April 13, 1999

3D Realms & 1999 E3

As has been reported in a few places recently, 3D Realms is not going to be attending E3 this year, nor will Duke Nukem Forever or Prey be shown on the show floor (or a back room, for that matter). It was decided that the time spent working on materials to show at E3 would be far better spent working on the game itself. There is always a period before a show such as E3 where development energy is spent in putting something together for the show - it's a lot more than just a day or two, and it was felt that this time would be better spent working on the actual game, than on short show piece that is generally not used again after the show itself.

Here's a summary of the coverage elsewhere. It all started with this tidbit from the current Gist List from Gameslice..

Take, for example, the fact that both Duke Nukem Forever and Prey from 3D Realms will be no where on the show floor. And they won't be in a back room or on videotape either. 3D Realms' made the decision to forgo the madness of E3 a few weeks ago. Although this news will surely cause speculation about the current status of these projects,it exemplifies the latest thinking on trade shows: Don't show something unless it's just about to ship.....

Chris Hargrove, one of Duke Nukem Forever's programmers, had this to say in a thread on our Web Forums...

The choice of our not going to E3 this year shouldn't be construed as some kind of measure of our progress, or anything of that sort. We just decided not long ago that we really didn't feel like dealing with the time and effort needed just for another "dog and pony show" demo. Despite its size and popularity, that's all E3 really is in the end. Right now our time is better spent working not towards a demo, but the final product.

We're determined not to fall victim to the hype machine until the time is right, unlike many others who have made that mistake and paid for it. The secrecy is deliberate. It's possible that sometime in the near future we'll toss out a screenshot or two just to keep the lynch mob at bay (sometimes I feel like a thousand Dr.Evils are looking at us yelling "throw me a frikkin' bone here!" in tandem), but please be patient. We're doing what's necessary to make sure this game will be worth the wait.

George Broussard, head of development on Duke Nukem Forever said this in email to Billy at Voodoo Extreme:

Honestly the real word is that we're sick of jumping through pointless pr hoops for demos. Going to E3 will delay any game in progress, because you tend to focus on the more visual whiz bang effects to wow press than solid, fundamental gameplay that finishes a game.

The priorities are simply screwed. Why should a trade show dictate when a game should be shown? It's insane. You do not HAVE to show at E3 to be successful. Duke 3D never went to any show, and if anything I think that might have helped the game sell, because it came out of nowhere.

The bottom line is that we decided to stay and work, and not lose a man week going to E3, plus losing coding time the month or more before preparing an E3 demo. When you start asking questions in Jan/Feb like "what are we going to show at E3. What will wow the press?" and you start working towards that goal. And we're not doing that anymore. E3 is a lower priority than getting the game done.

Finally, George had this to say in another thread on our Web Forums when asked about info about the game even though we're not going to E3...

We'll probably release a couple of new screen shots after all the E3 hoopla has died down. But rest assured, things are looking good.

Posted by Joe Siegler on April 13, 1999 at 1:00 PM | Permalink
News Categories: About 3DR / 3DR Staff | Duke Nukem Forever