Duke Nukem Forever: When Enough Is Not Enough

Duke Nukem Forever has been one of the most expected games ever. As every geek knows, it’s been by far the most infamous case of Vaporware as well. Many lessons can be taken from the story of the project and how the 3D Realms people managed it. In fact, I sincerely believe this story must be taught in every single Software Engineering Course as an example of unbounded ambition and perfectionism.

Even though 3D Realms was a highly talented and groundbreaking developer company, when it comes to the Duke Nukem Forever, they totally failed. Actually, they coined the dreadful sentence: “It’ll be done when it’s done” which represents the principle that drove this neverending project. It worths reading the whole story that has been told in a splendid article published by Wired Magazine:

Learn To Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem

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2 Responses to “Duke Nukem Forever: When Enough Is Not Enough”


  1. 1 PM Hut January 26, 2010 at 4:06 am

    The development of this game is a perfect example on how Project Management can go horribly wrong.

    Here’s an article that might perfectly well suit this project: The Whac-a-Mole Model of Bad Project Management: it has the 2 things this never to be released product has: a game and bad project management.

    • 2 caveda January 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      In my opinion, the actual problem was the lack of two key things:

      – Clear requirements.
      – Deadlines.

      If you don’t know what exactly you want to do and when it must be done, it’s easy to figure out what will be the outcome: nothing.

      By the way, good article 🙂


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