3D Realms is an American video game publisher and developer based in Garland, Texas. It was founded in 1987 as Apogee Software by Scott Miller to publish his game Kingdom of Kroz . Prior to Apogee's founding Miller had released a few games he had developed himself, as well as a couple "packs" of games developed by himself and others, under a shareware distribution model whereby the games were distributed for free in return for donations.These games were inconsistently marketed under the name Apogee Software Productions, though after the company was founded they were sold under the Apogee Software name. Miller found that the standard shareware model was not viable for his games such as Beyond the Titanic (1986) and Supernova (1987), and beginning with Kroz the company pioneered the "Apogee model" of shareware distribution, wherein games were broken up into segments with the first part released for free to drive interest in the other monetized portions.
Soon after its founding, Apogee began publishing titles by other developers in addition to titles by Miller; these developers were often companies composed of a single designer. As Apogee expanded to include more people, some of these designers, such as George Broussard (Micro F/X Software) and Todd Replogle (Scenario Software), joined Apogee as employees and designed its later titles; Broussard joined the company in 1991 as a co-owner.In the 1990s, Apogee was best known for popularizing its shareware model and as the creator of franchises for MS-DOS on the personal computer such as Duke Nukem and as the publisher of games such as Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D .
In 1994, Apogee decided to launch different brand names for each genre of games they published; it created 3D Realms for 3D games, publishing Terminal Velocity in 1995 and developing the 1996 Duke Nukem 3D under the name, with the other titles released in those years still under Apogee.In late 1996, however, Apogee renamed the company itself to 3D Realms to associate their brand with newer, 3D titles. 3D Realms launched a brand for pinball games, Pinball Wizards, in February 1997, but only published Balls of Steel (1997) under the name. Also beginning in 1997, with their licensed Duke Nukem sequels, 3D Realms shifted from episodic MS-DOS titles to non-episodic console and personal computer games. In the process it abandoned the shareware model in favor of a traditional publishing model; it also largely ceased its activities as a developer that same year, releasing only Shadow Warrior (1997). The sole exceptions were Prey (2006), which stayed in development until 2001 when it was transferred to another studio, and Duke Nukem Forever (2011), which famously stayed in development at 3D Realms as vaporware until 2009.
In July 2008, 3D Realms licensed the Apogee name to the newly formed Apogee Software, which publishes both older Apogee titles and new games.In 2009, financial issues drove 3D Realms to shut down their development department and publishing operations, cancelling Duke Nukem Forever and its publishing involvement in the already announced Earth No More and Prey 2 . In 2014, 3D Realms itself, then focusing on licensing its franchises to other developers, was sold to the investment firm backing Interceptor Entertainment, one of those developers; since then it has published two titles for Interceptor. In 2017, after the closure of Interceptor, 3D Realms announced a return to development with a partnership for Shadow Stalkers, expected in 2018 but later canceled. 3D Realms has since published several titles, and is involved in the development of Wrath: Aeon of Ruin . During its history, 3D Realms has developed or published over 50 games, and granted licenses for 10 more. At least 25 games that 3D Realms was involved with were canceled, with some going on to be finished by other companies.
Many of the games published under the Apogee name were released as a set of separate episodes, which were purchasable and playable separately or as a group. Titles are listed for games that gave individual names to their episodes instead of episode numbers.
| Puzzle Fun-Pak |
(Asteroids Rescue,Block Five,Maze Machine,Phrase Master)
| Adventure Fun-Pak |
(Night Bomber,Raiders of the Forbidden Mine,Rogue Runner,The Thing)
|Beyond the Titanic||MS-DOS||1986||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
|Supernova||MS-DOS||1987||Apogee (Scott Miller, Terry Nagy)|
| The Kroz Trilogy |
("Kingdom of Kroz","Caverns of Kroz","Dungeons of Kroz")
|MS-DOS||November 26, 1987||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
|Word Whiz||MS-DOS||1988||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
|Trivia Whiz||MS-DOS||1988||Micro F/X Software (George Broussard)|
|Trek Trivia||MS-DOS||1988||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
|Next Generation Trivia||MS-DOS||1988||Micro F/X Software (George Broussard)|
| The Thor Trilogy |
("Caves of Thor","Realm of Thor","Thor's Revenge")
|MS-DOS||1989||Scenario Software (Todd Replogle)|
|The Lost Adventures of Kroz||MS-DOS||1990||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
| Monuments of Mars |
("First Contact","The Pyramid","The Fortress","The Face")
|MS-DOS||January 1, 1990||Scenario Software (Todd Replogle)|
| The Super Kroz Trilogy |
("Return to Kroz","Temple of Kroz","The Final Crusade of Kroz")
|MS-DOS||June 1990||Apogee (Scott Miller)|
| Pharaoh's Tomb |
("Raiders of the Lost Tomb","Pharaoh's Curse","Temple of Terror","Nevada's Revenge")
|MS-DOS||December 14, 1990||Micro F/X Software (George Broussard)|
| Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons |
("Marooned on Mars","The Earth Explodes","Keen Must Die!")
