Developed by Voidpoint, a studio comprised of EDuke32 vets and Duke Nukem 3D mappers, Ion Maiden was formally announced on a recent Duke4 livestream, and will be releasing in 2017.
First, a bit of background. The Build Engine powered Ion Maiden is a FPS prequel to the poorly received Bombshell, an isometric shooter from Interceptor Entertainment, a studio which declared bankruptcy last year and has since rebranded themselves as Slipgate Studios.
The game’s developer, Voidpoint, is a completely independent venture. It began development in early 2015 as a stand-alone project and was quietly announced on a poster back in July 2015 as an extra for the digital deluxe version for Bombshell. Since then, however, the scope has expanded considerably and the game is a full commercial product. The developers’ chose the name Ion Maiden to distance themselves from the negativity associated with Bombshell. The game is running on EDuke32, built in 2004 by Richard Gobeille and continuously developed over the following decade with a view to preserving the original developers' intent of Duke Nukem 3D and to make it playable and enhanced on modern hardware.
While Ion Maiden itself is retro rather than an outright 1:1 reproduction of 90's techniques, the team has created a brand new 8-bit palette, which all assets will use. Rather than "making the past look better than it was," Ion Maiden is taking the best out of both the past and present in order to make a better game, avoiding the limitations imposed on Build engine in order to run better on lower spec systems (think Shovel Knight). The score's being made by someone from the European C64/Amiga demo scene who has been making mod tracker music for about 20 years (the original Build engine has been modified to support this).
Voidpoint’s 256 color palette (Cage is easily one of the most talented pixel artists around):
There’s some seriously talented mappers involved (including DavoX of DNF 2013 DLC fame), with the levels being made with the hallmarks of classic shooters in mind, including interconnecting areas, interactivity, and secrets. All of the weapons have either an alt fire or an alternate ammo type which you switch by pressing alt fire. The team’s currently working on a demo (which won't feature the alt fire stuff) in the style of Half-Life: Uplink and what Monolith did with the Fear and Condemned demos. The content will be more or less unique from the full version. The team recently showed a video behind closed doors at E3 so I hope we’ll see more soon, but in the meantime here's some more screens!
Note: the face in the HUD is temp art just cut from a random promo image for Interceptor's Bombshell game. The final game is likely to have the face in the HUD, but it'll be more like Doom.