Xbox 360 Interview

Duke Nukem with George Broussard

The Xbox Live Arcade beckons...

With classic FPS hit Duke Nukem 3D due out on the Xbox Live Arcade this month, and 3D Realms still plugging away on you know what, we sat down for a few words with big boss man George Broussard to get his thoughts on the Duke's revival, and to try and learn what we could on the developer's future plans.

Technology is probably the biggest area of change since Duke Nukem 3D last graced our PC screens. What does this revival do to take advantage of the clout under the hood of the Xbox 360?

Online matchmaking with 8 player co-op and Dukematch over Xbox Live, leaderboards, voice chat, Xbox Vision Camera and many other things that just come as being a 360 game. In addition, we added new features like User Clips, an unlockable concept art galley and a Tivo-style rewind feature that lets you start from any point in a level, when you die.

How complete and expansive is this cut-price version of the game?

This is the definitive version of the game. Ever.It's easily the best and most full featured version of the game we've released.

We loved the multiplayer mode on the PC. Will this be returning? If so, are any changes in place?

No major changes, as we wanted to keep the game true to the original, but the co-op and Dukematch lobbies are very nice. You can set private slots, start a game, and invite your friends for co-op, or set any game options you need. It's a pretty slick experience for a 'small' game.

How does Duke play with a console controller, compared to the keyboards of old?

It plays great and pretty much like any modern shooter on a console. We found that the original game design mapped to the controller pretty well. We also included the ability for users to map each button on the controller so they can tweak it however they like.

Do you view this release as a something of test to see whether the world is still receptive to the Duke's charms, with Duke Nukem Forever in mind?

Not really. We just thought it was a good idea and a very viable project for Xbox Live Arcade. Classic movies live on for decades but it's harder for games to do that due to constant platform changes. Doing an updated version like this allows new fans to experience the game as well as providing an opportunity for old fans to revisit it again.

Were 3D Realms or Microsoft concerned by some of the more 'adult-themed' content in Duke Nukem 3D?

Microsoft wasn't concerned. The game is rated Mature, and it's really not as bad as people remember. There are much worse games out today.

How does it feel seeing the Duke on Xbox Live Arcade? Its been some time since we last got a new game in the series...

We're really excited about it and can't wait to play it online ourselves. We put a lot of work into this version of the game and did everything within reason to update it.

On another Duke-related topic, how is Duke Nukem Forever progressing - will this long-awaited FPS title be 3D Realms' next release following DN3D on the XBLA?

DNF should be our next release, but I've learned my lesson on that [smiley]. The game is going well and you can play a lot of it, and we're just trying to finish it.

What do you think modern console gamers will make of the Duke's all-action approach, and do you think future Duke games could focus more on consoles, given the manner in which the PC platform has suffered in recent years?

I think Duke Nukem 3D still holds up pretty well today. It's more of a run and gun action game than modern shooters, but fun is fun, and sometimes you need something different. Every game made today needs to consider consoles, at least in terms of complexity and control layout, so they play well on a console.

What kind of humorous achievements will DN3D offer on the Arcade?

The full achievement list is out and people can find it here. We tried to offer a nice mix of singleplayer, multiplayer, and humorous achievements. Most are reasonable and you can get 200/200 on the game without too much work. I'm glad we included some silly achievements for tipping a stripper or stepping in poop.

Will 3D Realms consider other downloadable releases? Perhaps something new for the Arcade? Or even the PSN or WiiWare?

We're very excited by the downloabale game format on the consoles and we're always looking for opportunities.

Lastly, how does Duke play after all these years revived on the 360; how did you enhance where necessary while keeping the sense of nostalgia alive?

I think the game plays very well on 360 and as I said, I consider it the definitive version of the game to date. We enhanced it in areas outside of the core game with features like the User Clips and rewinding time when you die. We wanted to leave the core game alone, as we felt it was a classic, and to change it would be like colorizing a classic movie.

Thanks for your time, George.

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