Duke 3d & the Build engine

Well I was looking at some stuff on old games, and naturally everyone always did love Duke Nukem 3D!

Now what is really cool, is that that the guy behind the build engine, Ken Silverman released the source to the ‘build’ engine, but also some of the builds of build as it progressed.

Ken is a big fan of QuickBasic, so to compile his earliest version, you’ll need QuickBasic 4.5, or the QBasic that came with MS-DOS 5.0 and above.

Download picrot4.bas, and run it through basic, and you’ll get this:

Qbasic 'Build'

Qbasic ‘Build’

Under some emulators (Virtual PC) you’ll get a corrupted screen at first, hit any of the arrow keys, and it’ll redraw the screen into what it should look like. Considering the 8kb of basic code includes the engine, and the map it’s pretty snazzy!

You can find the timeline, and other versions of the build engine as it progressed on Ken’s web page.

As the engine improved, and was ported into C, it only got better! Then it was sold and licensed out, which gave rise to great games like 3D Realms Duke Nukem!

Notice the similarities?

Notice the similarities?

After the build engine went open, 3D realms followed up, in releasing their extensive modifications to build which can be found here.

In the off chance you don’t have the game, you can still get the shareware version of it from 3D Realms here, and of course the full version on Good Old Games for $5.99 USD.

With the release of Build & Duke 3D, it’s only natural that they shed their humble MS-DOS beginnings and found their way onto Windows as full Win32 applications taking advantage of the hardware. Thanks to the work of Ken & Jonathon. You can find the results on Jonathon Fowler’s page here.

I suppose later I’ll have to see if it’ll build with the win64 tools… It’s be neat for a 64bit version of Duke!

3 thoughts on “Duke 3d & the Build engine

  1. "Come get some!"… Yeah… 16 years ago this was one of my main time killers. And SPARCStation-5 seemed to be too boring to me. It's really ironical how my World perception evolved in these years, lol.

  2. oh, this brings back memories. i remember the countless nights we spent using build (some 10 years ago, before high school began). back then we didn't know the guy had a webpage, and we were stuck with an old, buggy version of build (although the problem could have been the pesky bad sectors on the floppies we lent each other :), which crashed every 15 minutes or so.

    but it was brilliant, we felt like gods creating new universes.

    things were so different in the good old 'modem days', before the internet boom.

    i guess i'll stop my ramblings. 🙂

  3. Yeah it's funny how time and perspectives change…!

    At the time I was more into modding Doom (although someone beat me changing the barrels for Macintosh classics…lol)

    But we set this game up for lan plan, along with rise of the triad, for play on the weekends…

    It's hard to think that was just nearly 15 year ago…!

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