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Have any of the builds of Duke Nukem Forever ever leaked?

taxalot

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Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
And apparently, most of the things in these trailers were staged, making it appear like much more of a complete game than it was in reality.
 

TonyTiger

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And apparently, most of the things in these trailers were staged, making it appear like much more of a complete game than it was in reality.
As it turns out it wasn't actually staged. The new owners of 3D Realms inherited their company archives including hard drives, server backups, and more and Frederik Schreiber (3D Realms VP/Slipgate Studios head) went through all this content and discovered various builds of the game from every year of development.

Frederik Schreiber claims that in December 2002 the most completed version of what you saw in the 2001 trailer existed, he has estimated this to be around 80% complete with voice overs, music, scripting, and more all done and completed with large sections of the game being fully playable. The issues at 3D Realms apparently arose in early 2003 when they decided to put a Doom 3 style renderer in to the game which resulted in all the levels turning black and textures having to be recreated with normal maps as the game had been created up to that point (from late 1998 - early 2003, it was almost complete at this stage) with Unreal Engine static lighting in mind.

I lurk on the 3D Realms and Duke4.net Discords and in chat this is some of what Frederik has had to say about those versions of the game, keep in mind some of this is out of context - to see the full context you should join the Duke4.net Discord and search through the chat history: https://discord.gg/qccgJ9v

>1999 - 2002

-This is the famous "2001" version.
-This was 90% completed. Id say 14-16 hours of gameplay.
-It was way darker and more serious than the final product. It also played partly as an RPG in terms of your goals.
-You basically had Mission Objectives on your HUD you could activate - Like quests. You also had an inventory with ID badges, keycards, etc. Things you would use in the world. Think Deus Ex Duke.

-You meet and save NPCs. Solve puzzles, and try and solve the mystery of what's going on.
-Then you meet the infected EDF who's attacking you. And the story evolves from there.
-But all very dark, cinematic. Lights going out, flickering in the distance. Moster closets etc. all with cinematic music to fit. Screams in the distance etc.

-VERY serious and dark.
-Nothing campy or slapstick at all. It feels like a horror game
-It's always raining, lighting strikes in the distance, rumbling thunder
-The bike is probably the most impressive. !z2_l1 you get the bike and the game turns half open world
Hub style
-So you can drive out of vegas, and you get a loading screen. Different parts of vegas also has loading screens in between. But you get these missions from NPCs and then solve them (a bit like deus ex)

-Oh.. there's also a subway in vegas you can take to visit different districts in the city.
-It's super fun in multiplayer. 12 maps are pretty much done.
-Specific for Dukematch.

-25 ish levels.
-!z1_l1 to !z5_l7

Frederik also provided proof of his claims by posting a screenshot of the directory of one of the builds:

O3ZD3Gf.png


But here's the fun part of the story - despite Frederik Schreiber offering to prepare these builds for release for free as well as an additional offer to prepare the mod tools for the final version of the game for release for free (they're much demanded by the fan community) as they have access to all of that material Randy Pitchford isn't interested. He claims that they would still have to pay "certification costs" somehow ignoring all the other companies that have released builds and content for free in the past like Croteam, id Software, 3D Realms, Volition, and more. Further more he has said that the only way he would ever release this material is if he could charge for it in some kind of Duke Nukem collection...he has also said the same about various Duke Nukem 3D prototypes... There have been a few tweets and various social media happenings that have picked up steam that Randy simply ignores: https://twitter.com/juanlurve/status/904916534455222272

It's a terrible situation but about what you would expect from Randy Pitchford. Even with an offer to do all the work for free he avoids putting in any time or effort to allow it.
 

taxalot

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Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Are they afraid somebody completes it and it turns out a better game than DNF ?

Or is there some licensed technologies, copyrighted assets that could spell trouble ?
 

TonyTiger

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Are they afraid somebody completes it and it turns out a better game than DNF ?

Or is there some licensed technologies, copyrighted assets that could spell trouble ?
In July of 2017 Randy Pitchford had a Google Call (which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JephRoi3os) with the owners of Duke4.net, developers of EDuke32 and the VP of 3D Realms Frederik Schreiber and as part of that call they spoke for a while about Duke Nukem Forevers earlier iterations and the mod tools.

Randy Pitchford claimed that Take-Two Interactive/2K Games still held publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever - which is understandable - and he was in the process of working that out and expressed interest in including this content in some form of definitive Duke Nukem collection in the future - though he didn't seem to know a whole lot about that content and asserted that little existed of the game at that time which was refuted rather quickly by Frederik Schreiber who said that he has had one of his programmers work on the game to make it more stable on modern operating systems and that their staff often play Duke Nukem Forever Dukematch in their offices over LAN, and that the majority of the game in December 2002 was completed and large sections were playable estimating around 12 - 14 hours of playable content.

