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Hisymak

Duke Nukem 3D or Quake?

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Posted (edited)

After the Doom games and Doom engine were released in about 1994, another step was made in technical advancement of 3D first-person shooter game engines, resulting in basically two parallel mainstream games and engines released in 1996 by two companies: Duke Nukem 3D (by Apogee/3D realms) and Quake (by ID software). Althrough Quake was released several months later, I consider both games being the main competitors of that time, both games based on fundamentally different engine, having completely different theme and qualities. Each of the game has its pros and cons compared to each other, and I'd like to know your opinion about those games.

 

Duke Nukem 3D summary:

Just like Doom, this game engine is based on 2D sector-based map format, where the vertical axis and height information is represented as attributes of the sectors. Therefore there are still fundamental limitations in the environment three-dimensionality similar to Doom, however the engine supports several ways how to achieve "room-over-room" (which is not possible in Doom at all) which makes it significantly advanced to Doom engine.  There are still sprites (no true 3D objects), but in addition to Doom, you can have wall and floor-aligned sprites, and achieve 3d bridges using them. There is no true "scripting" in Duke3D (with respect to events and actions happening in the level), everything is "scripted" via various tags and special functional things added into map. This quite limits the possibilities, and mapping for Duke3D, considering managing all those special things and tags, can be difficult and confusing, compared to Doom.

Duke 3D theme is based on realistic environments and textures, the levels really resemble real environments like cities, buildings, facilities, and space ships and stations, but some levels are horror and alien-themed as well. Duke 3D is famous for its interactivity - you can interact with many things in the environments in various ways, destroy items around you, destroy walls and make holes in them... and Duke is commenting the gameplay with funny phrases.

Regarding weapon arsenal and bestiary, the main problem I see that most monsters have similar amount of HP and can be killed with a few shots from shotgun or easily gibbed with one blast of RPG. Playing around with pipebombs can be lot of fun, however the problem is physics and spreading of splash damage, which is sometimes weird.

The music in Duke3D is not much great, some of the tracks sound bland and there's nothing about them, but there are also some catchy tunes.

 

Quake summary:

This game is based on true fully 3D engine, meaning there are basically no limitations in three-dimensionality of the environments (there can be natively room-over-rooms, 3D bridges, moving geometry in any direction) and there are no sprites, all the objects (monsters, weapons, items) are 3D models.

Quake theme is based on abstract non-realistic environments, that almost do not resemble any real-life buildings or environments. There are a few exceptions (like military bases and "castles"), but most level design (especially E3) is purely abstract. The texture theme is really not much colourful, with exception of some stained glass windows most textures blend into single color theme (either green-brownish, or metalish) and the game is overally very dark (which could be caused by the lighting model). Many levels are really not much memorable (especially E3) due to being just abstract metal mazes.

Contrary to Duke 3D, there's no interactivity (except doors and switches), there are almost no destructible or interactive objects, just pure level geometry and pick-up items.

I have no experience with mapping for Quake at all, so I cannot comment this part, but I suppose there is some kind of simplified "scripting" that drives various events and actions in the levels, and in-game messages.

The bestiary feels more varied and interesting than Duke3D, the difficulty and type of attack quite varies from each other, and most importantly many monsters are differently difficult to kill. Althrough there are less weapions than in Duke3D, the explosive weapons (grenade launcher, rocket launcher) are much more fun to use (there's no single-shot gib like in Duke3D) and there is rocket jumping and Quad Damage.

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Despite being raised on most of the classic FPS games as a kid when they were coming out over time, especially Doom and Duke3D, the original Quake was one of the rare ones that got away. I only ever watched my old man play it but never touched it myself. Not entirely sure why, perhaps it creeped me out back then considering its gothic horror aesthetic and dark ambient soundtrack. So, I only finally got around to playing Quake's campaign for the first time last year. In retrospect, I find this pretty funny because during that time I played tons of Quake 2. While Quake 1 is held back by how much of its original vision was heavily compromised into a hacked together shooter with mixed results, it's still a great deal of fun and challenge. I especially love Episode 3 of the campaign with American McGee's maps being the real standouts for me personally as I feel he had the most interesting and creative ideas when it came to his maps layout, texture work, level progression, enemy placement and traps. I can't say Quake's perfect, but it's a beautifully ugly, misshapen mess of ambition and I adore it.

