BAFTA Game Developer Q&A: Randy Pitchford

Duke Nukem is a video game icon. Yet I know absolutely nothing about Duke Nukem. I vaguely remember playing the games as a young boy, peering tentatively over my brother’s shoulder and wondering why the character was constantly using the toilet. It was a guilty pastime, the kind of game which I knew I shouldn’t be playing – but it was just too daring, imaginative and fun to put down.

Randy Pitchford is the CEO of Gearbox Software, a development company that plans to ship Duke Nukem Forever in June. It’s a sequel that’s been almost 15 years in the making. The BAFTA Q&A was a perfect chance for fans and journalists to ask Randy why it had taken so long for the game to come to fruition – and what we could expect from the finished product.

Firstly I need to thank GameSpot UK for giving me a free ticket to the event. I won it on Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled for similar competitions. The evening was hosted by Johnny Chiodini, who was well composed and asked a dozen or so questions before opening it up to the floor.

It was a lively crowd that night, full of hopeful game developers and wannabe bloggers such as myself. This picture was taken before the place was completely filled, but you can still get a good idea of the size and capacity. The seats were lovely too, so great job BAFTA.

Randy was really interesting to listen to. He was surprisingly tight lipped about the content of the game, but he was well spoken and included some great historical anecdotes. I’m not sure that anyone in the room will forget the revelation that a ‘gay robot’ had once been included in a Duke Nukem origin story.

The attendee who asked the best question was awarded this lovely painting of Duke. Not quite sure what I would’ve done with it had I been the winner, but it was a lovely gesture all the same. The inclusion of a free PlayStation 3 and GOTY copy of Borderlands was not to be sniffed at either.

Basically I had a great night. There was plenty of free beer and I really enjoyed speaking to fellow video game journalists. I’m also far more interested in Duke Nukem Forever than I was prior to the Q&A, so in that sense it was probably a great piece of marketing too. Always bet on Duke kids.

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