Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

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Litude
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Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Litude »

I came across an Apogee bonus disk that included a demo version of Keen 6. I got it second hand, so I do not know the original story behind this floppy disk. To my surprise the version included on the disk is ever so slightly different from the most common FormGen demo version. I haven't taken a deep look, but I am guessing the differences are mostly related to a changed exit screen that urges you to order the game from Apogee. The installer in this particular version is dated 1992-02-29 and the game files 1992-03-01 but it still seems to be more similar to the original FormGen Demo release than the Promotional Demo.

The most surprising part to me is that this seems to be an unknown version even though it was distributed by Apogee. I am guessing that this particular version was probably not handed out very often as a bonus disk because Apogee likely made a lot less $$$ reselling Keen 6 opposed to the other Keen games that were published directly by them.

Looking through some other Apogee sell sheets, I did find a mention of a "Sneak Preview" version of Keen 6 being included when ordering both Secret Agent and Crystal Caves for a discounted price of $50. Since the registered version of Secret Agent was released in February 1992 and Crystal Caves was released in late 1991, it is possible that this is that "sneak preview" version though that does not mean that it was not handed out like a regular bonus disk as well.

This particular bonus disk was a 5.25" floppy.
Image

Crystal Caves & Secret Agent combo sell sheet mentioning "Sneak Preview" version
Image

I also came across this Keen 6 sell sheet that is different from the one included in the 3D Realms Goodbye Galaxy Hint Sheet scan. Since I could not find a scan of it anywhere online I decided to also include it here. This sheet is probably totally unrelated to the demo disk however.
Image


Download Keen 6 Apogee Demo Floppy Image (IMA and Greaseweazle RAW dump):
https://mega.nz/file/U5cVVBzY#i4yN2GdMl ... HehtYYFmhA

Download Scans (PNG files):
https://mega.nz/file/sx8z0Y5I#BQTna89YU ... gQPZw3hgOI
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Mobiethian »

That's so cool what you have there! Thank you for sharing it with the community!
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Spikenexus »

That's a really interesting find. I had always assumed Keen 6 being stand-alone and the publisher being FormGen instead of Apogee were all a part of the same decision, though the Keen 6 sell sheet suggests the stand-alone aspect was its own thing prior to FormGen becoming the publisher.

Also interesting that the sell sheet specifically places this game in between the Vorticons trilogy and Goodbye Galaxy. I'm not on a PC capable of checking at the moment, but is there any actual mention of Aliens being the sixth Keen game within the game itself (aside from any post-exit ordering screens)? If so I'd be curious where this demo positions the game (if at all).

The game seems widely accepted as Keen 6 at this point, or at the very least accepted as occurring after Goodbye Galaxy. But now I'm curious to know if there is actually anything in the game that specifically sets it after Goodbye Galaxy. Obviously things changed with the game after this sell sheet was produced, but it reads like it was written by Scott Miller, and he does not seem like the kind of person who would specifically mention a timeline placement only to then get it wrong.



Edit: Would seem I forgot about the Star Wars-style story crawl sequence in the game, which opens with "EPISODE SIX". So clearly intended as Keen 6 at the time of release, at least.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

This is very interesting. I would love to take a look at this, but Chrome doesn't like that "mega" site. Could somebody please re-upload the game files to another site? I'm not really all that interested in the raw image itself, i just want to take a look at the game files and maybe add support for this version in GalaxyView if it isn't supported yet.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Multimania »

Mirror (with files already installed / extracted): https://davidgow.net/stuff/keen6e-1.0-demo-apogee.zip

The game is distributed as a self-extracting ARJ archive, KEEN-ASP.EXE, last modified 29-Feb-1992 18:32.

