World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2010/09/04

Duke Nukem Forever Shown at PAX, Coming out Next Year

dukeicon

I said at one point a few months ago that I would stop doing news posts on this blog. But I can’t help it. I’m forced to make an exception here. Everyone’s talking about it now.

We all knew the saga behind Duke Nukem Forever, and quite frankly if you want to know the history behind it, you can just look it up on this blog where I’ve gone over it time and time again, or visit the page on wikipedia. I’m sick of having to read the long “drawn out drama” that most websites post every time there’s news on DNF. Right from it’s creation until now. And most of them get it wrong anyway, with some “journos” saying that it originally used the build engine, and that 3D Realms is defunct.

The main story here is that for some time now, it’s been rumoured that Gearbox Software, developer of Borderlands, has been working on Duke Nukem Forever. People just dismissed it as a myth though.

The thing is, these rumours continued and the other day, George Broussard tweeted something that alluded to a past interview he had concerning DNF. It was a picture of pigs flying. The significance? Years ago in that interview, George himself said that DNF would be out “when pigs fly”.

And just yesterday at Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX 2010 for short, after much speculation, it was confirmed at the event that Duke Nukem Forever, a game in development hell for just about 13 years or so, is actually coming out.

In fact some claimed it was finished and it’s just in the polishing stage right now. There was even a playable demo of it at the PAX booth. There’s all ready some photos over at Kotaku that show the typical humour and interactivity we’d expect from a Duke Nukem title. There’s pics of Duke with steroids and taking a piss in the loo, as well as drawing something on a whiteboard.

Places few games venture.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the game’s development was so far, that it would be coming out this year! This was said to be false though, and a more realistic release date of 2011 sometime was given by Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software.

WSJ did get it right however that DNF has been in development at the company since late last year – which confirms the rumours. If you think it’s odd that Gearbox would work on a DN title, just take a moment to read this.

Randy Pitchford worked on Duke Nukem 3D, and was employed at 3D Realms years before he went and founded the company we know as Gearbox and worked on Opposing Force and other titles since then. Gearbox was also revealed to be working on Duke Begins, another title in the series.

Now that all the court case nonsense that carried on between 3D Realms (Apogee Software) and Take-Two is over (it ended in a settlement this year), work can resume on these projects without having to keep it sort of secret all the time. The publishing rights for DNF and the Duke Nukem IP are said to now belong to 2K.

Randy says that basically 3D Realms did the groundwork on DNF but it fell apart. Gearbox apparently came in and put the pieces back together. People at PAX were apparently shocked that DNF looked as good as it did. But I know from having watched all these leaked demo reels and video footage as well as screenshots that were mostly leaked within the last year, and the design documents too, that the game was actually more complete than people originally thought.

And with a possible demo for us on the horizon, and a release next year, we may actually get to play this game in our lifetime. For those of us, including me, who stuck with DNF through thick and thin – we’re the ones smiling now. The haters who always put the game down will be eating their words shortly, hopefully.

Gearbox has a good reputation as a developer and they tend to actually release their titles.

One thing’s for sure though. 3D Realms, as legendary as it is, should never develop their own games ever again – especially not if George is still in charge. And seeing as it’s a much smaller studio after the DNF team was let go last year, it looks like it will stay this way for some time.

By the way, everything DNF has now been moved over to DukeNukemForever.com, with the official forums now being moved to GearboxSoftware.com.

Sources:

http://twitter.com/georgeb3dr/status/22750844938 [George Broussard on Twitter]

Duke Nukem Forever Complete? [Bluesnews]

Duke Nukem Forever Arrives On PC, Xbox 360, PS3 in 2011 [3D Realms]

The Duke Nukem Forever PAX Demo: A Not-For-Kids Photo Gallery [Gallery] [Kotaku]


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Thief II: The Metal Age Remastered Soundtrack up for Download

Thief2-OSTFrontAbout two or three years ago if not longer, it was announced on TTLG and Thief-The Circle that the soundtrack for Thief: The Dark Project, originally written and composed by Eric Brosius, was available for download. Only this time it was remastered by Child of Karras, a forum dweller over at TTLG. It was called “The Golden Soundtrack, and had 23 tracks all on one mp3, plus some fancy CD artwork and a booklet in PDF format with the entire tracklist.

