentley writes with more on the story behind the meltdown of Duke Nukem Forever, the game that will now live on only as a cautionary tale: "Although the shutdown was previously reported on Slashdot, this new Wired article goes in-depth behind the scenes to paint a picture of a mushroom cloud-sized implosion. Developers spending a decade in a career holding pattern for below market salary with 'profit sharing' incentives, no real project deadlines, a motion capture room apparently used to capture the motion of strippers (the new game was to take place in a strip club, owned by Duke, that gets attacked by aliens), and countless crestfallen fans. *Sniff*, I would have played that game."

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Developers with style (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523090)

Using motion capture room for strippers is just badass.

Duke'N' 3-D only game I thought was WOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523216)

Played it only on OS/2, to boot. Every game since has been so boring in comparison.

Re:Developers with style (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523260)

I bet it's not so badass sitting at the unemployment office wishing you had actually WORKED ON THE DAMN GAME instead of wasting time.

Re:Developers with style (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524042)

Well, You know what they say. It's better to have motion captured strippers and lost, than to have never motion captured strippers at all...

Re:Developers with style (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524162)

A lot of those guys were super-talented, I'd be surprised if they stayed unemployed for long.

Re:Developers with style (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523426)

Would that be considered a job perc?

Re:Developers with style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523606)

I doub't it was really motion capture but just the normal kind of capture and take home. As I read TFA it felt just like The Office,... IRL. Would have been awesome working there.

Re:Developers with style (2, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523674)

A project where they are motion capturing strippers, no wonder the project has got nowhere! Probably the most uncovered women these 'nerds' have seen in their life. Why would they want to stop that?!

Re:Developers with style (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523948)

I don't know what kind of "profit sharing" incentives they were offered, but it seems to me that having a company sponsored stripper room is as good an incentive as any to work for below market salary

Re:Developers with style (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524078)

Presumably Grand Theft Auto IV's developers mo-capped strippers, and that shipped.

as a kid (5, Funny)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523092)

Ah, memories from childhood. One day my friend told me he had found a kickass game from a BBS and asked if I wanted to go play it with him after school. He described it to me and I was already sold, but but... My mother Giovanna had told me to help my father at our family pizza place after school. Damn it!

School day became to end and I tried to consider my options, but there were none. I had to go help my papa make pizza. Frustraded, almost crying, I walked the streets of Naples back home. Every now and then I watched inside a window on the street and noticed someone playing on computer. I was thinking if that could be it, but I'd never know.

I decided to think for a moment. Like a good oven takes its time and peace to bake and finish a delicious pizza, my padre would wait for me. It was time to go see what the game was about.

And I was amazed. Great looking graphics, funny sounding man that I did not understand and girls with something on their chest that looked like doughnuts with a salami on top of it. It was truly marvelous.

While later serving customers at my fathers pizza place, I couldn't but think that I have to get a computer and this Duke Nukem 3D game. I mean, I loved baking pizza. But there is a time when a boy must choose between leisure and girls. But my father never got me a computer.

Like an overbaked pizza, my dreams were crushed when Duke Nukem Forever never came.

Re:as a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523154)

Eh, doing pizza analogies is pretty tepid. How about registering an account called something like "TamponAnalogyGuy". Now THAT would be challenging.

Re:as a kid (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523788)

like a blood soaked tampon left in for too long, DNF died of toxic shock syndrome?

Re:as a kid (5, Funny)

rot26 (240034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524072)

How is George Broussard like a tampon? They're both stuck up cunts.

Dedicated to his schtick (2, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523430)

He's been keeping this stunt up for months. And now I could really go for a pizza.

Re:as a kid (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523594)

Dude, that was the third iteration of Duke Nukem and it lacked much that the side scrollers had. My favorite part of DN1 (a squeaky little side scroller that used the PC speaker for sound) and DN2 (similar to 1 but better 2D graphics and used the PC's sound card) was shooting the Energizer Bunny.