When asked about the Duke Nukem 3D prototypes - which have no similar issues and is entirely owned by Gearbox Software - he said once more that he'd see a place for it in some kind of Duke Nukem collection which clearly indicates that his only possible interest in this content exists if he can somehow make a profit on it - even if all the work is done for free on a volunteer basis.

Frederik Schreiber laid out the offer to prepare all of this content for free and do any necessary work without any charge as fan service as well as prepare the Duke Nukem Forever mod tools for free - Randy stammered something about certification costs and QA apparently unaware that it isn't uncommon for developers to release this sort of content without support. It's happened many times before - Saints Row Undercover, LameDuke, the various Doom Alphas, the Serious Sam alphas - all released by their developers to the community without support.

Here's a random fun fact about the game back then : in those iterations of Duke Nukem Forever (2001/2002) you could send emails in-game as in you would walk in to Dukes office, sit at his desk and interact with his computer and send/receive emails. The game would call to your registry and use outlook to send real emails in-game from "DukeNukem@3DRealms.com"

There was a left over .bik animation for this email system left over in the final release of the game:

KyrSzcd.gif


Concerning it being a better game than the final product...from everything Frederik Schreiber has spoken about in the game as well as what was presented in the 2001 trailer and talked about during that time...it'd be safe to assume that it's much better than the final released title.

 

lightbane

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Are they afraid somebody completes it and it turns out a better game than DNF ?

This. It would demonstrate that DNF was so bad because it was their fault, especially obvious with the expansion that's supposed to be new content, but it's more of the same. Also, fuck Randy Pitchford.
 

Daedalos

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Man I remember watching that 2001 trailer so many times thinking, howly shiet, this is gon b gud. Oh how wrong I was.
 

Shinji

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My heart aches every time someone starts talking about the original Duke Nukem Forever and what it could have been :negative:
 

Ash

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Eh it looks very 2000s shootery. Lots of shit gimmicks including obligatory turret segment, level design too concerned with realism, and also inclusion of story and in-engine cutscenes rather than the very basic yet non-intrusive environmental storytelling in Duke Nukem 3D. Game looked shit tbh, though the end result would have still likely been way better than any modern shooter.
 

TonyTiger

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Man I remember watching that 2001 trailer so many times thinking, howly shiet, this is gon b gud. Oh how wrong I was.

My heart aches every time someone starts talking about the original Duke Nukem Forever and what it could have been :negative:

The saddest thing is reportedly the 2002 version of the game that exists lives up to those expectations but there's one huge roadblock and it has a name - Randy Pitchford. As said in previous posts even with offers on the table to do all the work for free his only interest seems to be if he can commercialize it somehow and make a profit on it. While Randy using the excuse of publishing rights is actually quite reasonable it paints a different picture when no such issue exists for the Duke Nukem 3D prototype content but he once again expresses no interest outside of somehow selling the content - again referencing some kind of "Duke Nukem Definitive Collection".

While the Duke Nukem situation is negative (thanks Randy!) 3D Realms also discovered quite a large amount of Shadow Warrior pre-release/prototype content in their archives and worked with Devolver Digital, a company that unlike Gearbox that sees the value in this sort of material, to make available several prototype and alpha builds for free included with Shadow Warrior Classic (1997) on Steam : http://store.steampowered.com/app/238070/Shadow_Warrior_Classic_1997/

SypjmpW.jpg


When it comes to this Duke Nukem Forever content ever seeing the light of day...well I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if Randy ever decides to do anything with it...there have been a few Twitter posts that have picked up steam I've seen retweeted by Unseen64 such as the one I linked above (https://twitter.com/juanlurve/status/904916534455222272) that have had Slipgate Studios (Rad Rodgers), Frederik Schreiber (3D Realms VP), Andrew Borman (Museum of Gaming) and more express interest but Randy has yet to provide any sort of update or say anything in response to this.
 
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Think Deus Ex Duke.

"You mechs may have copper-wiring to re-route your fear of pain, but I got balls of steel."
 
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As it turns out it wasn't actually staged. The new owners of 3D Realms inherited their company archives including hard drives, server backups, and more and Frederik Schreiber (3D Realms VP/Slipgate Studios head) went through all this content and discovered various builds of the game from every year of development.