In that archive are:

Code: Select all

ARJ32 v 3.10, Copyright (c) 1998-2004, ARJ Software Russia. [23 Jun 2005]

Processing archive: KEEN-ASP.EXE
Archive created: 1992-02-29 16:52:02
The Commander Keen Demo of Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter is now located on
drive [%c], in directory [%s].  To play this game, enter that directory,
then type "KEEN6E"
Sequence/Pathname/Comment/Chapters
Rev/Host OS    Original Compressed Ratio DateTime modified Attributes/GUA BPMGS
------------ ---------- ---------- ----- ----------------- -------------- -----
001) AUDIO.CK6
  3 MS-DOS        36914      29658 0.803 92-03-01 13:00:22                  1
002) EGAGRAPH.CK6
  3 MS-DOS       291833     208953 0.716 92-03-01 13:00:32                  1
003) GAMEMAPS.CK6
  3 MS-DOS        19095      13346 0.699 92-03-01 13:00:50                  1
004) KEEN6E.EXE
  3 MS-DOS        93005      88257 0.949 92-03-01 13:00:22                  1
005) KEENDEMO.DOC
  3 MS-DOS          953        562 0.590 92-03-01 13:00:48                  1
------------ ---------- ---------- -----
     5 files     441800     340776 0.771
Of these, AUDIO.CK6 and GAMEMAPS.CK6 are identical to the other Keen 6 v1.0 demo we have. EGAGRAPH is different (probably to account for the different ORDERSCREEN, which mentions Apogee). KEEN6E.EXE doesn't match K6DEMO.EXE either. I haven't looked in detail, but at the very least, some of data is in laid out in a different order.

But, at the very least, we know 1992 was a leap year from the last modified dates. :-)
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Litude »

Mobiethian wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 0:37 That's so cool what you have there! Thank you for sharing it with the community!
You are welcome!
Spikenexus wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:17 That's a really interesting find. I had always assumed Keen 6 being stand-alone and the publisher being FormGen instead of Apogee were all a part of the same decision, though the Keen 6 sell sheet suggests the stand-alone aspect was its own thing prior to FormGen becoming the publisher.
Splitting Keen 6 to a separate game happened at the same time the decision was made to publish the episode through FormGen. That is what is stated in the Masters of Doom book, anyway.
Spikenexus wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:17Also interesting that the sell sheet specifically places this game in between the Vorticons trilogy and Goodbye Galaxy. I'm not on a PC capable of checking at the moment, but is there any actual mention of Aliens being the sixth Keen game within the game itself (aside from any post-exit ordering screens)? If so I'd be curious where this demo positions the game (if at all).
The game seems widely accepted as Keen 6 at this point, or at the very least accepted as occurring after Goodbye Galaxy. But now I'm curious to know if there is actually anything in the game that specifically sets it after Goodbye Galaxy. Obviously things changed with the game after this sell sheet was produced, but it reads like it was written by Scott Miller, and he does not seem like the kind of person who would specifically mention a timeline placement only to then get it wrong.
Nice catch, I did not notice that difference! Must definitely be a case of this either being an earlier version of the story, or Scott Miller making a mistake. The alternate/later sheet that is available on the legacy 3D Realms website (check page 2) places it after Goodbye Galaxy as it is in the final game(s).
Multimania wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 12:54Of these, AUDIO.CK6 and GAMEMAPS.CK6 are identical to the other Keen 6 v1.0 demo we have. EGAGRAPH is different (probably to account for the different ORDERSCREEN, which mentions Apogee). KEEN6E.EXE doesn't match K6DEMO.EXE either. I haven't looked in detail, but at the very least, some of data is in laid out in a different order.
I would be surprised if there were any substantial differences, but you never know!
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by NY00123 »

Very nice, great to see another demo version unexpectedly being available to the public after all of this time. I do wonder how was that floppy disk so rare. Then again, the same might apply, e.g., to Keen Dreams versions.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Please allow me to ramble about what I think where the recently discovered Apogee Demo of Keen 6 fits into the timeline of the other releases. Here I go...

First, the obvious: The AUDIO.CK6 and GAMEMAPS.CK6 files are identical across all three known demo versions of Keen 6 (FormGen Demo, Apogee Demo, PSA Promo).

