Dave Gnukem is a retro-style 2D scrolling platform shooter similar to, and inspired by, Duke Nukem 1 (~1991). The source code is cross-platform and open source. It runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and more. (The original Duke Nukem 1 had 16-color EGA 320x200 graphics; the aim here is ‘similar but different’ gameplay and ‘look and feel’. It is kind of a parody of the original. Please note it is not a ‘clone’, and not a ’re-make’.)
News Apr 2018: Version 1.0 released. Apr 2019 OpenBSD port.
Release Downloads: https://sourceforge.net/projects/gnukem/
Direct Download Link: https://sourceforge.net/projects/gnukem/files/latest/download?source=files
Source code repository: https://github.com/davidjoffe/dave_gnukem
Repository for datasrc: https://github.com/davidjoffe/gnukem_datasrc
Repository for ‘data’ subfolder: https://github.com/davidjoffe/gnukem_data
Project page: http://djoffe.com/gnukem/
Mini Demo Video: https://youtu.be/Hi7WYnOA_fo
Who is to blame for this?
Created by: David Joffe http://djoffe.com/ / https://www.liveedu.tv/david_joffe/ / https://minds.com/David_Joffe
The project was originally created and maintained by David Joffe (~1994 to 2004, and Oct 2016 to present). It was maintained by EMH (Evil Mr Henry http://www.emhsoft.com/) from 2004 to 2008. Additional contributions by: T.O.G, Vytautas Shaltenis, Kent Mein, Steve Merrifield, Felix Richter, Kevin Joffe. See also ‘Additional Credits’ below.
As of 8 Oct 2016, this project is under ‘properly’ active development again, and on 3 Apr 2018, ‘version 1.0’ has been released. (Note - this game wasn’t ‘retro genre’ when I started it - it just took so long to complete that it’s now ‘de facto’ “retro”! - David)
About Duke Nukem 1
Duke Nukem 1 was a famous original 16-color 320x200 ‘classic’ game released by Apogee Software in 1991 that launched the Duke Nukem series: https://goo.gl/yP4PbS The original Duke Nukem 1 was created by Todd Replogle (co-creator of the Duke Nukem series), John Carmack (of id Software), Scott Miller (founder of 3D Realms), Allen H. Blum III, George Broussard, and Jim Norwood.
Development LiveStreaming Channels
Development live-stream channel(s):
Note the aim of Dave Gnukem is not to be a ‘clone’, nor to try match DN1 gameplay precisely - the goal is to be ‘similar but different’, sort of a parody though not terribly funny. It’s not the purpose or intention of this project to produce a ‘clone’, nor is it the intention to try load actual original level or sprite data into this ‘engine’. The included levels have been created from scratch by users. The included sprites (apart from a few small exceptions mentioned at the bottom of this README) have been drawn by hand from scratch. The game is sort of a hat tip to the original. - David Joffe
Try find the exit, while dodging or shooting monsters.
- Left/Right: Move left/right
- Ctrl: Jump
- Alt: Shoot
- Up Arrow: Action key (for e.g. opening doors, using teleporters or lifts, activating the exit, etc.)
Escape: In-game menu
7/6: Increase/decrease volume
Insert: Toggle sounds on/off
Shift+F6/F7: Dec/Inc speed (framerate)
Shift+F8/F9: Toggle map and sprite auto-shadows on/off, respectively
F10 Save screenshot
To open doors, find the correct color key, and press the action key on the ‘lock’ nearby the door(s).
Power boots allow you to jump higher. The special molecule pickup gives you full health.
The year is $CURRENTYEAR+8. An evil genius, Dr Proetton, has been hired by the CIA to infect the world’s computers with a virus called SystemD, crippling them. Only you can stop him. You must find the floppy disk with the Devuan Antivirus on it, and install it on the master computer, which is hidden in Vault7.
