Gearbox On Duke 3D remake: Oh, Go On Then

Dark Darkem Darkever

One Duke Nukem game not enough? Well, you’re getting two. A planned mod built in Unreal Engine 3 has been guaranteed not to get booted in the ribs by current Duke dukes Gearbox.

Said project lead on Duke Nuke: Next Gen, Frederik “Fresch” Schreiber, “I contacted George Broussard and Scott Miller, to start a conversation about the project.

“The shots managed to convince Scott Miller to a certain degree, but the project was only doable if Take-Two would approve it. Thinking that Gearbox might have a better relationship to Take-Two than 3D Realms, I contacted AdamF, who passed me through to PJ Putnam, vice president and general counsel of Gearbox Software.

“Luckily Gearbox was interested in supporting the project, which resulted in a personal non-commercial license to Duke Nukem.”

It’s planned as a quasi-remake of Duke Nukem 3D. Looks a bit grimdark, but with a bunch of reports observing that DNF doesn’t look all that high-tech by today’s standards, perhaps it’ll end up being the better-looking of two.

No release date, obv. Ambitious mod + Duke Nukem ≠ recipe for timeliness.


  1. Brumisator says:

    Judging by that screenshot, and assuming they’re remaking it chronologically, they’ve gotten pretty far already.

    • Dr Chi says:

      @Brumisator Not really. That screenshot is of the roof that you start on at the very beginning of Duke Nukem 3D. Remember, the game starts with your plane or whatever being shot down and you land on the roof all mad about it…

    • Bald Space Marine says:

      @ DrChi.

      Dude…..don’t you get it.

    • Brumisator says:

      Laughing at my own joke, kekekekekeke.

    • Farewell says:

      I recall id making all the maps for the original Quake in reverse chronological order. This actually makes a lot of sense since the quality of maps improves dramatically as the designers get more used to the level building tools. Obviously you want the early maps to look the best, so you can pull in new players :D

      For those who never completed Quake: the final level looks extremely simplistic.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      They’ve gone further than 3D Realms in many years, at least.

    • Jakkar says:

      Stop fucking trolling >.< These comment threads are becoming one big mass of mindless contrary attention seeking.

  2. Monchberter says:

    I continue to be surprised that the original Duke has not ended up on Steam

  3. MrTambourineMan says:

    That project is probably too ambitious.

  4. blorg says:

    Isn’t that screenshot from right at the start?

  5. Dominic White says:

    Why would they even bother making a full remake when you already have the Polymer engine for Duke 3D?

    link to

    • Brumisator says:

      Polymer puts duke3D graphically on par with Half-life 1.
      This is gonna be more extreeeeeeeeeeeme!

      Also, Black Mesa (Source).

    • DrGonzo says:

      Polymer kills Duke for me really. It looks gorgeous, but the animations aren’t right so it doesn’t feel like Duke. I get the same thing with the 3d Dooms. It’s probably just nostalgia, but I love those sprites.

    • starclaws says:

      Looks like they are bringing more to the scenes than just high-res textures…

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, just use eDuke32 so you get proper mouselook and leave it at that.

    • Pemptus says:

      All those “hi-def” Dukes look iffy to me. Crappy 3d isn’t better than perfectly acceptable and charming sprites.

      This reminded me that it was almost a year since I last played Blood. Got to rectify this lamentable situation.

    • bhlaab says:

      You can turn off the crappy 3D models and just be happy with the fun new environment lighting

    • bill says:

      wow. old fps games moved a lot faster than current ones!

  6. JuJuCam says:

    To be honest I’m probably more likely to want to play this than DNF.

  7. Rick says:

    This sort of stuff never seems to get released. Black Mesa: Source anyone?

  8. Tredabeast777 says:

    When Does Thsi Game Come Out For PS3?

  9. rocketman71 says:

    And it will take a lot less to complete than DNF.

  10. Shrewsbury says:

    Are you high?

  11. Navagon says:

    It looks like it could be very good. But if they insist on holding it back from release until it’s all done then it’s probably not going to be released at all.

  12. ChainSOV says:

    It’s nice that he got the dev’s support,
    I was on a duke mod team once, many many years ago on the HL1 engine, but it got shot down pretty fast.

  13. Urael says:

    I actually like this. Go, me.

    But, like others here, am concerned this will never see the light of day, like SO many mod/fan projects we’ve been tantalised with in the past: System Shock in Doom 3 engine etc etc etc….

    Come back when you have a release date.

  14. ZIGS says:

    Now someone go and make a remake of System Shock 2

    • Twisted says:

      NO. It scares me.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I think System Shock 1 would be the better choice to remake. SS2 still looks pretty good with the new high-res models and textures. SS1 on the other hand has really low-res sprite enemies and only 16 bit colours (feels like less). Also it is much creepier and feels better.

      Just one thing sold me on SS1 back then: Very early in the game, I went into a room, and found, I think, my first audio log. A woman’s head was shown on the left and I heard her speak in a way that Sarah Connor spoke in Terminator. I saw something in the air duct above where I found the log. A jump… missed it. Another jump… and I held a head in my hands! Then I realized it with a shock: This was the head of the same woman I just heard speaking!! I was so stunned, that I hadn’t noticed a small medical robot entering the room. That thing promptly attacked me with aggressive electrical shocks. And in my panic, I threw the first thing at it that I had available: That woman’s head! Then I bashed the crap out of the thing with the lead pipe!
      I couldn’t forget this for days. I had thrown a person’s head at someone. A person that once had existed, and had spoken to me.

      The audio logs were haunting. The reactor core was awesome. You really felt the radiation slowly killing you. There were tons of weapons, throwables, stuff to inject, things to mod yourself, etc. There was a cyberspace! There were tiger-plants! And areas with just a huge energy field protecting you from outer space! And Shodan was really really really evil! I’d just take the insane stuff they said in SS2, and add it. All in all you really felt alone in a huge space station. The ability to move between levels freely, and come back to earlier ones, added a lot to that feeling. That all, plus the creepy behaviour of all the usually harmless bots and the constant fear of cameras made it my favourite game ever.

      P.S.: I’m not a native English speaker. So my writings might be half-American half-British and half ManBearPig-Latin. ;)

  15. Gosh says:

    i would be hilarious if this mod were more popular than duke nukem forever ^^

    then again if someone wanted to play duke nukem 3d one would simply play duke nukem 3d.

  16. Josh W says:

    Funny thing is, it’s the lighting that put me off; it feels gimmicky; like their too proud of it and didn’t mix it with enough ambient light, so it actually shifts the gameplay. In a shooter being able to get a feel for your environment is important, and flickering lighting shifts how the shape of the space feels. Fine if you planned for it, but this puts too much emphasis on the background, and the enemies aren’t distinctive enough in that context to stand out. It messes up foreground vs background basically, over-emphasising the non-interactive parts of the game.

    If you compare it with say AVP, you have a user directed light source and nice shiny aliens for it to glint off. I think the same might be true in doom 3 although I can’t remember. Apart from that, flickering lighting is used in those type of games to emphasise chaos of firefights or make situations seem more ominous. I’m not sure chaotic firefighting is what you want in duke; the baseline feeling is controlled chaos, where enemies are coming from every direction in surprising ways and your churning your way through them smoothly, and basically feeling awesome about it.

    Having said that there might be a place where the original game uses flicker lighting to make a fight harder, not sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be a basic part of the game.