For its “Unfiltered” series, IGN recently got a hold of 3D Realms founder Scott Miller. Miller has been with the company since it was called Apogee Software, since the beginning of the infamous Duke Nukem series. While the Unfiltered episode goes into all kinds of projects Miller was involved with, a particular quote shined some light on what went down with perhaps 3D Realms’ most controversial title, Duke Nukem Forever.
What happened to make a game like Duke Nukem Forever take so long? How did a game, especially a shooter, go over a decade before being released? Well, Miller confirmed what many have suspected over the years: a small team was trying to keep up with the super fast pace of the shooter genre in the 2000s.
Here was Miller’s explanation:
My argument to [3D Realms co-founder George Broussard] was we need to almost double the size of our studio to get this thing up,” Miller said. “What happens is that a new game will come out that blows the doors off of what we’re doing, like Half-Life or Half-Life 2. Therefore, OK, let’s go back to the drawing board and add more features to the engine. We were just always playing catch-up because our team is too small to ever really get ahead and maintain the lead we want.
Before Final Fantasy XV, Duke Nukem Forever was the game with the most talked about development cycle. This game was in the works for years, and had become the stuff of legends, and memes. But thanks to the involvement of Borderlands developer Gearbox, the myth became reality, and Duke Nukem Forever came out on last-generation consoles (and PC) in 2011. It wasn’t received well, and the series has been in limbo sense (although Duke did reappear in the Bulletstorm re-release).
Duke Nukem Forever Development Insight Shared by 3D Realms Founder