They Call Me The Workin’ Man

Preorder HijiNKS ENSUE Book 2!!!IMPORTANT HE BOOK 2 UPDATE: There are less than 30 Ultimate Fancy Editions of the book left and the files must be fully proofed and turned into the printer by Sunday 1/30/2011 or I will not have the book in time for my first conventions of the year. Once those last UFE’s are sold I will have covered 100% of the printing costs + enough to purchase shipping supplies, pay for shipping for all books (regular + UFE’s), and cover the costs of the prints, stickers and buttons for the UFE’s. Please help me make this thing a success. I am positive there are at least 25 of you Fancy Bastards out there that can help out.

UPDATE: WHOAH! I got WAY more responses than I needed already. Thanks!
I need 2 or 3 volunteers to proofread HE Book 2. You will need to have a background in English or copyย editing(or some equivalent) and be able to turn the assignment around in 48 hours (24 would be preferable). You will be credited as an editor in the book. Please email [comics at hijinksensue dot com] if you are interested.

I’ve mentioned before that since HE doesn’t follow a narrative, I don’t see any need to focus on the characters’ personal lives, relationships, jobs, etc. I’ve also done my best to stay away from video game related content since The Internet has plenty and I have very little original thought to offer on the subject. Though I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Josh (the actual Josh in real life) is currently working on Duke Nukem Forever, and his company, Gearbox Software, just announced the release date for the (up until now almost entirely fictional) game. I hesitate to speak in absolutes, since it is all together possible that a planet will fall on their headquarters in the next couple of months thus delaying Duke‘s release another decade or so.

I’m not a gamer, so I’m not extremely concerned with playing the game. I’m more concerned with the greater pop culture implications of it actually being released. The history of DNF is just a dickshittingly insane story and the fact that one of best friends eventually became associated with it in real life is something I find astounding. It would be no more shocking if Tom Cruise publicly came out of the closet and Josh was the reason.

COMMENTERS: Is there any way fans will judge this game fairly considering many of them have been waiting a baker’s dozen years for it? Even if it is good, can it live up to expectations, or is the myth too big? Do you plan to buy it? If so, will it be just to prove that it actually exists?

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  1. In all honesty, my expectations for any first-person shooter is always low simply because the genre doesn't lend itself to any innovative gameplay mechanisms. Valve's Half Life series is an exception because they don't try to make the genre anything more than it is, but drive the game through real, engaging characters and a stunning narrative.

    It's this that I'm pinning DNF's success on – the strength of Duke's character and how that will work in the environment will, I think get around any shortcomings in the genre (yes, I am buying it purely for the sunglasses, aliens with tits and 60-yard field goals with monster brains).

    • Re: Half life
      Very true, I really enjoyed the storytelling aspect in HL… and I can't beleive that Duke Nukem Forever is actually being released before HL2 Ep 3… arrrrg.

  2. The first issue of PC Gamer I ever received had a cover story on DNF. I think that was 1997. I've been waiting for it ever since. I will absolutely buy it, though my expectations aren't particularly high (they never really were, for that matter). If it's a decent shooter with at least some of the personality of the original then it will be good enough for me.

  3. I'm sure i've given DNF some shit over the years (sooo many years!) but in case anyone from gearbox is watching, let me be clear: Day. One. Purchase.

  4. There is so much hanging over this game I'm not sure that it will get a fair shake. I do plan on picking it up, and based on the rest of my recent Gearbox purchases it should be a lot of fun.

    • As for it getting a fair shake, do gamers as a whole really ever offer that courtesy? You have have 12 year olds and 40 year olds playing the same games. The audience is too spread out to get a real fair consensus of the quality of a particular game.

      • That is true gamers are a harsh demographic, but unless this game actually comes with hookers and blow, I'm expecting to see a lot of negative traffic.

      • I suppose the "fair shake" comes in the form of "units sold", by way of delicious real monies.
        Even if gamers pan it, or rave about it, etc. it'll come down to how many people buy the thing…for me, it's been so long since I played DN I may have to find a copy of the original in my dusty bin of games, or buy a new one, and play it completely beginning to end so I remember…and then do the same with DNF.
        Then buy related merchandise, DLC, and other things related to it…and so on.

