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high rated
Remember that decade and a half you spent waiting for Duke Nukem Forever?

Remember how when the game was actually released, it was nothing like that mouth-watering trailer 3D Realms released in 2001?

Remember how you were made to believe that all the material in that early trailer was staged and the only Duke Forever that ever actually existed was the insufferable pile of suckage that was eventually released?


Well, turns out you've been deceived: That awesome early build DID exist. In fact, it still DOES exist on old hard drives uncovered from the old 3D Realmy archives. And the owners (the new Danish 3D Realms) say it's 80% ready and want to finish it FREE OF CHARGE and release it to the public. But Randy Pitchford - current owner of the Duke Nukem IP - isn't having any of it.
The new owners of 3D Realms inherited their company archives including hard drives, server backups, and more and Frederik Schreiber (3D Realms VP/Slipgate Studios head) went through all this content and discovered various builds of the game from every year of development.

Frederik Schreiber claims that in December 2002 the most completed version of what you saw in the 2001 trailer existed, he has estimated this to be around 80% complete with voice overs, music, scripting, and more all done and completed with large sections of the game being fully playable. The issues at 3D Realms apparently arose in early 2003 when they decided to put a Doom 3 style renderer in to the game which resulted in all the levels turning black and textures having to be recreated with normal maps as the game had been created up to that point (from late 1998 - early 2003, it was almost complete at this stage) with Unreal Engine static lighting in mind.

I lurk on the 3D Realms and Duke4.net Discords and in chat this is some of what Frederik has had to say about those versions of the game, keep in mind some of this is out of context - to see the full context you should join the Duke4.net Discord and search through the chat history: https://discord.gg/qccgJ9v

>1999 - 2002

-This is the famous "2001" version.
-This was 90% completed. Id say 14-16 hours of gameplay.
-It was way darker and more serious than the final product. It also played partly as an RPG in terms of your goals.
-You basically had Mission Objectives on your HUD you could activate - Like quests. You also had an inventory with ID badges, keycards, etc. Things you would use in the world. Think Deus Ex Duke.

-You meet and save NPCs. Solve puzzles, and try and solve the mystery of what's going on.
-Then you meet the infected EDF who's attacking you. And the story evolves from there.
-But all very dark, cinematic. Lights going out, flickering in the distance. Moster closets etc. all with cinematic music to fit. Screams in the distance etc.

-VERY serious and dark.
-Nothing campy or slapstick at all. It feels like a horror game
-It's always raining, lighting strikes in the distance, rumbling thunder
-The bike is probably the most impressive. !z2_l1 you get the bike and the game turns half open world
Hub style
-So you can drive out of vegas, and you get a loading screen. Different parts of vegas also has loading screens in between. But you get these missions from NPCs and then solve them (a bit like deus ex)

-Oh.. there's also a subway in vegas you can take to visit different districts in the city.
-It's super fun in multiplayer. 12 maps are pretty much done.
-Specific for Dukematch.

-25 ish levels.
-!z1_l1 to !z5_l7

Frederik also provided proof of his claims by posting a screenshot of the directory of one of the builds:

But here's the fun part of the story - despite Frederik Schreiber offering to prepare these builds for release for free as well as an additional offer to prepare the mod tools for the final version of the game for release for free (they're much demanded by the fan community) as they have access to all of that material Randy Pitchford isn't interested. He claims that they would still have to pay "certification costs" somehow ignoring all the other companies that have released builds and content for free in the past like Croteam, id Software, 3D Realms, Volition, and more. Further more he has said that the only way he would ever release this material is if he could charge for it in some kind of Duke Nukem collection...he has also said the same about various Duke Nukem 3D prototypes... There have been a few tweets and various social media happenings that have picked up steam that Randy simply ignores: https://twitter.com/juanlurve/status/904916534455222272

It's a terrible situation but about what you would expect from Randy Pitchford. Even with an offer to do all the work for free he avoids putting in any time or effort to allow it.
As far as growing any awareness for this content existing and the offers to prepare it all for release I think a big roadblock is the reputation Duke Nukem has under Gearbox and Duke Nukem Forever being not a particularly good game - it's hard to believe something good existed at one stage and most people now associate the entire franchise with Duke Nukem Forever (2011). I would encourage people who have interest in this content to contact Randy Pitchford through Twitter or another means, retweet and comment on Tweets such as this one : https://twitter.com/Unseen64/status/910836805850845184 and let people know that something good existed at one point and the biggest thing holding it back is Randy Pitchford.
Source Check out some of the following posts by TonyTiger for some additional information.
This Randy Pitchford seems like a real piece of work. Perhaps he wants to sell it instead of giving it away?
high rated
So Pitchfork is a douche. We knew that...
avatar
fronzelneekburm: Remember that decade and a half you spent waiting for Duke Nukem Forever?