Any resemblance to actual persons or entities is purely coincidental
TL;DR Shoot anything that moves
- Now with less crashes
- Game taking forever to complete, like Duke Nukem Forever
- Shootable bananas
- Integrated level editor
- Subliminal messages
- Now with extra-retro simulated EGA/CGA settings, you’ll feel like you’re in the 90s again or your money back
- Evil SuperTux
- SystemD integration
- Big rockets
- Software doesn’t spy on you
- Cutting edge lighting effects you’d expect from 1990
- Family friendly
- Fans that blow you ;)
- Something that sort of resembles a cannon on wheels
- Nostalgic references to technology nobody uses anymore
- Red balloons
- Arcane command-line parameters nobody will use
- Overweight hero to represent rise in obesity rates since original 1991 release
- A surprisingly bearable 18 frames per second
- A good time killer when baking
- Detects and corrects wrongthink
- Bugs older than your children
- Safe for use during pregnancy
- Much much more!
Awards and Reviews
- “a good time killer when I’m baking” - Alessia_Amelia (Jan 2019)
History / Changes
- [11 Jun 2019] New ‘Retro Settings’ menu option with ‘extra retro’ settings/effects for simulated EGA 16-color and CGA 4-color graphics options. You’ll feel like you’re back in the 90s or your money back. [NB: currently little-endian platforms only]
- [6 Jun 2019] Incorporate OpenBSD build fixes by Dr. Brian Robert Callahan https://twitter.com/__briancallahan
- [10 Apr 2018] Tentative fix for XP and ReactOS support (relating to SetProcessDPIAware stuff)
- [4 Apr 2018] Got it running on TrueOS (use make -f Makefile.bsd)
2018/04/03 - Version 1.0
- [3 Apr 2018] Change it so that you must first turn cheat/debugging stuff (Ctrl+Shift+G) on before using F4 or F5 for sprite/level editor
- [1 Apr 2018] Add Shift+F10 to start/stop auto-save screenshot-per-frame sequence (warning, eats disk space very fast)
2018/03/31 - Version 0.96
- [30 Mar 2018] Change volume control keys from PgUp/PgDn to 7/6 (as PgUp/PgDn conflict on some keyboards, e.g. Pandora, and also some laptops don’t have ‘actual’ PgUp/PgDn etc.)
- [30 Mar 2018] Add ‘About’ page to main menu
- [30 Mar 2018] Add new F10 save screenshot function (saves on Windows under \Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\DaveGnukem\screenshots and on Linux under $HOME/.gnukem/screenshots)
- [26 Mar 2018] Bugfixes and level improvements (also fixed a level bug where one of the levels was impossible to complete)
- [22 Mar 2018] Boot sprite; Improve Dr Proetton (Dr Proton) sprite and behavior
- [20 Mar 2018] Fix overly-large window if Windows DPI scaling settings are enabled (unfortunately the fix breaks Windows XP support - but you can enable djWINXP_SUPPORT in config.h if you want to generate a build that supports Windows XP)
2018/03/11 - Version 0.91
- [11 Mar 2018] Create a Windows installer
- [22 Jan 2018] Add ‘easter egg’ [arin_j stream viewer suggestion]
- [22 Jan 2018] Level editor highlights instances of selected sprite (yellow), and sprite selection mouse-over sprite (cyan) (F3 toggles this ON/OFF if/when it gets annoying)
- [13 Jan 2018] New slightly experimental map auto-shadows and sprite auto-drop-shadows
- [13 Jan 2018] New shortcut keys Shift+F8/F9: Toggle map and sprite auto-shadows on/off, respectively
- Overhauled shooting/bullets code
- Level Editor: New “Ctrl+F7” command shows overview of all levels, and some basic stats on ‘important’ gameplay items
- Ctrl+Shift+W Large gameplay viewport mode (currently classified as a ‘cheat’)
- All cheat keys (and debug/testing keys like H to inflict self-damage) must now first be enabled by pressing Ctrl+Shift+G to enable in-game debugging stuff
- New cheat Backspace+PgUp increases firepower by one (added for testing)
- Numerous bugfixes and gameplay tweaks
2017/08/12 - Version 0.81 [Linux/Mac source release, Windows source and binary]:
- Add water
- Add very basic Dr Proetton (‘final boss’) and basic foundations of game ending sequence when you beat Dr Proetton
- Add jump-monster
- Add rockets
- Level Editor: New “Ctrl+Alt+N” command to generate a new blank level (NB: Still needs to be added manually to default.gam!)