Frederik Schreiber claims that in December 2002 the most completed version of what you saw in the 2001 trailer existed, he has estimated this to be around 80% complete with voice overs, music, scripting, and more all done and completed with large sections of the game being fully playable. The issues at 3D Realms apparently arose in early 2003 when they decided to put a Doom 3 style renderer in to the game which resulted in all the levels turning black and textures having to be recreated with normal maps as the game had been created up to that point (from late 1998 - early 2003, it was almost complete at this stage) with Unreal Engine static lighting in mind.

I lurk on the 3D Realms and Duke4.net Discords and in chat this is some of what Frederik has had to say about those versions of the game, keep in mind some of this is out of context - to see the full context you should join the Duke4.net Discord and search through the chat history: https://discord.gg/qccgJ9v



Frederik also provided proof of his claims by posting a screenshot of the directory of one of the builds:

O3ZD3Gf.png


But here's the fun part of the story - despite Frederik Schreiber offering to prepare these builds for release for free as well as an additional offer to prepare the mod tools for the final version of the game for release for free (they're much demanded by the fan community) as they have access to all of that material Randy Pitchford isn't interested. He claims that they would still have to pay "certification costs" somehow ignoring all the other companies that have released builds and content for free in the past like Croteam, id Software, 3D Realms, Volition, and more. Further more he has said that the only way he would ever release this material is if he could charge for it in some kind of Duke Nukem collection...he has also said the same about various Duke Nukem 3D prototypes... There have been a few tweets and various social media happenings that have picked up steam that Randy simply ignores: https://twitter.com/juanlurve/status/904916534455222272

It's a terrible situation but about what you would expect from Randy Pitchford. Even with an offer to do all the work for free he avoids putting in any time or effort to allow it.

It's like Randy Pitchford enjoys finding new ways to make himself look like a cunt.
 

Cat

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Even after Duke Nukem Forever was released we're still waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to be released.

Pretty sure plenty of people are willing to pay for it. If that's all Randy wants, then point him to those HD re-releases of old games on Steam and show him how easily they make a quick buck.
 

Norfleet

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Of course not. Those things never existed, they were nothing more than photoshopped demo clips. FAKE NEWS!
 

TZ3K

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It seems like the existence of this build ought to be spread more.
Contact PC Gamer or somebody.
 
Last edited:

TonyTiger

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hDGo1iQ.png

Pd2jg6V.png


A handful of screenshots of the game during the time were included in the final release as extras:

CjsYBCe.png

cjNlBme.png

EIRdcwv.png

Other bits of information:

- the 2001 version had a Dance Dance Revolution minigame with a stripper in the game room of the Slick Willy (Strip Club)
- "One of the first levels in the game, when you visit your own office. You see the hands on the keyboard, and can write an email from your own computer in-game. The game crashes as soon as you press "Send" as it tries to connect to an old POP3 server which doesn't exist anymore"
- Every weapon had an alt-fire mode (RPG/Nuke, Shotgun/Slug/Acid)
- Comparisons are made to Half-Life and Deus Ex, you can activate secondary objectives by talking to people in the world and areas are large and open
- the game is much more serious than the final release as evident in the 2001 trailer, there's still humor but it isn't trying to be a comedy game

The biggest issue in drawing attention to this is probably what's associated with Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem Forever and the wide belief that nothing existed of the 2001 version of the game except staged scenes. The franchise has turned in to this weird parody style attempt at comedy under Gearbox. Funny enough the "outdated" jokes and references in the final game were written somewhere between late 2009 and early 2010 by amateur writers with no experience working for free after 3D Realms had released their staff due to a lack of funding. George Broussard (Duke Nukem director/3D Realms co-founder) had no involvement in the game for over a year before it's release and has expressed his dislike for how the character has been portrayed, the games advertised, and the huge focus on what were smaller parts of Duke Nukem 3D (strippers and comedy) under Gearbox. https://i.imgur.com/ss8d5Gq.png

In the fan communities people generally refer to Gearbox Softwares Duke Nukem as "Douche Nukem" and dislike the shift from an 80s/90s action homage under 3D Realms to what now draws comparisons to Family Guy. There's also been a few things such as:

- Jon St. John (Duke Nukem VO) no longer being directed under Gearbox, they get him in the booth and let him do what he wants whereas under 3D Realms all sessions were directed (this has been observed by fans and press who have mentioned his performances were bad in World Tour and Bulletstorm DLC). Here's an excerpt of the Destructoid review for Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition: "Then there is just the general delivery that Jon St. John (Duke’s longtime voice actor) brings to the table. This has to be the sloppiest I’ve ever heard Duke sound." https://www.destructoid.com/duke-nukem-s-bulletstorm-tour-is-a-big-failure-430284.phtml