The not so obvious: The EGAGRAPH.CK6 file of the Apogee demo is almost identical to the FormGen demo, except for the exit screen and the flashing arrow graphics (chunks 16 and 17). The arrow graphics are not used in the demo, so this would have been impossible to figure out without extracting the images from the EGAGRAPH file. The PSA promo version uses the same flashing arrow graphics as the FormGen demo, but the PSA version uses slightly modified foreground tile images (the "DEMO" signs are labeled "????" in the PSA promo version) and all demos in the PSA promo version have been re-recorded.

Last year I started some in-depth research on the code differences of the various known versions of Keen 4-6. Based on my results, the evolution of the source code appears to have gone as follows:

1. Keen 4 Demo
2. Keen 6 FormGen Demo
3. Keen 6 v1.0
4. Keen 4 v1.0
5. Keen 4 v1.1
6. Keen 4 v1.2 + Keen 5 v1.0
7. Keen 4-6 v1.4
8. Keen 4-5 "v1.4" GT release / Keen 6 v1.5

Since the default high scores are defined in the shared engine code, one could assume that Keen 6 v1.5 would have used the same default high scores as the GT releases if it was built after those releases. But one could say almost the same about the new variable that's introduced but never used in the Keen 6 v1.5 code. I can't say for certain which of them evolved into the other, so they share the final stage.

All executables from the early Keen 4 Demo to Keen 4 v1.2 were built with the same optimization settings, which makes it relatively easy to compare the code and spot the differences. This also includes Keen 5 v1.0 to some degree. The only difference there is that Keen 5 v1.0 uses the "Duplicate strings merged" option to save some memory. The compiler version and the optimizations settings changed when v1.4 was built.

Fitting the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo into this is harder than it may seem. What I know for certain is this: The Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo were definitely compiled using the same compiler and optimization settings. I think they were compiled with Borland C++ 3.0 and linked with the Borland C++ 2.0 libraries (like Keen 4-6 v1.4 and later), but I might be wrong about that. The code definitely uses different optimizations settings than the other (earlier) executables. The ID Engine code is identical in both executables (if you ignore some minor alignment differences) and the game code is also very similar but not identical.

The minor differences between the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo tell me that the Apogee version is most likely older or was at least built from an earlier codebase (CK_*.C and K6_*.C source files) than the PSA Promo. For example, the PSA Promo has the same position-changing behavior for Keen pulling himself up on a ledge (T_PullUp1 to T_PullUp3 in my reconstructed source) that is first seen in Keen 4 v1.2 and Keen 5 v1.0 and is missing in all earlier versions (Keen 4 Demo, Keen 6 FormGen Demo, Keen 6 v1.0, Keen 4 v1.0, Keen 4 v1.1, Keen 6 Apogee Demo).

Another interesting discovery in the code of the Apogee Demo is that it has the E+N+D cheat, which is present in Keen 6 v1.0 but is missing in the FormGen Demo and the PSA Promo. Granted, the E+N+D cheat doesn't actually win the game in the Apogee Demo, it just restarts the current level. Maybe that code was disabled/deleted in the PSA Promo because it didn't do anything useful.

This is where the anachronisms start to show. The implementation of the SizeText function (the very first routine in the first C file of each Keen 4-6 project) has a minor bug in the older builds. The old code only sets the height value to 0 at the beginning of the code, but not the width value. This was fixed in v1.4 and is also fixed in both the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo. But if the Apogee Demo lacks some of the features that were introduced in Keen 4 v1.2 and Keen 5 v1.0, then why is that bug fixed in the Apogee Demo and not in those other releases? Did they remove that bugfix because it didn't solve the problem (the width value would still be calculated incorrectly, see the comments in my source) only to re-add it in later builds (still not fully solving the problem)?

Or were they working with several different copies of the source files for each project?

