It seems like every time we actually find out anything remotely interesting about the development of Duke Nukem Forever, it comes through the medium of 3D Realms' staff arguing with fans on Internet forums. It almost makes you hanker for the good old days of press releases, interviews, screenshots... Remember all that stuff? Ahh.
This time out, the monthly DNF spat has been kicked off by a report at Shacknews which claimed that 3D Realms is haemorrrhaging development staff at a worrying rate - naming seven employees who have left the company recently, four of whom have gone off to work for Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox Software.
Needless to say, this news kicked off intense speculation over the future of the lifetime award winner for Most Ironically Named Videogame, which is now rapidly approaching the tenth anniversary of its original announcement back in April 1997. Among our favourite rumours from the bunch are the claim that all 3DR staff have contracts which say they can't leave until the game is finished, so this means that Duke must be ready to ship out any minute now; and the one which says that the staff walked out after discovering that yet another total rewrite and redesign of the game is on the cards.
However, 3D Realms founder George Broussard popped up on Shacknews' forums to assure the Duke's now-a-decade-older fans that things are still rosy on the project.
"Physics and animation systems are virtually finished and shippable," he commented. "It's simply maintenance and polish from here on out. We haven't needed to make substantial changes to those systems in months. The changes we have made, were made without great effort."
"Things are never as bleak as they appear," he continued, "as is often the case when you simply have one side of the story." We continue to await Duke Nukem Forever with bated breath, a pastime which has claimed the lives of countless respirationally-challenged videogame journalists in the last ten years.