The Build Engine was one of the first video game engine to render levels in 3D. The engine was written by Kim Sliverman in 1993. It uses the same techniques of rendering 3D environments as the Doom engine, maybe because it was inspired what the wolf3d game engine which was released in 1992. The same technique being that the levels were draw and rendered from a floor plan, however as the build engine became popular, some of the advancements were added such as having multiple stories of floors in a level, which the Doom engine id tech couldn't make out and even using voxels in some later games. For a top ten list about various engines, which I've written in the past (id tech 1 and Unreal Engine), this has to be one of the hardest to make a top ten list for because each game has a vary of content and themes yet most of the code and gameplay are mostly the same. All the games on the list are first person shooters. It is nice to have enough games to form a top ten list because these games (other then one) are decent enough to be make on the list and there's been news of other games which were in development and also it's code leaked online which made the Build Engine more worth while. Here's the list:

World War II GI (listed as WWII GI on this website) is a first person shooter game developed by TNT Games and released by GT Interactive in 1999. World War II GI, like it's name is set in World War 2. World War II GI is the last game which uses the Build engine, as well as being built from the Duke Nukem code. The game is set during World War 2, which allows the player to arrive on the beach of Normandy and for the player to battle there way across the game. The game graphics were very very dated for its time, considering the game was released at the same time as Half Life and there were games like Quake and Unreal which were entirely in 3D, so the game may of not fared as well on the market then it wanted. The game is a sequel from the following entry NAM maybe because it's used the same exact code and idea as NAM but simply set during World War 2 and as it was developed by the same development team.

NAM is a first person shooter developed by TNT Games and released in 1998. It puts you in the shoes of a solider, "The Bear" Westmoreland, who is set in the Viet Cong raid, where he is left to survive. With the build engine being a few years old, it began to feel dated at the time. The game started off as a mod for Duke Nukem named Platoon but it was later picked up by a publisher and worked on and worked on professionally. Players has to shoot there way out, sometmes avoiding mines and other threats to reach the end of each level.

I think this is a the best example of a game which resulted from a mod during the mid 90s however it's a shame that the game is very very hard and for the wrong reasons considering that enemies can shoot at you from another side of the map and you can barely see them at times and you'll get killed every so often, sometimes very unfairly. The redeeming feature of this game is that many people have noticed this to be the first game set during the Vietnam War as many games with the same theme soon followed.

The sequel to Witchaven. Witchaven II was developed and released by Capstone Software the following year after the first game, in 1996. While it's continues from the first game. Not much as changed in Witchaven. The only added feature is the player allowing to hold two weapons and even a shield in one of the hands as they fight with the other. Witchaven II many feel more like a quick cash in however the latest editions to the game forces the game to put forward a new challenge on completing each level and it's level design. The game puts the player in the role of the character from the first game to find the evil saucer to get revenge. Witchaven II was well noticed for it's unfulfilling ending, which many players never liked and has been reported across many publications.

Witchaven was made by Capstone Software and released in 1995. I think it's simple enough to say that it's a first person game which throws in the medieval feel because first person shooters were a novelty back then and Witchaven was just a way to show off the early Build engine. Weapons wise, the game features durability, so weapons can wear down and get broken, forcing the player to look around the environments to find other weapons. Enemies are clay-models animated into the game. They look as blend but as scary as they look dull and the game also offers an experience point progression system to make the player more stronger as they advance though the game. Witchaven was one the first games to use the build engine.The game is very very dated now. I could of placed both Witchaven games together but another game Extreme Paintbrawl is so bad that I've kept them apart not to put Extreme Paintbrawl on this list.

William Shatner's TekWar was made and released in 1995 by Capstone Software. The game is loosely based on the film TekWar. The lead character is an agent sent to fight criminal lords who sell illegal hardware called Tek. This game is one of the early games which uses the Build engine which takes part in a really nice city-type areas. Players have to hunt down criminal lords however when encountered, they aren't as different and are like standard enemies. The graphics are really nice. The characters in-game are people photo-captured and put together to make the world feel realistic.The better part of this game are the full motion video films which were made for the game. These videos featuring William Shatner himself would give the player feedback about their progress however this is only based by mission to mission. At the time, it was a big deal and it did feel like a big game, so players did feel treated at the time as this game was one of the early games to use the Build engine.

PowerSlave is a first person shooter set in Ancient Egypt, a historical theme popular during the 90s. It was developed by Lobotomy Software. The game puts the player into the shoes of a solider who is sent in an ancient Egyptian city of Karnak in the late 20th century to eliminate the threat of the land to save the world. Being set in ancient Egypt, the player would encounter ancient Egyptian themed levels such as a typical tomb and into pyramids and themed enemies, such as Mummies, Scorpion and an Anubis themed warrior. The games weapons are your usual guns such as your standard pistol to a flamethrower. There's even a machete as your melee weapon and a cobra staff which fires energy attacks at your enemies. The game was said to be build by 3D Realms but the development was later given to Lobotomy Software to be finished. The game had a PlayStation release also however it was alittle different from the PC version. The game was also titled Exhumed in Europe and A.D. 1999: Pharaoh's Revival in Japan. The game is still enjoyable today, even for a DOS game as the graphics are detailed and still look good on screen.

