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Demo versions of Build games

#181

View Postdwtietz, on 09 December 2020 - 05:55 PM, said:

I do have both of these discs, but unfortunately I am unable to share them as these discs are not demos. They were not marketed as demos and they were only sold commercially.

I agree with pretty much your entire summary of the RR franchise. I don't care for this branch of the Build engine games so much... There were a few maps that were OK, but most were not that great and I never cared for the whole hillbilly theme so much. I admire and appreciate some of the advancements that they had made within the engine and some of the artwork as well, but overall I consider it a mediocre game at best.

Thanks for the reply. Sad to hear that the discs cannot be shared. Maybe one day we will see the demos uploaded somewhere and compare the differences between them and the released game. And thanks for agreeing with me on the summary of the RR franchise.

View Postdwtietz, on 10 December 2020 - 05:00 AM, said:

I suspect that what you have there is the same as the 96-01-05 version. Here are a couple of details pertaining to this version from my archives:


Filename: PS.EXE
Date/Time: 96-01-05 ‏‎2:00:46 PM
Size: 839,528 bytes
CRC-32: 97FDB8F3
Source: German CD SharePlay 02/97:/Fair2/Top60/Pslave

It would probably be good to perform some additional checks at your end to be sure. What is the size of the file in bytes? If you have HxD installed you could perform a file comparison between the two PS.EXE files to look for any differences, or if you have 7zip installed you can right click on the file and select CRC SHA to get a CRC-32 checksum on the file to see if it's the same as what I've posted here.

I will check as soon as I reinstall Powerslave Beta Demo from the 3D Action Games Collection CD. Then I will post the checksum of PS.EXE

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 12 December 2020 - 05:43 AM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#182

View Postdwtietz, on 10 December 2020 - 05:00 AM, said:

I suspect that what you have there is the same as the 96-01-05 version. Here are a couple of details pertaining to this version from my archives:


Filename: PS.EXE
Date/Time: 96-01-05 ‏‎2:00:46 PM
Size: 839,528 bytes
CRC-32: 97FDB8F3
Source: German CD SharePlay 02/97:/Fair2/Top60/Pslave

We have this version documented already -- incidentally I retrieved it from the same German CD (from [bHallfiry[/b]'s collection) as you. Unfortunately Hallfiry either deleted or lost his Mega account so the file linked to from my post on the first page is no longer available.

You can download it here:
https://www.dosgames...oad/powerslave/

This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 13 December 2020 - 08:04 AM

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User is offline   dwtietz 

#183

View PostMrFlibble, on 13 December 2020 - 08:04 AM, said:

We have this version documented already -- incidentally I retrieved it from the same German CD (from [bHallfiry[/b]'s collection) as you. Unfortunately Hallfiry either deleted or lost his Mega account so the file linked to from my post on the first page is no longer available.

You can download it here:
https://www.dosgames...oad/powerslave/

Yup... I'm aware that this one is documented already. I'm just trying to help RunningDuke determine if this is the same one that he has (which I highly suspect that it is). ;)
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#184

I have installed and checked the Beta Demo Powerslave and here is the checksum of the file:

Quote

Name: PS.EXE
Size: 839528 bytes (819 KiB)
CRC32: FA43F78C


It looks like there is indeed a different version of Powerslave Beta Demo, that is dated 07/05/1996 13:00 (07 May 1996 13:00)
0

User is online   Phredreeke 

#185

View PostMrFlibble, on 13 December 2020 - 08:04 AM, said:

You can download it here:
https://www.dosgames...oad/powerslave/



I see you linked my upscale pack for it, neat. Is there any difference in ART files between the five level and two level demo?
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User is offline   jkas789 

#186

I also have a quick question: Are there any reasons to play this demos aside from different sprites/ART files to the final game? Like does anyone of them have a unique episode/map that did not make it to the final version of the game?

Not that I do not think that cataloguing demos is not important both on a game dev research and historic perspectives. Just wanted to ask if there was anything different enough gameplay wise worth to boot them up in dosbox.
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User is offline   dwtietz 

#187

View PostRunningDuke, on 14 December 2020 - 01:51 AM, said:

I have installed and checked the Beta Demo Powerslave and here is the checksum of the file:


It looks like there is indeed a different version of Powerslave Beta Demo, that is dated 07/05/1996 13:00 (07 May 1996 13:00)

I still think that this is the same one as that from 96-01-05. The size of the two files here are exactly the same. I suspect that if you were to use something like HxD to perform a byte by byte comparison of these two files that you'll probably find that there are only going to be something like 4, or maybe 8 bytes that contain an altered value. Now if there are vast differences, then that'd be something different altogether.
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User is offline   dwtietz 

#188

View Postjkas789, on 14 December 2020 - 03:24 AM, said:

I also have a quick question: Are there any reasons to play this demos aside from different sprites/ART files to the final game? Like does anyone of them have a unique episode/map that did not make it to the final version of the game?

Not that I do not think that cataloguing demos is not important both on a game dev research and historic perspectives. Just wanted to ask if there was anything different enough gameplay wise worth to boot them up in dosbox.

All of the above: It is for the game dev research, historical record keeping, and there are often differences to be found in the art, maps, and mechanics during every stage of the development process.

