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My god, George was an even bigger dickhead than I thought!

User is offline   PikaCommando 

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#31

Huh, I thought the "cutting is shipping" thing happened in 2007 and that old campaign chart was from 2006-2009.

Also, when did that whole "George worships the Xbox" thing happen? iirc DNF on that 2009 Jace Hall Show episode is still very much PC-centric.
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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#32

View PostPikaCommando, on 01 August 2017 - 10:02 PM, said:

Huh, I thought the "cutting is shipping" thing happened in 2007 and that old campaign chart was from 2006-2009.



IIRC it was first mentioned in the beginning of 2009:

https://mobile.twitt...atus/1113846468

AFAIK this is the first time he mentioned it.

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#33

There were two rounds of cutting. One happened prior to any DNF media. The next one happened after 3DR closed.

The campaign chart was accurate until 3DR closed.
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User is offline   NUKEMDAVE 

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#34

A little off topic, but I'm pretty sure they made a change to a flooded room in the dam due to my friend and I uploading leaked footage of it. LOL. In the leaked footage, the lights don't go out, but they do in the final game and you have to use Duke Vision. I thought I'd throw that out there since changes in the game are being discussed here.
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#35

George in co. were just trying to get the game out the door before they ran out of track under feet by the time he said "Cutting is shipping." Getting the fucker to run on Xbox makes a lot of sense form the standpoint of making money. The more money they made, the better off the studio would be, and maybe get some traction going again... And hopefully not make the same mistake again. They were on course, they just ran out of track.

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#36

DNF wasn't some technical marvel too strong for the consoles. They were in the crunch (remember Gearbox had to announce *another* delay.) It's easier to cut content than it is to optimize. The game runs like shit. It's not optimized because they couldn't afford to pay someone to do it.
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#37

HAH! Nobody said it was a technical marvel, but it was a Frankenstein's monster.

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#38

Right, but people are assuming that all this content was cut because consoles couldn't handle it.

All the content was cut because they didn't have the time/money to optimize the game. It really runs bad, it's poorly optimized.
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User is offline   icecoldduke 

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#39

View PostJimmy, on 03 August 2017 - 11:05 AM, said:

Right, but people are assuming that all this content was cut because consoles couldn't handle it.

All the content was cut because they didn't have the time/money to optimize the game. It really runs bad, it's poorly optimized.

The consoles could not handle the data. Wether that's because the engine is a pile of shit, or there is something funky with the content, or there was too much content, the end result is the same thing.

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#40

It runs like shit on PCs dude, what are you talking about?
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User is offline   icecoldduke 

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#41

View PostJimmy, on 03 August 2017 - 12:03 PM, said:

It runs like shit on PCs dude, what are you talking about?

How does that make my statement inaccurate? If it runs like shit on the PC then more has to be done(cutting or otherwise) to make it run on the consoles.

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This post has been edited by icecoldduke: 03 August 2017 - 12:16 PM

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#42

Or they could just optimize it.
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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#43

In this case the engine was also outdated and not on par with what it had to render to make the game look halfway on par with what else came out at that time.

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This post has been edited by fuegerstef: 03 August 2017 - 11:08 PM

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User is offline   icecoldduke 

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#44

View PostJimmy, on 03 August 2017 - 06:38 PM, said:

Or they could just optimize it.

I'm sure if things were that simple, the team would have done just that. Things were obviously that bad that even George had to accept reality, and agreed to cut content.

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User is offline   Zaxx 

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#45

View PostJimmy, on 03 August 2017 - 06:38 PM, said:

Or they could just optimize it.

They optimized it and that's the best performance they could get out of it. :D Remember that DNF runs on a highly modified (or rather highly chopped up) version of Unreal Engine 2 and compared to what they were trying to do with it (all the physics stuff for example) and how glitchy even the released version is it's a miracle the whole thing is just not falling apart. If you're not facing more than 3 enemies at a time in a Duke game you just know that some serious corners were cut during development so the game would just function.

