A demo is a freely distributed piece of an upcoming or recently released video game, typically released by the game's publisher for the consumers get a feel of how the game is before getting the full version.
There were multiple demos of Re-Volt released over time. Demos released before the official releases are like milestones of the game development, since all of them have "genetic inheritance" of some development period of the full game, that is, demos are an important part of Re-Volt history, because they show how the game was before its official release, and comparing the demos and their possible release dates, they show how it changed and evolved over time.
Because of each demo being released at varied points of the game development, they can have variable engine type and items included, as well as differences between all of them.
Moreover, demos were used by the marketing department for tie-in strategies with companies. They got different publishers to distribute the demos and exclusive sponsored cars included to promote said publishers/companies with the hope to get the game known. Part of the department ideas never happened or do not had great impact.
There are some typical limitations that can be seen in the various demo versions of the game, which are as follows:
- Just few tracks are available to play, which can only be played in normal mode (mirrored or reversed are not allowed). Most demos have only Toys in the Hood 1 as a trial track, but it varies according to the version of demo. Except in Rolling, demos also have frontend installed, and some have the reversed mode files of the trial track. Modifications in the game files are necessary to play in them (see Stock Tracks Swap).
- Just few cars can be chosen in the car selection screen, which varies depending on the demo version. Cars available are usually RC Bandit and Sprinter XL, plus an exclusive sponsored car which depends on the demo publisher. More cars are included, which are all the rookies, the three first clockworks, and in some of them, Trolley and Mystery. None of these are selectable unless if using the Box-swap trick.
- Only three playmodes are available: Single Race, Time Trial and Multi-Player. The last one is not available in mobile demos.
- Options menu have limited configurations which varies according to the demo version. Common limitations are the lack of credits and gallery.
- Demos doesn't have the track editor.
- Additional content (custom cars and tracks) is not recognized by Demo engines, except the newest demos which are the ones of Acclaim, Gamespot and IGN.
- Cars and laps in a race have a maximum limit of 8.
Demos have exclusive features that are not present in any of the full releases.
- Soundtracks are included for the available levels in the form of mp3 files. They also feature an exclusive track called nhood1.mp3 which is played during the race (except Rolling).
- Every time the race stopwatch reaches to 20 minutes, it resets to 0, giving the opportunity for the player to win the race even being in the last place (see Stopwatch Reset).
- The Edit Mode panel turns available by adding "-editorsplease" command in game's shortcut properties.
- Older demos use a carinfo.txt (a different system of parameters) to group the parameters of cars. It's also used on Dreamcast and Mobile versions of Re-Volt.
- Older demos have random starting position of cars (in full version player's car is set in last place).
- Promotional pictures of the full version are shown when the game is closed.
The most relevant differences between demos seems to be the sponsored car, name and exclusive features that differs from each other.
- Computer Gaming World version contains a repaint of Humma named CGW, which is one of the various others demo cars avaliable in Developer Version. Version name is v0.01cgw. It is known that this version was distributed in Brazil by the Brazilian subsidiary of PC Gamer (PC Gamer Brasil). The demo was included on its 29th magazine in a CD of demos labeled "22" which comes as a "free gift" together with the full version of Constructor. This demo was also present in the Disc 1 of the PC Accelerator #12 August 1999 magazine.
- PC Gamer
- PC Gamer version contains a repaint of Humma named PC Gamer, which is one of the various others demo cars available in Developer Version. Version name is v0.01pcgamer. The engine is the same used in the CGW demo.
- PC Team
- PC Team has released a demo version named v0.01, which unlike the other versions, doesn't contain a sponsored car. This demo was released between CGW/PC Gamer and Rolling release dates.
- Rolling Demo is the demo which was probably used at the E3 show in the time Re-Volt was to be released. Version name is v0.01. User is unable to pick a car or track, since the demo automatically starts an endless demonstration race in Museum 2 when it's executed (similar to -gogodemo). Just like PC Team, it doesn't contain a sponsored car.
