New: Dave Gnukem Portable 1.0.1 (side-scrolling platform shooter game) Released

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on April 26, 2020 - 7:40pm

Dave Gnukem Portable has been released. Dave Gnukem is an open source retro-style 2D scrolling platform shooter inspired by Duke Nukem. It's packaged as a portable app, so you can use it on the go or on a PC without admin rights and it's in Format so it can easily integrate with the Platform. And it's open source and completely free.

Update automatically or install from the portable app store in the Platform.


screenshotDave Gnukem is an open source retro-style 2D scrolling platform shooter, inspired by and similar to Duke Nukem 1 (a famous original 1991 game that launched the Duke Nukem series). It currently runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and various other platforms. It is written in C++ and uses LibSDL libraries. It features an integrated level editor.

Learn more about Dave Gnukem... Installer / Format

Dave Gnukem Portable is packaged in a Installer so it will automatically detect an existing installation when your drive is plugged in. It supports upgrades by installing right over an existing copy, preserving all settings. And it's in Format, so it automatically works with the Platform including the Menu and Backup Utility.


Dave Gnukem Portable is available for immediate download from the Dave Gnukem Portable homepage. Get it today!

Story Topic:


At XXI century, under «MS Windows», this program does not have normal window mode. Ridiculously.
For virtual sandbox without sound access only.

But can I use a typewriter terminal mode as at IBM-360? Or punched card/tape? Or clay planks from ancient Egypt?
Brainless and handless autor.

John T. Haller's picture

The game is fullscreen by default as 99.9% of people play games like this full screen. If you would like to play it in a window that will be the same size full screen but in a window, edit the DaveGnukemPortable.ini file within DaveGnukemPortable\App\AppInfo\Launcher and place a semicolon at the start of the CommandLineArguments=-f line.

If you'd like a smaller window than default, change the line to CommandLineArguments=-scale 3

You may want to experiment with different scale numbers.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Sorry, it is very difficult for me. More simply to use built-in Windows sandbox or any other virtual mashine. Or never use it at all. I do not like creations of stupids. The appearance may be ancient, but convenience must be modern. I remember the first computers too well.

I'm not sure why you are making these critical comments here. If you have issues with the game then take them directly to the developer of the software, which is NOT PortableApps. Otherwise, your vocalisation on the quality of software is simply irrelevant noise.

Meanwhile, why don't you simply exercise your freedom of choice and not download or use software you neither like the look of or want. No-one compels you have to use any software, but plenty of users on PortableApps and elsewhere do enjoy retro-gaming, just as some even enjoy continuing to keep Windows 7, Windows XP and even earlier Windows releases alive.

Speaking as a non-gamer who doesn't download any such software as it's all useless to me, But, I still don't see any need to comment negatively about the quality or distribution of any such software by PortableApps or indeed anyone else! I keep my views about the quality/value of any specific software to myself; or, better still, take them direct to the appropriate developer if I have anything constructive to offer, which is the essence of OpenSource. Perhaps you could try to adopt a similar approach.

«I'm not sure why you are making these critical comments» [citation from you]. Who are you? Are you a «relevant» [citation from you] autor of this site? You can not even see difference between text and sound («vocalisation» [citation from you]).

Those stupids (i.e. layman) only «enjoy continuing to keep … earlier Windows releases» [citation from you], who do not know the «Nowell Netware 3/4/5» and numerous operation systems of IBM-360 and CDC. And computers on ternary numeral system. And analog computers. And arithmometers.☺

«I keep my views about the quality/value of any specific software to myself» [citation from you] too. Too. Too! Too!! The quality of some programs is below than ground level (or bottom of the Mariana hollow). I can not communicate with its developers because hygienic reasons. It is unpleasant to me. Sorry, I do not know the suitable English word.

If anyone writes about the unavailability of a link to download, is he a bad person? Read my comments more carefully, please. I just do not like transforming the PortableApps into a garbage can.

Hi, I'm the original author of this software and just registered in order to reply to this nonsense.

First, thanks to John Haller and mjashby for the sensible informative comments, and thanks to PortableApps for publishing this version, it's great to see.