 

Now the Duke, oh the Duke. I spent countless hours playing it religiously over and over and over before I was 10. My old man had me playing Duke, along with Doom, by putting in the God mode cheats and letting me go nuts. He believed this was a good way to teach me how to operate a keyboard. Not entirely sure how well his hypothesis turned out in that regard lol. Of the two games, Duke definitely has a lot going for it in terms of the way event sequences could be pulled off in the Build Engine where explosions would blow huge holes in walls, earthquakes causing the floor to crack and crumble and all that good stuff. Interactivity was a big deal for the game too with Duke engaging with everything from turning lights on and off, playing pool, tipping a stripper, pissing/flushing a toilet and admiring himself in the mirror. It's a much more memorable experience when compared to Quake. While the latter has some fun levels and Episode 3 of its campaign will always be my favourite, a lot of Quakes' maps kind of blur together with the dark green/brown castle vibes. In comparison, Duke made you feel like you were traipsing through abandoned cities, escaping a prison, crawling out of a sunk submarine and even going to space!

 

I probably am a little biased when comparing the two of them since I don't have any nostalgia for Quake like I do for Duke3D, but they're both terrific, as well as historically significant and important games. I also respect them too much to suggest if one is better than the other. They both stand as juggernauts of the 90s era of gaming and I love 'em equally for different reasons. 

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One difference is how much longer Duke Nukem 3D is. The levels are considerably larger than Quake levels and there is more of them too.

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4 hours ago, Hisymak said:

and there are no sprites, all the objects (monsters, weapons, items) are 3D models.

 

there are still some sprites in quake, like the explosions.

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50 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Clearly Duke. Quake was a great technological demo, but I never warmed up to its gameplay. Too much of it was just "Hey, we can do true 3D now! Cool, eh?"

Of course that's for the original game, when it comes to user add-ons Quake is the clear winner here.

 

alright salty member

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53 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Clearly Duke. Quake was a great technological demo, but I never warmed up to its gameplay. Too much of it was just "Hey, we can do true 3D now! Cool, eh?"

Of course that's for the original game, when it comes to user add-ons Quake is the clear winner here.

 

 

^This pretty much. When it comes to base game, Duke3D wins for me. However, when it comes to mappacks and addons, Quake wins (No Duke mod rivals Arcane Dimensions).

 

Most of Quake's innovations were technological whereas Duke3D innovations were stuff like interactivity, unrivalled level design, protagonist with voice lines etc. Duke's features (especially the level design) make its vanilla campaign much more memorable than Quake's campaign with brown-ish castles and dungeons.

 

However, Duke's engine (the BUILD engine) is a janky mess and Quake's more advanced and robust engine has a clear advantage here. Quake's bestiary is also better than that of Duke. These are some of the many reasons why Quake's modding scene is overall superior to that of Duke.

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Duke 3D by a mile! Quake was good for a few playthroughs, now I haven't touched it in at least 15 years! I've still got Duke 3D installed, and I love going back to it from time to time, if just to play a couple of levels like I do with Doom.

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Both of them. But Duke Nukem 3D I love more. Because it has a rich game world with some things like an using a toilet, playing pool and talking with girls.

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oh, man! The versus threads are coming back!

 

I love Quake 1, don't get me wrong, but Duke has so much more personality, more varied locations, more memorable levels, and better, more satisfying weapons. It just generally has a lot more going on. I played Duke 3D a lot more growing up, while I played the N64 port of Quake 1 at a friend's house as a kid, but had little experience otherwise until I picked up my own copy in 2012. So there's definitely a nostalgia bias going on there, but if I played both games for the first time today, I have a feeling I would still end up liking Duke better.

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1 hour ago, ReaperAA said:



 

However, Duke's engine (the BUILD engine) is a janky mess and Quake's more advanced and robust engine has a clear advantage here. Quake's bestiary is also better than that of Duke. These are some of the many reasons why Quake's modding scene is overall superior to that of Duke.

 

Actually, the Duke specific game code is even jankier than the Build engine. I've never seen game code that implements all its game actors in huge functions consisting of hundreds of "if actor = type" checks to a degree that it's virtually impossible to follow the logic for a speciifc type. And all that code comes with zero comments, mostly one-letter variable names, magic numbers everywhere and pretty much any programming-don't you can imagine. I'm still fascinated that this house of cards actually works and that 4 other games were made with the same code base.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

In terms of base games, I go with Duke, but when it comes to community content Quake wins by default - nothing the Duke community has been pumping is even remotely close to a Map Jam, Arcane Dimensions, the average Doom wads, etc. Heck, even Blood has better mods - see CWHHROT, Dark Times, Bloody Pulp Fiction, Death Wish for instance.

 

Build is a charming engine though, it's so odd in how poorly written it is and yet it feels good to play the main games built on it. Yet, it isn't too pleasant to work with, and takes some adapting to as well.

