Allen Blum is a designer and programmer who has been cited by fellow Duke Nukem developers as the single most important contributor to the franchise. Despite his disproportionate contributions, Blum is very rarely interviewed and has been given relatively scarce attention in comparison to other Duke Nukem franchise developers, so little is known about him.
Blum co-founded Triptych Games in 2009.
History with the Duke Nukem franchise
Blum was directly involved in the conception and development of the first Duke Nukem game, co-designer of the character's current incarnation, lead designer on all mainline Duke Nukem games, the only developer involved in the full development cycle of all five episodes of Duke Nukem 3D, the most prolific level designer in the multi-decade history of Duke Nukem 3D with over 50 published maps, and the only developer involved in the full 15-year development cycle of Duke Nukem Forever. He and David Riegel are also widely credited by fellow developers for having saved the Duke Nukem Forever project files to continue working on them in their free time during a period when the game had briefly been cancelled; this has been cited as the sole reason the game was publishable by 2011.
Blum's most widely recognizable work consists of the first five levels of L.A. Meltdown in Duke Nukem 3D, roughly half of all the other levels in Duke Nukem 3D, and parts of all the singleplayer levels in Duke Nukem Forever.
Most of what is known about Blum comes from second-hand sources. Blum has been described by fellow Duke Nukem 3D developers Randy Pitchford and Richard "Levelord" Gray as an exceptionally intelligent individual who mostly keeps to himself. Game developer Richard Huenink has described him as "the most technical designer I have ever had the privilege to work with." When reflecting on his time in the industry, Pitchford, who now owns the Duke Nukem IP and has worked on numerous high-profile franchises, has cited Blum as "one of the greatest designers the video game industry has ever known." According to Pitchford, Blum "pretty much created Duke Nukem."