What baffles me a lot more than the technical stuff is the game design, specifically the minute-to-minute game mechanics. The gameplay feels unpolished even after all the years of development and that's just crazy because honestly that's the first thing you should nail in pre-alpha before moving on to polish up everything else. Berserker pigcops? What a great idea... but why didn't they polish them up to the point where the player can dodge their jumps reliably so the gameplay becomes more kinetic and exciting? A golden Desert Eagle? Great stuff... but did nobody feel that having so few bullets in one clip cripples it? It could work as a power weapon like the Magnum in Half-Life but nope, the 1911 is Duke's basic pistol with peashooter damage... so why can't I have at least 15 bullets in one clip so I wouldn't need to reload the damn thing every 3 seconds? Why do I have to watch a 5 second animation after pressing the button for the beer powerup when it's literally designed to be used in more tense situations? Even your movement speed feels wrong and not because you're expecting Duke 3D speed but because it just doesn't gel with the other elements of the game and sprinting is simply tedious.

I'd excuse the shittiness of some of the levels, I'd excuse that the monster truck part is clearly something where the "cutting is shipping" mantra should have been applied (those levels are clearly the weakest in the whole game) but even the game mechanics feeling unfinished? Dear God, during the 14 years of development nobody spent 6 months on playtesting the damn thing? I kinda enjoyed the game for what it was but man was it obvious that 3DR just ran out of time so they had to ship something. Bankruptcy is shipping!

Btw. recently George said on Twitter the he would not have released the version of DNF that ended up in stores.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 04 August 2017 - 01:55 PM

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User is offline   High Treason 

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#46

View PostZaxx, on 04 August 2017 - 01:39 PM, said:

I'd excuse that the monster truck part is clearly something where the "cutting is shipping" mantra should have been applied (those levels are clearly the weakest in the whole game)


Hey, I'm not having that, the monster truck was the best part by far. For the first minute you can already hear how much the game is wearing me down, then I find the truck and I start actually enjoying myself, a shame it was so short lived. I refer to this video, which has all the monster truck stuff in it.


By contrast, you can hear my joy turn back to "Oh, god, more of this." when I know it's over.

In fact, I'd have nuked the rest of the game and just released a spin-ff "Duke Nukem: Monster Truck Carnage" or some shit, would have been a fun budget game and might have brought in more money for the rest of development - likely not enough, but better than empty pockets. Would have been better than the Army Men game I proposed though.

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This post has been edited by High Treason: 04 August 2017 - 02:20 PM

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User is offline   Zaxx 

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#47

View PostHigh Treason, on 04 August 2017 - 02:13 PM, said:

Hey, I'm not having that, the monster truck was the best part by far. For the first minute you can already hear how much the game is wearing me down, then I find the truck and I start actually enjoying myself, a shame it was so short lived. I refer to this video, which has all the monster truck stuff in it.


By contrast, you can hear my joy turn back to "Oh, god, more of this." when I know it's over.

In fact, I'd have nuked the rest of the game and just released a spin-ff "Duke Nukem: Monster Truck Carnage" or some shit, would have been a fun budget game and might have brought in more money for the rest of development - likely not enough, but better than empty pockets. Would have been better than the Army Men game I proposed though.

Here's my take on this: remember the pinball machine? At first you're like "Neat, it's a fully functional pinball machine!" but then you start playing and it quickly turns into the shittiest pinball game you've ever played. The controls really not felt good but at first I thought it's because on PC you have to use the mouse buttons, something that a pinball game never ever did because it's just a terrible idea. So I plugged in a controller, with that you play pinball the way you do in every pinball game on consoles: by using the triggers but in DNF it only marginally feels better, it's still bad. After realizing this I started thinking about developers who've spent countless hours designing all the bells and whistles on the pinball machine but somehow they managed to end up with shitty basic controls, controls that would have not felt right even in Pinball Fantasies on DOS. It's a metaphor for the whole game honestly.

So I'd love to play "Duke Nukem: Monster Truck Carnage"... if I feel like I'm driving a monster truck, the controls are great, I'm squising my opposition instead of touching them and watching as they fall to pieces AND if I have an awesome gun mounted on my truck because it's Duke and if I'm playing Duke I want to shoot things all the damn time. The problem with that: you really have to develop it like you would develop a Carmageddon style driving game because as a small mini game in an FPS you're going to have the worst monster truck game and the worst pinball game on your hands.