|MS-DOS||December 14, 1990||id Software|
| Dark Ages |
("Prince of Destiny","The Undead Kingdom","Dungeons of Doom")
|MS-DOS||January 1991||Scenario Software|
|Jumpman Lives!||MS-DOS||June 10, 1991||Shamusoft Designs (Dave Sharpless)|
| Duke Nukem |
("Shrapnel City","Mission: Moonbase","Trapped in the Future")
|MS-DOS||July 1, 1991||Apogee|
| Paganitzu |
("Romancing the Rose","The Silver Dagger","Jewel of the Yucatan")
|MS-DOS||October 1, 1991||Trilobyte (Keith Schuler)|
|Arctic Adventure||MS-DOS||October 9, 1991||Apogee|
| Crystal Caves |
("Troubles with Twibbles","Slugging it Out","Mylo Versus the Supernova")
|MS-DOS||October 23, 1991||Apogee|
| Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy! |
("Secret of the Oracle","The Armageddon Machine")
|MS-DOS||December 15, 1991||id Software|
| Secret Agent |
("The Hunt for Red Rock Rover","Kill Again Island","Dr. No Body")
|MS-DOS||February 1, 1992||Apogee|
|Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure||MS-DOS||March 1992||Apogee|
| Word Rescue |
("Visit Gruzzleville and the Castle","Explore GruzzleBad Caverns","See the Spooky Haunted House")
|MS-DOS||March 1992||Redwood Games|
| Wolfenstein 3D |
("Escape from Castle Wolfenstein","Operation: Eisenfaust","Die, Führer, Die!")
|MS-DOS||May 5, 1992||id Software|
| Math Rescue |
("Visit Volcanoes and Ice Caves","Follow the Gruzzles into Space","See Candy Land")
|MS-DOS||October 1992||Redwood Games|
|ScubaVenture: The Search for Pirate's Treasure||MS-DOS||1993||Apogee|
| Major Stryker |
("Lava Planet","Arctic Planet","Desert Planet")
|MS-DOS||January 15, 1993||Apogee|
|Monster Bash||MS-DOS||April 9, 1993||Apogee|
| Bio Menace |
("Dr. Mangle's Lab","The Hidden Lab","Master Cain")
|MS-DOS||August 3, 1993||Apogee|
| Alien Carnage |
("Sewers","Factory","Office Block","Alien Ship")
|MS-DOS||October 10, 1993||Interactive Binary Illusions / SubZero Software|
|Duke Nukem II||MS-DOS||December 3, 1993||Apogee|
| Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold |
("Star Institute","Floating Fortress","Underground Network","Star Port","Habitat 11","Satellite Defense")
|MS-DOS||December 3, 1993||JAM Productions|
| Raptor: Call of the Shadows |
("Bravo Sector","Tango Sector","Outer Regions")
|MS-DOS||April 1, 1994||Cygnus Studios|
("Time Tripping","Shattered Worlds","Warped and Weary","Destination Home")
|MS-DOS||June 1, 1994||Moonlite Software|
| Mystic Towers |
("Rimm","Tor Korad","Nortscar","Wolf's Den","Ebonscarp","Marchwall")
|MS-DOS||July 15, 1994||Animation F/X|
|Wacky Wheels||MS-DOS||October 17, 1994||Beavis Soft|
|Blake Stone: Planet Strike||MS-DOS||October 28, 1994||JAM Productions|
| Boppin' |
("Bothersome Hunnybunz","Significant Other of Hunnybunz","Love Child of Hunnybunz","Hunnybunz Defrocked")
|MS-DOS||November 15, 1994||Accursed Toys|
| Rise of the Triad |
("Approach","Monastery","Caves Below","The Slow and the Dead")
|MS-DOS||December 21, 1994||Apogee|
|Terminal Velocity||MS-DOS, Windows||May 1, 1995||Terminal Reality|
| Realms of Chaos |
("Revolt of the Myraal","The Goblin Plague","Foray into Fire")
|MS-DOS||November 11, 1995||Apogee|
|Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport||MS-DOS||December 29, 1995||Argo Games|
| Duke Nukem 3D |
("L.A. Meltdown","Lunar Apocalypse","Shrapnel City")
|MS-DOS||January 29, 1996||3D Realms|
|Death Rally||MS-DOS||September 6, 1996||Remedy Entertainment|
| Stargunner |