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18 hours ago, seed said:

nothing the Duke community has been pumping is even remotely close to a Map Jam, Arcane Dimensions, the average Doom wads, etc.

Not even Alien Armageddon?

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2 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

Not even Alien Armageddon?

 

AA and DNF2013 are pretty solid efforts, yes, but not even they can rise up to the best wads the Doom community has been pumping out. Honestly IF is probably the best thing that was built off of Duke and Build.

 

But they are better than some of the Blood mods.

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On 5/28/2020 at 3:38 PM, seed said:

In terms of base games, I go with Duke, but when it comes to community content Quake wins by default - nothing the Duke community has been pumping is even remotely close to a Map Jam, Arcane Dimensions, the average Doom wads, etc. Heck, even Blood has better mods - see CWHHROT, Dark Times, Bloody Pulp Fiction, Death Wish for instance.

 

Build is a charming engine though, it's so odd in how poorly written it is and yet it feels good to play the main games built on it. Yet, it isn't too pleasant to work with, and takes some adapting to as well.

 

9 hours ago, seed said:

 

AA and DNF2013 are pretty solid efforts, yes, but not even they can rise up to the best wads the Doom community has been pumping out. Honestly IF is probably the best thing that was built off of Duke and Build.

 

But they are better than some of the Blood mods.

WG Realms and AMC TC would like to have a word with you.

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I'm actually really surprised how many people are favoring Duke over Quake here lol. Duke for me too. It's just more fun to play/look at imo.

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It's interesting that most of us are in the same boat. Like having what you think is a dissenting opinion, but then you realize most others feel the same too haha.

So ya, I rather play the Duke Nukem 3D main game rather than the Quake main game. But the Quake community content beats both Quake main game and Duke 3D main game for sure. (just echoing my agreement with many others)

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I played more Quake than Duke. Something about the gothic castles and ruined temples, shamblers and fiends, etc... I don't mind being the oddball that prefers Quake.

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DN3D 100%. I've played both, and Duke just has so much to it. Quake seems a bit bland.

but nothing can beat Bubsy 3D from the same year.

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6 hours ago, The Strife Commando said:

WG Realms and AMC TC would like to have a word with you.

 

No, I don't think they do...

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Posted (edited)

I would choose Duke3d, it's a tough choice though.

I had the opportunity to be maybe be a part of AMC TC because that's when I was active but I didn't join up. Shoutouts to William Gee he's a cool dude. and RIP Zaxtor

 

imo the coolest Duke3d maps were the ones made by that guy reflex17 B-) lol

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Oddly I've shifted over the years, these days I would say Quake but until 5-10 years ago I would have said Duke3D.  It's probably that I find Duke more fun and varied, especially when comparing the games' respective single player campaigns, but Quake has had longer "staying power" for me, perhaps helped by the various user mods as others have suggested. 

 

I think Quake especially wins regarding the music - I think the ambient soundtrack works very well and is a bit different to the music for most other FPS games.  I think Duke's soundtrack starts off very well (Grabbag, Stalker, Dethtoll) but I find most of the rest of the music to be pretty average.

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22 hours ago, seed said:

 

the best wads the Doom community has been pumping out

BTW, I forgot to ask, which ones would you point out as the best of the best Doom WADs/mods?

 

On another note, it has occurred to me that Quake spawned several commercial TCs (MaliceShrakX-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse), whereas Duke Nukem 3D scarcely had any, that is if you don't count NAM (it's essentially a TC but it does not need D3D to run) or the discontinued partial conversion Duke It's ZeroHour. Perhaps making a complete TC for a heavily sprite-based game required more effort compared to true 3D modelling? Curiously, Doom also has at least one in the form of HacX, not mentioning Chex Quest here because it was not really commercial, and did not require Doom to play.

 

I'm using the term TC here in a very strict sense, i.e. all or almost all game assets are replaced, there's a different setting/story whatever.

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28 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

BTW, I forgot to ask, which ones would you point out as the best of the best Doom WADs/mods?r.

 

Even if we don't go to G/ZDoom territory, there are plenty of greats wads I can think of like:

- Eviternity

- Back to Saturn X (E1 and E2)

- Ancient Aliens

- Valiant

- Doom Zero

- Deathless

- Doomer Board Projects (my favorite being DBP13: Alien Bastards)

- Scythe

- No End in Sight

- DTWiD and D2TWiD

- TNT: Revilution

- Lunatic

- Vanguard

 

These are just tip of the iceburg of fantastic doom wads. There are plenty of more great wads.

 

29 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

Doom also has at least one in the form of HacX, not mentioning Chex Quest here because it was not really commercial, and did not require Doom to play.

 

There is also REKKR.

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