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 PostPost subject: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans        Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:44 pm 
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While collecting material for my Blizzard archive, I found some alpha pics of Warcraft 1.
I categorized them and found some different versions:

I have no idea which version
Image Image

Alpha Stage 1
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Alpha Stage 1.5
Image

Alpha Stage 2
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Alpha Stage 3
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Stone Version
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Image Image

Image Image

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No Stone (There are resource icons if you look closely)
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Almost Final
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Image Image

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Image Image

Image Image

Image


Last edited by Hallfiry on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:48 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:26 am 
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Holy crap I have that game final in here, I loved playing that, good times.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:03 am 
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Whoa, all of that looks incredibly impressive! Pray tell, where'd you get those shots?

Oh, and on a somewhat related note, are you familiar with these Warcraft II screenshots (also featured here)? They look like they're taken from the alpha version (the one that was leaked), except for the Human unit icons, and also the Pig Farm has a different roof. This one looks fake though - the ship "sprites" are obviously made from pre-rendered 3D models found on the same page.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:31 am 
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I know scrolls of lore and I got some of the screenshots from cd.textfiles ;)

Some screens are from Warcraft 1 reviews.

The alpha didn't leak directly. It was marked as "alpha for magazine preview only" and magazines thought it would be a demo that they could publish, so some magazines had it on their cds. Diablo had such an alpha, too, but I think they labeled it better and it didn't leak. I am not speaking of the prdemo that later became alpha 4.

There also was a half german version of the Warcraft 2 alpha, as this screenshot proves:
Image
(The resource bar reads GOLD HOLZ ERZ ÖL instead of GOLD LUMBER ORE OIL)
I guess Roger Stornfels had it or someone from the german marketing guys of.... Sierra(?), Bomico(?) something like that.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:40 am 
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Hallfiry wrote:
I know scrolls of lore and I got some of the screenshots from cd.textfiles ;)

Some screens are from Warcraft 1 reviews.

The alpha didn't leak directly. It was marked as "alpha for magazine preview only" and magazines thought it would be a demo that they could publish, so some magazines had it on their cds.


I'd appreciate an example. Better yet, I'd appreciate the alpha itself.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:08 pm 
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It's available from numerous places, including Hallfiry's own website. Also, this guy claims he has an official permission by Blizzard to host the alpha, although I kind of doubt it. The alpha itself on that site is a corrupt version, as the briefing voice-overs (yeah, there are voice-overs for briefings in the alpha, while none can be found in the official shareware version) were accidentally replaced by the Pig Farm sound. The original alpha files contain all mission briefing voice-overs from the CD version of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans for some reason, and someone seems to have decided to reduce the alpha size by replacing those sound files with the Pig Farm sound - and the new briefing voice-overs actually used in the alpha got replaced too, since they're in the same resource archive.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:12 pm 
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I meant the Warcraft ONE alpha... I saw a demo on Hallfiry's website, is it the one? :)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Delacroix wrote:
I meant the Warcraft ONE alpha... I saw a demo on Hallfiry's website, is it the one? :)


As far as I know, there was no Warcraft I Alpha released, but the first demo is dated to October 6th 1994, which is still some weeks pre-gold, I think. (I will upload it soon, hopefully)


Last edited by Hallfiry on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Hallfiry wrote:
the first demo is dated to October 6th 1994, which is still some weeks pre-gold, I think. (I will upload it soon, hopefully)

Wait, you mean there was a pre-release demo version of Warcraft? Cool, didn't know that ^_^ I thought there was only one demo version, the one which can be found anywhere on the net now; IIRC it says v1.12 or something either when you load it or when you quit it.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Actually I don't want to spoiler too much, since I'm writing a comprehensive company history of Blizzard, but I recently found some original Warcraft 1 sound files with their old timestamps:
(all dates are 1994)
-axe sounds are dated to June 21st
-sword and catapult sounds were finished on September 23rd
-Buildings, units and some generic mission sounds are from September 27th to 29th
-Some more voice recordings and misc/unit sounds are from October 4th to 14th


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Nice! And it's a great thing you're doing all this research. I remember hunting for Starcraft pre-release screenshots (and other stuff, but not much cropped up anyway) throughout the net somewhere in mid-2000s ^_^ There are several sites with those screens, but none of them seem to have the complete collection (oh, and I hate how some sites like to watermark screenshots with their logo, often ruining quality if the image is in JPEG format). One great find was a wepbage at Geocities with a few very rare screenshots thrown in among some rather regular screenies from the final release.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Actually I'm working on galleries for Starcraft and Diablo 2.

There was once a Diablo 2 gallery, but the website is down now. It was diablo2-evolution.com or so, I think.
The Admin of that site can't be contacted anymore. (Don't want to explain it...)

This website has a great deal of starcraft alpha material:
http://home.planet.nl/~aggel005/alphabeta/


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Hallfiry wrote:
This website has a great deal of starcraft alpha material:
http://home.planet.nl/~aggel005/alphabeta/

Yup, I know that one, it's probably one of the most comprehensive sources, and has quite a few rare screenies :)


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:04 pm 
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MrFlibble wrote:
Yup, I know that one, it's probably one of the most comprehensive sources, and has quite a few rare screenies :)


Comprehensive, yes. But unfortunately not ordered very well :(
From what I see, he should have maybe 10 different versions (with more creative names...) and could give them more exact dates. Also facts are missing like the announcement and so on. But as always he seems to know more than Blizzard and so it's ok.
But still the website is great and very essential for my research, as it already provides a great deal of screenshots. (That I will hopefully be able to extend)

Back to Warcraft 1:
Does anybody have the self running demo from Summer CES 1994 with voice over from Bill Roper?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:57 am 
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Hallfiry wrote:
Back to Warcraft 1:
Does anybody have the self running demo from Summer CES 1994 with voice over from Bill Roper?

