How do you solve a problem like Duke Nukem?

So after watching the Quick Look today of the Duke Nukem DLC, the question of "where do they go from here" really made me start to wonder.

I'll admit it right from the top here; I was a really big fan of Duke Nukem. I remember how Duke Nukem 3D blew my mind when I first played it; the puerile humor was pitched just right for me as a young adolescent, and the “edgy” elements were quite the talking point between me and my friends. The shooting was solid for the era, and I had my fair share of enjoyable Dukematches. The macho stupidity of Duke and his B-Movie quips was somewhat endearing at the time, and his representation as a hero was something I accepted and agreed with to an extent.

"edgy" pixelated bewbs

In the lead up to the release of Duke Nukem Forever, having occasionally dipped into the saga of its development hell, I found myself quite excited to finally play it. I even played through Duke Nukem 3D in its entirety the week before it finally shipped. However, I wasn’t for a second expecting a quality product, but a little glimmer of hope still remained.

As we all know, Duke Nukem Forever wasn’t a good game; but it was by no means a terrible game. It was all it could have been: a mash up of half-realised ideas, strung together in a disjointed way that can only be expected of a game developed over 14 years. Video games in general evolved over the course of its development, let alone the first person shooter genre itself. This left Duke Nukem Forever feeling painfully dated at its core, meaning anything they tried to add to bring it up to date just came across as a disappointment. Even having the experience of Duke Nukem 3D fresh in my mind, it all just felt wrong.

Two games in particular last year proved that you can be dumb, but still have quality gameplay and genuine comedy. Namely, Saints Row the Third and Shadows of the Damned. Saints Row had dildo jokes, Shadows of the Damned had a dumptruck full of dick jokes, and both games had egotistical, larger than life protagonists. Both games also had their fair share of pop culture references, all of which we would come to expect from a Duke Nukem game. Both games were also fun to play, but had the odd snag along the way that detracted from them somewhat.

What was it about these games that made them appear on Game of the Year top 10 ten lists, but left Duke Nukem so far of the mark it was untrue? Is it possible to make a good Duke Nukem game?

One major thing to note is that it’s okay to be juvenile and crass; you just have to be smart about it. In Saints Row, there was the general feeling of being knowingly inane, and pulling it off to an extent that was so exaggerated that it became funny in itself. All the one liners and various set pieces of silliness were pulled off with a pinch of irony that made you distanced from what was happening and allowed the player to sit back and find it amusing. Comparing the autograph sequences from SR3 and DNF alone will give you an idea of how it’s done right and wrong respectively. In SR3 there was the benefit of having Josh Birk, the intentionally cringeworthy character deliver the “would you like me to sign your breasts” line that flops. Compare this with Duke Nukem’s autograph moment that has you, the protagonist, delivering a flimsy steroids gag that just plain shouldn’t have been saiIn Shadows of the Damned there was a similar device used through the character of Johnson, who was on hand to offset the garish actions of the over the top Garcia (fucking) Hotspur, in a way that the player could identify with….and be a pretty cool floating, burning skull who also happens to be a gun and a motorbike in his own right. I think a problem that Duke has is that he is a larger than life character in a pretty bland world, there needs to be more personality injected into his surroundings and the characters he interacts with to make him seem relevant. There needs to be the ability to relate to or indeed distance the player from the world that the game is creating that will allow the lewdness feel more pertinent, something that was sadly missing from DNF.

NO.

Aside from the obvious clumsy and dated elements of DNF’s gameplay, the game checked the boxes of what a first person shooter should include (mainly, shooting dudes) it just didn’t do it well. Shooting things just didn’t feel good, the movement was vague and the feedback of shooting bullet sponge after bullet sponge really didn’t work well at all. Not to mention that in DNF, all the action set pieces were tacked-on at best and very easy to fail, and had a distinct lack of flair or humor to them. There was no jumping out of a helicopter to the sound of Kanye West to murder a penthouse full of people, instead there was pulling the brake on a falling elevator to the sound of repeated failure. In Shadows of the Damned and Saints Row, we can see the two extremes of either having a good, focused experience, or a range of well honed varied experiences put together. DNF seemed to want to tow the line between both, having linear corridor shooting mixed with disjointed vehicle sections trying to give a sense of a bigger world. In order to make Duke better they really need to tie it down to one or the other, or it will smack of being spread too thin. (Oh and no ‘underwater’ sections, not even ironically.)