Shadow Warrior was made by 3D Realm and released in 1997. Shadow Warrior puts you into the shoes of Wang, an Asian fighter who lives in an Asian town like setting . Shadow Warrior was created directly after the success of Duke Nukem 3D, thus presenting the kind of theme found in Duke Nukem, as the game has loads of violence by with the Asian feel to it. Back then, it was worth while such as the first scene in the game, where players hows a sword which could slice an enemy in half. Weapons wise, they were taken from Duke Nukem, such as the uzi, pump shotgun and rocket launcher however at some points of the game, the player can also pick up other unique weapons such as an enemies head which splits out fire and a heart which could spawn a clone of yourself.

Many considered this the weakest of the Build games because of it's frustrating level design as the game features platform sections which can be very very different and sometimes the game can be too much of a joke, with the case of bosses however while having an Asian themed game with Asian themed hero, soundtrack and etc but the game does mix in a western theme to it sometimes, such as the big city scapes and even throws in vehicles for the players to drive around in, such as tanks which makes this game unique.The game has later been remade by a the Flying Wild Hog development team in 2013, with a sequel of that remake following.

Blood is a first person shooter by Monolith Productions and published by GT Interactive. Blood has a horror theme to it. The horror genre in films during the 90s was re-emerging and it clearly gave inspiration to this game. You play as Caleb, an undead early 20th century gunslinger seeking revenge against the dark god named Tchernobog. The theme may be a downside as players playing this game would miss the references found in the game as the players would encounter them from time to time but not many players would get them but since the game has aged with the internet, it's much easier to look for those references. This game was clearly for horror fans who wants to explore a horror themed world in 3D when the Build engine was there to be used. The games standard weapons are a pitchfork for a melee attacks and a flare gun, which can set alight some enemies, which is useful. Some of the other weapons are interesting, you'll have a Voodoo doll which wouldn't do as much damage but fits the theme of the game. Gameplay wise, it's a good game. the environments made the most out of the Build engine as they feel there's alot of space to move around in between levels. I give special praise to the fact that the game has strong creativity for a horror game as the levels are surprisingly well decorated despite it's limited color scheme of black and red and I think the game really achieved this. The game even uses voxels in some parts of the game on some of the weapons, such as some of the weapons to achieve a really good 3D effect. The follow up of Blood, titled Blood 2 used a different engine.

Redneck Rampage sets the challenge playing as a lead character of the game, who has a hillbilly lifestyle. Developed by Xatrix Entertainment and published by Interplay, the characters and enemies in Redneck Rampage were interesting. The levels were usually a farm fest, as players would encounter chicken and cows however pigs were hostile towards the player. Other hostile redneck characters, such as a typical skinny junkie to a overweight man holding a shotgun. With a theme of a neglected American country town, there would be aliens and UFO encounters, which gave way to a range of alien themed enemies and even weapons. Picks up were interesting, players could consume beer to give themselves health but it would make them drunk during the game, this effect can be removed by consuming moonshine.

The anti-social behaviour goes un-noticed. There's a sheriff who would clock down on the player and the sheriff in the game was very very hard to kill, maybe a way to make sure that the police were just as tough in real life. Weapons were your standard pistol, shotgun, sub-machine and even TNT but there would be other times with some late unusual weapons. At the end each level, the character had to use a crowbar to knock his best friend at the end of the game to grab his attention to end each level. The game had a really interesting soundtrack, from country singers with alot of swearing and all sorts. Redneck Rampage was successful enough to spawn two sequel, Redneck Rampage Rides Again and Redneck Deer Hunting. Many people consider Redneck Rampage to be one of the four big Build games, along with Duke Nukem, Blood and Shadow Warrior.

Well here it is. Number 1! Should it be any surprise that this game is at number 1? Duke Nukem 3D really shows off what the Build engine can make for a video game. Developed and released in 1996 by 3D Realms Duke Nukem allows you to take control as Duke, a solider who travels around town, killing aliens to stop the invasion of Earth from going any further. Duke Nukem didn't start off in 3D as there was another game which was in 3D. However the release of Duke Nukem 3D proved to be the point where the Duke Nukem really stood it's ground for its theme and humor as well as strong gameplay and level design. There was some critics of the game such as the sexual themes however criticisms of the game were light. Duke Nukem 3D was extremely successful that it inspired other developers to make games even using the Build engine, which gave way to games all featured on this list. Duke Nukem's success as led it to many re-releases. However it also led to it's sequel Duke Nukem Forever, which was infamous for it's long delay and commercial failure, which many people don't want to talk about but Duke Nukem 3D reminds one of the most widely talked about and commercially successful games in video games and the Build engine has helpped that happen.

The only other commercially released game that isn't on the list is Extreme Paintbrawl. it's an extremely dull space arena game where players fire paintballs. There were talks of other games which were in development but never saw the light of day, these games were titled Fate and Corridor 8: Galactic Wars. There was also a game which used the Build engine before the engine was ever popular titled Legend of the Seven Paladins but wasn't released because it used the engine illegally.

The Build Engine was later outdated while other engines such as the later Id Tech engines, Unreal Engine 1 and many more soon followed which stopped developers making games for them. It put the Build Engine aside and eventfully the source code being released for anyone to work on them or for view. Ken Silverman moved on to developed many more engines but as creative they are they, they're not as popular as the Build Engine however it does attract some fair enough attention in the industry. The Build Engine will always remind one of the pioneers of video game engines as it was offered to many developers and has created some of the memorable games of the 90s, which are still known and played today.


List by 91210user
(03/30/2017)

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