I suspect the later might be true. Because the PSA Promo definitely has some of the new Keen 4 v1.2 / Keen 5 v1.0 code in it, but it still lacks some features that Keen 4 v1.0 added to the code. One example is that Keen 4 v1.0 will re-load the names of the saved games when entering the Load/Save menus if the environment variable "UID" is set. This feature is missing in Keen 6 v1.0 and all the Demo and Promo versions of Keen 4 and 6, but it is present in all full versions of Keen 4 and Keen 5. Another example is the B+A+T cheat, which is present in all full versions of Keen 4 and 5 but missing in Keen 6 v1.0 and all the demo versions. The ID Engine code in the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo is definitely older than the v1.4 code and is much closer (if not identical) to the code found in the old FormGen Demo and Keen 6 v1.0.

But on the other hand, the Apogee Demo adjusts the midx value in the MoveObjHoriz function, which the PSA Promo doesn't do, despite being based on a later version of the code in other places. The only executables that have this midx adjustment are the Apogee Demo and versions 1.4 and 1.5 of Keen 6. In fact, the whole CK_STATE code segment of the Apogee Demo appears to be identical to the respective Keen 6 v1.4 code segment.

According to the time stamps in my collection of Keen game versions, Keen 6 v1.4 was last modified 1992-02-12. If that date is correct and the dates of the Apogee Demo files can be trusted, then the Apogee Demo of Keen 6 was put together shortly after Keen 6 v1.4 was built, i.e. after they upgraded to Borland C++ 3.0. In combination with the assumption that some source code files were mixed and matched, this would explain why the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo don't really fit into the evolution of the code base.

I mentioned earlier that the flashing arrow graphics in the Apogee Demo differ from the FormGen Demo of Keen 6. They have a light gray background color in the FormGen Demo and a dark red background in the Apogee Demo. That would definitely put the Apogee Demo after Keen 4 v1.1, because Keen 4 v1.2 and Keen 5 v1.0 is where the background color for the help and ending texts was changed from light gray to dark red.

The PSA Promo reverted to the flashing arrow images with dark gray background, even though it was (at least in part) build from a later revision of the code base. It wasn't a problem in that Promo version though, because the graphics weren't used anyway. The full Keen 6 v1.4 also used the images with the dark gray background, except that game actually had the text display code for the finale and that code was now using the dark red background color, so the flashing arrow images didn't match the background anymore. Version 1.5 fixed that problem.

- - - -

Differences between the maps in the Keen 6 demos and the full version 1.0 (in case these weren't already documented elsewhere):

Bloogwaters Crossing:
Cloud tiles (background) have been erased from the border area in the demos. Foreground and Info plane are the same as in the full version.

Guard Post 1:
The demo versions have a fore tile at X=9, Y=35 (slope near the door that takes you to the sodas).
The stationary platform above the spike pit is 1 tile further to the left in the demos, slightly overlapping with the up & down moving platform.
GalaxyView tells me that the background layers are not identical either, but I could not spot the difference.

Bloogton Mfg.
The Bloogard at X=44, Y=59 is always present in the demo versions, the full version only spawns it on normal difficulty and above.
Two popsicles have been moved from Y=49 in the demos to Y=51 in the full game.
The demo versions have a tile platform below the stunner at X=31, Y=67.
The full game has two additional static platforms at the top of the level (easy difficulty only).

BWB Megarocket:
The Bobba is not present in the demo. There is no code for that enemy in the demo versions, nor are there any sprites for it.
All the background tiles in the invisible section on the right have been removed.

