While my RPS fellows have been celebrating Duke Nukem Forever Probably Trailer Day by either taking a pop at the game, or taking a pop at the entire rest of the world, I've been casually brushing up on a little bit of DNF history.
This here's a repository of most of what 3D Realms headboy George Broussard has said about the game over the last couple of years. You may have read much of it as it happened, but it's fun to try and turn it all into any kind of picture of what the game may be. The black box stops recording mid-way through last year, but there's still some interesting stuff to be gleaned from it.
There's a lot of pretty meaingless guff about how it won't support PhysX cards and might be 8Gb big, but there's also some gentle game theory in there. The complexities of the player being able to see his character's feet, why optional weapon upgrades may not be a good idea, the problems of having an inventory rather than a set gun selection... It points somewhat towards a fairly classic-model shooter - which is no surprise. It's very hard to picture DNF going down the Bioshock route, linearity aside. Personally, I'm expecting Halo 3 with gags.
That said, there's a vague sense he's bluffing a bit in response to some queries - a few of the quotes feel a little "yeah, sure, whatever, that too, probably," which make it very hard to get any meaningful sense of what manner of beast this will be. I may be wrong there though; I'm a cyncial bugger.
More intruigingly, he also makes specific reference to a total reset for the game in 2003, and, if you can find it in your heart to treat that as a starting from scratch point, four to five years isn't actually an unreasonable amount of time for an FPS that absolutely has to be a huge success.
And there's even a spot of apology:
Unnamed questioneer: "I would have been happy playing two or three less than polished Duke PC titles just to keep the spirit alive rather than wait this out."
George Broussard: "And I'm right there with you. I wish that had been an option. I've said before, and I'll say it again, we screwed up on early versions and made some mistakes. This hasn't been a journey of perfection. It's been a journey of just trying to finish what we started, and make it as cool as possible. I would love to have been on Duke 7 by now, but that's not how things panned out. So all we can do is finish this game, and make it the best that we can, then move on. That's what we're trying to do now."
Oh, and don't forget about the above screenshot, snuck into in a 3D Realms job advert this May, which rather seems to match up with the art style of today's new shot.