Killing Time - Part II - Alpha / Beta / Retail Comparison

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Should I compare the PC version

YES
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44%
NO
3
33%
EAT IT!
2
22%
 
Total votes: 9

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awbacon
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Killing Time - Part II - Alpha / Beta / Retail Comparison

Post by awbacon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:59 pm

The whole story began here, continued here, followed by another here and continued to this thread. -3DOExp

Here comes part II of my Killing Time version comparisons.

I will be folding in Part I of the comparison into this thread, so please comment on any differences I may have missed, and you found, in either the Alpha or Beta versions here.

Alpha vs. Beta - Completeness and Playability

The Alpha (v2.2) compared to the beta, is actually more complete and playable in some ways, and less in others. The entire game is there, all areas / songs / enemies exist. You can complete the game and "win" with less issues than the beta. (v2.7)

The following things are completely missing though :

1) Keys. They just don't exist in the Alpha. Doors just open, and some areas where locked doors existed in the beta and retail versions are missing. Given this fact, you can run straight up into Tess' bedroom with no winged vessels and no keys, and complete the game almost instantly. Obviously the key system had not yet been implimented in the Alpha

2) Winged vessels. 8 out of 10 are available. The two I could not find (first and fifth from the left) were where they should have been, but instead of being the actual winged vessel, they were recharge vessels. Given the fact each vessel works as a power-up, I imagine they had not yet implimented the code for that specific power-up, so they just tossed in a recharge vessel as a placeholder

3) In Tess' Temple, the scarab beetle puzzle that lifts the columns to obtain the recharge vessel is not yet available. I tried every single angle to activate the switches, and it just wasn't happening

4) About 3/4 of the dungball monsters in the sewers just roll around aimlessly, never morphing into the enemy creatures to attack you. There are only like 5 per area that actual attack at all. This makes the sewers extremely easy compared to the beta and retail versions.

5) In Time2Die (attic area) there are no enemies within the stage. They just don't exist in there.

ADDITIONS TO ALPHA NOT PRESENT IN BETA

Previously, in my beta overview, I wrote the following

Here are the issues : The hedge maze is a disaster. As soon as you even attempt to enter the area, you start clipping into oblivion. Only by walking BACKWARDS can you avoid this happening. For some reason, the engine must not be rendering what is behind you, so by not "looking" at it, you don't let it start bugging out. Unfortunately, you do need to turn around to open some of the doors. Basically...you need to force the game into the bug, keep hitting the c button, listen for when the door opens, then turn around again to get out of the clipping. This occurs @ 1 frame per second or so, so it can take a good minute to make this happen.

Even still, you can get from one end to the other if you try hard enough.


http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1394/cvf.mp4 (link to video example

Within the Alpha, the hedge maze is basically complete, and does not throw a single error. Its straight out of the retail copy basically. Surprising considering its from an earlier version than the beta. Wonder how they managed to introduce such a major problem into a later version?

THINGS IN THE BETA THAT DID NOT EXIST IN THE ALPHA BUILD

All the following bugs from the beta, are NOT present in the alpha.

Image

The missing textures in the wine cellar have returned

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Image

There is no longer any enemy corruption in the hedge maze.

INTERESTING FINDS IN THE ALPHA

1) The music in Tess' Temple starts to play, then about a 1/2 a second later, stops completely. This area stays silent as far as music is concerned.

2) Arterian Experience (and the whole flame room areas in general) seem to be MUCH darker than in the beta / Retail versions. Makes them even harder when you are trying to navigate across the narrow beams. Who the hell did the Conways hire to be the architech of this place anyway? Narrow beams that fall into flame pits. That CANT be up to code! haha

The frame rate here is also pretty bad

3) In Pyramid of Pain: Osiris Hunting, if you save, fall through the floor into the sewer, obtain the flamethrower, than quit and reload the save, you get to keep the flamethrower even though the game you are loading puts you in the spot BEFORE you fell into the sewer

4) All recharge winged vessels reappear once you load your game. So you can collect them, load, and they show up again (only after you exit the area, and return later though)

5) In Time2Die in the attic, once you open the door to the area, its damn near impossible to go through it. Took me 5 minutes to finally pass...also not populated with any enemies

6) In certain areas (most specifically the 2nd floor of the mansion, in the hallways, right before you enter the area with the maids that attack) the frame rate seems to hover right around 30fps. You can really tell...things just start to run smoothly. Unfortunately as soon as you enter the larger areas where enemies exist, the frame rate goes right back to standard Killing Time sluggishness

7) In Hargroves Storeroom in the attic, there is a warp that goes nowhere, you can't get out, have to reload previous save outside attic. Strangely enough, this doesn't happen every time. Only 1 out of 3 attempts hitting this warp caused me to end up in some area, off the map, in complete blackness with no escape. When this occurs though, if you load the last save state, all the waterclocks you destroyed stay destroyed. (which is interesting considering you cannot save in the attic, so the last save avail. to load would be before destroying any waterclocks)

ODDITIES

Here are some of the things that are different, or slightly buggy, that are none the less interesting visually to check out

1) The pointer in the map is an arrow, where in the beta and retail versions, its a diamond shape

Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

2) The secret door exit to the hedge maze has not been very well hidden now has it?