In my opinion taking leaves out of these respective games' books could help Duke Nukem become better. They were great examples of games that had common values with what made Duke Nukem enjoyable in the first place, but did it in a way that works. I'm not saying that I want to see a Duke Nukem GTA clone or turn it into a 3rd person shooter, I still want it to be Duke Nukem; but I want to see it done with flair, and to give the franchise the follow up to Duke Nukem 3d that we all deserve.

I think a great set up for the next Duke Nukem game would have an explosive beginning, where Duke ends up falling, and he would have to fall hard. It would be a great narrative device as it would parallel the feeling among the gaming community at large. Imagine seeing Duke start off in a world where he is no longer “The King”. It would be great to see his downfall start at the hands of a charismatic antagonist, be it a larger than life villain or a new hero to taking him off the top spot against a new threat. Then you can build from there both through narrative and through gameplay, to take Duke from the gutter back to greatness, be it through a focused and tight experience like Shadows of the Damned (minus janky big boner sequences) where the core shooting and level design are responsive and coherent; or through a more open ended experience where all the bizarre interactions and varied activities are realized together in a world that takes on a life of its own.

It’s just a starting point, and maybe I haven’t thought this through as well as I could have, but I know that there’s got to be some way to make a good Duke Nukem game ,and I really want a legitimate excuse to be able to bet on Duke again!

27 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by Steparnicus

So after watching the Quick Look today of the Duke Nukem DLC, the question of "where do they go from here" really made me start to wonder.

I'll admit it right from the top here; I was a really big fan of Duke Nukem. I remember how Duke Nukem 3D blew my mind when I first played it; the puerile humor was pitched just right for me as a young adolescent, and the “edgy” elements were quite the talking point between me and my friends. The shooting was solid for the era, and I had my fair share of enjoyable Dukematches. The macho stupidity of Duke and his B-Movie quips was somewhat endearing at the time, and his representation as a hero was something I accepted and agreed with to an extent.

"edgy" pixelated bewbs

In the lead up to the release of Duke Nukem Forever, having occasionally dipped into the saga of its development hell, I found myself quite excited to finally play it. I even played through Duke Nukem 3D in its entirety the week before it finally shipped. However, I wasn’t for a second expecting a quality product, but a little glimmer of hope still remained.

As we all know, Duke Nukem Forever wasn’t a good game; but it was by no means a terrible game. It was all it could have been: a mash up of half-realised ideas, strung together in a disjointed way that can only be expected of a game developed over 14 years. Video games in general evolved over the course of its development, let alone the first person shooter genre itself. This left Duke Nukem Forever feeling painfully dated at its core, meaning anything they tried to add to bring it up to date just came across as a disappointment. Even having the experience of Duke Nukem 3D fresh in my mind, it all just felt wrong.

Two games in particular last year proved that you can be dumb, but still have quality gameplay and genuine comedy. Namely, Saints Row the Third and Shadows of the Damned. Saints Row had dildo jokes, Shadows of the Damned had a dumptruck full of dick jokes, and both games had egotistical, larger than life protagonists. Both games also had their fair share of pop culture references, all of which we would come to expect from a Duke Nukem game. Both games were also fun to play, but had the odd snag along the way that detracted from them somewhat.

What was it about these games that made them appear on Game of the Year top 10 ten lists, but left Duke Nukem so far of the mark it was untrue? Is it possible to make a good Duke Nukem game?

One major thing to note is that it’s okay to be juvenile and crass; you just have to be smart about it. In Saints Row, there was the general feeling of being knowingly inane, and pulling it off to an extent that was so exaggerated that it became funny in itself. All the one liners and various set pieces of silliness were pulled off with a pinch of irony that made you distanced from what was happening and allowed the player to sit back and find it amusing. Comparing the autograph sequences from SR3 and DNF alone will give you an idea of how it’s done right and wrong respectively. In SR3 there was the benefit of having Josh Birk, the intentionally cringeworthy character deliver the “would you like me to sign your breasts” line that flops. Compare this with Duke Nukem’s autograph moment that has you, the protagonist, delivering a flimsy steroids gag that just plain shouldn’t have been saiIn Shadows of the Damned there was a similar device used through the character of Johnson, who was on hand to offset the garish actions of the over the top Garcia (fucking) Hotspur, in a way that the player could identify with….and be a pretty cool floating, burning skull who also happens to be a gun and a motorbike in his own right. I think a problem that Duke has is that he is a larger than life character in a pretty bland world, there needs to be more personality injected into his surroundings and the characters he interacts with to make him seem relevant. There needs to be the ability to relate to or indeed distance the player from the world that the game is creating that will allow the lewdness feel more pertinent, something that was sadly missing from DNF.