George Broussard used to post at Planet Crap almost daily shortly after DN3D came out. He said there were 35,000 people that registered DN1, which had been released as shareware.

I was one of the 35k. It was twenty bucks well spent! I think I picked up DN2 at K-Mart.

Re:as a kid (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523690)

I first discovered it when someone released a "The Shining" mod. I heard about it among some fans of the movie and bought it just for that mod (still one of the coolest mods ever, IMHO). And afterward, I actually played the main game and enjoyed that too. It's a great example of how fan mods can benefit a game greatly. Console makers should take heed and allow them for console games too.

Re:as a kid (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523840)

Thanks for that! I love D3D but haven't played many mods. Just downloaded that Shining mod.

And now for something completely obvious (5, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523112)

Developers spending a decade in a career holding pattern for below market salary with 'profit sharing' incentives, no real project deadlines, a motion capture room apparently used to capture the motion of strippers

Really, that's just too easy. Can't you at least make it a challenge to get +5 Funny???

Oh well, here goes... Sounds like my job, but without the strippers.

Re:And now for something completely obvious (2, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523486)

Yeesh. Sounds like my job, only without the profit sharing OR the strippers.

Re:And now for something completely obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30524268)

Yeesh. Sounds like my job, only without the profit sharing OR the strippers.

X-Bender: Aaaw, screw the whole thing!

Never mind the sourcecode (5, Insightful)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523146)

Now the game is cancelled, can they at least release the data from the motion-captured strippers ?

Re:Never mind the sourcecode (2, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523218)

Yeah. I'd like a copy of the assets of those assets.

Re:Never mind the sourcecode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523344)

"where is the motion capture data from the strippers"

Yep. +5 Insightful. Awesome.

Re:Never mind the sourcecode (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523860)

Have you seen a stripper (in action)? of course it is insigt ful.

Re:Never mind the sourcecode (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523950)

You know, a lot of people like to put them down, but I've seen some strippers in clubs do some pretty impressive things. You go in and strippers basically fall into 4 categories:

1. The drug addict working to feed the habit
2. The single mother feeding the kids
3. The girl working for tuition
4. The professional/career stripper

Types 1 is annoying but must be tolerated. Types 2 & 3 are a crap shoot - sometimes they're attractive, sometimes not. Type 4 though often put on a hell of a show. The professional girls often times can do some crazy stuff on a pole. To see a girl climb to the top of a 12-14 foot pole wearing lingerie and do a controlled slide down the thing upside down and be naked by the time she gets to the bottom (while doing all this to the actual beat of the music) takes some skill ;).

Re:Never mind the sourcecode (3, Interesting)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524186)

Hate to break it to you, dude, but #3 and #4 are figments of your imagination. Every strip joint has at least 1 girl who's "working her way through college", but it's just a story line that's been repeated 100 million times to sucker some dude for a few extra bucks. It's the same as the illusion that they make $2500 per night. It's always interesting to ask one of these characters "if you make $2500 per night, how come your boyfriend has to drop you off and pick you up in your 1982 Ford Escort?" and watch her head explode.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against strip clubs, and have had some great times in them. I've just been in enough of them for long enough to know that there is no mythical lawyer-in-the-making who's paying her tuition with tips.

*nah* *nah* *nah* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523174)

I refuse to believe that they've cancled this... *nah* *nah* *nah* I can't hear you..

AC - patiently holding my breath since 1997

Re:*nah* *nah* *nah* (4, Funny)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524102)

I refuse to believe that they've cancled this... *nah* *nah* *nah* I can't hear you.. AC - patiently holding my breath since 1997

It's ok.. I heard a rumour that it is going to come pre installed on the Apple tablet.

Office Perks. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523176)

Developers spending a decade in a career holding pattern for below market salary with 'profit sharing' incentives, no real project deadlines, a motion capture room apparently used to capture the motion of strippers.

I'd work for below market salary just to be able to work with no deadlines, let alone the free strippers in the office. :-)

Re:Office Perks. (4, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523984)

let alone the free strippers in the office.