- Acclaim version contains a reparam version of Humma named Acclaim, version name is v0.01acclaim. This is the "clean" version without tie-ins, possibly meant for international release as it was featured in the Christmas 1999 issue of the Italian magazine Il Mio Computer.
- Gamespot version contains a car named Gamespot which is a repaint of Aquasonic. Version name is v0.01gamespot. It's the easiest version to find, since it's available in various websites. Its engine is the same of v0.01acclaim.
- Imagine Games Network version contains a car named IGN PC which is a repaint of Humma. Version name is v0.01ign.pc. This demo version was available at IGN's website until 2011. After that, its download link becomes unavaliable. Its engine is the same of v0.01acclaim.
Demos of other platforms
- Free version is the iPod Touch and iPad demo of Re-Volt Classic Premium. Interestingly, it uses Volken Turbo as one of the available cars instead of Sprinter XL which is in all of the above demos, and has no sponsored car and no version name.
- Android Demo
- The free version of Re-Volt Classic Premium contains two tracks, (Toys in the Hood 1 and Supermarket 2), and four cars (RC Bandit, Dust Mite, Phat Slug and Col. Moss). It was available at Google Play Store, but was removed together with the full game between 2017 and 2018. Doesn't contains a sponsored car nor version name.
- Console Demos
- Two console demos are known to be released: SEGA's Dreamcast Demo and Playstation Promo version. For now there is no enough information for these demo versions.
There are other demos known to have existed, but are rare to find, were never released or all copies were lost.
- PC Accelerator
- PC Accelerator version contains a repainted Aquasonic named PC XL8 R. Version name is v0.01pcxl. It's probably the same engine of CGW, but with PC XL8 R replacing the carbox of Aquasonic.
- Nvidia / Creative Labs' Video Cards demo
- This demo version is included with a nVidia certified HI-IQ demos CD and was included with Creative Labs' Riva TNT2 & GeForce DDR/SDR video cards. It contains Toys in the Hood 1 and Museum 2 as trial tracks. The sponsored cars included are Riva TNT2 and Acclaim. It was distributed with a full version of Forsaken. In an additional note, demos from this CD would only be installed if a nVidia video card was detected in the computer. It's known to be released in United States region. Version name is supposed to be v0.01nvidia.
- Game Center
- Game Center version contains a repainted Aquasonic named Game Center. Version name is v0.01gamecenter.
- A version that supposedly was (or was planned to be) distributed by the fast food restaurants of the McDonald's chain. Contains a car based on Adeon called Mc RC, which shares a very similar body style of the unreleased car Pemto.
- Creative Labs
- Version name is v0.01creativelabs.
- Version name is v0.01e3.
- MacDonalds (ziffdavies)
- Version name is v0.01ziffdavies.
Engines chronology and differences
The full version came after the demos, and by analyzing them, a part of the history of the game development can be discovered. The demos show how much the game's engine was changed over time until it reaches its final result. Below is the possible chronology of the Re-Volt demos until the official release, and what differs from each other.
First type: CGW and PC Gamer
This is the oldest demo type, and is the one that most differentiates from the July 1999 full release, both in the engine and in the files.
This demo was created in the time Probe was temporarily renamed to Iguana London, months before the game release. Rare logos can be found between the files from the folder gfx: Killer the Iguana (intro3.bmp) showed in the introduction and LOGO.bmp (in the right), an old Re-Volt logo.
The usual loading screens are not present in this version, but the game's logo with the word loading written below is showed in their place. And also, the loading bar has different coloring.
Menus can slide in diagonal directions, and stop at unusual places on the screen (Race Results and Select Race for instance). Also, a different font style is used for the texts.