Remember how when the game was actually released, it was nothing like that mouth-watering trailer 3D Realms released in 2001?

Remember how you were made to believe that all the material in that early trailer was staged and the only Duke Forever that ever actually existed was the insufferable pile of suckage that was eventually released?

Well, turns out you've been deceived: That awesome early build DID exist. In fact, it still DOES exist on old hard drives uncovered from the old 3D Realmy archives. And the owners (the new Danish 3D Realms) say it's 80% ready and want to finish it FREE OF CHARGE and release it to the public. But Randy Pitchford - current owner of the Duke Nukem IP - isn't having any of it.

The new owners of 3D Realms inherited their company archives including hard drives, server backups, and more and Frederik Schreiber (3D Realms VP/Slipgate Studios head) went through all this content and discovered various builds of the game from every year of development.

Frederik Schreiber claims that in December 2002 the most completed version of what you saw in the 2001 trailer existed, he has estimated this to be around 80% complete with voice overs, music, scripting, and more all done and completed with large sections of the game being fully playable. The issues at 3D Realms apparently arose in early 2003 when they decided to put a Doom 3 style renderer in to the game which resulted in all the levels turning black and textures having to be recreated with normal maps as the game had been created up to that point (from late 1998 - early 2003, it was almost complete at this stage) with Unreal Engine static lighting in mind.

I lurk on the 3D Realms and Duke4.net Discords and in chat this is some of what Frederik has had to say about those versions of the game, keep in mind some of this is out of context - to see the full context you should join the Duke4.net Discord and search through the chat history: https://discord.gg/qccgJ9v

>1999 - 2002

-This is the famous "2001" version.
-This was 90% completed. Id say 14-16 hours of gameplay.
-It was way darker and more serious than the final product. It also played partly as an RPG in terms of your goals.
-You basically had Mission Objectives on your HUD you could activate - Like quests. You also had an inventory with ID badges, keycards, etc. Things you would use in the world. Think Deus Ex Duke.

-You meet and save NPCs. Solve puzzles, and try and solve the mystery of what's going on.
-Then you meet the infected EDF who's attacking you. And the story evolves from there.
-But all very dark, cinematic. Lights going out, flickering in the distance. Moster closets etc. all with cinematic music to fit. Screams in the distance etc.

-VERY serious and dark.
-Nothing campy or slapstick at all. It feels like a horror game
-It's always raining, lighting strikes in the distance, rumbling thunder
-The bike is probably the most impressive. !z2_l1 you get the bike and the game turns half open world
Hub style
-So you can drive out of vegas, and you get a loading screen. Different parts of vegas also has loading screens in between. But you get these missions from NPCs and then solve them (a bit like deus ex)

-Oh.. there's also a subway in vegas you can take to visit different districts in the city.
-It's super fun in multiplayer. 12 maps are pretty much done.
-Specific for Dukematch.

-25 ish levels.
-!z1_l1 to !z5_l7

Frederik also provided proof of his claims by posting a screenshot of the directory of one of the builds:

But here's the fun part of the story - despite Frederik Schreiber offering to prepare these builds for release for free as well as an additional offer to prepare the mod tools for the final version of the game for release for free (they're much demanded by the fan community) as they have access to all of that material Randy Pitchford isn't interested. He claims that they would still have to pay "certification costs" somehow ignoring all the other companies that have released builds and content for free in the past like Croteam, id Software, 3D Realms, Volition, and more. Further more he has said that the only way he would ever release this material is if he could charge for it in some kind of Duke Nukem collection...he has also said the same about various Duke Nukem 3D prototypes... There have been a few tweets and various social media happenings that have picked up steam that Randy simply ignores: https://twitter.com/juanlurve/status/904916534455222272

It's a terrible situation but about what you would expect from Randy Pitchford. Even with an offer to do all the work for free he avoids putting in any time or effort to allow it.
avatar
fronzelneekburm:

As far as growing any awareness for this content existing and the offers to prepare it all for release I think a big roadblock is the reputation Duke Nukem has under Gearbox and Duke Nukem Forever being not a particularly good game - it's hard to believe something good existed at one stage and most people now associate the entire franchise with Duke Nukem Forever (2011). I would encourage people who have interest in this content to contact Randy Pitchford through Twitter or another means, retweet and comment on Tweets such as this one : https://twitter.com/Unseen64/status/910836805850845184 and let people know that something good existed at one point and the biggest thing holding it back is Randy Pitchford.
avatar
fronzelneekburm: Source Check out some of the following posts by TonyTiger for some additional information.
I'm surprised 4chan isn't working on this as we speak.
This description of "2001" version sounds very interesting and intriguing.

I've got an impression that it's quite similar case as with Warcraft Adventures - game almost finished, (appareantly) with nice content, but ditched by "mother" company because it was considered as not "revolutionary" enough.

What a shame. I would love to wish good luck to "new" 3DRealms with finishing it... But I'm guessing that this "legal" obstacle is impossible to avoid (correct me if I'm wrong though).

It's especially sad with the fact, that through last years I've read dozens of replies on various media, where "common players" were negative regarding their (Gearbox') policy of dealing with DN franchise, but it didn't made anything.
Randy Pitchford is a businessman, not a gamer. So what did you expect?
I hope they will continue working on it or leak it onto the internet, damn the Randy´s approval or not.
It would be shame if this would be lost.

When I read stories like this, I always remember about good old Le Corbeau and his New Dark - didn´t ask anybody, simply just leaked it.
And the rest is history now.
Post edited March 02, 2018 by Tarhiel
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MartiusR: I've got an impression that it's quite similar case as with Warcraft Adventures - game almost finished, (appareantly) with nice content, but ditched by "mother" company because it was considered as not "revolutionary" enough.
I never understood why companies do this. Once you;ve gone far enough and invested so much money into a project, you would think finishing it and getting some sort of return on investment would be necessary. At the very least to keep what ever board of directors that exists happy.

"So, you spent $50 million on a project and then threw it all away at the end and we got zero back in return?"

"Well we made some t shirts, coffee mugs, and mouse pads for the crew...."

edit: I probably should have said "I never understood why companies get away with doing this..." Doing it is probably a tax write off at the very least.
Post edited March 02, 2018 by drmike
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viperfdl: Randy Pitchford is a businessman, not a gamer. So what did you expect?
+1

not to defend pitchford and his certification costs and such.cause you can't avoid it, the guy spits it. he spits it really fast sometimes.

that aside though, if this wasn't randy, would you be so quick to demonize him for this? his company did pay real money for Duke. DNF didn't do Gearbox any favours. so what incentive does he have to let Slipgate release this stuff? Slipgate having a build engine game ready to go is part of why we're hearing about this and why they wanted to do it. oh sure, they could get it out there and share a piece of Duke Nukem history and through that preserve it as well, but that isn't the main or only reason probably that they want to do it. they want the PR windfall to coincide with their launch. does gearbox get piece of that? I doubt it. so what Randy would be doing is letting a piece of something he owns go for a PR boost to a game he's not a part of.

in addition, it sounds like this thing is different, and could change the brand. that's a pretty weak argument though.

anyway, point is, does he really deserve "fuck yous" for this? not sure about that at all. we might yet see this stuff released alongside another game in the Duke series. I think that will take a while though as Gearbox is very likely knee deep in the tech for the next Borderlands and the game as well.
Oh, Randy, you cunt, don't ever change.
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johnnygoging: +1

not to defend pitchford and his certification costs and such.cause you can't avoid it, the guy spits it. he spits it really fast sometimes.

that aside though, if this wasn't randy, would you be so quick to demonize him for this? his company did pay real money for Duke. DNF didn't do Gearbox any favours. so what incentive does he have to let Slipgate release this stuff? Slipgate having a build engine game ready to go is part of why we're hearing about this and why they wanted to do it. oh sure, they could get it out there and share a piece of Duke Nukem history and through that preserve it as well, but that isn't the main or only reason probably that they want to do it. they want the PR windfall to coincide with their launch. does gearbox get piece of that? I doubt it. so what Randy would be doing is letting a piece of something he owns go for a PR boost to a game he's not a part of.