They weren't all free, most were tied up or in handcuffs.

Re:Office Perks. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524158)

I'd prefer working well above market salary. Strippers can be bought with cash, ya know?

Both game developers and artists need money (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523178)

Interesting note in the article also was

Normally, game developers don’t have much cash. Like rock bands seeking a label to help pay for the cost of recording an album, game developers usually find a publisher to give them an advance in exchange for a big slice of the profits.

Since people usually complain about music labels being evil, would game developers survive without publishers that pay their costs? Sure, indie's do, but look at what happened to 3D Realms too, and they even financed lots from their own past revenues.

Re:Both game developers and artists need money (1)

Alan426 (962302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523428)

So do strippers

Re:Both game developers and artists need money (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523446)

I think the point to that statement was that getting the money up front usually tied the artist (game or music) in to deliver on someone elses' timeline, which in this case is what DNF needed more than anything else since even a stream of crappy, poorly selling titles would have been better than, well, nothing.

It highlights the cautionary tale that DNF has become: don't let a mountain of cash take your eye off the development process that usually ends when the investors tighten the leash and say its time to start paying back, since that part is only avoidable if you want to fade into oblivion with nothing to show for it.

Re:Both game developers and artists need money (1)

nprz (1210658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523670)

In short: Don't rest on your laurels.
They would probably be saying they are trying to be perfectionists, but there is a time where it is a little harmful (upgrading engines and scratching everything, etc).

Re:Both game developers and artists need money (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524274)

Oddly enough, there were two "OMG this is taking forever" titles.

The other one was Daikatana. The much-maligned Daikatana actually was released. It went through one engine switch, similar to DNF (Quake to Quake II) because the Quake II engine offered it more to work with. It was "Feature-locked" in mid-1999, as the Wired article suggests that DNF should have been several times, and then worked on to finish and release.

Unfortunately, it was beat to the market by Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 (November and December 1999, respectively) and so the graphics for it seemed "antiquated" when it was released in May 2000. It also put its worst graphical foot first (the first level, also used for the demo, is legitimately trash that does NOTHING to show off some pretty nice design and atmosphere available in later levels, especially the Greek levels).

Arguably, this is the counterargument to the Wired article. DNF could have been locked down and "worked to completion." Yes, it could have been finished at several points. They probably should have. At the same time, one of the best times for this to happen (the early 2000's) would have had George Broussard point right to the release of Daikatana and the fact that Daikatana's lockdown had let it get one-upped out of the gate.

Let's be clear about this: had Daikatana been released in, say, October 1999, reviews would probably have been a lot better. Graphically, it got universally spiked based on the fact that the "new standard" was now the UT or Q3 engines, despite the fact that games licensing engines always have a delay. Storyline/gameplay-wise, it got spiked for hubris, the same sort of hubris that George Broussard and the DNF team had committed over and over again. They couldn't risk getting spiked the same way. Or rather, they could, but fear of doing so is what eventually doomed the game entirely.

What's really sad is the fact that they had actually, finally, feature-locked the game and were in the final-release run. The shutdown came in a "black flagged on the last lap" situation.

Re:Both game developers and artists need money (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524062)

Since people usually complain about music labels being evil, would game developers survive without publishers that pay their costs?

Apples vs oranges. The fact that record companies give advances to artists isn't what's evil. Ripping off those artists, suing their best customers, and DRM is what's evil about record companies.

Also, the record companies are no longer needed. In the past it was indeed prohibitively expensive to make a record, but the cost od digital recording has dropped to the point that recording and professionally duplicating 1,000 CDs costs less than a couple of good amplifiers or a drum set.

Damn! (4, Funny)

deaton (616663) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523184)

I knew I shouldn't have pre-ordered back in 1999.

Re:Damn! (4, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523228)

so you are this guy [yfrog.com] ?

Re:Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30524350)

No he reserved August 13th, 2001. If the other guy reserved in 1999, he now holds the crown.

