DosFreak wrote on 2022-05-22, 13:11:
https://www.pcgamer.com/former-3d-realms-owne … -nukem-forever/
From my perspective at the time the delays were always because they were constantly redoing the game to keep up with the latest FPS developments why they never realized that what they had with the duke games was great and in alot of cases exceeded other games is a mystery.
From what I've read, the problems were mainly down to one man, George Broussard. He was the project leader, in effect (and a key financial contributor, later on, as apparently he blew much of the millions of dollars he'd made from Duke Nukem 3D on Duke Nukem Forever), and from what I've read, every time he saw something new (or at least new to him) that he liked in a new first person shooter, he insisted that that that feature be incorpoerated into DNF, thereby not only adding to the list of things to be contained in DNF, but also taking people away from their current tasks and forcing them to become involved in planning/programming/testing/whatever the new feature. There was never, if what I've read is true, even a remotely finalized list of what the finished game should be, at least not when George was involved in it. He was constantly changing what the end product should be.
If this is true, and it does seem to be at least the accepted explanation for the looooong delay of the game, at least going by what I have read on in various forums and online articles, then you have to wonder why no one on the DNF team ever seems to have told George that they have to stop adding to and altering the game that they were working on, and just get the damn thing finished and out the door. Surely the 3D Realms bosses/owners must have told him that, but I've never seen this mentioned anywhere.
And I have to ask, why is the finished game (the one released in 2011) so generic and utterly lacking in great, even if second-hand, features or spectacle? Even if the 2011 game (the one that commercially released) had been released in 2001 (but still been the 2011 game), then it wouldn't exactly have been original or innovative. And many of the same people who worked on DNF had worked on DN3D, a game that was innovation and has some great (especially at the time) features.
Two other problems were the afore-mentioned game engine switches, where apparently the time and trouble that would be needed to get the game back to it's present state but in the new engine was massively underestimated, and the decision to move the game from PC-only to also have console releases (for the XBox 360 and PS3). This necessitated making the game run in 512 MB of RAM, the consoles' limit, which resulted in George and co. apparently downsizing the levels considerably, even though other companies managed to have much larger levels/sections/open worlds/etc on these consoles.
And apparently it was George who decided that DNF should have a two weapon carrying limit. Originally, when the game was intended only to be published on the PC, DNF had the traditional carry-every-weapon-you-find mechanic, but when it was decided, mid-way through DNF's development, to port DNF to the XBox 360 and PS3, George decided to implement the two weapon carrying limit. Even though console first person shooters have always been able to cope with letting you carry and use any weapons you can find. Even the console ports of Duke Dukem 3D (on the N64, Playstation and Sega Saturn) let you carry and use every weapon, and they worked great.
It really is amazing how much seems to have gone wrong with DNF's development. All the more so considering how, in the first few years, the preview screenshots and videos they released looked so good and promising. I'd love to read a detailed and accurate write up of the game's gestation, and learn what really happened, and how such a talented team, such a massive amount of time, and so much work, came together to create what turned out to be a tedious, unimaginative, very badly judged game that had none of the brilliance at all of it's predecessor.