NO.

Aside from the obvious clumsy and dated elements of DNF’s gameplay, the game checked the boxes of what a first person shooter should include (mainly, shooting dudes) it just didn’t do it well. Shooting things just didn’t feel good, the movement was vague and the feedback of shooting bullet sponge after bullet sponge really didn’t work well at all. Not to mention that in DNF, all the action set pieces were tacked-on at best and very easy to fail, and had a distinct lack of flair or humor to them. There was no jumping out of a helicopter to the sound of Kanye West to murder a penthouse full of people, instead there was pulling the brake on a falling elevator to the sound of repeated failure. In Shadows of the Damned and Saints Row, we can see the two extremes of either having a good, focused experience, or a range of well honed varied experiences put together. DNF seemed to want to tow the line between both, having linear corridor shooting mixed with disjointed vehicle sections trying to give a sense of a bigger world. In order to make Duke better they really need to tie it down to one or the other, or it will smack of being spread too thin. (Oh and no ‘underwater’ sections, not even ironically.)

In my opinion taking leaves out of these respective games' books could help Duke Nukem become better. They were great examples of games that had common values with what made Duke Nukem enjoyable in the first place, but did it in a way that works. I'm not saying that I want to see a Duke Nukem GTA clone or turn it into a 3rd person shooter, I still want it to be Duke Nukem; but I want to see it done with flair, and to give the franchise the follow up to Duke Nukem 3d that we all deserve.

I think a great set up for the next Duke Nukem game would have an explosive beginning, where Duke ends up falling, and he would have to fall hard. It would be a great narrative device as it would parallel the feeling among the gaming community at large. Imagine seeing Duke start off in a world where he is no longer “The King”. It would be great to see his downfall start at the hands of a charismatic antagonist, be it a larger than life villain or a new hero to taking him off the top spot against a new threat. Then you can build from there both through narrative and through gameplay, to take Duke from the gutter back to greatness, be it through a focused and tight experience like Shadows of the Damned (minus janky big boner sequences) where the core shooting and level design are responsive and coherent; or through a more open ended experience where all the bizarre interactions and varied activities are realized together in a world that takes on a life of its own.

It’s just a starting point, and maybe I haven’t thought this through as well as I could have, but I know that there’s got to be some way to make a good Duke Nukem game ,and I really want a legitimate excuse to be able to bet on Duke again!

Edited by SerHulse

How do you solve a problem like Duke Nukem?

Invent time travel, go back to 1996, problem solved!

The problem is that Duke as a character isn't funny anymore, he was barely funny in Duke 3D IMO.

Yes, other games came out in 2011 that are puerile but still funny, but Duke, he's just a self absorbed dick, and there's nothing more painful than a self absorbed dick.

It's clear that DNF was trying so hard to be like other shooters, but because of it's long development time you can cut it in half and see 14 years of shooter evolution inside it. In it's desperate attempts to stay relevant it ironically couldn't feel more outdated.

I think, personally, the next game should feature Duke digging his own grave, whilst every other action game protagonist of the last 14 years stand around watching him, silently.

It will have the most interactive shovel technology ever conceived.

Posted by jjnen

Just make a funny and good FPS with Duke Nukem in the title. Setting doesn't have to change because Duke's world is pretty unique.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Rappelsiini said:
Just make a funny and good FPS with Duke Nukem in the title. Setting doesn't have to change because Duke's world is pretty unique.
Bulletstorm did it pretty well with the humor. 
Posted by laserbolts

I dunno man unless they make a duke nukem game without the things that make a duke nukem game a duke nukem game. Duke Nukem is just a shiity character so it's hard to build around that. Even playing the old duke nukem games I cringed at the poor attempts at humor. It's most likely a problem on my end since I rarely find things funny.

