So How Far Along Was Duke Nukem Forever Before It Was Binned?

In 2009, Duke Nukem Forever was cancelled after over a decade in development. It's now famously back from the grave, but if you've ever wondered how far the original developers were from actually finishing it, Triptych president David Riegel has your answer.

"When 3D Realms shut its doors in May, I would say the game was maybe about 75-80% compared to what it is today, but it was interesting because it was a kind of an uneven 80%", he said in a podcast on the official Duke Nukem site. "There were entire AI systems that were done, probably about 90-95% of the weapons were done in terms of effects and game play and entire sections of the game that are still around now—-a lot of the game is still around now; but it was missing some major things, like there was no…narrative script; there was no dialog; nothing written for any character."

"Most of the characters didn't exist. NPC behaviour didn't really exist, like no head tracking or eye tracking, no lip syncing, none of that. No music, no ending: there was a planned ending but it wasn't really there."

Riegel was once working on the game before developers 3D Realms went bust, so he knows what he's talking about!

[Duke Nukem Forever]


    Interesting. I really was expecting them to say less than 50% done.

    Duke Nukem Forever was never cancelled back in 2009, after 3D Realms closed a few guys that are triptych games worked on DNF at their homes and Scott Miller said that "although 3D Realms is closed it doesnt mean the demise of the project"

    WIRED did a great piece on this mid last year I think. Much of the article laid the blame across the shoulders of Broussard, who would allegedly come in every so often with a brilliant new 'must-have' idea because another company had announced something awesome, and that he would not compromise on. This happened a few times when the game was at that roughly 80% stage, and set them back years in development time.

    I'm surprised they had anything more than concept art!

    God, seriously, what the hell were 3DR doing for 12 years? Between '97 and '09 they'd only managed to produce a game that was 80% complete with no story and no NPC interaction whatsoever?! It amazes me that in just over 2 years, Gearbox and Triptych have been able to get DNF to the cusp of release, whereas 3DR couldn't even get past the engine mechanics after 12 god damn years. There must have been some SERIOUS management issues over at 3DR for that kind of a screw up.

      It's called feature creep

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now