("Scout Mission","Stellar Attack","Terran Assault","Aquatic Combat")
|MS-DOS||November 19, 1996||Apogee|
| Shadow Warrior |
("Enter the Wang","Code of Honor")
|MS-DOS||May 13, 1997||3D Realms|
|Balls of Steel||Windows||December 12, 1997||Wildfire Studios|
| Max Payne |
("The American Dream","A Cold Day in Hell","A Bit Closer to Heaven")
|Windows||July 25, 2001||Remedy Entertainment|
| Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne |
("The Darkness Inside","A Binary Choice","Waking Up from the American Dream")
|Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox||October 15, 2003||Remedy Entertainment|
|Duke Nukem Mobile||Mobile phones||January 15, 2004||Machineworks Northwest|
|Duke Nukem Mobile||Tapwave Zodiac||May 2004||Machineworks Northwest|
|Duke Nukem Mobile II: Bikini Project||Mobile phones||September 2005||Machineworks Northwest|
|Prey||Windows, Xbox 360||July 11, 2006||3D Realms / Human Head Studios|
|Duke Nukem Forever||Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||June 10, 2011||3D Realms / Triptych Games / Gearbox Software / Piranha Games|
|Bombshell||Windows||January 29, 2016||Interceptor Entertainment|
|Rad Rodgers: World One||Windows||December 1, 2016||Interceptor Entertainment|
|Graveball||Windows||July 31, 2018||Goin' Yumbo Games|
|ZIQ||Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch||August 1, 2018||Midnight Sea Studios|
|Ion Fury||Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One||August 15, 2019||Voidpoint|
|Wrath: Aeon of Ruin||Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One||TBA 2020||KillPixel, 3D Realms|
|Ghostrunner||Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||TBA 2020||One More Level, Slipgate Ironworks|
|Kingpin: Reloaded||Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch||TBA 2020||Xatrix Entertainment, Slipgate Ironworks|
Several spinoff games and remakes, especially in the Duke Nukem series, have been created with 3D Realms granting a license but without serving as the developer or publisher.
|Duke Nukem: Time to Kill||PlayStation||October 12, 1998||n-Space||GT Interactive Software|
|Duke Nukem: Zero Hour||Nintendo 64||September 1, 1999||Eurocom||GT Interactive Software|
|Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes||PlayStation||September 27, 2000||n-Space||Infogrames|
|Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project||Windows||May 21, 2002||Sunstorm Interactive||Arush Entertainment|
|Duke Nukem Advance||Game Boy Advance||August 12, 2002||Torus Games||Take-Two Interactive|
|Prey Invasion||iOS||June 7, 2009||Machineworks Northwest||Hands-On Mobile|
|Duke Nukem: Critical Mass||Nintendo DS||April 8, 2011||Frontline Studios||Deep Silver|
|Shadow Warrior||Windows||September 26, 2013||Flying Wild Hog||Devolver Digital|
|Wacky Wheels HD||Windows, macOS||October 26, 2016||Ferocity 2D||Ferocity 2D|
Several game projects were begun and abandoned before completion that had Apogee/3D Realms as the developer or publisher. Some of these were later completed by another developer or publisher, though many were not. In addition to these games, there are projects that were conceived but never began development, such as Dino Days (1991) and Commander Keen: The Universe is Toast! (1992), and titles which had preliminary agreements or offers for 3D Realms to publish where a final agreement was never reached either because the project was canceled or another publisher was chosen instead.