A single Carinfo.txt is used instead of the usual parameters documents. In both v0.01cgw and v0.01pcgamer, PC XL8 R is in the place of Aquasonic, and Humma was changed by CGW/PC Gamer (depending on the version). Panga, Clockwork and Mystery are not listed. All the cars' handling seems to differ from the final version, and some have different names (Pole Pot for instance). Trolley is used as a placeholder for Panga, and both Panga and Rotor are labeled as "WILL BE SPECIAL".
Some models were not created yet (ABCblock.m for instance), while others have different aspects: beachball have different coloring and very similar to the one of the Playstation version, the star is only used for practice, trolley is located in the models folder instead of market1 and the body of Harvester is used as a placeholder for it during the objects editing mode. There's also a file not present in any of the final releases: oldtrain.hul.
There are major differences in Frontend, being the menu transition the most visible one. Cameras of Options, Select Car and Select Track menus are positioned at different angles, and the menu icons are not showed. Other one is the placing of instances. Some are missing, and others have different appearance or location. Two clear examples are the toy airplane and the women posters beside the car boxes stack. There are also two issues in the world file: the counter's Re-Volt logo is upside down, and the glass of Frontend's door is not transparent.
Several menu itens are missing, mainly from the game settings of options menu. Menus like the car physics selector and the Progress Table are not available. There's a intriguing playmode called Training in the Select Race menu, but not much is known about it. The minimum limit of cars during a race is 4 instead of 2.
This engine type shows a functional handling meter at the car selection screen. It also has a sponsored car (CGW in v0.01cgw and PC Gamer in v0.01pcgamer) that replaced Humma in the car boxes stack. The others selectable cars are Sprinter XL and RC Bandit.
Some preview pictures of tracks are not available at the track selection screen (because they were probably still being built) showing only the game's logo, and some of the available ones uses different screenshots from the final version. The tracks' order is different too. The most intriguing is the presence of Botanical Garden 2 which do not exist in any full release of the game. The summary shows just few info about the race, and Toys in the Hood 1 (normal mode) is the only track available, despite the level folder contains Frontend and an incomplete version of the reversed mode of Toys in the Hood 1.
The sounds boxslide.wav and tvstatic.wav are not present.
During the race
The first notable difference is the lack of the race start camera (which floats from the front to the player's car placed in the last position). Moreover, the player's car is placed in random positions in this version, and also the Start Boost is unavailable.
There's a bug in PC Gamer and CGW demos that sometimes makes RC Bandit textures fully white. What causes that is unknown, and when another car is swapped by it using the Box-swap trick, it shows the same bug. Fonts and GFX elements also become white sometimes.
The second car's camera angle (F1 pressed two times) is less leaned and is placed behind the car instead of the top. The F4 camera (opponent view) does not use cameras of the level, but the individual camera of the cars themselves.
The respawn fade of cars is slower, and cars are automatically flipped when they roll over (there's no need to use the flip button).
Surface properties still doesn't exist in the game. For instance, grass particles are not thrown backwards when cars drive on grass surfaces (the same applies for soil). Tires use a global sounds for every surfaces, identical to skid_rought.wav.
Some weapons of pickups acts differently, which are as follows:
- Bomb fuse throws a bigger amount of sparks.
- If someone activates the Electro Pulse and stay aside some car, this car will not turn on until the one who activated the pickup move away or the weapon activation time ends.
- Shockwave flies through a small length when it's fired.
- Global Pulse weapon does not exist.
- Turbo Battery lasts half of time.
Pickups are also activated in a faster way.
When a car drives on some sprinkler's hose, in the final version, it usually gets stuck and throws less water in a short range. This does not happen in this demo.
At least, directional arrows in the top of the screen are bigger than the final version. The Target Camera is another feature available.
Toys in the Hood 1
There are some notable differences in this level. AI Nodes is one of them. It enables the cars to take shortcuts or to use curb ramps more frequently. Cars can get lost beside the pipe's entrance if Oil Slick is dropped on there. There are some other differences related to the edit modes, like the lack of ramps (ramp3.prm) and there are more pickups placed on sidewalks and houses' ground.