Posted by cstrang

This was a great post. It's actually surprising to see new posters posting decent messages. I think your point of Duke being a "larger-than-life" character in a bland surrounding is rather salient. In both of your examples, the games take measures to show the player that the world they are interacting with is kinda nuts. Saints Row The Third makes a huge go at that from the on-set, with a first mission where the main character jumps out of a plane, free-falls whilst shooting dudes, jumps through another plane shooting dudes on the way, free-falls whilst shooting dudes some more, then rescues one of his homies who is also free-falling. Shadows of the Damned is maybe a little more subdued than that, but it also refuses to take itself too seriously. There are dick jokes, innuendos, and quirky mission design abound. Duke Nukem is, as Ryan and Brad put it today, blandly sci-fi.

Another problem is that Duke's persona is about 20 years old. You can't have an unlikable main character when that main character is the thing that's supposed to keep your game afloat.

Posted by jjnen
@The_Laughing_Man
@Rappelsiini said:
Just make a funny and good FPS with Duke Nukem in the title. Setting doesn't have to change because Duke's world is pretty unique.
Bulletstorm did it pretty well with the humor. 
Well I never played it because the arcade style kill with skill would have been too much for my OCD. Duke is also a way bigger name. But other than that coop and Mass Effect dialog wheel/choices would be pretty cool. I'd buy that if it existed. What about you?
Posted by captain_clayman

tldr version: just dont play DNF, play bulletstorm, saints row and shadows of the damned instead if you want games with funny dick jokes.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Rappelsiini said:
@The_Laughing_Man
@Rappelsiini said:
Just make a funny and good FPS with Duke Nukem in the title. Setting doesn't have to change because Duke's world is pretty unique.
Bulletstorm did it pretty well with the humor. 
Well I never played it because the arcade style kill with skill would have been too much for my OCD. Duke is also a way bigger name. But other than that coop and Mass Effect dialog wheel/choices would be pretty cool. I'd buy that if it existed. What about you?
What Duke brought back was phased out for a reason. First person Platforming. Dated Graphics,  
 
What he kept from current games ruined his past. 
 
Only 2 guns? The ability to die within 4 hits?  
 
These factors really got to me. Not to mention the crappy controls and whoever wrote the script trying way to hard to get the Duke quotes into the game.  
Posted by Oldirtybearon

I've always felt that the appeal of Duke Nukem (the character) lied in how he mirrors the Marines from Aliens.

Think about it. He's a cocky, headstrong macho man and thinks he can take the whole world on by himself. Then aliens show up, wreck his shit and the shit he cares about, and he has to push back to win the day. He breaks a sweat and quips great/terrible one liners along the way, but that's about the gist of it.

The problem with DNF from a narrative standpoint is that he's the saviour of the world. He's won the day, he's a king, he's done everything possible. While it's humorous to walk through his penthouse in the Lady Killer, looking over his trophies from past adventures, it still leaves things feeling hollow. He began DNF as Duke Nukem, King of the World, and he ended as Duke Nukem, President of the World. I think it would've been far more fitting to have Duke go back to his cycle of dead end job -> strippers -> work -> strippers and get little to absolutely no credit for his accomplishments. It would've certainly given the player to a reason (or several) to empathize with him.

On the whole, though, DNF was aggressively mediocre. We also have to keep in mind that the guys at 3D realms who worked on this iteration of DNF, also finished this iteration of DNF. Gearbox lended support and polish, so there's still hope to see what a Gearbox Duke Nukem would look like.

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

Ever watch Aliens and realize Bill Paxton's character can never exist outside of 80s cinema? Duke is the same thing.

Posted by CannonGoose

They really should just make everyone in the game actively hate on Duke and slowly break him mentally.

Also make the gameplay fun and interesting; that would help.

Posted by JordanK85

Duke Nukem Grocery List

-open-ended levels

I've never found linear corridors to be fun but maybe this is just a personal preference. Open-ended levels (not to be confused with open-world) force the player to explore the level and decided when and how to tackle the various challenges they come across. I mean, that just sounds more fun doesn't it?

-crazy weapons

Weapons that let you do unusual things are inherently fun to play with. Come up with some new crazy weapons that do more than just shoot bullets and rockets.

-ability to carry all the weapons

Limiting the player to only 2 weapons is seen as a design evolution but it should really be seen as a design choice made in the correct contexts. Limiting weapons in Halo and COD games is a good idea because it forces the player to come up with different weapon combinations for different situations. Limiting weapons in a Duke Nukem game is a bad idea because part of the fun of Duke Nukem is using the crazy weapons to see how many ways you can defeat enemies and do things that other games just don't let you do.

-fast pacing

You usually didn't go very far in Duke Nukem 3D without something happening.