3D Still an innovative game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523224)

Where else have you seen:
Pipeboms
Laser Trip Wires
Holographic decoys
Tap into security cameras

No other FPS has done any of the above (well Kingpin had pipebombs but I digress) - Duke3d was more than just strippers and pigs - it had very innovative weapons and gameplay.

Dialup 1-on-1 deathmatch FTW BABY

Re:3D Still an innovative game (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523488)

The first two are in Half Life, decoys in Bioshock and MDK and the last one in KOTOR from the top of my head. Just to give an example of each. You must not have played many games if you think those weapons haven't appeared elsewhere.

Re:3D Still an innovative game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523856)

I guess your list refutes the OPs literal claim, but it doesn't change the fact that all the games in your list (and the ones AndrewNeo mentions) were released after DN3D... Duke Nukem 3D was a very innovative game, I'd say the most innovative FPS after the genre was invented.

Still not getting it - DN3D was and is the King (5, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523900)

Thats ironic - you're mocking him without realizing that you just made his point... There are NO games out there that have replicated the variety in DN3D - let alone improved on that. They've chosen to look pretty instead of introducing new concepts. And DN3D came out 15 years ago!

Can you do this in any other game - Setup a decoy in an elevator. Plant a pipe bomb. Go to a security terminal. Watch until your opponent triggers the elevator and opens it - set off pipe bomb remotely as they shoot at nothing.

And its not just what the original poster listed - don't forget about:
-unique sounds for walking on every surface (you could tell where your opponent was just by listening carefully)
-3D multilevel environments (even if "technically" bridges)
-Taunts
-Working Mirrors
-Jet Pack
-Semi-destructible environments
-Freeze Ray (expansion)
-Portals (expansion)
-Shrink Ray (expansion)
-Microwave gun (expansion)

I'm probably forgetting more stuff here - its been 10 years since I played last.

Re:3D Still an innovative game (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523668)

Pipeboms

Left 4 Dead

Laser Trip Wires

Half-Life 1

Holographic decoys

Not so sure about this one

Tap into security cameras

Splinter Cell? I think there was a spy/sneak game that let you do this. MGS?

Re:3D Still an innovative game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523968)

deus ex

Re:3D Still an innovative game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30524074)

Holographic decoys

Not so sure about this one

More like tricking your opponent. TF2 has this with the spy disguises

I'm here to kick ass and pay salaries (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523258)

And I'm all out of money.

Where is the funny? (5, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523272)

They never released it because the opposition kept getting better? If they could retain the great humour that went into the Duke3D, they would not need the latest and greatest in 3D gaming. It should stand alone.

Duke Nukem 3D was pretty average technically, but who cares when it is so funny and engaging. The saga of Duke Nukem Forever reminds me of how George Lucas discovered CGI, but forgot script writing. Just because something is pretty doesn't mean to say that it is good.

Re:Where is the funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523328)

From the sounds of it they were at the pinnacle of gaming plenty of times during the 12 year span but simply failed to say "Alright, lets wrap it up". Games rely on three things to sell: visually engaging graphics, engaging story and gameplay. If any of those are lacking you need the other to compensate, but if you have all three why not just release the damn game at any of the given milestones!

Re:Where is the funny? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523474)

From the sounds of it they were at the pinnacle of gaming plenty of times during the 12 year span but simply failed to say "Alright, lets wrap it up". Games rely on three things to sell: visually engaging graphics, engaging story and gameplay.

Four things: visually engaging graphics, engaging story, gameplay, and actually being for sale. Okay, maybe three things; I can overlook poor graphics (I'd gladly buy a good Infocom clone for a dollar).

Re:Where is the funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523610)

If a dollar is the price you'd be glad to pay, I wonder why nobody hears your requests ;)

Re:Where is the funny? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523680)

Four things: visually engaging graphics, engaging story, gameplay, and actually being for sale. Okay, maybe three things; I can overlook poor graphics (I'd gladly buy a good Infocom clone for a dollar).

