If I was designing a new Duke Nukem title

Having wrote a lot about the game already, I thought that I’d quickly put together my thoughts on how I would look at putting together a Duke Nukem game. Rather than my usual tl;dr masses of text, bullet points ftw:

  • Allow the player to carry multiple weapons. Who cares if it is realistic or not, I want my shrink ray, shotgun, railgun and an explosive for bosses.
  • Add further weapons that involve two stages to kill an opponent (as with shrink and freeze rays)
  • Keep the name “Ego” for health, increasing Duke’s health via actions relating to him.
  • Remove the health regen system, instead using health packs.
  • Keep the same premise for the game (aliens come, steal Duke’s girls, he gets angry and kicks ass).
  • Change the ending so that Duke gets the girl(s)!
  • Cut down on cut scenes or other points where there’s a lot of talking.
  • Ensure the opening levels are fast paced, not involving walking about your house.
  • Axe levels like the hive.
  • Have puzzles that appear complex but can be solved by kicking/hitting the blasted thing and so forth.
  • Puzzles should be mainly used to unlock hidden areas, not slow the pace of the game. When we want to stop the player progressing until they complete an action or break up play use a basic objective such as pressing a button to lower a gate etc (or get gas as in DNF).
  • Ladders should be completed via auto climb.
  • Less button presses to complete an operation, sticking to the one key.
  • Less jumping, more shooting.
  • Remove any levels such as the Hive.

In other words, throw out a lot of the elements of modern games so that we have classic FPS action but powered by modern tech. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the things that I want to cut are great mechanisms and a good solid plot can make a game but that doesn’t mean you should include them in your title. With Duke Nukem I think of old school FPS that is rude and crude but also very challenging. As such that is the design I’d be looking to emulate.

Leave a Reply