in addition, it sounds like this thing is different, and could change the brand. that's a pretty weak argument though.

anyway, point is, does he really deserve "fuck yous" for this? not sure about that at all. we might yet see this stuff released alongside another game in the Duke series. I think that will take a while though as Gearbox is very likely knee deep in the tech for the next Borderlands and the game as well.
This. It is IP that belongs to his company, and it is a design that makes his final product look worse by comparison. Saying no is a smart business decision, regardless of what you think of the man. The fact that his company sucks ass and ruined We Happy Few (seemingly, we'll see when it finally releases since they stopped releasing prototype builds so they could build hype for their final release in the Summer) is irrelevant, though I have very little interest in anything Gearbox these days, even if Borderlands was pretty good. Seems to be the exception, not the rule.
Post edited March 02, 2018 by paladin181
low rated
So fecking what?! Get over it already. Duke Forever wasn't a bad game, I had considerably more fun with that game then I did with Deus Ex for crying out loud. It wasn't ground breaking, unique or anything new but it was fun. The slight difference here is that I didn't have my head launched up my arse about some old version that is apparently the bees knees.
avatar
johnnygoging: +1

not to defend pitchford and his certification costs and such.cause you can't avoid it, the guy spits it. he spits it really fast sometimes.

that aside though, if this wasn't randy, would you be so quick to demonize him for this? his company did pay real money for Duke. DNF didn't do Gearbox any favours. so what incentive does he have to let Slipgate release this stuff? Slipgate having a build engine game ready to go is part of why we're hearing about this and why they wanted to do it. oh sure, they could get it out there and share a piece of Duke Nukem history and through that preserve it as well, but that isn't the main or only reason probably that they want to do it. they want the PR windfall to coincide with their launch. does gearbox get piece of that? I doubt it. so what Randy would be doing is letting a piece of something he owns go for a PR boost to a game he's not a part of.

in addition, it sounds like this thing is different, and could change the brand. that's a pretty weak argument though.

anyway, point is, does he really deserve "fuck yous" for this? not sure about that at all. we might yet see this stuff released alongside another game in the Duke series. I think that will take a while though as Gearbox is very likely knee deep in the tech for the next Borderlands and the game as well.
avatar
paladin181: This. It is IP that belongs to his company, and it is a design that makes his final product look worse by comparison. Saying no is a smart business decision, regardless of what you think of the man. The fact that his company sucks ass and ruined We Happy Few (seemingly, we'll see when it finally releases since they stopped releasing prototype builds so they could build hype for their final release in the Summer) is irrelevant, though I have very little interest in anything Gearbox these days, even if Borderlands was pretty good. Seems to be the exception, not the rule.
Gearbox have made plenty of really good games over the years.
Post edited March 02, 2018 by darthspudius
To be fair, that games sounds nothing like Duke Nukem. At all. And if it's not a proper Duke Nukem sequel, just a lost unfinished 17 year old shooter... I don't think this is that big of a loss, outside maybe of historical curiosity value.

Then again someone could say pretty much the exact same thing about Warcraft Adventures and I was overjoyed to finally play it when the unfinished playable build was released, so what do I know :D
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darthspudius: So fecking what?! Get over it already. Duke Forever wasn't a bad game, I had considerably more fun with that game then I did with Deus Ex for crying out loud. It wasn't ground breaking, unique or anything new but it was fun. The slight difference here is that I didn't have my head launched up my arse about some old version that is apparently the bees knees.
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paladin181: This. It is IP that belongs to his company, and it is a design that makes his final product look worse by comparison. Saying no is a smart business decision, regardless of what you think of the man. The fact that his company sucks ass and ruined We Happy Few (seemingly, we'll see when it finally releases since they stopped releasing prototype builds so they could build hype for their final release in the Summer) is irrelevant, though I have very little interest in anything Gearbox these days, even if Borderlands was pretty good. Seems to be the exception, not the rule.
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darthspudius: Gearbox have made plenty of really good games over the years.
I do owe Gearbox one thing, they did release the remastered Homeworld, granted the community had to finish patching it (google Homeworld Remastered Players Patch to which a gog version is coming out soon) and I rather did enjoy Borderlands 2 more then 1, I think they also have enough stinkers to go around like Colonial Marines and Battleborn, Brothers in Arms was Ok, but it kinda was drowned out in the WWII flood.
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