Some people love playing alphas, betas, and demos - Others don't. It's really up to the curiosity of each individual to decide if any of this interests them or not.
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#189

View Postdwtietz, on 14 December 2020 - 04:37 AM, said:

I still think that this is the same one as that from 96-01-05. The size of the two files here are exactly the same. I suspect that if you were to use something like HxD to perform a byte by byte comparison of these two files that you'll probably find that there are only going to be something like 4, or maybe 8 bytes that contain an altered value. Now if there are vast differences, then that'd be something different altogether.

OK, I have checked with the Hex Editor and only found a single difference. As you can see in the screenshots, it's just an altered text when you quit the game. In my beta it says: "Thank you", while in actual known beta demo from dosgamesarchive it says "Coming soon".

Attached File(s)

  • Attached File  PS_1.png (99.5K)
    Number of downloads: 9
  • Attached File  PS_2.png (94.3K)
    Number of downloads: 4
  • Attached File  PS_3.png (94.45K)
    Number of downloads: 5

1

User is offline   MetHy 

#190

Any difference in the art files or maps?
0

User is offline   jkas789 

#191

View Postdwtietz, on 14 December 2020 - 05:12 AM, said:

All of the above: It is for the game dev research, historical record keeping, and there are often differences to be found in the art, maps, and mechanics during every stage of the development process.

Some people love playing alphas, betas, and demos - Others don't. It's really up to the curiosity of each individual to decide if any of this interests them or not.


Ok I think I had another translation brain fart. I meant if there was in all the demos/shareware posted in here a noteworthy one to play that had different maps from the end product. Like the map diferences in the first episode between the Beta of Shadow Warrior and Shadow Warrior release?
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User is offline   dwtietz 

#192

View PostRunningDuke, on 14 December 2020 - 07:19 AM, said:

OK, I have checked with the Hex Editor and only found a single difference. As you can see in the screenshots, it's just an altered text when you quit the game. In my beta it says: "Thank you", while in actual known beta demo from dosgamesarchive it says "Coming soon".

That is quite odd. I wonder why they'd use the exact same build and only change that one text string. Interestingly, I'd suggest inspecting all of the other files (map, art, etc.) and running comparisons on them as well, like Methy suggested, to see if any other differences can be found.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#193

View PostMetHy, on 14 December 2020 - 07:28 AM, said:

Any difference in the art files or maps?

The two-level demo has some minor differences in level layout (IIRC there's one area missing in the second level but not certain), but none of them are as drastic as in the Official Beta levels. I have not compared the ART files. Other things I distinctly remember is that when you pick up ammo belts for the M-60, the generic pickup bleep sound is played instead of the ammo pickup sound in the final release.

When I played this demo I had a very strong feeling that it was easier than any other version of Powerslave known to me.

Oh, and it starts with an intro text crawl over the still with John dropping from the chopper.

View Postdwtietz, on 14 December 2020 - 08:07 AM, said:

That is quite odd. I wonder why they'd use the exact same build and only change that one text string.

That change would make sense if they wanted to re-use the demo after the actual release of the game.

The Wayback Machine copies of Playmates Interactive pages suggest that they had several releases of the Powerslave demo available from their FTP site. More details are unavailable (as the FTP was not indexed) but IIRC there might have been yet one undiscovered version.
1

User is offline   MetHy 

#194

They may have used those demos to get testers and feedback. RTCM has a .txt file with some old posts by players and some of the things they complained about ended up being fixed.
1

User is offline   dwtietz 

#195

View PostMrFlibble, on 14 December 2020 - 09:57 AM, said:

That change would make sense if they wanted to re-use the demo after the actual release of the game.

The Wayback Machine copies of Playmates Interactive pages suggest that they had several releases of the Powerslave demo available from their FTP site. More details are unavailable (as the FTP was not indexed) but IIRC there might have been yet one undiscovered version.

Yeah, I'm really curious to hear more about the other files in the one that RunningDuke has there to see if anything new or different comes to light.
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#196

I have looked through the two folders again and the files appear to be identical, it's only the files' modified date changed to 07/05/1996 13:00 in my beta demo version. Forgot to mention that earlier, it wasn't only PS.EXE having modified date but instead, all files in same folder and only the EXE was slightly different in the end.

I have analyzed the two MAP files and the first ART file. "The chosen files are identical." Turns out it's the same version after all with a slightly modified (hacked?) PS.EXE. Should I share the beta here if you want to look deeper? Or is everything clear?
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User is offline   dwtietz 

#197

View PostRunningDuke, on 15 December 2020 - 12:34 AM, said:

I have looked through the two folders again and the files appear to be identical, it's only the files' modified date changed to 07/05/1996 13:00 in my beta demo version. Forgot to mention that earlier, it wasn't only PS.EXE having modified date but instead, all files in same folder and only the EXE was slightly different in the end.

I have analyzed the two MAP files and the first ART file. "The chosen files are identical." Turns out it's the same version after all with a slightly modified (hacked?) PS.EXE. Should I share the beta here if you want to look deeper? Or is everything clear?

That's unfortunate. The nature of that one tiny difference in the executable sounded as though it might be promising that other more meaningful differences might have been found in a map or art file as well.
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