Many of the Duke Nukem 3D modding community's veterans were disappointed with 3D Realms' lack of interest in releasing the source code to the game, and the existing CON language was very limited in scope. In response, Matthew "Matteus" Saettler proposed to expand upon the CON language of WWII GI, a Build Engine game based on the Duke Nukem 3D source code and similar to Duke Nukem 3D in most respects. Saettler was the lead programmer on the project, and had also worked on the prior Build games Blood and NAM. After some discussion (and not entirely without shameless begging), the 3DR brass relented and allowed the project to work with Duke3D itself. Dubbed EDuke, the project would continue the Duke3D version numbering with 2.0.
EDuke 2.0 was developed over several months with the aid of a testing team selected from the Duke3D mod community. It assimilated all of the WWII GI enhancements (gamevars, weapon controls, and events) and implemented new features as well, such as access to player and actor properties.
EDuke 2.0 was released by 3D Realms as a patch for v1.5 of Duke Nukem 3D. Unfortunately, it was compatible only with the Atomic Edition release, and could not work with Plutonium Pak, East Meets West, or the Kill-a-Ton Collection due to its dependence on file dates for insuring authenticity. EDuke suffered some criticism as a result of the poor deployment, and adoption of the program wasn't as widespread as many of the testing team were hoping.
Work commenced shortly thereafter on EDuke 2.1, and the original testing team was disbanded. The new team was made up of various mod project leaders. Progress on 2.1 continued throughout the summer of 2001 until Matteus became addicted to Dark Age of Camelot, at which point development ceased.
The 2003 release of the Duke Nukem 3D source code led to Matteus making public his code for both EDuke 2.0 and 2.1. Shortly thereafter, the project was picked up by Renegado and Malone3D, who continued the original DOS EDuke project. The latest version is 2.1.1, released in July of 2004.
EDuke32 is a branch of EDuke begun by TerminX in late 2004. It is based on EDuke 2.0 and the JFDuke3D port of Duke3D (although nearly all EDuke v2.1 features have been backported). Since its creation, it has been expanded with a multitude of new features. Its first version was released in December of 2004.