Duke Nukem Forever art director speaks out

After nearly a decade in development, during which it has become entrenched as a running joke in the industry, 3D Realms' Duke Nukem Forever unexpectedly resurfaced last month in the form of a brief teaser trailer. The trailer showed off modern graphics and what seemed to be brief lapses of gameplay, sparking renewed—albeit cautious—interest in the title.

To add some heat to the speculation surrounding the game, the people at movie and game review site Down in Front have posted an interview with Tramell Isaac, who has been the art director on the Duke Forever project since 2006. In the interview, Isaac notably confirms that the footage in the trailer was "100% in-game, in-engine footage" that was "taken straight from the engine via Fraps." He also sheds some light on his background—Isaac is behind the famous PipBoy character from the Fallout games—and on how development is proceeding at 3D Realms.

The 3D Realms art staff apparently have an "inspiration machine" loaded with artwork and screenshots from other titles. The machine is designed to remind artists "of the level of quality that is expected of them," Isaac explains. Understandably, the team also feels a considerable amount of pressure, considering the high expectations of fans and onlookers alike. The team's ability to meet those expectations will likely be tested next time 3D Realms provides a peek into the game, which Isaac says will be "soon."

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