FIVE, five things: visually engaging graphics, engaging story, gameplay, actually being for sale, only costing a dollar and nice red uniforms... Damn. I'll come in again.

Re:Where is the funny? (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523564)

Just because something is pretty doesn't mean to say that it is good.

+1 Avatar reference

Re:Where is the funny? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524076)

Besides, they could have put a blank CD-R in each of the game cases and we all know it would have sold millions world-wide on its debut. They could have broken even with no effort at all.

Should've been open-sourced long ago. (0)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523320)

They should have open sourced this long ago. I can remember playing 3d when the demo for quake came out... i haven't played it since...

Re:Should've been open-sourced long ago. (-1, Flamebait)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523424)

I'm afraid open sourcing it would just have ensured it was crap, regardless. At least keeping it in-house they had a chance of producing something decent. For the want of a Gantt chart they might have succeeded!

Just for you Quake players... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524238)

Rudolph the four legged Stroggie
Had a very deadly tongue,
And if you ever saw it
You would prolly die real young.

All of the other Stroggies
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any deathmatch games

Then one bloody Christmas eve
Shambler came to say,
"Rudolph with your tongue so long
Go take care of Dennis Fong."

Then all the Stroggies loved him
As they shouted out with glee
"Rudolph the four legged Stroggie
You can come and play with me!"

From my old Springfield Fragfest Quake Chriustmas page

Vaporware Free software projects (5, Informative)

MaraDNS (1629201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523336)

You know, Duke Nukem Forever is probably the most well-known vaporware software project out there, but it certainly isn't the only one.

Free/open-source software has a lot of these. As an open-source developer myself, I can understand why. One issue is that a lot of open-source projects are started by young naive people who do not realize how much time and effort it really takes to make a software program. Probably over half of the projects on Sourceforge fall under this category. One example is MooDNS [sourceforge.net] , a DNS server that stopped development around the time the developer realized what a pain in the butt DNS compression is.

Another way open-source projects get abandoned is when other software that does the same thing comes along. For example, the GNU Hurd [gnu.org] never became production-ready because Linux came along and was good enough that the perceived need for Hurd development went away.

Other projects that stop development are projects where the developers stop going to school and get real jobs, and no longer have time to devote to an open-source project. One example of this is the Y Window System [wikipedia.org]

For all of the advantages of Free software, one issue is that, without, by and large, the developers being paid money, there is not nearly as much motivation to get something finished, so a lot of projects become vaporware.

Closer to home, I've told myself for years I would have a thread-free version of a recursive resolver for my own MaraDNS. I finally started writing the code in late 2007. Around the end of 2007, I had a working basic non-recursive cache. The project was put on hold in 2008 while I got out of the Slashdot-posting basement and looked for a girlfriend. I finally got one around the end of 2008, and was able to spend 2009 adding a lot of features to the code, making a lot of releases of the code.

Well, around September of 2009, I got burnt out. Too much work for too little (almost no) pay. I stopped doing major development on the recursive code at that point, but have a really nice non-recursive cache with most of the foundation needed to make it a recursive cache. I do want to get back in to the project; but it's a lot of work and having a few thank you emails doesn't feel like enough compensation at times, especially when the other half of the emails are people asking me to implement their favorite pet feature for fun and for free, or asking for free email support. I finally put a plug on that nonsense by making it extremely clear that I only answer private email for people willing to pay me. Here are some of my rants I blogged about [blogspot.com] . I do get the occasional "you made this nice DNS server, we would like to hire you" email, but haven't gotten a job from that yet.

I do want to finish up the recursive code, and put closure on my DNS server project, but I just haven't gotten myself in the "develop free software" mindset again.

Maybe it's time to stop goofing around on Slashdot and finish up the code. :)

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523444)

Closer to home, I've told myself for years I would have a thread-free version of a recursive resolver for my own MaraDNS. I finally started writing the code in late 2007. Around the end of 2007, I had a working basic non-recursive cache. The project was put on hold in 2008 while I got out of the Slashdot-posting basement and looked for a girlfriend. I finally got one around the end of 2008, and was able to spend 2009 adding a lot of features to the code, making a lot of releases of the code.

