Flashback Friday, A Look At What Might Have Been Duke Nukem Begins
Some Things Age Like Fine Wine; Others Not So Much
Duke Nukem Forever was first announced in 1997, and when it was finally released in 2011 the majority of those that played it wished that one of the many game studios that ended up with the IP had actually done some work over those 14 years. It was not just the dialogue that felt outdated, the game play did as well and that was what hurt the most. The original Duke Nukem 3D introduced interesting game play mechanics, back then the shrink ray was rather unique and no one had even considered incorporating something like the mighty foot before. Duke Nukem Forever might possibly have been okay if it had been released as is in the 90’s but that is debatable; in 2011 it was Doomed.
There was a different project in the works however, which was never announced nor revealed until today. In 2008, Janimation was hired by Gearbox to create a short animation to add a visual component to their pitch to produce Duke Nukem Begins, an origin story for the antihero and the world he ran out of bubblegum in. It’s not quite a trailer, cinematic or not, rather more like a short animated commercial to convince people to invest in the idea and fund the development of the game.
While it is probably for the best that it never saw the light of day, it still looks better than Duke Nukem Forever ever did.
In 2008, when I was working for the good folks at Janimation in Dallas Tx, we were hired by Gearbox to create a vertical slice (an animated version of what the game will look like) for the game "Duke Nukem Begins", a Duke origin story.