- Despite poor critical and fan reception to pushing the Duke Nukem franchise in to meme driven comedy they disregard all feedback on Twitter Randy Pitchford has claimed that people have subjective opinions in response to these claims...apparently no one tells him what the press say either...and this was the disk art for Duke Nukem World Tour: https://i.imgur.com/48UK0UQ.jpg

- The "Doctor Who Cloned Me" DLC was largely comprised of cut levels with screenshots of certain areas dating as far back as 2005 while Gearbox advertised it as all new content

- The final release of the game was rushed out the door for a profit by 2K and Gearbox, what existed in May 2009 was taken and torn apart leaving the most complete maps in and writing a narrative around this

- The Duke Nukem character model was immediately re-conceptualized under Gearbox when they acquired the IP giving us what is now commonly referred to as "Douche Nukem" (3D Realms Duke model: http://i.imgur.com/LsHke4N.png Gearbox Duke model: http://i.imgur.com/lnB6KmO.jpg)

- To the dismay of fans the in-game console was disabled and mod tools weren't made available at the games release as 2K Games and Gearbox claimed they would facilitate multiplayer cheating somehow

- Despite offers being on the table to prepare mod tools, and builds of Duke Nukem Forever and 3D for release for free Randy has used the excuse of certification costs and QA (as if you'd ever QA prototypes...)

There's a lot more than the above that has happened and the IP itself is now only remembered for the pile of mediocrity called Duke Nukem Forever with people forgetting that in titles like Duke Nukem 3D and Zero Hour Duke was always displayed as a bad-ass first in the spirit of films like Army of Darkness, Commando, and others with the occasional witty one-liner and some humor displayed throughout the world but I guess Gearbox Softwares loves memes and terrible attempts at comedy.

As far as growing any awareness for this content existing and the offers to prepare it all for release I think a big roadblock is the reputation Duke Nukem has under Gearbox and Duke Nukem Forever being not a particularly good game - it's hard to believe something good existed at one stage and most people now associate the entire franchise with Duke Nukem Forever (2011). I would encourage people who have interest in this content to contact Randy Pitchford through Twitter or another means, retweet and comment on Tweets such as this one : https://twitter.com/Unseen64/status/910836805850845184 and let people know that something good existed at one point and the biggest thing holding it back is Randy Pitchford.
 
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Sure, something good existed at one point... why it wasn't released? "Deus Ex Duke" is kind of thing that makes me think "I didn't know I wanted this until now"
 

TZ3K

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Sure, something good existed at one point... why it wasn't released?

Well that's George Broussard's fault, in 2003 they implemented an [upgraded unreal engine?/ doom 3 engine?] which necessitated a complete redo of existing assets. Broussard was infamous for finding all kinda stuff and wanting to put them in. He wasted cash on motion capture tech in 1999 after ditching the Quake Engine the previous year, so you see the kinda mindset responsible for hey go lets throw out what we got cos NEW TECH with the Unreal Engine looking a bit old at the end of 2002.
 

TonyTiger

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Sure, something good existed at one point... why it wasn't released?

Well that's George Broussard's fault, in 2003 they implemented an [upgraded unreal engine?/ doom 3 engine?] which necessitated a complete redo of existing assets. Broussard was infamous for finding all kinda stuff and wanting to put them in. He wasted cash on motion capture tech in 1999 after ditching the Quake Engine the previous year, so you see the kinda mindset responsible for hey go lets throw out what we got cos NEW TECH with the Unreal Engine looking a bit old at the end of 2002.
That was the turning point for it all. The game remained on the Unreal Engine but they implemented a new renderer to provide Doom 3 style lighting (real time shadows, better lighting). Going from Unreal Engines static lighting to this new dynamic lighting renderer necessitated all textures be recreated from scratch. Before replacing all textures they attempted to use a utility that generated normal maps for all existing textures but it resulted in an ugly looking end result in-game.

This is what Frederik Schreiber had to say in Discord chats about it:

2002 they started implemented a fully dynamic light and shadow renderer. All levels basically turned black, as none of the static lights would work anymore. From 2002 - 2004 they basically redid all levels, with a new "Generated Bumpmap Tech". Think Doom 3, but without true normals.

It looks pretty bad. The screenshots with the Aliens Pulserifle, are from this version


There was a year or two where they tried rebuilding the 2002 version but ultimately scrapped it in 2004.

Here's what the game looked like in 2003:

JUtyUWa.png



SRxgrK1.png
 

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