You spent a lot of time getting a girlfriend. After you got a girlfriend you spent a lot of time adding features to your project.

I like the way you prioritize, but I'm not sure your girlfriend would agree :P

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (1)

MaraDNS (1629201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523628)

I like the way you prioritize, but I'm not sure your girlfriend would agree :P

Looking for a girlfriend means meeting girls on dating sites and flirting with them on MSN while I'm bored at work. Having a girlfriend means working on geek projects while I'm bored at work and my girlfriend isn't online. I don't think she would appreciate me flirting with other girls. :)

For single Slashdot geeks: I found her at Tagged [tagged.com] playing a flirting game called "Meet me", getting MSN emails from girls who expressed interest, then getting to know girls on MSN until I got their phone number, and finally meeting them in real life and dating them until I got one who I had real good chemistry with. It was about eight months of work.

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523830)

Thanks for the tip. I'm between girlfriends, so I played with Tagged a bit. Eh, maybe it's just that I'm from a poor rust-belt city, but everyone on there seemed to be, well, let's say from a lower SES [wikipedia.org] background. I'm looking for someone more educated and professional. Thinking an R&B song and sparkles on your profile page disqualifies someone from being my mate, and allowing such nonsense indicates a site caters to the kind of person I probably can't stand.

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (1)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524168)

Who says "MSN Email"? For that matter, who says MSN anymore?

No wonder you have issues with open source development. You obviously work for Microsoft.

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523576)

The big difference is open source is done by volunteers and invariably there are solutions already available. The fact an unskilled kid doesn't get anywhere on something after setting up a homepage doesn't matter. OSS projects don't seek publicity and lie to the press about the status and fake screenshots each year. DNF was a farce and took a lot of real money for something that was never going to exist. You are aware of the lawsuits?

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (4, Funny)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523844)

The project was put on hold in 2008 while I got out of the Slashdot-posting basement and looked for a girlfriend. I finally got one around the end of 2008,

Wow... phrased like that, getting a girlfriend is like a side quest in the RPG of your life.

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524226)

If only the real-life girlfriend quest was as easy as finding a girl with a giant exclamation point over her head.

Re:Vaporware Free software projects (3, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523882)

I'll work on an open source project when my lawyer and my doctor start providing free consultations.

so why did the devs stay? (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523348)

at some point common sense will tell you that this project isn't going anywhere and your job may be in trouble and maybe i should look for another job? it's like all the dot coms from 10 years ago where people drank the kool aid and thought that investors will just keep feeding them more money to have fun at the office even though there is no profit and no one has any idea how to make a profit

Re:so why did the devs stay? (3, Insightful)

Scr3wFace (1200541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523412)

Strippers!

Re:so why did the devs stay? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523568)

read the article

"By August 2006, at least seven people had left — nearly half the team... "

Me too (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523356)

*Sniff*, I would have played that game.

I would have too, ten years ago.

It's time to (4, Funny)

Scr3wFace (1200541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523358)

Kick ass and chew bubble gum, Damn I'm all out of money!

Duke Nukem isn't dead... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523372)

... I saw him yesterday in Avatar.

The Nuking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523388)

...from orbit.

Had To Laugh (4, Funny)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523400)

I had to laugh today when I signed into Slashdot to see we are still talking about Duke Nukem.

Re:Had To Laugh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523460)

It will go on forever.

Re:Had To Laugh (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524280)

It's one of the most treasured running gags on /. It's way more treasured than Natalie Portman, a Beowulf cluster or our sharks with friggin' lasers could ever be. It's one of the oldest ones, old enough that even the ancients here can barely remember a time without it.

And now, it's gone. We have to find a new idiom for something that will be released bundled with $current_topic_considered_vaporware.