|Title||Planned system(s)||Cancellation date||Developer(s)||Ref(s).|
|The Underground Empire of Kroz||MS-DOS||1991||Apogee|
|Fantasy 3D||MS-DOS||1993||Peter Jungck|
|Cybertank 3D||MS-DOS||1993||Frank Maddin|
|The Second Sword||MS-DOS||1993||Cygnus Studios|
|Wards of Wandaal||MS-DOS||1993|
|Monster Bash VGA||MS-DOS||1995||Apogee|
|Ruins: Return of the Gods||MS-DOS||1995||3D Realms|
|Duke Nukem Forever||MS-DOS||1997||3D Realms|
|Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War||Windows||1998||Volition|
|Duke Nukem: Endangered Species Hunter||Windows||2001||Action Forms|
|Duke Nukem: D-Day||PlayStation 2||2003||n-Space|
|Earth No More||Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||2008||Recoil Games|
|Prey 2||Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||2008||Human Head Studios|
|Shadow Stalkers||Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4||2018||3D Realms / Zoom|
Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by 3D Realms. It is a sequel to the platform games Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II, published by 3D Realms.
Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software and FormGen. Originally released on May 5, 1992 for DOS, it was inspired by the 1981 Muse Software video game Castle Wolfenstein, and is the third installment in the Wolfenstein series. In Wolfenstein 3D, the player assumes the role of Allied spy William "B.J." Blazkowicz during World War II as he escapes from the Nazi German prison Castle Wolfenstein and carries out a series of crucial missions against the Nazis. The player traverses each of the game's levels to find an elevator to the next level or kill a final boss, fighting Nazi soldiers, dogs, and other enemies with knives and a variety of guns.
Commander Keen is a series of side-scrolling platform video games developed primarily by id Software. The series consists of six main episodes, a "lost" episode, and a final game; all but the final game were originally released for MS-DOS in 1990 and 1991, while the 2001 Commander Keen was released for the Game Boy Color. The series follows the eponymous Commander Keen, the secret identity of the eight-year-old genius Billy Blaze, as he defends the Earth and the galaxy from alien threats with his homemade spaceship, rayguns, and pogo stick. The first three episodes were developed by Ideas from the Deep, the precursor to id, and published by Apogee Software as the shareware title Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons; the "lost" episode 3.5 Commander Keen in Keen Dreams was developed by id and published as a retail title by Softdisk; episodes four and five were released by Apogee as the shareware Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy; and the simultaneously developed episode six was published in retail by FormGen as Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter. Ten years later, a homage and sequel to the series was developed by David A. Palmer Productions and published by Activision as Commander Keen. Another game was announced in 2019 as under development by ZeniMax Online Studios.
Duke Nukem Forever is a first-person shooter video game for Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It is a sequel to the 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D as part of the long-running Duke Nukem series. Duke Nukem Forever entered development in 1997 at 3D Realms and Triptych Games and was finished by Gearbox Software and Piranha Games in 2011. In the game, the player controls Duke Nukem, an action hero who must come out of retirement and save the world from aliens when they begin kidnapping the women of Earth.
Apogee Software, LLC is an American video game publisher based in Rowlett, Texas. The company was founded by Terry Nagy in 2008 after he acquired the rights to the name and logo from 3D Realms.
Apogee Software, Ltd., doing business as 3D Realms since 1996, is an American video game developer and publisher based in Garland, Texas. The company is best known for popularizing the shareware distribution model for video games in the 1980s and 90s, as well as for creating game franchises, such as Duke Nukem. 3D Realms was founded by Scott Miller in 1987 as Apogee Software Productions, in preparation for the release of Kingdom of Kroz. Apogee Software adopted the trading name 3D Realms in 1996, and the rights to the former name and logo were eventually sold to Terry Nagy in 2008, using which he established Apogee Software, LLC.
Shadow Warrior is a first-person shooter video game developed by 3D Realms and published by GT Interactive Software. The shareware version was released for the PC on May 13, 1997, while the full version was released on September 12, 1997. Shadow Warrior was developed using Ken Silverman's Build engine and improved on 3D Realms' previous Build engine game, Duke Nukem 3D. Mark Adams ported Shadow Warrior to Mac OS in August 1997.
Duke Nukem is a 2D platform game developed and published by Apogee Software, featuring the adventures of the fictional character Duke Nukem. The game was followed by another 2D scroller, Duke Nukem II, in 1993. The series made the jump to 3D graphics with Duke Nukem 3D in 1996, which became the most popular of the three games.