  5. Considering we fans of the Duke have been waiting for 12 years, I think we all know what to expect. And that's not going to be the next " Halo Killer" or anything. Just good campy fun. As long as DNF has lots of hot babes and pig-policemen (the trailer has them!) we'll be happy.

    • Well there have been plenty more Duke games between '97 and now, but DNF should be the best. IT oughtta blow all the modern warfare FPS away!

  6. I wasn't really interested in the "legacy" of the game, or, at least, not to consider buying it just for the awe of owning it. Now that I realize Josh is financially invested in its success though, I'll pay more attention to it :P.

    As for videogame-related comics, I wouldn't be complaining, as all I know of are VGCatz and Penny Arcade. Besides, your take on it would be worth having another gaming webcomic.

    • The deal is, I dont play video games so I dont feel I cant offer honest commentary on them. Who wants to hear what I think about some story I read on a game blog every day? The geek stuff I cover in HE are the things I actually care about and involve myself in on a daily basis. When I talk about scifi, or movies you know I am being honest.

  7. I've been playing Duke Nukem games since I was a child and Duke is hilariously part of my childhood. As long as the game has funny one liners, Shotguns, Strip Clubs, and Pig Police to Kill. I am MORE than satisfied. Also I WILL BUY the MOST EXPENSIVE EDITION NO MATTER THE COST!

    • Yeah, me too, except that I was in my 20's when the first one came out. Honestly? At this point they could pretty much rerealse the original in a format that works on XP and label it "DNF" and I'd be thrilled.

      My expectations weren't high 13 years ago so unless it has nothing to do with DN I'll be fine with it, and buying a copy. I too am just hoping for the one-liners etc etc. I do hope they'll have the "That's one doomed space marine" in there too, even though no one but us old-timers will get it anymore, haha.

      Know what I really hope? That tehre's at least an option to have it entirely keyboard-driven. I've never fully adapted to the mouse in fps; it breaks the fourth wall too much for me, somehow. Takes too much conscious thought, I think, so I can't do it entirely automatically like I can with the keyboard, so it's just not quite as immersive.

      Boy, I liked that whole "line up on the guy upstairs and Duke will automatically aim up" thing, not to mention how he jumped so much higher than anyone else! Well, back when. Doom got a little annoying, hanging up on 1' obstacles, haha.

      Duke nukem Forever! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. I have always said the day DNF is released is when I will finally upgrade to a gaming PC capable of doing it justice. Now there's a real chance it might actually happen, I have no money. Perhaps if I had put a quid in a piggy bank every time I read a story about how it was nearly done I would now have, erm, about twenty five quid.

    Anyone want to buy a 486 DX2 66? Slightly used. It has VESA graphics and a Soundblaster clone.

  9. Well if you don't mind then, could I have you and Eli look away for about 10 minutes, cause I'm already in a robbing mood and I was lookin' to at least be able to pay rent this month with some of the stuff we'd clear out tonight. Anything that you really, really don't want me to take just put it in that corner over there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. would it be particularly schmucky to point out that you can't operate an iPhone while wearing gloves? That aside, I believe the first video game I ever played was Duke Nukem. I fondly remember loading the floppy disk into our computer. Then my buddy introduced me to Duke Nukem 3D. "a vidoe game with strippers!?" I thought. and I was never the same….

  11. I don't have much history with Duke Nukem. But considering that Borderlands was my #1 most played game of 2010 (and my SO and I are still playing it from time to time), I will be buying DNF on launch day, based solely on how much I love that game.

  12. Yeah i dont think ill buy it, the concept was cool back in the day, but time moves on. I dont think it would be worth the 50-60 bucks. I could be wrong, Ill reserve judgement after it gets played in full.

  13. Wait, Josh is a game developer? And he's actually been working on Duke? Crazy… Never knew.

    I played and beat the original, very first, DOS based Duke Nukem video game. It ran on my 286. I never did buy the 2nd/3rd episodes (shareware games back then offered the first 1/3 of the game for free and charged you money for the other 2/3s) and Duke Nukem 2 kept crashing when I tried to play it. But the very first game was a fun, side-scrolling game with good levels and puzzles.

