Apr 10 2011 · Random
I don’t remember what I was searching for, but I came across this interesting interview with Todd Replogle, programmer and co-creator of the Duke Nukem series. The interview was done by Peter Bridger in December 2001, well after Replogle’s retirement from the industry in 1997.
Todd, how do you pronounce your last name?
Good question. The name originates from Germany, I think. The first syllable ‘Rep’ the ‘e’ is short, as in ‘rep’resentative. The next, ‘lo,’ is pronounced ‘low.’ The final syllable ‘gle’ is tricky. It’s pronounced ‘gull,’ as in sea’gull.’ Rep-low-gull. There were times when I was embarrassed during the first day of school where new instructors had a tough time pronouncing my name. Very embarrassing at first to hear my last name pronounced Rep’loogie.’ I often had to correct him/her. After the name sinks in however it seems the name ‘Replogle’ is difficult to forget once one hears it for the first time. Its uniqueness makes the name stand out from the rest, I suppose.
How’ve you been doing since Duke3D?
Wonderful! I found a small town in Oregon to live in, where I’m slowly buying up the surrounding land at fair prices. My goal is to dig several new home sites for families optimistic about the future, and for the elderly (who aren’t so optimistic.)
Do you still have that ‘I NUKUM’ licence plate?
No, the misspelled plate vanished when I sold the NSX. Lately I’ve been owning larger cars (without custom plates.)
Much more safer than a low-to-the-ground vehicle. I’d rather drive a car that’s taller than the tires of a big rig.
What stands out in your mind as a key moment, or moments even, of your time spent developing Duke3D?
Inventing/programming subways. I enjoyed laying the laser trip-mines along side the walls and watching the subway charge through the tunnel, setting each one off one at a time. Very cool to watch! I also enjoyed (and now miss) working with such an excellent group of people.
If you could go back in time now, with the knowledge you have now, what would you do differently in making Duke3D?
Hum, I’d have to say rework the sounds effects at higher sample rates (44khz) and have Jim Dose find a way to get the sounds effects to not sound ‘choppy.’ There was something about the sounds that didn’t seem right… I guess another issue would be in the actor AI field. After Ken programmed the DukeBot my actor AI seemed even more redundant and boring.
How easy was it to build on all the sound, control, weapons, monster etc.. code for Duke3D, on top of Ken Silverman’s BUILD engine?
Working with Ken’s BUILD engine was very simple to work with. Ken understands that interfacing with engine must be effortless, with routiens that are easy to understand and implement.
Are you surprised by the way Duke3D took off, both commercially and with the community?
No. I knew that both Duke’s smart mouth attitude, well-written/distinctive code and fun gameplay would take Duke3D to new heights with the video game community.
It’s June 1991, Apogee have just released Duke Nukem (the original side scroller), the sound effects made by Scott Miller. Should he write some PC speaker sounds effects for DNF?
HAHAHA! Speaker sound effects are only appropriate with computers lacking digital sound capabilities, something uncommon in all but the oldest tabletop PCs and laptops. Scott also did all level design for Vol. I of Duke I too. Scott and George, unlike me, are good level designers, and know what the customer wants with respect to puzzles and indepth gameplay.
Do you plan to get back into the games industry?
No. I’m not sure there is a future for the video game industry. Unless one has the capability of using both the left and right hands independantly, I doubt video games will sell like they used to.
If John Carmack called you up today, and offered you a job at id software, would you take it?
No. I’d be a tempting offer. Again, what is the future of video games? Oh BTW, John deserves credit for helping me code some low level code in Duke Nukem One. I’m not a very good assembly language programmer, and John was kind enough to help make Duke successful with well-written optimal assembly.
What are your plans for 2002?
Make money through property ownership and management, I hope. 🙂 I also found a shifty way to take gold and silver away from the American public (including J.P. Morgan/C, Goldman Sachs) by both ‘shorting’ the metals market at the right time, then taking delivery during minor ‘squeezes.’ Paper money is not wealth, IMHO. I’d also like to raise a family some day.
Thanks for taking time for this interview Todd, happy Christmas!
Thank you Peter. Happy Christmas and a merry new year to you too.