Posted 22 January 2017 - 10:49 PM
That's a good question. Who would I want to develop the nex tDuke Nukem game? Well, I'd probably would want input from people who've modded for Duke 3D for eons, and especially the people who did WG Realms 2 or the DNF 2013 mod. At the same time, I'd want to recruit level designers who were great at creating explorable real locations, like what was done in the first Deus Ex, Half-Life 1 and 2, No One Lives Forever, etc. I think the current modern developers don't understand what Duke is about, and neither do many modern day players who aren't Duke fans. For me, Duke is a tongue in cheek loving parody of the 80s/90s action hero with clever design and plenty of interactivity, Duke 1, 2, and 3D were very much 90s games. When it comes to the different approaches to Duke: one side will want to do a super gritty reboot with no humor; one would try to awkwardly replicate Duke's humor but fail to make it relevant; then you have the various people who have hardcore ideas on what Duke should be like and it wouldn't translate well for the mainstream. It varies. And as much as I appreciate the use of Serious Sam elements in WG Realms 2, I don't think Duke would work solely as an uber arena shooter like Sam.
One of the perks of Duke Nukem 3D is how it combined aspects of Evil Dead, Alien, Doom, and Playboy/Penthouse B-Movies, and it had the playful interactive adult film quality, which I think would be hard to replicate with a big gaming company. Unless you were able to convince a good developing company that Duke would work best as a tribute to 90s action films, and has a very early/mid 90s vibe to it (like Interstate '76 was to the 70s, or Hotline Miami was to the 80s), then you might have a chance. Alternatively, one could have Duke be the hero of the 90s, frozen in time, and emerge modern day a la Austin Powers... but I think the former idea is better. I see a lot of potential of having a Duke Nukem game function like an interactive blend of Independence Day, Terminator 2, Aliens, and an Andy Sidaris movie. And while shooting is good, I think there should be room for interaction and exploration a la Deus Ex, Half-Life, SiN, and Leisure Suit Larry. For the shooting, it has to be swift, smooth, and not mess with your framerate. And, while this might earn Duke an Adult rating in places, I think ever since Duke 3D introduced the scintillating sexual element, why not incorporate interactive sex? And considering the new Duke game would be a tribute to 90s actions films, that means you could playful and imaginative with it, like NOLF was for the 60s or I '76 for the 70s. And there's a ton of possibilities in level design by paying homage to 90s action flicks.
On the other hand, if the new Duke developer were trying to steer away from the adult aspects (which is arguably one its main grabbing points), there's the possibility of going back to Duke Nukem's roots. The first two Duke games, while it didn't have any blood or babes, did have levels which stood out in their level design and level backgrounds. They felt like interactive 90s cartoons, like Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Mighty Max. A lot of the level locations in Duke 1 and 2 would look stunning in a 3D environment, plus the using similar colors would help the game stand out. Imagine the first Shrapnel City and Mission: Moonbase levels, episode 3's second level, in full 3D with revised design. The level backgrounds such as the ruins of Shrapnel City and the levitating city platforms of the future would look awesome in a modern engine.
I doubt that 3D Realms or Gearbox would be able to to bring Duke up to snuff. 3D Realms' developers were misguided in their development of Bombshell, and Gearbox (while I still like DNF) has become an out-to-lunch company.
Half-Life Opposing Force and Gearbox's PC port of Halo were among the few good games they did in their early years. Unless 3D Realms were able to develop a game in spirit of the old classics, and Gearbox somehow revived the design mentality they used to have when developing Opposing Force, then I would've considered them.
I still think that there's much potential in modding Duke for other games, that way modders to explore the different kinds of potential Duke games can accomplish.