    I don't own an XBox/PS3 or even a windows box anymore, so I doubt I'll actually play this game. It's pretty hilarious that i's actually coming out though. The trailer looks both awful and totally awesome at the same time.

  14. The game will sell well precisely because of its storied history. The myth and legend behind the game has obscured any set of expectations that people might have had for it all those years ago. We're several hardware generations removed from when the game was first announced, and probably half a decade since the last real promises were made about what the game could/would deliver.

    I think for most gamers' requirement/expectation list for Duke looks like the following:
    – The game is a real thing and I can play it with my hands.

    … and that's it. Whatever it is or isn't as a game is much less important than it existing in a purchasable state in the first place, a feat which has eluded the game to this date.

    I think the true value of DNF at this point is its legacy. If I was in charge of development, I'd put a team on getting each major revision of the game up and running (however incomplete) on modern hardware so that people could go back and re-live the development process. Think of it as the most bitchin'est collector's edition ever. I want to see what DNF 1998, 2001, 2004, etc looked like. Why didn't those games get released? How much does what we'll get to play in a couple of months resemble those stillborn projects? I guess that's just my interest as a developer though. Either way I'm sure I'll be picking up a copy somehow like everyone else, just out of curiosity.

    Plus GBX can make a good game so I'm sure it won't totally suck =)

  15. It's not Josh's fault, but I think a lot of us will believe a Duke Nukem release date when we actually see it and not a moment before. Please tell him he can blame Blizzard.

  16. More than likely, I'll wind up purchasing the specialist edition I can find on DAY ONE, and then I'll wait a year or three for a DLC bundle pack – if there's any DLC, least-ways.

    As far as I know, my only encounter with Gearbox Software is their game Borderlands, but if that game is anything to go by, I'm sure DNF will be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hail to the King, baby.

  17. I grew up on Duke. For its time, it was one of the best games on the market. I actually STILL brush it off every once in a while and play through a chapter or two when the gaming market is bad… which is fairly often, unfortunately.

    The thing that worries me about its quality is that when the first video footage of it was released, it was trying to do something that was actually revolutionary, but now that it's been 13 years, these ideas have already been put into successful games. For instance, some of the environmental interaction they were doing during the videos was used in Doom 3, and a couple of other games.

    Regardless, I'll be buying the game as soon as I can, and playing it as soon as I have access to a computer that can play it again. I have a feeling that I'll enjoy it regardless, since it will be a trip back to my younger years. I just hope it doesn't make me curl into the fetal position and cry after 30 minutes of game play.

  18. One of my coworkers has a brother who was on the dev team at 3DR (Ben "Too Happy" Eoff). He kept telling me that the game DID exist, and would occasionally send me screenshots and other dev news. Then they let the whole team go and I figured the game was finally, finally dead.

    ……..Then came the news that Gearbox had resurrected it. I have been following the Duke Saga for ten years or so (I even pre-ordered the game at one point; my receipt is sadly long defunct as I don't even live in the same STATE where I pre-ordered, and that store went out of business anyway), so you can bet your ass I'll be buying. There's no way it can live up to twelve years of hype, but then again, it'll be so cool to finally play it.

    Me, I figured that one of the signs of the Apocalypse was when we got the actual, solid release date for May of this year.

  19. Josh works for Gearbox? That's awesome. Hey Josh, thanks for Borderlands, that was awesome! Good luck with DNF, don't let it kill you guys. I'm counting on Borderlands 2 sometime in the decade, and it'd be tragic if it wasn't made by you guys.

  20. I played almost all of the old 3drealms titles back in the 90's, the games were part of my teen years. I always liked Duke better than Doom, just because it was crass and everything you wished for in other games. Other 3drealms titles Like Shadow Warrior and Rise of the Triad showed me that competitive gaming even if you're just hooked up to one other person by modem is extremely satisfying. these old games broke a ton of ground for people to build on.

    I'll be buying DNF on day one and taking some vacation time to relive a simpler time in my life.

  21. Holy shit! I knew Josh and Eli worked for a video game company, but I never knew they were at Gearbox! o_O
    +100 respect man. Also, good luck on Nukem josh! And thanks for Borderlands!

    PS: *whispers* Are you working on a sequel for Borderlands? I promise I won't tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    PSS: How awesome is it working for Randy??

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