There are two differences in the track related to textures: The first is that it uses clouds (an alternative bitmap, with no sun) instead of the usual skybox, and the second is an abstract drawing of a woman in the bottom of the skates spread in the track.
If a car stands in the top of some sprinkler's hose, the sprinkler functionality will not be affected as in the official full release.
The reversed version of the track is very incomplete, with weird start position and AI Nodes.
Second type: PC Team (v0.01)
The version called v0.01 (which is known to have been distributed by PC Team) has some features from v0.01cgw and v0.01pcgamer, but also gets close to the final version of the game.
Its carinfo.txt has Riva TNT2 in the place of Aquasonic and CGW in the place of Humma. None of these two cars are installed. Also, it doesn't have an exclusive sponsored car, being RC Bandit and Sprinter XL the only selectables. Car's data in the carinfo seems to be updated, that is, its controls are more similar to the final version.
In the Frontend folder, the carbox bitmaps now contain box arts for all the cars except some: Loaded Chique (old version of NY 54), whose box art is fully white, and also Aquasonic and Humma, replaced by the box art of special and custom cars. Some box arts differs from the final version. They are: RC San (called Dynamo San), Bertha Ballistics (without the letter "s" in the end), Pole Poz (called Pole Pot), and Adeon (letters "a" on its decals are uppercase, similar to Dev). Panga box art was included in frontende.bmp, but the car still doesn't have an entrance in the carinfo.
Tumble_weed.m was added to the models folder.
Menus don't slide in diagonal directions anymore, and the screen position of some is the same of the final release, except by Race Results showed in the end of the races.
The font style was changed for the same of the full version, and also menu titles (with the usual icons). However, the silver font is still not present. Instead, the font used in the titles is the same for the texts, but painted orange.
The main menu scenario now is more similar to its final version. The lack of transparency in the door was fixed and the podium, small screens, and boxes of basketballs and rockets were added. Sales bin was moved to the right side of the TV screen. Frontend envstill was added too.
There's a peculiar bug at the car selection screen. Usually, when a car is selected and previewed on the floor, it's removed when the player decides to select another car. In this version, the car is not removed sometimes. If the cars are switched too fast, the game will only "produce" cars during the car preview and will not remove them, resulting in several cars spread in the floor.
The minimal quantity limit of cars in a race was reduced to 2.
Toys in the Hood 1 AI Nodes are more similar to the ones of the full version (for instance, cars don't take the curb shortcut anymore) and the sun was added in the clouds. Surface properties were added to the ground, but all they do is change the color of the skid mark.
Its reversed mode is more complete, but some instances are out of place (some trash cans are "floating" or were duplicated). Interestingly, CPU cars are able to climb the ramp of the red BMW (ramp2.prm).
Third type: Rolling Demo
Panga and the fourth Clockwork were finally added to the carinfo.txt, but Mystery is still missing. There's no sponsored car replacing any of the stocks, so Humma and Aquasonic are in their respective places. Only the rookies are present in the cars folder. All cars' controls suffered small changes.
Running the demo
The Iguana London introduction image was removed and replaced by the game's logo. After the loading screen, the game automatically start in demonstration version (similar when using the -gogodemo flag). The race is in Museum 2 with the rookies, and doesn't seem to have an end, unless if the player press any button in the keyboard. If done, the three usual promotional images are displayer and after that the game closes. During the race, the song Toys For The Boys plays in background.
The rolling Museum 2 doesn't have ambience sounds, nor ramps (museramp.prm). CPU cars are allowed to take the lunar lander shortcut.
Playing in the demo
At 2013, the user Ripax77 managed to access all the features of the rolling demo by exploring the leaked Re-Volt source code. He found the bool GoStraightToDemo with the comment // Set this to TRUE for rolling demo, being '0' the value set for 'FALSE' and '1' for 'TRUE'. He used Cheat Engine 6.2 to change the values, and after that, the main menu could be accessed. The wanted files had to be installed before. Not much has changed from the PC Team version, except that Clockwork Carnage is available to play and the Clockwork seems to have different handling.