Really that's why most of the mini games and the interactivity is misguided in DNF compared to Duke 3D. In Duke 3D something funny happened when you interacted with an object, you laughed and moved on, all it took was a few seconds. In DNF you get real gameplay instead, gameplay you would not want to see in a shooter and if it's bad you'll feel the pain a lot more because you want to move on to the good stuff. They really should have stayed with the "Duke says funny stuff and does funny things" formula and focus on the meat of the game more instead.

Anyway the actual truck driving was maybe the least terrible thing on those levels, to me the depressing part was when I entered "Morningwood", the wonderfully named ghost town and NONE of the buildings had any detail or funiture inside them ("Here's a totally empty room with a Ripper and some pipe bombs in one corner, aren't we great level designers? Aren't we?!") + the graphics just jumped back to the late 90s. Even the enemy placements felt horrible, it was like playing an early alpha.

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 04 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

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#48

I liked that area. Well, the idea of it anyway. But yeah, the empty rooms makes it seem like a MP level for Goldeneye or something.

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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#49

As Totalbiscuit said "Duke Nukem is about shooting dudes in the face."

While, eventually, DNF does give you that when you finally reach the dam and get away from all the minigames... It takes a long chunk of the game to actually get there without interrupting you every two seconds.

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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#50

View PostZaxx, on 04 August 2017 - 01:39 PM, said:

Unreal Engine 2


If only. The game would run much better then (and now, for that matter). It is still based on Unreal Engine (1).

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User is offline   Zaxx 

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#51

View Postfuegerstef, on 04 August 2017 - 09:33 PM, said:

If only. The game would run much better then (and now, for that matter). It is still based on Unreal Engine (1).

I definitely remember George saying that they upgraded to a newer version of UE. I assumed that meant it's UE2.

If it's UE1 then well... :DDDDDDDDD
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#52

That's at least partially the ol' Broom Handle idea.

They chopped, and changed, and shifted about, and did all sorts of things and plugged in all kinds of extensions that it's... A freak.

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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#53

View PostZaxx, on 05 August 2017 - 03:42 AM, said:

I definitely remember George saying that they upgraded to a newer version of UE. I assumed that meant it's UE2.



Yes, they updated. But it is only updated within version 1, AFAIK. Something along the lines as the engine was updated from Unreal to Unreal Tournament (version 420 and higher).

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This post has been edited by fuegerstef: 05 August 2017 - 04:38 AM

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User is offline   Jimmy 

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#54

View Posticecoldduke, on 04 August 2017 - 03:39 AM, said:

I'm sure if things were that simple, the team would have done just that. Things were obviously that bad that even George had to accept reality, and agreed to cut content.

The major cuts to content didn't happen until after 3DR shut their doors. DNF was less than half the game it should have been even according to George's "cutting is shipping" DNF. I can't believe there are people still out here disputing this.

You're arguing my point for me. They didn't have the people, money, or time to optimize the game. But cutting content is a simple and easy way to get around that. Anyone who worked on the released version of DNF will hint at how chopped it is. One of the two level designers from Triptych talks about how much they had to chop up the levels just to get it to run.

The multiplayer on the other hand is incredibly polished and clearly has some better optimization because it runs much better than singleplayer. It's too bad Piranha will never get the recognition they deserve, probably some of the best multiplayer since UT99 or Red Faction.

This post has been edited by Jimmy: 06 August 2017 - 12:13 AM

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User is offline   Striker 

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#55

^ The multiplayer could have used some serious rebalancing and bug fixing though.

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This post has been edited by Striker: 11 August 2017 - 09:00 AM

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User is offline   Tea Monster 

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#56

Yeah. Multiplayer was a blast, but suffered from some prediction problems.Generally it was a lot of fun though.
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User is offline   Lucario 

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#57

Hello all! Been a while, thought I'd give my 2-cents on this matter being that I am a level designer. I'll mostly just touch on things that we all know or have already said, but I thought I would just make the points crystal clear!