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

3) The locked door to the West Wing of the Mansion is gone...poof...vanished. Go ahead, walk right in!

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

4) Hopscotch on the Rocks - missing map

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5) Some of the faux lighting textures seem to me much brighter, and much better looking, than in the beta and retail versions (or I could be nuts)

Image

Image

CONCLUSION

The Alpha is actually less buggy than the Beta version I have also "reviewed". Its just less complete in the fact that there are no keys in the entire mansion, some areas have zero enemies, and two of the winged vessels fail to appear. (unless they hid them...can't be 100% here)

This Alpha must have been the last stop before hitting beta stages. Its 95% of the complete game.

The date on the disc bitrate dumped is 8.8.94, where the date on the disc 3DO Experience dumped is 8.28.95. So mark me dissapointed when, after playing through both discs, I find that over the course of an entire calendar year, the only thing added to the BETA version was keys, two winged vessels, and some major bugs!

So there you have it! That's what I found in the Alpha Version. Below will be the beta comparison post in its entirity.

I would compare the Japanese version to the US version for you guys, but honestly its just the language that changed. I find zero difference between both discs.

Maybe I will compare the PC to 3DO versions though. I put a poll up, vote and let me know what you think!

And thanks to Bitrate and 3DO Experience for providing the alpha and beta versions of Killing Time. I've had a ton of fun playing them, and they now have a special place in my Killing Time Collection!

and just as a bonus...E3 95, this existed in the demo of Killing Time

Image

The entire HUD is completely different than anything I have seen before. So there must be (obviously) even more versions out there. I'd say that HUD is the most significant difference I've seen out of anything!

Now if I could just get my hands on an earlier alpha, or any version of the PS1 / Saturn port (if it exists).

Open Call : If you have a version of Killing Time I have not seen, by now I think I have shown I have been pretty hard working on getting as much info out of them as I can. So if anyone out there has content I don't know about, please let me know. If you don't want it released to the public, I am more than happy to check it out privately and just post up the differences!

And if you have anything rare to sell, let me know. Always buying if I don't have it already

Thanks everyone for reading!

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Post by awbacon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:00 pm

BETA COMPARISON

OK! I have played through the entire beta, and here are my observations of what I found. Its part 1 of 3 since I figured Part 2 would be the Alpha Bitrate promised to upload. Maybe there will be a part 3 that compares the 3DO version to the PC version, but since its so drastically different, I may not do it.

So here goes...

The beta has absolutely NO fundamental differences compared to the retail disc. The game is basically finished, considering all the enemies are present, all the soundtrack is included where it was in the retail version, and there are no more / less levels than in the retail version. So basically this beta must be beyond the point where they were "creating" any of the game, and existed as a build to look for bugs, ect ect. Now of course I didn't play each game side by side to see whether or not a tiny part of the map was altered (IE: wall moved a few spaces) but I did play through each section of the beta, checking every corner and wall out.

Observations : The game is finishable, but it takes some work due to the Hedge Maze being extremely buggy. But you can obtain all the keys / winged vessels, enter the attic, and "win" the game. I have only acheived the "good" ending, so I can't confirm if the "bad" ending (not like there is much of a difference anyway) has been included or not

Here are the subtle differences : Beta = way more generous with the ammo. On medium, in the retail copy, ammo can get pretty scarce if you don't manage it well. In the beta, on medium, I never ran out of ammo once. I didn't play any differently, and cleared each area of enemies. So between the beta and the final release, they made the game 'harder'. Also seems that there are less hit points on the enemies in the beta, but its so hard to tell considering Killing Time doesn't have the best hit detection in the world.

Enemy placement = In the hedge maze, hunters appear a few corridors before they do in the retail copy. I know...huge huh?

Hedge maze = textures appear in different order than in the retail version

Here are the issues : The hedge maze is a disaster. As soon as you even attempt to enter the area, you start clipping into oblivion. Only by walking BACKWARDS can you avoid this happening. For some reason, the engine must not be rendering what is behind you, so by not "looking" at it, you don't let it start bugging out. Unfortunately, you do need to turn around to open some of the doors. Basically...you need to force the game into the bug, keep hitting the c button, listen for when the door opens, then turn around again to get out of the clipping. This occurs @ 1 frame per second or so, so it can take a good minute to make this happen.

Even still, you can get from one end to the other if you try hard enough.

Also in the hedge maze...the tommygun gangsters are corrupted (well, half of them are) and you can hear ducks quacking and being squished as you walk around, but they NEVER appear.

Although now, the hedge maze does appear on the map, compared to the retail version where the entire map was hidden to make it more "maze like"...so its nice in the way that you can check everything out to make sure you haven't missed anything

In the wine cellar...two issues. One, some of the floor and ceiling textures just aren't there....even if you exit the area and re-enter, they are missing.