HighScores:
The Orbatrix (full game) has been replaced with a red Blooglet (demos). There is no code for the Orbatrix in the demo, nor are there any sprites for it.
The screws in the background are arranged differently.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Litude »

Spikenexus wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:17 Also interesting that the sell sheet specifically places this game in between the Vorticons trilogy and Goodbye Galaxy. I'm not on a PC capable of checking at the moment, but is there any actual mention of Aliens being the sixth Keen game within the game itself (aside from any post-exit ordering screens)? If so I'd be curious where this demo positions the game (if at all).
Come to think of it, since Keen Aliens was released before Keen Galaxy it does make sense that it was at some point supposed to take place before Galaxy in the timeline.
K1n9_Duk3 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 15:58 Please allow me to ramble about what I think where the recently discovered Apogee Demo of Keen 6 fits into the timeline of the other releases. Here I go...
That is some pretty awesome research you have done! Have you documented the code changes between the Keen versions somewhere? Would be very interesting to know what was actually changed.
K1n9_Duk3 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 15:58According to the time stamps in my collection of Keen game versions, Keen 6 v1.4 was last modified 1992-02-12. If that date is correct and the dates of the Apogee Demo files can be trusted, then the Apogee Demo of Keen 6 was put together shortly after Keen 6 v1.4 was built, i.e. after they upgraded to Borland C++ 3.0. In combination with the assumption that some source code files were mixed and matched, this would explain why the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo don't really fit into the evolution of the code base.
Generally, you can never trust the modify dates of Apogee game files. However, older installers sometimes have their modify dates intact (or in the case of ARJSFX installers the bundled ARJ file seems to always have its modify date intact). This demo is a good example, the installer has been created 1992-02-29 but the files are dated 1992-03-01 which does not make sense. Game file modify dates of Apogee games have pretty much always been modified by hand to give them a nice looking date (usually so that they are the 1st of a month or some other nice looking number at 1:00 PM).
K1n9_Duk3 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 15:58I suspect the later might be true. Because the PSA Promo definitely has some of the new Keen 4 v1.2 / Keen 5 v1.0 code in it, but it still lacks some features that Keen 4 v1.0 added to the code. One example is that Keen 4 v1.0 will re-load the names of the saved games when entering the Load/Save menus if the environment variable "UID" is set. This feature is missing in Keen 6 v1.0 and all the Demo and Promo versions of Keen 4 and 6, but it is present in all full versions of Keen 4 and Keen 5. Another example is the B+A+T cheat, which is present in all full versions of Keen 4 and 5 but missing in Keen 6 v1.0 and all the demo versions. The ID Engine code in the Apogee Demo and the PSA Promo is definitely older than the v1.4 code and is much closer (if not identical) to the code found in the old FormGen Demo and Keen 6 v1.0.
Interesting. Perhaps the original Keen 6 demo was not created by using compile time macros but they created a copy of the codebase and then simply modified the code and therefore were forced to manually update whatever code they thought was worth updating? Strange that the PSA and Apogee demos seem to have different parts updated though.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Quillax »

Wow, this is neat! Great find, Litude! I never knew that Apogee distributed Keen 6 at one point! I just added the Apogee Demo Version to the Keen 6 Versions article on KeenWiki. No download link is included; if someone could please host a .ZIP file with just the game files, then I'd gladly link to it! :) Also, K1n9_Duke3, your research is fantastic as usual!

From what I can find, it seems to be the same as the FormGen demo version, with a few differences: The exit screen tells the user to order from Apogee, the .EXE file is called "KEEN6E.EXE" instead of "K6DEMO.EXE", and the demos are slightly different. In said demos, Keen's movements seem to be about the same, but somehow the creatures appear to move a bit differently, which throws Keen off. Were the demos rerecorded, or was there something that affected the creature behaviors? Here's a list of what changed in each demo:
  • In Bloogwaters Crossing, Keen's shots miss the red Blooglet
  • In Guard Post One, Keen couldn't reach the four Ice Cream Bars by that one red Blooglet; Keen's position on the Goplat near the end is slightly different
  • High Scores seems about the same
  • In Bloogton Manufacturing, Keen gets killed by the Blooguard that's near to the red gem
Also, the .DOC file included is renamed from "K6DEMO.DOC" to "KEENDEMO.DOC" and the contents are completely different, but KeenWiki doesn't seem to ever note that sort of stuff.
Spikenexus wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:17 The game seems widely accepted as Keen 6 at this point, or at the very least accepted as occurring after Goodbye Galaxy. But now I'm curious to know if there is actually anything in the game that specifically sets it after Goodbye Galaxy. Obviously things changed with the game after this sell sheet was produced, but it reads like it was written by Scott Miller, and he does not seem like the kind of person who would specifically mention a timeline placement only to then get it wrong.
Aside from the Star Wars-style scrolling text you mentioned, there seems to be absolutely nothing in-game that suggests that Keen 6 takes place after Goodbye Galaxy. In fact, in said text, it mentions that Keen is working on his new wrist computer. The manual specifically states that it's his "new ComputerWrist wrist computer". This could be a leftover from a possible earlier version of the story where Keen 6 is set before Goodbye Galaxy. Or maybe the "new wrist computer" is just a successor to his existing ComputerWrist? Or perhaps the ComputerWrist we've used was a beta all along?