I just read the other day that after a long while, the sequel, Thief II: The Metal Age’s soundtrack has received the same treatment and is now available online for free.

Quite fitting as earlier on this year, this classic title celebrated its tenth anniversary.

This time it comes in two forms. You can download the whole collection in one mp3, or you can get them separately. And the interesting thing I read about it is that it blends melodies from the English and German versions of the soundtrack. I likely haven’t heard some of those.

Thief 2 Soundtrack Gap-less MP3 [114 MB]
Thief 2 Soundtrack Single MP3s [100 MB]

You can bet that I’ll be recommending this some time for the NAG October 2010 Cover DVD Request Thread, which was opened recently. I’ll likely try my hand at downloading it myself as well though. Can’t wait a month until the next NAG!

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Source: Thief 2 - The Soundtrack Age [TTLG]


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2010/09/01

Video Game Urban Legends: Duke Nukem 3D’s Secret Cheat Code

You know, I like conspiracy theories, mysteries, and secrets. They’re fascinating.

I bought the new NAG magazine recently, and saw that GameTrailers have come out with a new series that explores these urban myths, and seeks to prove them fact or fiction by testing them out. It’s called Pop Fiction, and it’s quite thorough, and I actually want to see more of it. The show’s inspiration obviously comes from The MythBusters, when I look at the format.

The one about whether Reptile was in every original and perhaps every Mortal Kombat game in existence was one that captivated me, seeing as he’s likely one of my favourite characters in the franchise, next to the other ninjas like Scorpion, and my childhood idol – Sub-Zero. He was cool.

I also came across something interesting on Digg the other day, and it was a list of the Most Widely Believed Video Game Urban Legends. It’s like urban legends and so on, but relating to video games obviously.

There were only a few that I actually had heard about. And only a few of those were games I’d actually played.

duke_nukem_3d_06 Anyhow, on this list, I added a comment which explained one of the most memorable urban legends in video games, from my childhood. It went as follows (edited a bit):

When I was young and still in school, a friend (now ex-friend and bitter enemy) told me of a secret cheat in Duke Nukem 3D. He’d heard of it through a friend of his who claimed to have made it work. This cheat was known as DNLIPSTICK.

Practically all cheats entered in Duke Nukem 3D began with “DN”, which no doubt stands for “Duke Nukem”.

What the cheat allowed you to do was this:

When you’re in the Red Light District [E1L2] area’s strip club, and you enter the cheat correctly, Duke will allegedly be able to screw one of the strippers there, who so eagerly bare their assets when handed cash. Why not go all the way with the “cashman”?

In the past I tried and tried to make this cheat to work, but to no avail. My friend told me to try entering the code in different ways, and in different combinations, with some in capital letters and others not. But with no console back then, it made it difficult to see how you were typing it. It’s hard enough to just type a cheat normally and activate it.

So my opinion of this urban legend, if I have to be thorough about it is that it’s very likely fiction. Duke Nukem 3D was controversial enough back in the day without this sort of “interactivity” going on in it. This code is also not mentioned anywhere on lists of codes for the game, and due to my personal past experience with trying to get it to work, it doesn’t.

Plus, I’ve also talked to a bunch of forumites over at Duke4.net, and even though one might have heard of a similar rumour, they hadn’t seen or heard of DNLIPSTICK – the cheat code which is associated with it. Hell, if you google “Duke Nukem 3D DNLIPSTICK”, you’ll only get a few hits on a page – and they’re all from me, including this one.

The one reply pointed me to his website where I saw this and shook my head:

“To get the naked girl ending you have to beat the game 10 times in a row on the hardest setting while only using kick and you also have to not kill any lizards. If you do this you will get a movie with the lady from the strip club on level 2 show off her whole body and **** duke nukem!”

This guy also heard it from a friend at school. Go figure. They lie.

And to top it off I even contacted George Broussard of 3D Realms via Formspring. He said he’d never even heard of it. Okay, so he didn’t respond, but that’s life, huh?

Myth Busted.


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