Someone's had too many mushrooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523480)

mushroom cloud-sized implosion

WTF? Mushroom clouds have a distinctive shape; they can be pretty much any size. And why would you hyphenate cloud with sized? Plus what's the size of an implosion anyway - what was there to begin with or what's left at the end?

Re:Someone's had too many mushrooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30524250)

Mushroom clouds are caused from explosions

Irony (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523526)

In the end, 3DR failed solely due to Broussard's fear of failure.

I don't need this Game (5, Funny)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523546)

I will make my own game with Black Jack... and strippers! Oh they tried and failed? Oh crap!

I thought it was a joke? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523608)

I always thought Duke Nukem Forever was one of this long standing jokes, like the "I copied 17 Megabytes on my Macintosh and it took 20 minutes" one that comes up again and again. Never realised it was real vapourware.

You guys are saying there were real people trying to actually write this software? Seriously?

ALWAYS BET ON DUKE (3, Interesting)

soupforare (542403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523622)

Tycho said it best, "...there are lessons about what makes for good play still bottled up in Duke Nukem 3D, lessons haven't truly informed the last thirteen years of industry progress." If anything at all comes from the DNF fiasco, I hope that some younger gamers (and developers!) go back and give D3D a playthrough.
Maybe it's not as great as we remember but it sure as hell deserved a better fate than it got.

Sounds like they almost made 4 games (5, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523624)

It sounds like, from the article, Broussard never really got the concept of iterative development. It sounds like 4 or times they had a game *almost* done, and then scrapped it. Why? I mean, on the one hand, I do understand the idea of not releasing crap that dilutes your 'name brand', but the article author seems to have indicated that every time they demo'ed their 'current' generation of tech, the crowd was wowed.

In the 10 years from 1998-2008 they could have released 4 or 5 great games, each one getting better than the last. Each one making some revenue to help you fund the next version. I've come to appreciate that developing software isn't a destination, it's a journey. Make a new version, give yourself a well-defined, finite set of new features, develop them, sell that version, then start working on the next version which adds all the cool features you just weren't able to work into the last version, but wished you had.

One of the points in the article was that they scrapped the Quake II engine for Unreal, because Q2 just couldn't render the outside deserts around Las Vegas the way they wanted. I think, faced with the same problem, I would have just said, "No outside levels in this version - if we can't make them look decent, don't make them at all; we'll do it in the next version" - although, possibly I could see that one reboot as being necessary - probably the game would have been really missing something if there were no outdoor environments. So, I could see that change could have been necessary, switching to Unreal, but once they switched, they should have committed to shipping *a* game based on that engine, and only worried about changing up engines once they started work on the *next* game, after shipping DNF.

Well, at least young'uns like me can learn from 3DR's mistake.

Re:Sounds like they almost made 4 games (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523804)

That's really key. Further, because they used their own money, had they made NOTHING on any of them, they still would've been none the worse for the wear. Kinda goes to show the need to do SOMETHING, even if it's crap. I mean consider if Microsoft had waited 12 years to release the perfect OS, only too... err... um... no wait. Bad example. :)

Re:Sounds like they almost made 4 games (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523976)

reminds me of someone i know that bought all the electronics as soon as they came out. think when DVD first came out and players cost $1000.

in the 1990's he refused to buy a computer because he said he was waiting for his ultimate one to be available

Transcript : SCRUM, DUKE NUKEM (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523660)

Developer 1 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Developer 2 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Developer 3 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Developer 4 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Developer 5 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Developer 6 : Spent 12, Burned 0
Scrum Master : We have sprint review coming up...
Developer 2 : So, we have 500 hours of capacity, and 0 tasks burned...

Repeat 60 times

Let the community finish it (1)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523700)

The game may be far from completion and may never be finished, but surely there are large amount of great code already written by 3D Realms. So why not open source the game and let us from Slashdot finish the work?

