Wired article on why Duke Nukem Forever failed...

CurseTheSky

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 2006
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Good read. I read a similar article several months ago.

It's too bad, really. But that's why management is key in any project. Good management can often still bring something positive from a bad (or under-qualified) development team, and bad management can completely destroy the efforts of a golden workforce.
 

mb

Lifer
Jun 27, 2004
10,234
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So my preorder is still good, then? lol

(didn't have time to read the whole article yet, will at work tomorrow)
 

flashbacck

Golden Member
Aug 3, 2001
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Good read. I read a similar article several months ago.

It's too bad, really. But that's why management is key in any project. Good management can often still bring something positive from a bad (or under-qualified) development team, and bad management can completely destroy the efforts of a golden workforce.

Definitely...

What a way to burn through $20 mil of your own money o_O.
 

tokie

Golden Member
Jun 1, 2006
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Don't understand how you could switch engines so many times. Dude must have something loose in the head for managing like that.
 
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Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
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Laziness, procrastination, etc.

No, seems he wanted DNF to have every visual feature that other titles had.

I still think Take 2 has every right to demand the source code from 3Dr for DNF and the Duke license.
 

Jeeebus

Diamond Member
Aug 29, 2006
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can't really comment since my firm represents Take Two in the lawsuit against 3DR
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
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What a sad story in the history of video gaming, it's just... bad, being one of the employees working for them I would have left as well, and it wouldn't have been with a smile on my face. A story of artists who cannot create as they see fit due to someone always pushing them beyond, even if the intention is good from Broussard, the consequences were beyond his grasp, he was blinded by the success of DN3D and simply wanted another DN3D to occur in the industry, blowing everything around, frozen in time, with a 1995 mentality.

Truly... it's depressing, but at least their story should serve other developers around as a contender of some sort: «Do you guys want to fail? No? Good, or else study the 3DRealms' case and you'll understand, now get back to work and stop asking for new features, we need to let the game out».
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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What a sad story in the history of video gaming, it's just... bad, being one of the employees working for them I would have left as well, and it wouldn't have been with a smile on my face. A story of artists who cannot create as they see fit due to someone always pushing them beyond, even if the intention is good from Broussard, the consequences were beyond his grasp, he was blinded by the success of DN3D and simply wanted another DN3D to occur in the industry, blowing everything around, frozen in time, with a 1995 mentality.

Truly... it's depressing, but at least their story should serve other developers around as a contender of some sort: «Do you guys want to fail? No? Good, or else study the 3DRealms' case and you'll understand, now get back to work and stop asking for new features, we need to let the game out».

I did follow this game for several years and Broussard was an arrogant twit. If you ever read the 3Drealms forums, his typical response was "It will be done when it's done!" That is one of my biggest pet peeves -- don't say you're working on a game for 10+ years and then have the nerve to give that line to potential customers after several missed, publicly announced release dates. Here is a great example of the kind of moron Broussard was:

Broussard erupted. “Take-Two needs to STFU,” he hissed in a dicussion-board posting, using the well-known shorthand for “shut the fuck up.” “We don’t want Take-Two saying stupid-ass things in public for the sole purposes of helping their stock,” Broussard continued. “It’s our time and our money we are spending on the game. So either we’re absolutely stupid and clueless, or we believe in what we are working on.”

George, if you're reading this, guess what? You were correct -- you were absolutely stupid and clueless!

His project management shows an extreme level of incompetence if you read the rest of that article. Of course, I don't think I learned anything new from it -- I thought most people knew the reasons for the delays, but maybe not every little detail.

“One day, Broussard came in and said, ‘We could go another five years without shipping a game’” because 3D Realms still had so much money in the bank, an employee told me. “He seemed really happy about that. The other people just groaned.”

The level of arrogance is astounding.
 
