Print 20 comment(s) - last by Cullinaire.. on Jan 30 at 7:52 PM

The most recent in-game shot of DNF

A shot of DNF using the Unreal Engine from 1999

A shot of DNF using the Quake II engine from 1997
It could be the lowest resolution screenshot ever, but it has Duke fans in a frenzy

After nearly a decade of anticipation, delays, disappointment and ridicule, Duke Nukem makes a small appearance. In the job seeker section on Gamasutra, developer 3D Realms posted an open position requesting for a full time programmer with knowledge in C++ and the Unreal engine for work on Xbox 360 and Windows.

Most interesting about the job posting isn’t the actual job, but rather a small postage stamp-sized screenshot from a recent build of Duke Nukem Forever. The small 200x125 .gif image is all that was needed to send Duke Nukem fans into a frenzy of discussion and speculation on message boards. 3D Realms' George Broussard responded quickly to the gaming community, at first saying only, “In game shot.”

Broussard later expanded upon his original statement: “That's an in game, real-time shot of Duke standing in a random hallway. It was really done as a small teaser for a job ad on Nothing more.”

“I'm glad some of you enjoyed it, and we'll show more later as we start to wake from our slumber and decide how best to show the game off,” Broussard wrote.

As much as everyone likes to poke fun at Duke Nukem’s development time (and all pokes are well deserved), the small screenshot proves one thing: 3D Realms has been doing something lately other than playing WoW.

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RE: Vaporware award
By wien on 1/30/2007 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
It's been bad, but not that bad.

They have "restarted" the game twice. The first time when switching from the Quake2 engine to Unreal 1 back in 1998, and the second (and last) time in 2002, scrapping most of the existing content, starting from scratch with the Unreal 2 engine. Since then they have recieved some upgrades to the engine from Epic (To the point of UE 2.5, or thereabouts), but they have rewritten most of it themselves.

The game went "tech complete" in 2004 and they are now working mostly on content/gameplay. They are not using the Unreal 3 (or "Unreal 2007") engine in any shape or form, so don't try to make it out as though they are.

RE: Vaporware award
By Spivonious on 1/30/2007 11:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt the game was tech complete back in 2004. It does not take over three years to make levels and artwork. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be the first in line to buy this game when it finally comes out, but with graphics like the ones in the screenshot, there's just no way that the engine was finished three years ago. It appears to use technology that has only become mainstream in the past year or two.

RE: Vaporware award
By wien on 1/30/2007 12:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they're adding bits and bobs to the engine even now, but the point is that the core engine/rendering system was complete enough that they could start creating content for it in 2004. Adding more advanced lighting/shadows/DoF/HDR and all that stuff doesn't necessarily require the content to be rebuilt.

And it does take an awful lot of time to create the content for a next-gen title like DNF. Especially for a (comparatively) tiny team like 3DRealms. The programming is usually the easy part. Making stuff look good is all in the hands of the artists. 3 years is by no means unreasonably long in this case.

As for the technology, yes, a lot of it has only been showing up recently in actual games, but remember that those games have been in development for many years. It has long been pretty obvious where the hardware technology is going, and what would be possible to pull off with the hardware we have today. (Especially for developers with contacts within ATI/Nvidia.) Tech-demos have been doing all this fancy stuff for years already. It's not at all unlikely that 3DRealms had most of this stuff up and running, albeit (very) slowly, in 2004.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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