A fable of the late 90’s, a joke in it’s industry and now everyone has to kiss his alien-kicking ass; Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold. After 14 years of ‘development hell’ the adventures of the worlds greatest hero is back for another round. In plain English for those that don’t know, “going gold” means that a game is 100% complete, the final version of a game is in production. Everything has finally culminated into it’s June 10th release and as a fan of the franchise I couldn’t be happier for this long awaited game.
When your history of development becomes it’s own seperate wikipedia page it’s not something to be proud of, it’s like farting in church. When 3D Realms started making their empty promises of “We’re working on it” fans could only sit there and smell the bullshit. Years of telling folks “It’ll get done when it get’s done” finally took it’s toll on the game. In between the endless jokes and scrutiny, the game crashed and burned. Thankfully a new company, Gearbox studios, took control of Duke and nursed him back to health. After only another short delay the game is finally complete and waiting to be placed into the hands of your inner child. They only way to top this would be to actually have Jesus himself endorse this game and make it a patron saint on the spot. After all the abuse this franchise has gone through it deserves it more then anyone else could.
Glad to see the red and yellow back June 10th, 2011 when Duke Nukem Forever hits shelves for the PS3, X-Box 360 and PC. For real this time, honest.
I’ll leave it to a math nerd to figure this out, there’s a good reason I’m a writer and, umm, not whatever a good math person would be. Every year Forbes magazine lists the top 15 richest fictional characters. The list this year includes C. Montgomery Burns, Bruce Wayne and Jed Clampett, but these guys are now where near the richest. The top rich dog is Carlisle Cullen, you know, from Twilight, with 34.1 billion. Admit it, you knew who he was, don’t be ashamed of your love for the teenage, angst-y, vampire novels. I guess living forever has it’s advantages when it comes to your investments.
But what about that dragon’s gold. Well, the math nerd whose part of compiling these rich fictional character lists took a crack at determining the worth of Smaug‘s loot. You might remember Smaug from such exciting adventures as The Hobbit, and umm, yeah just that one. Turns out Forbes‘, Michael Noer said it was easy to figure out Smaug’s worth, he explains,
The book describes Smaug as ‘vast,’ ‘centuries-old’ and of a ‘red-golden color.’ According to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ site The Hypertext d20 SRD a true-dragon of that age and color measures around 64 feet from snout to tail. However, a great deal of that length is likely tail. By way of reference, Komodo Dragons are 70% tail by length, so we can estimate Smaug’s body to be approximately 19.2 feet long.
Dragons are long and narrow, so we can safely assume that Smaug can curl comfortably up on a treasure mound with same diameter as his body length—19.2 feet.
How high is the mound? Well, at one point in The Hobbit, Bilbo climbs up and over the mound, and we know that Hobbits are approximately three feet tall. Assuming the mound is twice the height of Bilbo, we can say that the mound has a height of approximately 6 feet—like a six foot tall man climbing over a 12-foot mound of coins; substantial but not insurmountable.
To keep the math relatively simple and to avoid complications like integrating the partial volume of a sphere, we can approximate Smaug’s bed of gold and silver to be a cone, with a radius of 9.6 feet (1/2 the diameter) and a height of 7 feet (assuming the weight of the dragon will smush down the point of the cone by about a foot).
Now we can calculate the volume of Smaug’s treasure mound:
V= 1/3 π r2 h = 1/3 * π * 9.62 * 7 = 675.6 cubic feet
But, obviously, the mound isn’t solid gold and silver. We know it has ‘great two-handled cups’ in it—one of which Bilbo steals—and probably human remains, not to mention the air space between the coins. Let’s assume that the mound is 30% air and bones. That makes the volume of the hoard that is pure gold and silver coins 472.9 cubic feet.
Ouch. My brains hurts. To read through the rest of his calculations click on over to Forbes, you know, so you can double check his math. Noer was able to discern Smaug’s loot to be worth 8.6 billion. I wouldn’t mind stumbling through a dungeon door to find that treasure trove. Cha-ching!