monochameleon made a thread about this nearly two years ago. In particular, there's an interesting theory that Keen 6 might actually be an alternate timeline version of Goodbye Galaxy, due to how they were distributed separately. Also, there's a neat theory by proYorp, which tackles the episode order for a bit.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

As I wrote earlier, the data in the EGAGRAPH file of the Keen 6 Apogee Demo is mostly identical to the FormGen Demo, except for the three chunks I mentioned (exit screen and the two flashing arrow images). The recorded demos are also part of that file, so the demo data in the Apogee Demo is identical to the FormGen Demo. The demos might be played back differently due to some code changes. I already mentioned that the CK_STATE code in the Apogee Demo is identical to the code found in Keen 6 v1.4. The Keen 6 FormGen Demo on the other hand basically uses the same implementation as the Keen 4 Demo, except for the obvious episode-specific code in FullClipToWalls(), StunObj() and R_Stunned(). There were definitely some changes in that code between these versions and that might be what causes the demo to be played back differently.

The changes include the following:
  • PlayerBottomKludge() and PlayerTopKludge() don't check for blocking east/west walls in the early Keen 4 Demo version. This was changed before the full versions of Keen 6 1.0 and Keen 4 1.0 were released.
  • R_Walk() subtracted 2*xmove when the actor tried to walk onto thin air in the early Keen 4 Demo. Starting with Keen 4 v1.2 and Keen 5 v1.0, R_Walk() only subtracts xmove in that case.
  • MoveObjHoriz() didn't adjust the midx value in any of the earlier versions, that change can only be found in Keen 6 1.4, Keen 6 1.5 and the Keen 6 Apogee Demo.
  • ClipToWalls() also has some additional code that can only be found in Keen 6 1.4, Keen 6 1.5 and the Keen 6 Apogee Demo. That code is responsible for adjusting Keen's position when he ran into a wall while walking on a slope.
I guess the change in R_Walk() is responsible for the demo data being played back differently. The new code in ClipToWalls() is never executed during the demo playback. Only the levels 6, 7 and 8 in Keen 6 have any slope tiles that lead directly into a wall and level 6 (Bloogton Mfg.) is the only one of them that's present in the Demo versions of Keen 6. There were some slopes that lead up to walls in the top section of Bloogton Mfg., but Keen doesn't get anywhere near them in the demo recording.

On a somewhat related note, I must have gotten confused when comparing the demo version of Guard Post 1 with the one from the full v1.0 release. It's the map from the demo version that is missing the foreground tile at X=9, Y=35, not the one from the full version.
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by jmfmagnum »

An interesting find :begging will fire dosbox now
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Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by NY00123 »

That has surely been a thorough analysis of how do various versions differ! You clearly have much more knowledge on the topic than me.
K1n9_Duk3 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 15:58Last year I started some in-depth research on the code differences of the various known versions of Keen 4-6. Based on my results, the evolution of the source code appears to have gone as follows:

1. Keen 4 Demo
2. Keen 6 FormGen Demo
3. Keen 6 v1.0
4. Keen 4 v1.0
5. Keen 4 v1.1
6. Keen 4 v1.2 + Keen 5 v1.0
7. Keen 4-6 v1.4
8. Keen 4-5 "v1.4" GT release / Keen 6 v1.5
That was more-or-less my guess for the timeline of releases years ago, and it still remains so today. I've been reminded of writing about this beforehand - actually about 9 years ago - here's a link to the post of mine, covering differing Keen 4-6 versions, and also Catacomb 3-D where relevant. It may take some time to read: viewtopic.php?p=74306#p74306

Note that any version of Catacomb 3-D later than v1.00 was probably not released by id Software, but I confirm that v1.22 isn't very different from 1.00. A few differences I recall are having the names "Grelminar" and "Nemesis" swapped (that might possibly be related to the Adventure Series), a bit different revision of the title screen and the omission of the textual intro screen adapted from Keen 4-6.

Later in the same thread, there was also this post (viewtopic.php?p=74795#p74795):
Levack wrote: Sun Mar 29, 2015 19:51 Keen 6 v1.0 and the keen 4 demo have the same climb clipping error:

If Keen gets knocked off of a pole he will stand in the air when he tries to grab and pull up on a ledge.
Without getting into all details from my 2015-era post, here are a few examples that I can mention:
- In versions preceding Keen 4 v1.0 (Keen 4 Special Demo, Keen 6 v1.0 and Keen 6 FormGen Demo), you're immediately taken to the control panel / menu if you press on a key during the introduction. In later versions, along with Keen 6's Promotional Release, the title screen is shown after such a key press.
- Again in the versions preceding Keen 4 v1.0, debug keys are immediately active, without the need to use, e.g., the A+2+Enter combo. This also holds to the Promotional Release of Keen 6.
- You may find different behaviors of the F10+P key combo and the PicturePause function. More details are in my post from 2015. Regarding the behaviors in Keen 6 v1.5, the code should theoretically be the same as in v1.4. However, due to using different compilation options and the lack of the "volatile" qualifier on a variable tracking last pressed key's scancode, a loop intended to repeatedly check the scancode in question was optimized to re-read the value as written to a register before the loop. As a consequence, most chances are you'd end with a hang of the game.

I don't know enough to say if Keen 6 v1.5 was released before or after the GT version of 4-5, with the timestamps mentioned in my old post providing a mere guess. Chances are each of them was prepared separately. I do recall v1.5 to use compiler settings (optimizations) differing from v1.4 in general, as evidenced by v1.5's bug with F10+P.

Also, my conclusion from the time was that the Promotional Release of Keen 6 was technically made as a separate branch of development. It could be based on Keen 6 v1.0 (or the FormGen Demo) with backports from a later version. It could also be the opposite, i.e., a later version with the Keen 6 specific code being backported from the FormGen Demo. Maybe, a later revision of the code was used with an older Keen 6 demo project file as a base. These are mainly guesses, of course.
monochameleon
Grunt
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:57

Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by monochameleon »

This is really interesting! The sell sheet particularly interests me, because a while ago I posited in a thread here that 6 could slot between 3 and 4 or play out as an alternate story to Goodbye Galaxy, and it appears that the former was originally the plan. Anyway, always great to see more Keen info archived!
Litude
Vortininja
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 20:57
Location: Finland

Re: Keen 6 Apogee Demo Version

Post by Litude »

NY00123 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:53That was more-or-less my guess for the timeline of releases years ago, and it still remains so today. I've been reminded of writing about this beforehand - actually about 9 years ago - here's a link to the post of mine, covering differing Keen 4-6 versions, and also Catacomb 3-D where relevant. It may take some time to read: viewtopic.php?p=74306#p74306
That is quite the analysis, I have certainly missed that. Thank you for that. Perhaps all these small tidbits that are scattered across forum posts will find their way to the KeenWiki someday.

By the way, it looks like Scott Miller tweeted all three images I shared in the original post. Does Scott read PCKF? :O
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