Fourth type: Acclaim, Gamespot and IGN
This engine type is the one closest to the final release. It's a bit younger than Dev.
This engine allows the addition of custom cars. Mystery was added to the cars folder, as well as the sponsored car, which vary according to the version name. The use of carinfo.txt was abandoned and cars started to use the usual parameters.txt system.
Acclaim.bmp (from gfx folder, used when some track don't have preview image) now uses the default preview image of lego tracks (Track Editor) instead of the game's logo.
In this engine, time trial times are stored into the ghost folder, located in the game's root directory.
When the Frontend folder is accessed, It is noted that NY 54 box art was finally added, but with the name NY 55. Moreover, Pole Pot was renamed to Pole Pos, and the box art of custom and special cars changed its location to frontendg.bmp, which means that Aquasonic and Humma box arts returned to their respective locations. Still related to the levels files, both inf files of Frontend and Toys in the Hood 1 now have the REDBOOK line included.
Beachball model was redesigned and now is the same from the final release. Trolley models and trainold.hul were removed from the folder, and the following were added: ABCblock, bottle, bucket, dragoncock.ncp, gardenwater models, lantern, packet, poolwater, shiplight, slider, star.psm and trafficcone. There're new sound effects installed in this engine as well: Beachball, bottle, clockwrk, lightflk, skid_normal, skid_rough and starfire.
Loading and closing
Loadfront and loadlevel were finally added, but are not divided in four as in the final release, but form a full 608x400 image. And now the loading bar is painted gray.
The promotional pictures showed when the game closes now uses a smooth transition, just like the introduction pictures.
The stand of posters and the toy airplane were the only things changed in the appearance of Frontend. Now both are the same from the full release.
Training was removed from the Game Mode menu, and Stunt Arena was added. Multi-Player and Championship had their positions changed. Gay Matttt Sux Menz Cox edit mode was renamed to Erm, nothing to see here, and Objects to Nobjects.
The handling meter of the car selection screen was removed, and sponsored cars are treated as custom cars in this engine.
All preview images of the tracks are now the same from the full release. Order is still not the same though. In this time, Toy World 2 was switched by Supermarket 2 (similar to Dev). "Unavailable in demo version" text has returned, and the length calculator was added. Despite being possible to add custom cars, custom tracks still aren't accepted.
Races and Toys in the Hood 1
The "race start camera" that was missing in the oldest releases now is available, as well as the Start Boost.
Second F1 camera angle was changed, but the opponent camera (F4) is still not using the cameras of the level.
Car's antennas now have a more realistic movement effect, just like in the final release of the game.
Race results is shown in the center of the screen instead of the left.
- ↑ Joe Groombridge emails: I think our marketing department were looking at different angles to get our game seen and talked about. Most of these ideas never happened but the artwork is still floating about. [...] I was asked to do some alternative skins for existing cars that were tie-ins with gaming magazines to try to get them excited about the game.
- ↑ http://revolt.wikia.com/wiki/File:Pcgamer29_page53.jpg
- ↑ http://revolt.wikia.com/wiki/File:Pcgamer22.jpg
- ↑ Magazine cover
- ↑ https://archive.org/details/PCXL12discs
- ↑ Modification date of v0.01 carinfo.txt
- ↑ http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/06/17/ignpc-re-volt-demo
- ↑ CGW carinfo.txt and carbox2.bmp in Frontend's data folder.
- ↑ http://z3.invisionfree.com/Revolt_Live/index.php?showtopic=2196
- ↑ http://www.closinglogos.com/page/Probe+Entertainment,+Ltd.
- ↑ http://z3.invisionfree.com/Revolt_Live/index.php?showtopic=3164