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Duke Nukem 3D Gets Fan-Made Remake With Gearbox’s Blessing

The fans finally get their hands on Duke's balls.

Frederik Schreiber was an amateur modeler with a dream: to bring 3D Realms’ classic FPS, Duke Nukem 3D, into a modern engine. This was not an uncommon dream for fans to have. Over the 12 years that 3D Realms tried to guide that seminal game’s successor, Duke Nukem Forever, to release, many other teams of bright-eyed aspiring developers had tried to remake Duke 3D on modern graphical technology. Unfortunately, those fan-made efforts were shut down almost unanimously, as these teams did not have the rights to use the Duke Nukem property in any form. As such, Duke 3D was confined within the old Build Engine, forever doomed to shoot billiard balls on pool tables and asking ladies to kindly shake it

(Not that there’s anything wrong with the Build Engine, mind. Does your game have functional mirrors? Didn't think so.) 
 

Dude! That was my brand new ride! 
Dude! That was my brand new ride! 

== TEASER ==But with the stewardship of Duke Nukem officially passed to Gearbox Software, Schreiber decided to give that dream another shot. So over a period of a few weeks, he created several test maps of his proposed Duke 3D remake by rendering a couple of memorable level locations in the Unreal Engine 3. These were only prototypes maps designed to show off the look of these levels, but tell me that isn’t the spitting image of the rooftop starting point in Hollywood Holocaust. 
 
  
   

Fan reaction to these screens and videos on the Gearbox boards was ecstatic, and Schreiber, emboldened by the praise, took his request directly to Gearbox, asking if there was any way to let players see Duke’s ride get shot down like they’ve never seen it before: with normal mapping and physics. 
 
Mr. Schreiber is going to get that chance. Gearbox Software has extended the aspiring designer a personal non-commercial license to the Duke Nukem likeness and property, giving Schreiber the legal rights he needs to push forward on the project. With the rights in hand, Mr. Schreiber has begun mobilizing a team for the codenamed Duke Nukem: Next Gen, an Unreal Engine 3-powered version of the Duke 3D which, upon completion, will be released for free to the public. It’s like the Black Mesa mod for Half Life 2, but with more balls. 

It’s always nice to see a major corporation reach out and help nurture these fan projects rather than shut them down. Companies like Square Enix and more recently, Activision, have gone after these graphically enhanced fan-made remakes with the cease and also the desist, ending many promising game mod in its tracks (until, at least, it becomes good PR to let the fans release that game). Now, Schreiber and the Next Gen team has Gearbox’s blessing to show their passion for the Duke. The time was right to bet on Duke, and it paid off for these fans in spades. I know, from these screens and video, I’m looking forward to seeing what this team creates. 
 

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