- Fix a couple of bugs relating to jump height and powerboots
2017/08/05 - Version 0.72 [Linux/Mac source release, Windows source and binary]:
- Add new ‘sort of looks like a cannon on wheels’ monster type
- Implemented new inventory pickup item ‘antivirus disk’ and corresponding ‘master computer’ (when we insert AV disk into master computer we save the world) (should only be one of each of these, and in last level of a ‘mission’)
- Add new high-voltage “barrier” that must be shot multiple times to destroy before hero can pass through (touching it results in immediate death)
- Add new monster that constitutes the approximate equivalent of DN1 rabbits (for now, or maybe permanently, this is just a sort of ‘evil Tux’ - not sure yet if placeholder sprite, or part of plot)
- Add new floor type that auto-crumbles after hero walks or jumps twice on it (2nd spriteset, position 5x4 - place only 1 block per segment)
- Re-do instructions screens to display storyline/plot
- Basic more proper/correct implementation of the CAcme falling blocks
- Fixed: Bullets go through doors
2017/06/22 - Version 0.71 [Linux/Mac source, binary Windows only]:
- Add new ‘flying robot’ monster type
- Implemented access card and access card ‘door’ and door activator
- Added special molecule pickup that gives you full health
- Level Editor: Add unsaved-changes indication
- Level Editor: Add level statistics page (Ctrl+F6)
- Improve character control: Make vertical jumping/falling movement a bit smoother (more similar to the original DN1)
- Improve viewport vertical auto-scrolling
- New keyboard shortcuts: Shift+F6/F7: Dec/Inc speed (framerate)
- Fix soda can not animating
2017/06/22 - Version 0.70 [Linux/Mac source, binary Windows only]
- Add new basic ‘Instructions’ option to in-game menu
- Fix: Potential game ‘freeze’ in teleporter if exiting level editor (or holding in action key)
- Added “-scale N” command line option (1 = 320x200, 2=640x400, etc.) (if passed, this overrides the default behavior of attempting to “intelligently” select the scale factor based on e.g. desktop resolution etc.)
- Fix: “Key polling behavior is subtly incorrect” (this should slightly improve the character control, especially if trying to move left/right one block only)
- Minor sprite and level improvements
- Add hero jump/landing sounds (credit for the sounds: Juhani Junkala), key pick-up sound, and more
- Increase gameplay viewport width from 12 to 13 blocks
2016/10/29 - Version 0.66 [Linux/Mac source, binary Windows only]
- Add shortcut key to toggle sounds on/off (Insert)
- Fix: On Windows, game window often starts slightly off bottom of screen
- Fix: Restore Game from main menu doesn’t work
- Fix: Save/Restore game doesn’t save “mission” (i.e. selected “game”)
- New proper exit sound (is “PowerUp13.mp3” by Eric Matyas http://soundimage.org/)
- Fixed: A monster could kill you in the moments after you entered the exit
- Better hero shooting sound
2016/10/22 - Version 0.63 / 0.64 / 0.65
- Add background music. So far, have only added music by Eric Matyas http://soundimage.org/
- Add game volume controls (use 7 and 6 keys to increase/decrease volume from menus or in-game)
- Level Editor: New feature: Hold in Ctrl+Alt and click with the mouse to automatically start level with hero ‘dropped in’ to the clicked position as starting position (to help with level editing / testing)
2016/10/16 - Version 0.62
2016/10/10 - Version 0.61
- Fix: “Dying in the pungee sticks will often cause a crash” (thank you to porter who pointed that out)
- Fix a segfault in Linux (possibly VNC only?) when navigating in-game menus and other sub-menus
- Add semi-experimental ‘big viewport mode’ (Backspace + B in game to toggle) to make level creation/testing easier for level editors
2016/10/09 - Version 0.6 (0.60)
- Use last EMH release; create github project https://github.com/davidjoffe/dave_gnukem
- Fixed ‘tiny game window’
- Fix some Linux compile issues, make a few other fixes/improvements (streamed on LiveCoding), call it v0.6 (‘un-abandoning’ project - DJ)
1994 - 2016 - See HISTORY.txt for 1994 - 2016 history
- Crude origins as a 16-bit x86 assembler implementation
Developer Info / Build Info
Dependencies: LibSDL1.2, LibSDL-Mixer 1.2
Windows Build Instructions
- Visual Studio 2010 project is included.