Re:Let the community finish it (1)

davaguco (771514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523782)

Cause they don't want to admit that they only produced a few petabytes of stripper motion captures.

eDuke32 (5, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523750)

eDuke32 [eduke32.com] is an open sourced Duke Nukem 3D project. It needs the Duke Nukem 3D game data files to work, and if you lost your Duke CD they can sell you a copy for $5.99. It works with Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX, but only the Windows version is compiled, you have to compile the Linux and Mac OSX versions; although they claim to have a link to precompiled Mac OSX files.

It is not Duke Nukem Forever but it has some advanced features and a link to Dukeworld to get fan made content creation and new maps and levels to keep you playing Duke Nukem almost forever. It can support resolutions the original couldn't and fixes a lot of game killing bugs the DOS version suffered from.

"George’s genius was realizing..." (4, Insightful)

kurfu (738047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523824)

“George’s genius was realizing where games were going and taking it to the next level...” No. From TFA, it appears that as far as DNF is concerned, George was not an innovator at all. Instead of coming up with his own ideas, he wasted 12 years trying to play catch-up to every new shiny thing that got released.

Good riddance (0, Flamebait)

AlteredEgg (849856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523864)

Duke Nukem started out as an innocently fun DOS platform shooter, supposedly for kids. To cast him as a stripper-club owner with a gun is just stupid.

Re:Good riddance (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524302)

Well, considering the time it took, the kids that played DN are now old enough to buy Mature rated games, so...

It was better this way. (1)

mindwanderer (1169521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30523940)

Had they released a bug-ridden stinker like Daikatana, my fond childhood memories of the Duke would have been irreversibly damaged. Better to die a quic... very, very slow death than to live on in ignominy.

I RTFA.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523958)

..and I think the article would of sucked unless they put the greyscale 3d piechart in it.

Success didn't kill DNF (4, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524010)

There's another name for what killed DNF: "feature creep". Classic mistake. So is hiring extra people to work on a project that's already late.

After reading the article, it's blindingly obvious that what really killed the project was nothing but bad project management.

"Shipping is a feature. A really important feature. Your product must have it." [joelonsoftware.com]

Quick Question (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524200)

Not that I have any riches right now, but one day I might.

So just to beg the question, how much would the rights to Duke Nukem Cost?

I can see alot more than just a video game in 10 years, when Duke's status has all but been tarnished, where he will once again rise to the top of the entertainment industry. I see a new Video game, a completely original blockbuster trilogy, and his face and silly slogans slapped on every lunchbox from here to Taiwan.

I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't mind someone milking this franchise for all it's worth. Really, how much more terrible could they make it, and so long as the special effects are there and the uncanny delivery of a few witty lines, this thing will be golden.

An interesting followup... (4, Interesting)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524344)

One of the sites mentioned in the story is Shacknews [shacknews.com] , a Dallas-based site frequented by hardcore gamers and whose initial primary subject matter was the FPS games from the era when Duke Nukem 3D was initially popular. George Broussard posts there under the handle GeorgeB3DR [shacknews.com] .

Someone posted a link to the WIRED story yesterday and one of the responses was from Jason Bergman [shacknews.com] who worked for Shacknews at one point as a writer and later moved on to Take Two and now works for Bethesda. In the discussion he posted [shacknews.com] :

That article is missing a LOT of facts. Until the lawsuit is settled, you won't know the full story.

Which naturally got the "Well how could you even know?" response, to which he responded [shacknews.com] :

I was the producer at take two on dnf. So yes. Yes I know the real story. This article has a few things that are blatantly false, and others that are assumptions from people who weren't there.

Granted this is from someone who used to work at Take Two, which is the company somewhat demonized in the article, so there may be some bias in play there, but it sounds like some of the stuff in this article may just be flat wrong.

That said, this article is probably the best it can be under the circumstances, given that no one can really talk too much about it because of the lawsuit.

Wow (1)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524354)

Apparently, they really were working on DNF all this time. I thought for sure it was just a joke on the industry and a way to drum up publicity every couple of years while they worked/published real titles.

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