December 9, 2005

A Tribute to Build

Index_Scott.pngOur classic Duke Nukem 3D game was built on the Build engine. Get it? :) Anyway, the engine proved to be very flexible, being used in a ton of different games, on the order of another dozen or so. Two of them were by us (Duke Nukem 3D & Shadow Warrior). The remaining ones were by others. The point is that it was a versatile engine.

The website Strifestrips has done a "Tribute to Build", in which they interview Scott Miller & Ken Silverman from here about the engine and it's uses in various games. Ken also divulges a lot of information from his sequel engine to Build, codnamed "Polytex", which was never actually used in a game.

Here's a few quotes from Scott:

Q: What stands out in your mind as the defining feature of the build engine?

A: Build had a few features over the Doom engine, such as sloped surfaces, looking up and down about 30 degrees each way, variable screen resolutions, mouse-look, and we could build rooms over other rooms using portal tricks. But really, the engines where otherwise fairly equal. Duke 3D didn't succeed due to the more advanced Build engine, but because of the gameplay innovations and the personality of the lead character.

Q: The Build engine behind Duke3D went on to power many other games at a time when Quake was demonstrating the true power of 3D for games. How did you manage to get the Build engine licensed to so many developers?

A: First, it wasn't ridiculously expensive to license. And maybe most important, it was a very easy engine to use, and could be used to quickly make a game. And with the success of Duke 3D, it was a proven engine.

There's also a lot from Ken Silverman as well. Here's some of what Ken had to say:

Q: When you look back at your original code, is there anything there that makes you think "What was I thinking, why did I do it that way"?

A: I have reasons for everything in the code. Some things were certainly designed in a bad way, such as statically allocated arrays.

Q: Would you consider doing something like developing a physics engine for Build?

A: I wouldn't do it for Build. As far as I'm concerned, JonoF's port is the end of my work on Build. I would consider doing physics for a future engine, however.

There's plenty more from both Scott & Ken, as well as some stuff from BobAverill, including a few remarks about some runins he used to have with yours truly. If you're a fan of Build, you won't want to miss this, especially for the Polytex stuff, as well as the good, long interview with Ken. Check out the full Tribute to Build here. There's also more information over at the Wikipedia entry for Build.

Posted by Joe Siegler on December 9, 2005 at 1:38 PM | Permalink
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