-security cameras

Just a fun little feature that adds character to the game. It can be used for strategy and humor. Good stuff.

That's what made Duke Nukem 3D fun. The character and the "story" are just incidental.

Posted by Steparnicus

@SerHulse said:

How do you solve a problem like Duke Nukem?

Invent time travel, go back to 1996, problem solved!

The problem is that Duke as a character isn't funny anymore, he was barely funny in Duke 3D IMO.

Yes, other games came out in 2011 that are puerile but still funny, but Duke, he's just a self absorbed dick, and there's nothing more painful than a self absorbed dick.

It's clear that DNF was trying so hard to be like other shooters, but because of it's long development time you can cut it in half and see 14 years of shooter evolution inside it. In it's desperate attempts to stay relevant it ironically couldn't feel more outdated.

I think, personally, the next game should feature Duke digging his own grave, whilst every other action game protagonist of the last 14 years stand around watching him, silently.

It will have the most interactive shovel technology ever conceived.

I think Duke has the potential to be funny again, he just needs the right setting and the right supporting characters. If anything, I felt Duke wasn't really enough of a self absorbed dick for his character to work. He just came across as a watered-down version of what he should be, spouting dated references and weak jokes. I think there's room for self absorbed dicks, you've just got to go all the way with it. I'd cite Dante from Devil May Cry as an example of an egotistical protagonist that works, but I know that he divides opinion. (On a side note; anatomically speaking a self absorbed dick would be super painful....dick jokes you guys)

Fully agree with you regarding the game mechanics though, you can't help but feel like there were many meetings where it was a case of "This successful modern shooter does "x", we need to put "x" into Duke Nukem Forever", and all together over a long development cycle it just felt like an FPS museum piece.

That gravedigging sequel would probably end up on Kinect. Just sayin'.

@The_Laughing_Man said:

@Rappelsiini said:
Just make a funny and good FPS with Duke Nukem in the title. Setting doesn't have to change because Duke's world is pretty unique.
Bulletstorm did it pretty well with the humor.

Totally forgot about Bulletstorm, very good point.

@cstrang said:

This was a great post. It's actually surprising to see new posters posting decent messages. I think your point of Duke being a "larger-than-life" character in a bland surrounding is rather salient. In both of your examples, the games take measures to show the player that the world they are interacting with is kinda nuts. Saints Row The Third makes a huge go at that from the on-set, with a first mission where the main character jumps out of a plane, free-falls whilst shooting dudes, jumps through another plane shooting dudes on the way, free-falls whilst shooting dudes some more, then rescues one of his homies who is also free-falling. Shadows of the Damned is maybe a little more subdued than that, but it also refuses to take itself too seriously. There are dick jokes, innuendos, and quirky mission design abound. Duke Nukem is, as Ryan and Brad put it today, blandly sci-fi.

Another problem is that Duke's persona is about 20 years old. You can't have an unlikable main character when that main character is the thing that's supposed to keep your game afloat.

Thanks sir, I appreciate it =)

Yes, I think the depiction of the world is a really important - you make a good point about Saints Row's opening too, there was really no questioning what Steelport had to offer after that sequence. I think Shadows wasn't as in your face about it, but I think an opening where your see a guy covered in tattoos with a gun with a skull on the end, resting his foot on a demon is a pretty good indicator of whats to come.

I don't think that Duke's aging persona is too big of an issue, they just have to play it right. They should have run with what makes Duke work, I think that taking a Grindhouse/B-Movie approach would have suited him well. It would have made it feel relevant but still been in keeping with the style that they were trying to mimic in the first place; The most recent House of the dead did a pretty good job of that.

@KingWilly said:

The problem with DNF from a narrative standpoint is that he's the saviour of the world. He's won the day, he's a king, he's done everything possible. While it's humorous to walk through his penthouse in the Lady Killer, looking over his trophies from past adventures, it still leaves things feeling hollow. He began DNF as Duke Nukem, King of the World, and he ended as Duke Nukem, President of the World. I think it would've been far more fitting to have Duke go back to his cycle of dead end job -> strippers -> work -> strippers and get little to absolutely no credit for his accomplishments. It would've certainly given the player to a reason (or several) to empathize with him.

On the whole, though, DNF was aggressively mediocre. We also have to keep in mind that the guys at 3D realms who worked on this iteration of DNF, also finished this iteration of DNF. Gearbox lended support and polish, so there's still hope to see what a Gearbox Duke Nukem would look like.