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Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,852
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How the hell do you spin 12 years of dicking around and wasting money on your resume? Anyone in the industry would have to be retarded to hire any of that bunch for a new project...
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,190
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First, let me say, I haven't had time to read the article yet, but I did follow this game for several years and Broussard was an arrogant twit. If you ever read the 3Drealms forums, his typical response was "It will be done when it's done!" That is one of my biggest pet peeves -- don't say you're working on a game for 10+ years and then have the nerve to give that line to potential customers.

Oh the article certainly confirms it believe me, it's a good read you'll see. I'm not sure how to understand it completely yet, but at first glance, and perhaps like many persons here thinking the same silently, it looks that ultimately speaking all the fault can converge on one man only.
 

AyashiKaibutsu

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2004
9,306
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Truly... it's depressing, but at least their story should serve other developers around as a contender of some sort: «Do you guys want to fail? No? Good, or else study the 3DRealms' case and you'll understand, now get back to work and stop asking for new features, we need to let the game out».

A couple of orders of magnitude more games have failed from being rushed than from being feature creeped to death.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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A couple of orders of magnitude more games have failed from being rushed than from being feature creeped to death.

But there is a happy medium. 3Drealms intended on making Duke Nukem games a franchise with regular releases, so the smart thing to do would have been to release the game with either the Quake II or Unreal engine and then start developing the next one.

With that being said, I do feel bad for the rank and file that lost their jobs as a result of Broussard's idiocy; on the other hand, I can't think of anyone more deserving of having his ego knocked down a few notches than Broussard.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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How the hell do you spin 12 years of dicking around and wasting money on your resume? Anyone in the industry would have to be retarded to hire any of that bunch for a new project...

Well the unfortunate part is that you can pin the failure on two people: Broussard and Miller. The rank and file members of the staff probably have a lot of talent, but now they've been tainted by this debacle and it is very unfortunate.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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They were making good stuff, it just sounds like Broussard had no business being in charge of project management. Eventually you just have to freeze the features and sprint to the finish line...he seemed to just be constantly distracted by every cool idea that came up. As some one else said, if it was suppose to be a series of games then save it for the next one! I just don't understand the unending obsession with having the best technology. It was a silly goal, especially since I don't really feel Duke 3d was known for that when it was released.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,095
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Terrible project management in a nutshell. I dont think that Boussard guy was visionary. More like reactionary. When he saw what other people did he wanted it. But really it was more about perfectionism and never having to show the fruits of the labor and draw criticism.
 

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
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Wow what a moron. Sounds like that guy should have taken some business classes to remind him of the realities and fundamentals of project management. Stop the feature creep and save those cool new ideas for the next Duke feature ya idgit!
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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Wow what a moron. Sounds like that guy should have taken some business classes to remind him of the realities and fundamentals of project management. Stop the feature creep and save those cool new ideas for the next Duke feature ya idgit!

Well, on the bright side, I think the analysis in the article is correct regarding Take Two's unstated goal of acquiring the Duke IP. If that happens, we might actually see more Duke Nukem games.

Duke Nukem holds a special place in my heart -- I was in grad school and working in a research lab when it was released, and my associates and I conducted plenty of "research" using Duke Nukem to model things. :)
 

2dt Drifter

Senior member
May 23, 2007
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Terrible project management in a nutshell. I dont think that Boussard guy was visionary. More like reactionary. When he saw what other people did he wanted it. But really it was more about perfectionism and never having to show the fruits of the labor and draw criticism.

Absolutely. You have to draw the line somewhere. He should have had his own creative capacities to coming up with something unique and shipping it out instead of playing catch up for 12 years to the always next and best thing in video games.
 

Skott

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2005
5,730
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Interesting read and a sad one. I was always amazed it took them 12-13 years before running out of money and having to call it quits and nothing to show for it. This article explains some of that now. The whole DNF epic will be famous for how not to make a game. A lesson for other game makers to be sure.

Someone could probably come a long and make a great DNF game someday but I doubt Broussard would allow it. If there is truth in this article then it seems to me his ego won't allow anyone to take his creation and do what he couldn't. I just get the feeling his ego won't allow it. I could be wrong though. Who knows?