- NB You must set your Visual Studio ‘Working Directory’ to ../../ in order to run this (under Project / Properties / Configure Properties / Debugging) or it won’t find the data files and just immediately exit on run
- If you get an error about not finding SDL DLL(s) when running, set ‘Project / Properties / Configure Properties / Environment’ to: PATH=c:\your\path\to\DLLs;%PATH%
Linux Build Instructions
Either download the source code archive, or get the latest source code with git. Make sure the ‘data’ subfolder is also present.
The latest source code and data archives can be downloaded here (these should generally be stable and the best option to download):
https://github.com/davidjoffe/gnukem_data/archive/master.zip (after extracting, rename this folder to just ‘data’ as that’s what the game looks for)
GETTING THE LATEST SOURCE AND DATA FOLDER USING GIT:
To get the latest source with git, you need two repos, the source code, and the data, which must be exactly cloned into ‘data’ under the main folder:
$ git clone https://github.com/davidjoffe/dave_gnukem.git gnukem
$ cd gnukem
$ git clone https://github.com/davidjoffe/gnukem_data.git data
$ cd ..
(BSD variants: Try ‘make -f Makefile.bsd’ rather.)
Run with ./davegnukem if it built correctly (NB, it must find the ‘data’ folder)
NB: FIRST INSTALL DEPENDENCIES:
How to install dependencies on Debian, Ubuntu etc.:
$ sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev
$ sudo apt-get install libsdl-mixer1.2-dev
(NOTE: If you don’t have libsdl-mixer1.2 for whatever reason and you just want to get it compiling without sound, you can add -DNOSOUND to the CCFLAGS in the Makefile, and remove -lSDL_mixer from the Makefile LIBS setting.)
Mac OS X Build Instructions
Same as Linux - type ‘make’. Run with ./davegnukem if it built correctly.
Dependencies: You may have to first install LibSDL1.2 and LibSDL-Mixer1.2 (these can be installed by downloading the source code and doing ‘make’ and ‘make install’ (as root) for each of these first).
Level Editor Instructions
(New 1 Jul 2017) Level Editor how-to video: https://youtu.be/xiznDqg2BHg
Note there is currently no ‘undo’, so be careful. If happy with a set of work, save your changes.
NB: All in-game cheat/debugging keys (eg level up) must first be turned on by pressing Ctrl+Shift+G
- NB: As of Apr 2018, you must first turn cheat/debugging stuff (Ctrl+Shift+G) on before using F4 or F5 for sprite/level editor
- F5 from within the game invokes the level editor
- F1: Save current changes (NB: there is currently no ‘unsaved changes’ warning, so remember to save your changes, if desired)
- Escape: Exit level editor and start playing current level
- Hold in Ctrl+Alt and click with the mouse to drop in hero and start playing/testing level at the clicked position
- X: Toggle display/editing of ‘foreground layer’ (there are two ‘layers’, the background layer primarily for solid stuff, e.g. walls, and the foreground layer generally for e.g. objects or monsters, or other semi-transparent objects)
- Z: Toggle display/editing of ‘background layer’
- M,N: Previous/Next spriteset. There is a left-click and right-click “sprite palette”; clicking the left or right mouse button in the map preview area places an object from the left-click or right-click palette, respectively. Click in the spriteset with the left or mouse button to select that sprite object to either the left or right-click “sprite palette”.
- To select the hero start position in the map, select and place either the 2nd-last or 3rd-last object in the first spriteset (it looks like a figure with a left or right arrow, which indicates the start direction). There should only be one of these per level.
- To place the exit position in the map, select and place the last object in the first spritset. There should only be one of these per level.
- 1-9: Macros: Float the mouse cursor in the map preview area and press one of these shortcuts to place from a few pre-defined complex objects, e.g. crates.
- F: Do a ‘horizontal fill’ of the current selected sprite (on the current layer)
- To choose the desired level, use the Up+L ‘cheat’ from within the game
- To choose the desired ‘game’ i.e. ‘mission’ (i.e. set of levels), use the main game menu ‘Select mission’
- Ctrl+F6: Show level sprite instance statistics
- Ctrl+F7: Show overview of all levels, with some basic stats on ‘important’ gameplay items
Game Cheats Useful for Testing:
- Up+L - Next level
- Backspace+P - Get Powerboots
- Backspace+G - ‘God Mode’
- Backspace+PgDn - Get all keys, access card, antivirus disk, and full firepower
- H - Damage Health
Note that for active animated objects that consist in the spriteset of multiple sprites (e.g. each conveyor belt piece has 4 sprites, for its animation), you must place the first of the four in the map for the object to work correctly.
