Duke Nukem Wiki

Ken Silverman in 2006

Ken Silverman (born November 1 1975) is a game programmer, best known for writing the Build engine used in Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood, and more than a dozen other games in the mid- to late-1990s. Once considered the primary rival of John Carmack, Ken started work on the Build engine sometime before his first semester at Brown University in 1993, under a contract with Apogee Software. Prior to this, Ken created Ken's Labyrinth, which was later completed and published by Epic Games.


Ken's Labyrinth[]

Main article: Ken's Labyrinth

Ken's Labyrinth is a first-person shooter game coded by Ken. It was originally released in 1993 as shareware by Epic (Mega) games. The source code to the project can now be found on Ken's website. [1]

Build engine[]

Main article: Build engine

The Build engine is a first-person shooter engine created by Ken Silverman for 3D Realms from 1993–1996. The engine was used in a number of popular games of the era, and is now open source. [2]

Polymost engine[]

Main article: Build engine#Polymost

When the Duke 3D source code was released, Ken decided to update the Build engine to support true 3D rendering with OpenGL.


In 2000, Ken started work on Voxlap, a voxel-driven graphics engine. In addition to the engine, a Voxlap-powered tech demo was produced in cooperation with Tom Dobrowolski. The source code to the engine was released by Ken in 2005,[3] allowing commercial derivatives with permission. [4] Since 2003, development on the engine has been fairly static.

Other projects[]

Other creations by Silverman include the ZIP file archiver KZIP and the PNG file-size optimizer PNGOUT. In 2006, a GUI-driven version of PNGOUT known as PNGOUTWin [5] was released by Ardfry Imaging, a small company Ken co-founded in 2005.


External links[]