I never really considered that before, but its very true, they really snookered themselves narratively by having a character at the end of his arc not really developing in any way in his next adventure. Not that Duke has ever really had a character arc, per se, but thats why I though it would be nice to have Duke fuck up royally at the beginning of the next game, have him as Duke the Pariah. I think a misanthropic Duke, stuck in a dead end cycle as you suggested would be far more interesting (and very "Taxi Driver"). Having never played Borderlands I'm note really familiar with what gearbox are capable of, but from what I hear they are definitely the right folks to pull off a decent Duke sequel.

@CannonGoose said:

They really should just make everyone in the game actively hate on Duke and slowly break him mentally.

Also make the gameplay fun and interesting; that would help.

Yes! Duke vs the World!

@JordanK85 said:

Duke Nukem Grocery List

-open-ended levels

I've never found linear corridors to be fun but maybe this is just a personal preference. Open-ended levels (not to be confused with open-world) force the player to explore the level and decided when and how to tackle the various challenges they come across. I mean, that just sounds more fun doesn't it?

-crazy weapons

Weapons that let you do unusual things are inherently fun to play with. Come up with some new crazy weapons that do more than just shoot bullets and rockets.

-ability to carry all the weapons

Limiting the player to only 2 weapons is seen as a design evolution but it should really be seen as a design choice made in the correct contexts. Limiting weapons in Halo and COD games is a good idea because it forces the player to come up with different weapon combinations for different situations. Limiting weapons in a Duke Nukem game is a bad idea because part of the fun of Duke Nukem is using the crazy weapons to see how many ways you can defeat enemies and do things that other games just don't let you do.

-fast pacing

You usually didn't go very far in Duke Nukem 3D without something happening.

-security cameras

Just a fun little feature that adds character to the game. It can be used for strategy and humor. Good stuff.

That's what made Duke Nukem 3D fun. The character and the "story" are just incidental.

In Duke 3d there were always quite open areas, and all the secret passages made the levels feel a bit less linear so I know what you mean.

The limiting weapons thing was super retarded, it was just an obvious tack-on at the end of development that didn't make sense at all. The pacing is a very important issue too, even without considering those load-times in DNF.

Thanks for the comments duders. Will be hoping to post more soon =)

Posted by SomeDeliCook

The next Duke needs to be cel shaded or a similar cartoonish stylistic look. Spend less time making shit look real and believable and more time making it look crazy and over exaggerated.

I don't care that much about interactivity. I don't need to play pool as a minigame, so instead, give me multiple ways to beat a single level in interactive ways.

Make the levels far less linear. Maybe something similar to Bioshock, except even more areas that are non-critical path to explore and more ways to get to the ending of the level (instead of YOU MUST ALWAYS KILL THIS BOSS TO GET HIS KEY TO PROCEED)

Give me new and crazier weapons that don't suck. The new weapons in DNF were a laser, a minigun laser, and another gun that looks exactly like the laser guns but shoots homing missiles. No, give me something stupid that is still equally useful in many situations, like using pipe bombs as traps in MP.

Also, give me much, MUCH more one-liners. I want to have a crazy ass amount of one-liners because when they repeat it gets older quicker. Also, less F'ed up one liners (looks like your... fucked).

Oh, and GIVE ME MY FUCKING MIGHTY BOOT BACK. There's no reason a game that isn't Duke (Bulletstorm) does this better than a Duke game does it.

Posted by Commisar123

I have no solution, other then make it better. This is why I'm not a game designer.

Posted by Winternet
  1. Put boobs on the cover
  2. ???
  3. Profit.
Posted by Napalm

I think that Duke Nukem, at the core of his character, needs to be redefined. He needs to be interpreted and have the focus of his existence shifted. He needs to be something beyond a macho womanizer who spouts awful rape jokes and saves all of humanity from the "alien threat". He needs to be something closer to a Grayson Hunt. I want to play Duke's adventures out beyond Earth, and all of the crazy shit he can get into. Maybe he's a mercenary-in-space for hire. Maybe he's ex-Military. Maybe he's just an old fashion death dealer. I want Duke to be something more than what I've already seen, because what I've seen so far, there is nowhere else to go. Duke can only save humanity from the coming alien tide so many times and quite frankly, I'm a bit sick of playing out that story.

Posted by Irvandus

I feel like Ryan's idea of just having everyone in the game be sick of Duke and his shit would be awesome.