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project is a platform game developed by Sunstorm Interactive, produced by 3D Realms, and published by Arush Entertainment. It was released on Microsoft Windows on May 14, 2002, in North America and on June 14, 2002, in Europe. A port of the game would be released through Xbox Live Arcade from Xbox 360 on June 23, 2010, by 3D Realms directly, followed by the iOS port on January 9, 2014.
Balls of Steel is a pinball computer game developed by Wildfire Studios and released on September 3, 1997. It is the only game to be published under the Pinball Wizards label, a division of Apogee Software.
Mountain King Studios is a computer game company located in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded by game programmer/game designer Scott Host. In addition to the development of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Cygnus also collaborated with Apogee Software on a number of their games. Some members of the company split to form Rogue Entertainment, while the company itself was renamed "Mountain King Studios".
Commander Keen in Keen Dreams is a side-scrolling platform video game developed by id Software and published by Softdisk in 1991 for DOS. It is the fourth episode of the Commander Keen series. The game follows the titular Commander Keen, an eight-year-old child genius, in an adventure in his dreams as he journeys through a vegetable kingdom to defeat the evil potato king Boobus Tuber and free enslaved children from the Dream machine. The game features Keen running and jumping through various levels while opposed by various vegetable enemies; unlike the prior three episodes, Keen does not use a pogo stick to jump higher, and throws flower power pellets to temporarily turn enemies into flowers rather than shooting a raygun to kill them.
Commander Keen is a side-scrolling platform video game developed by David A. Palmer Productions and published by Activision in May 2001 for the Game Boy Color. Part of the Commander Keen series, it was released ten years after the first seven episodes in 1990–91. The game follows the titular Commander Keen, an eight-year-old child genius, as he journeys through three alien worlds to collect three plasma crystals to prevent the weapon they power, built by several enemies from previous games, from destroying the universe. The game features Keen running, jumping, and shooting through various levels while opposed by aliens, robots, and other hazards.
Duke Nukem is a video game series named for its protagonist, Duke Nukem. Created by the company Apogee Software Ltd. as a series of video games for IBM-compatible personal computers, the series expanded to games released for various consoles by third-party developers. The first two games in the main series were 2D platformers, while the later games have been a mix of first-person and third-person shooters.
Duke Nukem is a fictional character and protagonist of the Duke Nukem series of video games. The character first appeared in the 1991 video game Duke Nukem, developed by Apogee Software. He has since starred in multiple sequels developed by 3D Realms. Most recently, he starred in Duke Nukem Forever, released by Gearbox Software, which now owns the rights and intellectual property.
Lee Jackson is an American composer. He was the Music and Sound Director for the video game developer 3D Realms from 1994 through 2002. He is most well known for his work on Duke Nukem 3D and Rise of the Triad, specifically for creating Duke Nukem 3D's main theme titled "Grabbag". He collaborated with Robert Prince to create the two games' instrumental background tracks. Jackson created all of the tracks for the fourth episode of Duke Nukem 3D, better known as the "Plutonium Pak Add-On" or as the full four-episode "Atomic Edition." In 2016, a remake and remaster called Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour was released, containing a new fifth episode by the original level designers, and containing new original music by Lee Jackson.
The video game Duke Nukem Forever spent fifteen years in development, from 1996 to 2011. It is a first-person shooter for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, developed by 3D Realms, Triptych Games, Gearbox Software and Piranha Games. It is a sequel to the 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D, as part of the long-running Duke Nukem video game series. Intended to be groundbreaking, Duke Nukem Forever has become infamous in the video games industry and was considered vaporware due to its severely protracted development schedule; the game had been in development under 3D Realms since 1996. Director George Broussard, one of the creators of the original Duke Nukem game, announced the development in April 1997, and promotional information for the game was released from 1997 until its release in 2011.
Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons is a three-part episodic side-scrolling platform video game developed by Ideas from the Deep and published by Apogee Software in 1990 for MS-DOS. It is the first set of episodes of the Commander Keen series. The game follows the titular Commander Keen, an eight-year-old child genius, as he retrieves the stolen parts of his spaceship from the cities of Mars, prevents a recently arrived alien mothership from destroying landmarks on Earth, and hunts down the leader of the aliens, the Grand Intellect, on the alien home planet. The three episodes feature Keen running, jumping, and shooting through various levels while opposed by aliens, robots, and other hazards.