Interviews - Jean-Philip Desjardins - 29th April 2002
Questions are in blue, the GlDuke creators answers in black.
> What triggered the idea of GlDuke, what inspired you to go ahead and start work on it?
It started 5 or 6 years ago, when Yves (my friend) and I looked at the first 3D accelerated games (with our Voodoo cards) and asking why we couldn't do the same thing with Duke Nukem 3D. But at this time, my programming skill were basic. I couldn't get a mere C++ program working. But this idea resurfaced in my mind a 2 years ago, and I decided to see if a pseudo-port of Duke Nukem to Win32/OpenGL was possible. Sure it was, even with the constrain of not having any source code from the original game. This implied that it wouldn't be possible to have a perfect copy of the game running in OpenGL, but it was worth the try, seeing all those Dukers waiting for an update for their favourite game.
> Are there any new and funky features that'll be in GlDuke in the near future?
Well, I think I should try to get the game working before thinking about new features. People are going to say "Why have you added model support?" Answer: So people can work on the models while I work at getting the game working correctly. But I agree that was a bit soon to add models though :)
I was thinking about adding 2.5D skin support too so you can transport your favourite 2D sprite into a Dukematch game (ie: LameDuke, Space Marine, Enforcers, Troopers, etc, etc, etc). I'm also planning to add *your favourite feature here* feature ;)
> Black and White, was it a milestone in games history or a mediocre and shallow game?
I'd vote for "Mediocre and Shallow" game. B&W is just another game in the humongous world of computer games. I was impressed to see this game running: the learning engine is spectacular and the graphics are really good. But it's just another application of what a computer program can do.
> Why are you developing using OpenGL instead of Direct3D?
I chose OpenGL because it's much easier to use : with OpenGL you make direct calls to the OpenGL DLL and with Direct3D you gotta make calls to CoCreateInstance (I hate COM) and you gotta work with lot of different structs and classes. Also, even if Direct3D has the newest features (like Pixel Shaders and stuff like this), I'll probably not use them with glDuke. And in terms of compatibility Direct3D and OpenGL are almost the same. Finally, an OpenGL program is easier to port to other platforms than a Direct3D app.
> How did you learn C++ and 3D graphics programming?
I've learned C++ much by myself, by looking at some other programs' source code and by experimenting a lot. I also had some books, but I never had the courage to finish them. I've learned 3D GFX programming in the same manner, but a vectorial and linear algebra course I had at my college really helped me to understand the mathematical concepts behind 3D GFX programming.
> What is your favourite computer game of all time?
Doom. It's one of the only games today that are totally senseless. You don't have to worry if you kill the wrong person or if you don't kill everybody (refering to games like Rainbow Six, RTCW, Medal of Honour, etc). The only thing you have to do is to survive. It also has an unique atmosphere that hasn't been equalled by any other game yet. In second position would come Duke Nukem 3D (heh) also because it's totally senseless and because Duke is so cool :).
> The phone rings, it's 3DRealms, they want you to come work for them, what do you say?
I'd opt for a safe position and I'd refuse the offer... I'm still pretty inexperienced and I still need to get some recognition for my knowledge. If I'd had my university diploma, I'd go for sure though, but that's not the case :(. It's just too risky to leave all your studies behind you and go work for a game company just because you like it (no offence to Ken). Sure, this shines on a resume, but it's not enough to get a stable job. Just my 2 cents.
> What are the specs of your main computer?
CPU: Pentium Celeron 666Mhz
Video Card: Asus nVidia GeForce 2 MX 400 /w 64MBs of memory
Hard drive: Main: 10GB DMA66 Secondary: 40GB DMA100
Two AOpen 10BaseT NICs
Crappy AOpen Motherboard /w VIA chipset
> Anything you want to say to all the Duke3D fans out there, drooling over GlDuke?
Just don't loose hope! It might take a long time, but I'm sure we'll succeed one day! Just be patient ;)
> Cheers for the interview Jean-Philip!
I hope that it was interesting for you and that you've learned some stuff on me and on the project!