Friday, December 30, 2011

The 3D Realms Build Engine

Not a lot of people have a favorite game engine. I sure as hell do, it's Kev Silverman's build engine, a first person platform designed with many new innovations and lots of new possibilities. Nowadays, we use Epic's Unreal engine, and this is the equivalent to that. A handful of games were released using this system, notably Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Shadow Warrior, and Redneck Rampage. We're going to be taking a look at all of these games, and what features came with them.

1. Duke Nukem 3D
"Hail to the King, baby"
In 1996, 3D Realms Entertainment released one of the most playable games in history. Duke Nukem, a typical masculine badass with crewed blond hair, a tanktop, some jeans and suspenders, gets pissed off that the aliens have come to take the Earth women. "Nobody steals our chicks, and lives" he says, exploding through well-designed 3D levels full of alien pig police, floating octopus brains, and crazy shitting monsters with chainguns. Using a variety of weapons such as RPGs, freeze rays, and the incredible shrinking ray, he single-handedly rips through Hollywood and Space in one of the three original episodes, saving all the babes along the way. Still one of the best games ever. Duke3D isn't free, but you can still get the shareware version.

2. Blood
"Boo-hoo, when's the hurting stop?"
Blood was originally to be developed by 3D Realms, but they sold the rights to Monolith, who released the game in 1997. Right off the bat it's apparently similar to Duke Nukem 3D, but still an entirely different experience. In this game, it's Caleb, some gunslinger who gets betrayed by his cult and murdered. This is where the game starts, stepping out of his grave, uttering "I live, again". Wielding only a pitchfork, Caleb sets off into a dark, horrific world, watching out for zombies, cultists, gargoyles, spiders, two-headed dogs, little hands that wand to choke you, and then some. However, that's alright by Caleb, because he knows how to use some really unique weapons, like a tommy gun, a can of hairspray and a lighter, or even a voodoo doll, to bring his enemies down. Amazing level design in this game keeps you playing for a very long time, and man, it's a good one. Not free, but here's some shareware!

3. Shadow Warrior
"Pain is for the weak"
  3D Realms Entertainment released this one in 1997. It stars Lo Wang, some crazy ninja dude with nonstop one-liners, who quits his job as a bodyguard, only to be chased down by the boss and his cronies. This game feels amazing and the level design is impeccable, sometimes you must solve puzzles, teleport, or crawl through something weird, just to progress in the level. Some of his weapons include the sword, shurikens, missile launchers, sticky bombs, and railguns. This game is amazingly captivating, you can get lost for a long time just playing around with the environment. Not free to this day, but hey. Shareware.

4. Redneck Rampage
"Hold on to your butts"
Xatrix Entertainment released this game in the height of the FPS industry of 1997. It's Leonard and Bubba, shooting their way through the most trashy hick town, on a mission to rescue their pig. In the meantime, they end up thwarting an alien invasion. Crazy dudes with guns are everywhere, even alien vixens with machinegun boobies. Your arsenal includes the usual revolver and shotgun, along with a bowling ball, or a crossbow that has dynamite strapped to it. Along the way, you have to watch your "gut" meter, which will make you extra flatulent and give away your position if you've eaten too many of the in-game items such as pork rinds or moon pies. Eating food does help you be less belligerent though, and will take your "drunk" meter down. Which is good, because if you drink too much liquor in order to numb your senses and not feel those bullets, you'll be stumbling around puking. While the game is pretty entertaining for a short ride, it just doesn't match up to the previous games, the levels seem very spread out and unnecessarily large. You can still get the demo version of this game, too.

Unfortunately these games are a pain in the ass to get running on your new Windows machine. Check out the info from this site, which will help you a lot in your gaming ventures. I was able to get them all working well using these methods, and hearing the sound is one of the best parts of these games. You can find a little more history on Ken Silverman's Build Engine from here. Thanks for sticking around, I'll be back tomorrow!


  1. nice post! great read. +follow

  2. Ah the original duke nukem... memories

  3. I love the nukem of dukes! I have never played the other two sadly.