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Published on June 19th, 2008 | by simeon


Duke Nukem Manhattan Project

Recently I had a chance to talk with Scott Miller of 3D Realms regarding the upcoming game Duke Nukem Manhattan Project. Scott tells us about consoles, movies and all things Duke.

GVK: Describe how the idea for the game came about.

SM: The original idea was to remake the original 1991 Duke Nukem game, but
within a modern 3D engine. But, the game quickly changed to an original
story rather than redo the older story. Also, originally the game was
designed strictly for online sale and distribution, but as the project came
along it was clear that the game was becoming so good that it deserved a
full retail release.

GVK: What is the setting of the game and what sort of weapons will be

SM: The game is set in New York, hence the name, Manhattan Project (which
of course is a play on the project that developed the first atomic weapon).

There are several familiar weapons plus a few new one, like the GLOPP ray,
which de-mutates certain enemies. For example, Duke can de-mutate a
Roachoid, back into its original roach form, then stomp it out of existence
so that there’s no chance of it finding more GLOPP and turning bake into a
man menacing Roachoid.

GVK: Going into this game, what were the main objectives you wanted to
achieve in regards to content and gameplay?

SM: The main goal was to create a fun action game in the tradition of the
old-school platform games that us old-timers grew up playing. Every
side-scrolling game we used to love has either faded away or gone to a
third-person floating camera format, like Sonic and Mario Bros. The
side-scrolling viewpoint has not been used much or at all for several years,
except on the hand-held platforms. I think Manhattan Project will be seen
as a fresh look at the side-scrolling platform genre, and hopefully get
other developers thinking about the viability of this forgotten format. The
side-scrolling platformer works very well in a 3D engine, of that I now have
no doubt.

GVK: In regards to content, were there features you wished to include but
were unable to do so, and if so what were they?

SM: All games are released at most 95% finished because there’s always
something you wish could be added but it’s too late in development. But
overall, this game exceeds the original goals and I have nothing but praise
for Sunstorm, the developers, who put together the best third-party Duke
game ever made.

GVK: If you could change any part of the finished game, what would it be
and why?

SM: The save game system I think can be improved, and in fact the game was
delayed a full week because we have revised it at the last minute trying to
make it more like a tradition save game system that all players are used to.
We’ve recently added a true quick save and quick load system which should
correct the earlier problems some playtesters were having.

GVK : What forms of multiplay are available for the game?

SM: None. This is strictly a single player game. Side-scrollers are not
traditionally suitable for multiplayer-style games.

GVK: How long was the development cycle of the game?

SM: Over a year.

GVK: Has there been any news on the Duke movie?

SM: Not really. I’ve learned that when properties end up in the hands of
Hollywood, they tend to vanish. Remember the DOOM movie, too? That’s where
you’ll find the Duke movie. 😉

GVK: To what to you attribute the continued appeal of Duke?

SM: I think it’s a few things, but the key is that Duke was the first
action hero with true character and personality. He set a high standard
with is no-holds barred attitude and humorous comments. Plus, as a game I
think players like the fact that Duke is a sci-fi game but set on Earth
within recognized locations, like Los Angeles, New York and soon in Las
Vegas in the coming Duke Nukem Forever.

GVK: Will the game be available on any consoles?

SM: There’s a good chance…we’re looking into this now. It really is the
kind of game that should do well on consoles.

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