Tramell Isaac, formerly the Art Director for the DNF team at 3D Realms, and now at Sony Online, has been posting again on his blog, Talkin’ Real at Ya’. He does every once and a while and after PAX recently, he has something he wants to get off his chest.
At PAX, even though Randy Pitchford performed like a fan boy with his T-shirt of Duke that he’s had since 1996 and all, Tramell feels that Gearbox is claiming too much credit for Duke Nukem Forever.
Tramell reveals that DNF was further along in development than most people gave 3DR credit for, and not only this, they pretty much did most of the stuff you saw at PAX. After the DNF team was let go by 3DR last year, ex 3DR employees formed Triptych Games and pretty much went back and finished off the PC version of the game. So he argues that Gearbox has swept in and claimed the credit for finally finishing the game and getting it out, when it isn’t exactly true. All Gearbox has really done besides “polishing” the title, is the job of porting it to consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3).
In fact he is quite pissed off about the whole ordeal it seems.
Randy Pitchford said the following about DNF at PAX to WSJ:
"Clearly the game hadn’t been finished at 3D Realms but a lot of content had been created.”
"The approach and investment and process at 3D Realms didn’t quite make it and it cracked at the end. With Gearbox Software we brought all those pieces together. It’s the game it was meant to be."
“Ok, so before I start this, I'd like to say this. Duke Nukem Forever is alive and well BECAUSE of what the EX-3dr Soldiers of "Triptych Games" did. Ok, just in case you didn't hear me. ...HEAR THIS,.... a hand ful of guys that were on the team when internal development shut down at 3dr, took the game and finish it (PC version). These are the guys that truly made DNF happen.”
“Let me break this down for you. 85% of the work you see coming out of PAX is from our group at 3dr. 10% Triptych (the last 10% is the hardest ask any game developer) Which leaves 5% for the guys at Gearbox (with help from Triptych). To be perfectly honest, that Gearbox percentage could be plus or minus a few points. Bottomline, DNF was damn near completion if not completed when Gearbox got it (PC version).”
So that’s the truth according to someone who used to work at 3D Realms. Tyrell basically says don’t believe everything Randy Pitchford says. We all ready know that he has a habit of shooting his mouth off in public – particularly when he made some remarks about Valve last year which many found disrespectful. He claims however they were taken out of context.
I think most of Tramell’s anger is aimed at Randy for the comments he made, and not Gearbox.
Okay so I will say it. I’m quite sure Tramell will read this somewhere down the line, or I might just be paranoid. I read his blog every time he posts something.
I’m impressed with Triptych for actually doing what they did and going back to a project and finishing it. It shows commitment, and at least now they can put on their resumes that yes, they FINISHED DNF. That should be enough for any potential employer to sit up and take note.
I didn’t doubt that 3DR, despite all the delays over the years, had put in a lot of work in to DNF. Like I said before, looking at the screenshots and videos, you can tell.
Right now, prejudices aside, I would like to focus on getting in some more DNF screenshots and videos, and then hopefully get to play the game next year.
I was still in Primary School when DNF was first announced. In fact I didn’t even know it existed until a few years after that. Hard to believe.