When constructing a level, it's always good to have backgrounds and scenery that appeal to the player and keep them interested. Duke Nukem Forever is no exception but what DNF's scenery "suffered" from is a common practice in video games called "optimization." Developers are forced to cut some excess detail in order for their games to run smoothly at a steady framerate while also trying to provide a unique and beautiful experience. Sometimes it's difficult to combine the two. Sometimes you REALLY want that building to have amazing details and maybe a flickering light in one or two of the windows. Hell, since we're going crazy on design, lets give this building a beautiful entrance with doors where you can see the inside of the building but aren't able to access it. These things sound nice, right? Well your FPS counter hitting 30-35 would like to disagree. Of course, gameplay comes first and that's why some buildings in DNF appear to have their backsides removed entirely. It's not because "cutting is shipping" or "George was a bastard", it's more likely that George and even Gearbox had no choice but to cut content. To help the game preform better and smoother.

Another thing pointed out is that a lot of details are left outside of the maps that players are unlikely to see in a normal playthrough. There are usually two reasons behind this but it's either one or the other: Level cutting or easter eggs. For example, the, somewhat rendered, bus stop and gas station in the campaign were probably, at one point, going to be included in the level. In that case, it would retain the example of a "level cut". Although, in the multiplayer map Erection Site, players are able to see this gas station and bus stop from within the map, along with the "Ole' One-Eyed Casino" sign. This, in turn, is an example of an easter egg. A much better example is the Duke Dome level where you are able to walk inside of the parking garage. This may, in fact, have been accessible at one point or another in DNF's development. That or the ground must be solid in order for enemies to walk on the surface without falling through the ground. Either could be correct but what gets me is that Altered Reality claims that the ramps are solid as well. This would lead me to believe that this part of the level was intended for play at some point in time. We will never know unless it's officially disclaimed to us by Gearbox or 3D Realms themselves. The mystery lives on...

Anyway, I apologize if I sounded like a broken record, but I thought I would just put this discussion to bed and read it a nice bedtime story. :) If there's anything I left out, please feel free to let me know.
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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#58

View PostJimmy, on 02 August 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

The game runs like shit. It's not optimized because they couldn't afford to pay someone to do it.


I have to agree here.

I just wanted to replay it and have a really fast gaming PC ... so I turned on vSync.

Well, I got heavy stuttering in the second chapter ("Damn, it's late") when I look at a blank wall and strafe to the left so that a different blank wall and two vending machines come into sight.
The stuttering isn't there when disabling vSync, so I turned it off (PC is fast enough, so I won't notice).

When I got to "Ghost Town" I couldn't make the jump (I tried about 15 times).

It turns out that on modern and fast machines the physics are fucked up so that you can't make the jump and you have to turn off vSync again.


In all honesty ... another engine switch to a proper engine would have been good.

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This post has been edited by fuegerstef: 24 August 2017 - 07:42 AM

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User is offline   Altered Reality 

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#59

View Postfuegerstef, on 24 August 2017 - 07:41 AM, said:

I have to agree here.

I just wanted to replay it and have a really fast gaming PC ... so I turned on vSync.

Well, I got heavy stuttering in the second chapter ("Damn, it's late") when I look at a blank wall and strafe to the left so that a different blank wall and two vending machines come into sight.
The stuttering isn't there when disabling vSync, so I turned it off (PC is fast enough, so I won't notice).

When I got to "Ghost Town" I couldn't make the jump (I tried about 15 times).

It turns out that on modern and fast machines the physics are fucked up so that you can't make the jump and you have to turn off vSync again.


In all honesty ... another engine switch to a proper engine would have been good.

I've seen something similar happen, and I deduced that the game was meant to be played at a 60 Hz refresh frequency (like on consoles). Physics and character animations were naively programmed to count the number of frames instead of measuring time, so, if the predetermined number of frames is reached in a shorter or longer time than expected, every calculation is thrown off. Ergo, the engine is not to blame. Incompetence is.

Did you try setting up your video card to a refresh rate of 60 Hz?

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User is offline   fuegerstef 

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#60

View PostAltered Reality, on 24 August 2017 - 04:31 PM, said:

Did you try setting up your video card to a refresh rate of 60 Hz?


I foud it easier to just turn on vSync and ignore the stuttering in the early chapters. :)

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