Talking Ion Maiden With 3D Realms

Recently I spoke with 3D Realms about their pending game Ion Maiden which is a return to the classic style of games they are known for. The game was developed by Voidpoint, in association with 3D Realms and 1C Publishing.

How did the idea for the game come about and what was the main factor that took development towards a retro look vs more modern graphics?


The idea started back in 2015. We really wanted to do a First Person Shooter in the Bombshell universe (Bombshell was a game we were developing at that time).

Taking place as a sequel to Bombshell, we had this fun idea of making the game look and feel like it was from the mid-90’s. Around the same era as Duke Nukem 3D.

Naturally, making a 1996 style FPS, coming from 3D Realms, nothing was better suited than the original “BUILD” engine I reached out to the best BUILD engine designers out there and the creators of the modern “Source Port” of the classic BUILD Engine, eDuke32, and the project slowly took shape.


What was behind the delay to 2019 as when I played the game in March it played great.


It does! Actually, the scope of the game changed “slightly” during development. It was originally meant as a smaller companion-type game, to tell a bit of back-story to Bombshell.

But when we saw what the team was coming up with, we thought that there was some true potential here to make this something much better.

The preview campaign we released in late February, was kinda our “Test-case” to see if others liked the game as much as we did. Luckily they did, and here we are – Making Ion Maiden bigger and better!


What is the background and setting for the game?

Ion Maiden takes place before Bombshell, (But still in the future). You are Shelly Harrison (Before she took on the name “Bombshell”.

A bomb expert, working for the Global Defense Force in NEO DC. Mad Scientist Dr. Jadus Heskel, has taken over the city using his army of Cyborgs, and it’s your job to stop him.


How will multiplay work in the game?


We haven’t discussed multiplayer yet, as we’re still discussing what exact modes we want to make.

But you can at least expect the.. expected.. such as Deathmatch.


What are some of the enemies players will encounter?


Cyborgs, Zombies, Monsters, you name it! The enemies in Ion Maiden are pretty awesome and cover a wide range of different enemy types.

Both stationary, slow-moving melee, hit-scan, projectile based, flying enemies, etc.


What are some of the weapons in the game?


Everything from Shelly’s trusty Handcannon called “The Loverboy”, to auto-seeking Bowling Bombs, Laser Crossbows, Miniguns, Dual-wielding SMGs and Grenade Launchers.


How hard was it to find a balance between old and new in terms of the look and gameplay?

Not as hard as you might think. I think we would all classify ourselves as hard-core shooter fans. But we also pretty much live in the 90’s.


We’ve been playing shooters like Duke 3D, Blood, Quake, Hexen, etc. since they came out and while we do play the occasional modern shooter, we live and breathe old-school.


Therefore it came pretty natural to us, which elements we wanted to keep from the classics that inspire us, and which new and modern features we wanted to implement (Such as autosaves, moveable objects etc.)


What are some of the locales for the game?


NEO DC, Office Buildings, Underground Facilities, Subway Stations, Forests and even a Hotel. We wanted to make sure that each level in Ion Maiden, brought something new to the table in terms of environments.


How long is the game?


Expect a 7-8 hour campaign.


What kind of things can people who select Early Access look forward to?


While Ion Maiden is under the “Early Access” label, it’s not entirely what you’d expect. When we announced Ion Maiden, we wanted to give early customers a unique, seperate experience (Called the Preview Campaign).

This campaign is completely polished and self contained from the full game. We do plan on updating it with some new cool stuff between now, and the final release of the full game, but we can’t quite reveal what it is yet (Pssssst… PAX South!)


Will the game offer DLC or any form of expansion?


We don’t have any plans to announce at this time.


Is there a chance we can see a new version of Blood in the future?


Short answer, No.


Long answer – We are probably the studio who got the furthest in terms of getting Blood “back” (We originally developed Blood, before selling it to Monolith).


We got far in negotiations, even to a point where we started bringing some of the original developers back on board. Unfortunately, the blood IP and rights are tied up between multiple companies, and even though we’ve tried for years, it’s a long and tough road to make it happen. So at this time, don’t count on it ever happening. But if it does, you know where to look!