Anatoliy, your criticism is just completely wrong. The default mode of the game IS in fact windowed (my personal preferred default as fullscreen causes some problems on some platforms, 320x200 resolution can have blurriness issues on some modern hardware, and also if you're doing things like livestreaming when you run it, switching to 320x200 fullscreen can interfere with OBS streaming setup, so the game defaults to windowed mode but allows users to 'opt in' to fullscreen). By default it creates a window as large as possible for your desktop resolution but with view scaling to upscale the game's retro 320x200 resolution (which is a crucial part of the 'retro experience' - having higher resolution would cause the retro goal to be lost). The game offers several ways to control this behaviour (eg "-f" and "-scale" options), as it's intended for running on many platforms, and for some platforms (eg consoles) fullscreen by default makes more sense. The PortableApps contributors decided to enable the "-f" option to have it run by default in fullscreen mode, but this can be turned off by simply opening Data/DaveGnukemPortableSettings.ini in a text editor and removing the "-f", as was helpfully pointed out elsewhere in the comments. For the "retro experience", fullscreen mode is closer to the original, as in 1990s the original Duke Nukem 1 was EGA 320x200 16-color fullscreen only. So from the retro experience perspective it makes sense to prefer fullscreen as default. Most gamers also prefer to run games in fullscreen mode as it makes for a more immersive experience (and I've heard some gamers literally complain loudly when they see games running in a window). So there are many aspects to consider that must all be balanced.

Finally, this is open source software which has been created for free for others at great expense to myself and the other contributors... I am under no obligation whatsoever to do any work at all for free for you. If you want changes to the software you can pay me for my time and I'd be happy to help. There is a formal github channel and an email address listed in the credits where you can leave feedback for myself. If you want to implement more user-friendly control over the setting I'd be happy to look at the push requests in github and integrate into the master if they make sense.

Of course 'live switching' and more user-friendly control over this setting would be "nice to have" in the game, but there are technical and simply time limitation reasons that I hadn't implemented live switching between fullscreen or in-game menu settings (as this is a "spare time" project and was a huge amount of work, it is man-years of work to create even a small game like this - so the choice is between 'no game at all' or 'a release that doesn't have every possible feature anyone might wish for'.) I may do this in future but as this makes no money it's unlikely I'll be able to make time.

*Edit* I've created a GitHub 'issue' on this subject on how this aspect may be improved in future:

John T. Haller's picture

Thanks for popping in, David, and apologies for the above. Would you like us to switch back to standard windowed to match your default to avoid such a misunderstanding in the future? Or possibly ask the user on first run via a messagebox in our launcher? Either way, thanks for making this game and we're happy to help get it to a wider audience!

As an aside, have you thought about making a donations link available? If you do, we can add it on the app homepage as well as in-app when a user right-clicks on it in the platform or looks at its help file.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hm ... it's probably not worth spending more time on at this stage, as I suspect it may mostly just be one grumpy forum user.

Also, it's not exactly a game with millions of players, it's just a relatively small game.

I actually did want to add a donations link, but then started worrying some overzealous Intellectual Property lawyers might use that to accuse me of trying to 'profit from the Duke Nukem Intellectual Property' or something. I don't think I'm breaking any IP laws, but you know how IP lawyers can be over-aggressive. This game took many man-months/years to create, I wish there a way to help pay for those hours.

When I read stuff like that that among other things does not make sense and sounds like complaining and all the other stuff that it sounds like, it definitely makes me wish I was not a human... You know, not associated with the offender, in any way... So I would like to say that after seeing the thread about this app, I have decided to download it since I have played one or two of the Duke nukem games, and will probably like this one... Again, I am sorry for that person's behavior above, both to you as the developer of the app, and to those who moderate this site and who commented on his comments, and since I know nobody else will, I would like to apologize on his behalf, and offer my sincerest apologies for any inconveniences... I Don't want to degrade anyone or anything like that, but I felt like an apology was necessary from somebody, because last I checked not everybody is like those that for one reason or another have a problem with a certain application to such a degree that they malign it without even trying to get or understand the help given... And thank you to the author for releasing the app as a free app, I wish more authors would do the same...