Keep in mind that once the hero has the powerboots, he’ll be able to jump higher. So there is a sort of logical progression if you place powerboots in a level, i.e. they should be placed once per ‘mission’ (i.e. set of levels), and levels prior to that should assume the default lower jump height, levels after that point might possibly assume the higher jump height.
To add a new ‘mission’ (i.e. set of levels), edit the missions.txt file and add a new line containing the name of your .gam file, e.g. “mygame/mygame.gam” (without quotes). (You should try keep all files associated with a particular game/mission in its own subfolder.) To add/remove levels for that game/mission, edit the .gam file (see the included .gam files to see the format).
TODOs (To Sort):
- Create ‘Roadmap’ to “version 1”? E.g. starter list below:
- Check through code for possible buffer over-runs and
- v0.7 [stil issue with ctrl jump keypress story]
- v0.7 linux segfault
- ‘Texture Manager’:
- Clean up of ‘textures’
- Actual hardware accel if available [todo: proper blending]
- Restoring hardware surfaces on toggle fullscreen with DirectX
- Explosion sound doesn’t always play (fixed 2016-10-22 but fix could use more testing, cf. channel -1 story)
- Update TargetName to DaveGnukem in VS2010
- Set up working folders to work ‘out the box’, so to speak
- Add a dev readme.txt to help devs get set up
[med] Level Editor is hogging CPU [check sprite editor, does it also?]
Finalize sprites and other graphics to at least reasonable ready state
Finalize a basic playable set of levels
Check for all possible hardcoded keys that may be interfering with redefined keys (e.g. Ctrl, H, backspace+G etc.)
[After redefine keys] Ctrl both shoot and jump
H to damage health should not be on by default [likewise other things]
Better colors for menu
Some more / better sounds
CREDITS: Add Vytautas Shaltenis, a.k.a. rtfb, EMH, etc. [who else?]
Some better graphics
Fix up and update credits etc.
Signed executables in binary release?
[check] Dying seems to reset score to 0 - is that right? Cf. DN1 behavior
Is the -640 flag now basically obsolete? Remove? Or change to do something else useful? E.g. to make window maximum size e.g. same as monitor could be useful for level editing.
- Some of the background brick colors should be a bit darker
- Some smoothing on some of hard pixely ‘lines’ (e.g. on shadow edges)
- Finish conveyor belt
- Un-EGA-ish sprites that still look a bit too EGA-ish (some of the especially ones look a bit too 16-color-ish perhaps, though the original DN1 was 16 colors)
- Red background pipes look a bit .. I dunno what .. chromatic? Maybe desaturate slightly .. or something
- ? Make a list of ‘level TODOs’ that are must-have for a ‘version 1’?
The name is a pun on ‘Duke Nukem’ and ‘Gnu’ as a sort of ‘hat-tip’/reference to the open source license/model.
The game took forever to complete to mimic the Duke Nukem Forever model of taking forever to be released.
The underlying ‘engine’ supports high frame rates and smooth scrolling etc.; the reason the frame rate is artificially capped to 18fps is that the earliest versions (~1994/1995-ish) were written for 16-bit 8086/80286, which used hardware timer interrupts that ran at around 18Hz. (Though it’s possible to uncap the frame-rate, the CThing’s are unfortunately currently hardcoded for 18Hz, so they just run silly-fast if one uncaps the frame rate … if writing a new game or a ‘version 2’ it should be easy to use a higher frame rate and write new CThing’s movement code to be based on time-passed-since-last-frame or some-such. Likewise the blocky viewport scrolling itself should be easy to replace with smooth viewport-scrolling.)
License and Additional Credits
The source code itself (and most of the data/sprites) for Dave Gnukem are dual-licensed under MIT license or GPL.
With respect to particular data items, the following license conditions apply:
Apart from the abovementioned, all other data included with ‘version 1’ is dual-licensed under MIT license or GPL.