Also, in the "mirror room" (At least what I like to call it) where you have to pick your path in between crates to get from one end to the other, that puzzle isn't included in the beta. You can run from one end to the other picking whatever path you want.

In Egyptian Switches...there is some minor texture distortion in open passageways. Basically, whatever texture is on the wall behind the opening shows up magnified 10x. Once you pass through, it stops.

Tess apparitions : The blue ghost of tess rarely appears when you hear her calling out "help me" and they are very hard to activate. Even if you stand right on top of one, it can take 3-4 attempts to get the movie playing. All the movies do work, and there aren't any missing / any extras added. I would imagine they shot the FMV sequences before developing the game, as it was very story driven and as a filmmaker, I'd want that to be shot and then build a game around it. But who knows

Interesting things : When you go to start a new game, the player name by default is Jonathan T. Mason. I checked the name against the developer list in the retail version, and it's not listed...so I am guessing its safe to say that is the name of the character your playing as. I wonder if they were going to give the player some backstory at some point and cut it out due to time constraints?

Map and Polygon bugs: The map bug still exists, but to a lesser degree. I fell through the floor into the sewer off the east wing of the mansion, and my entire map progress from the sewers was saved. So that's an improvement over the retail copy. Upstairs in the mansion and in the mazes at the beginning of the game, your map progress still dissapears once you leave the area.

Polygon bug...does not exist in the beta. Or at least I cannot make it happen. I can pretty much consistently get this to occur in the retail release, so it seems they actually managed to produce this bug between this beta and the retail release. Now yes...there are some weird textures in Egyptian switches, so perhaps that's where the bug originated, and in their attempt to fix it, they introduced the polygon bug? Who knows

More enemies ? : I swear in the maze outside the mansion entrance there are more hunters in some rooms than in the retail version. One large area alone had 14 hunters and about 8 ducks. I never recall having that many enemies in one area in the retail version.

Enemy "sprite" size - I swear some of the enemies seem scaled down compared to the retail version. I need to check this a bit further though. Perhaps they increased their size once they optimized the game further on in the version # history.

Frame Rate : I heard someone say they thought the frame rate was better in the beta. It sure seems slower to me! Like 1-2 frames off the retail release frame rate

But thats about it! The beta is basically a buggy version of the retail release of Killing Time. Unfortunately there aren't any new / different areas or enemies, no extra soundtrack or FMV videos. It must have been pretty close to being finished by this point. If it wasn't for the hedge maze being really messed up, I would never have even guessed I was playing a beta.

Hope everyone enjoyed this! I had fun checking the beta out. Special thanks to 3DO Experience for uploading the game.

Below the three photos is a link to a small movie showing the "clipping" bug I described in regards to the hedge maze. You can see that before you even exit the door to the maze itself, the game gets pissed off!

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:32 pm

Nice comparison, and I hope to see a 3DO vs PC one in the future.
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Post by bitrate » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:42 pm

I like these comparisons.



I have another KT beta if you are interested.

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Post by Trev » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:47 pm

bitrate wrote:I like these comparisons.



I have another KT beta if you are interested.
Nah, I don't think awbacon has any more interest in further Killing Time beta's. :wink:
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Post by awbacon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:49 pm

haha who me, interested in more killing time ?

Sure Bitrate...I am off of school until the semester starts on the 27th, so fire that beta my way. Anything to kill some hours is more than appreciated

All I have planned is photographing my gaming collection so far

Glad people like these

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Post by NikeX » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:36 am

2) The secret door exit to the hedge maze has not been very well hidden now has it?

Image
I don't know, but this has something "3DO like" in itself. Fantastic screenshot.
Thanks awbacon, and thanks again bitrate for releasing.

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Post by awbacon » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:05 pm

Thanks for the compliments guys. Appreciate them!

If I do a comparison between the 3DO version and the PC version, my aim is not to focus on the vast differences between the two, but more to compare and contrast the two products

Such as ) Comparing enemy sprites to the fmv enemies in the 3DO, since even though they are different, the PC version enemies clearly took inspiration in some spots from the 3DO version And ) showing what made it from one game to the other (such as textures, level designs, ect ect)

Its definately an interesting contract, because its one of those few games where the port is vastly different than the original product

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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:13 pm

Aww, you are going to at least mention what parts are largely different right?
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Post by BryWI » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:35 am

90% of the game is different.

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Post by awbacon » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:48 am

My plan is to show screenshots from both games, comparing the areas and enemies. I also will do some shots showing what came over design wise from the 3do version.

There are actually plenty of similarities between both versions. Alot of textures and design cues are in the pc versions, and most of the enemies are redesigns of the 3do version.

So that was my plan. Show the difference between the 3do areas that still exist in the pc version, show and describe new levels in the pc version, and do side by side comparisons of the similar art direction of both titles

Any suggestions / feedback always welcome of course!

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Post by 3DO Experience » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:43 am

Soundslike a really good idea. My only feedback is every time, I mean every time, I see you name I get hungry.
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