Posted by Nottle

Honestly I think a return to that mid 90's FPS design would be a good idea. Big levels with a bunch of secrets. Health pack based recovery, being able to carry all your weapons at once, a good rocket launcher, tons of enemies on screen, super fast Duke movement, no headshots.

Maybe add something like co-op and other good modern perks, but make it a throwback.

Also Duke should be a parody of other things, not a parody of itself. And their are ways to parody something and be clever and not dumb an trashy.

Posted by TheMadmanMaple

I say the next Duke Nukem game should take place 20 years in the future. The world would be a much more cynical and politically correct place than present day. Making crude jokes about the gays, minorities or women is against the law. People venomously hate Duke and everything he stands for. Of coarse, some alien invasion comes (or something else like it.) and everyone can't do shit about it. They try fighting off the aliens by complaining about them on their internet blogs, which fails miserably. The President visits Duke and says, "Duke, I hate your guts. I can't stand your overt manliness. I can't stomach your excessive sexism. Your sense of humor is downright deplorable. You're a DICK! And... *starts crying* we're a bunch of pussies... *continues to cry* it kills me to say this... but... we need your God damn help, Duke."

And from there, Duke does not adapt to the world. The whole world's got at adapt to Duke, whether they like it or not.

Edited by SoldierG654342

@Napalm said:

I think that Duke Nukem, at the core of his character, needs to be redefined. He needs to be interpreted and have the focus of his existence shifted. He needs to be something beyond a macho womanizer who spouts awful rape jokes and saves all of humanity from the "alien threat". He needs to be something closer to a Grayson Hunt. I want to play Duke's adventures out beyond Earth, and all of the crazy shit he can get into. Maybe he's a mercenary-in-space for hire. Maybe he's ex-Military. Maybe he's just an old fashion death dealer. I want Duke to be something more than what I've already seen, because what I've seen so far, there is nowhere else to go. Duke can only save humanity from the coming alien tide so many times and quite frankly, I'm a bit sick of playing out that story.

I don't think Duke needs redefined at all. As others have stated, I think the world around Duke needs to be changed to only putting up with him because he get's results, rather than worshiping him. I don't even know if that will be enough, but it's a step in the right direction.

That, or everything needs to be in his head, Alice style.

Posted by Napalm

@SoldierG654342: I think you missed the point in my post where I also said, "the focus of his existence shifted." That means everything. Duke, the world around him, who he is, his voice, etc.

Posted by BlastProcessing

@Steparnicus said:

NO.

I think a great set up for the next Duke Nukem game would have an explosive beginning, where Duke ends up falling, and he would have to fall hard. It would be a great narrative device as it would parallel the feeling among the gaming community at large.

I can get behind this. Maybe begin the game with the world growing tired of Duke after his latest game flops (Reference to actual world growing tired of him after DNF). He becomes an overweight alcoholic battling depression. The aliens return to steal more babes, and when they kill his dog, Fat Duke rises one last time to rid the earth of alien scum. Also, kill him off and never make another one again.

Posted by JackSukeru

This was seriously the first thing the thread title made me think of:

I like the idea of a capable yet childish, egotistical and self-centered character, that everyone is kind of sick of, who still gets to do things his way; all the while being oblivious to the way other characters perceive him. This is the sort of character I'd like for Duke to be.

An example of such a character that I really liked would be Bowser from Bowser's Inside Story.

Posted by MrNeoshredder

Eh, Shadows Of The Damned's jokes weren't any better than that of Duke Nukem Forever, they were all just cheap, tasteless dick jokes.

Posted by AssInAss

Bulletstorm, Shadow Warrior, and Wolfenstein The New Order have showed you can have one-liner muscular action hero homage jocks and give them actual character with even complexity that you can root for, than whatever disgusting abuse/misogyny was in DNF.

Posted by SomeDeliCook

I think its fairly easy to make a new Duke Nukem game.

First, plan to make it a budget game, 20-30 dollars. Also start thinking of one-liners from the second development starts all the way to step 4.

Second, make a base prototype with great feeling movement controls, great feeling weapons, and make sure it has co-op from the start.

Third, start making the levels. Make sure they complement co-op and are also rather circular in design instead of a linear level.

Fourth, implement the best one-liners you came up with throughout development. They should be made up organically and not just stolen and tweaked from something else; and if the one-liner is still humorous from long ago when you came up with it, then put it in.