Was it publicly available anyhwere?

Hallfiry wrote:
the first demo is dated to October 6th 1994, which is still some weeks pre-gold, I think. (I will upload it soon, hopefully)

Is this the early demo you're talking about?
http://cd.textfiles.com/sprintos6/GAMEDEMO/LZ/WARCRAFT.ZIP


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:08 am 
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MrFlibble wrote:
Hallfiry wrote:
Back to Warcraft 1:
Does anybody have the self running demo from Summer CES 1994 with voice over from Bill Roper?

Was it publicly available anyhwere?

I have no idea. But for example the E3 2000 Warcraft III gameplay trailer sort of "leaked", too. So maybe they gave the self running demo to some magazines as trailer, who knows?

MrFlibble wrote:
Hallfiry wrote:
the first demo is dated to October 6th 1994, which is still some weeks pre-gold, I think. (I will upload it soon, hopefully)

Is this the early demo you're talking about?
http://cd.textfiles.com/sprintos6/GAMEDEMO/LZ/WARCRAFT.ZIP

Yep, exactly this demo.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Checked out the pre-release demo. I actually like the Human Barracks image more than the final version - I wonder why they changed that. Human unit speech isn't as good though.

[Edit] BTW, just noticed something. Take a look at this snapshot of the back of Warcraft box at MobyGames. The trees in the swamp tiles set appear to be... purple? :o


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:51 am 
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MrFlibble wrote:
Checked out the pre-release demo. I actually like the Human Barracks image more than the final version - I wonder why they changed that. Human unit speech isn't as good though.

I didn't know that there actually such differences.
EDIT: I can't see the difference oO

MrFlibble wrote:
[Edit] BTW, just noticed something. Take a look at this snapshot of the back of Warcraft box at MobyGames. The trees in the swamp tiles set appear to be... purple? :o

I noticed that shot, but actually the first thing I saw, were the different resource icons :D


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Hallfiry wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:
Checked out the pre-release demo. I actually like the Human Barracks image more than the final version - I wonder why they changed that. Human unit speech isn't as good though.

I didn't know that there actually such differences.
EDIT: I can't see the difference oO

Here you go:
Image
Human Barracks in the demo v1.12

Image
Human Barracks in the pre-release demo. This version, with the open courtyard, actually resembles more the design of the Barracks in Warcraft II.

Other differences include higher cost of spell research, and also spells are researched one after another, similar to different levels of weapon or armour upgrades. For example, you first research Healing for the Cleric, and only then you get to research Holy Vision. The button always says "Research new spell".

Cheat codes seem to not have been implemented at this stage of development as well.

BTW (slightly off-topic), do you know that there are at least two versions of the Warcraft II shareware? One is called BETA v1.02, while the other just v1.20. Both can be found here. There are few differences between them though, at least resource-wise: I think the only different thing is a couple of in-game fonts that are used in the built-in slideshow preview section of the demo.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Thanks for the screens. :)


I found out why I couldn't see the differences:

There are two prerelease demos, one dated to
October 4th and one from
October 6th.

I have both, but tried the wrong one (and didn't see they were different at all) :D

EDIT:
Evolution of Warcraft Human Barracks (ignoring warcraft adventures):
Image

EDIT2:
Found something else, typical for Blizzard demos of that time. There is no copyright text:
(left demo, right retail)
ImageImage


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Will you put both pre-release demos on your site? BTW, do you know how exactly were they distributed? Did Blizzard have its own FTP site or exclusive BBS back then?

Oh, and were there any official preview screenshot packages of Warcraft that were distributed electronically? If yes, could you perhaps link to some or upload them to your site (in the original form - I assume some of the screenshots in this thread come from such packages, right?)?

[Edit] Litude at RGB Classic Games Forums has listed three pre-release demo verisons of Warcraft (all released before the demo v1.12) he had managed to find:
Litude wrote:
Blizzard Entertainment
Found a few different demo versions of this game, thanks go to MrFibble for bringing this game up. Sadly none of the demo versions display a version number except for the one already present on the website (which is 1.12) so sorting them by modify dates is the only way to go. Also the last one is pre-installed so the modify dates are not necessarily accurate (since the custom Warcraft installer does not keep modify dates when installing).
Demo Version 10/04/94 - Installer
Demo Version 10/06/94 - Installer
Demo Version 10/24/94(?) - Files


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:37 pm 
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MrFlibble wrote:
Will you put both pre-release demos on your site? BTW, do you know how exactly were they distributed? Did Blizzard have its own FTP site or exclusive BBS back then?

Blizzard planned to have an FTP in late 1995 and I guess they had it since then. They had a media contact mail where you could ask for information and press kits of some sort and then Susan Wooley sent you some stuff and possibly talked a bit with you.
In france it seems like Ubisoft distributed blizzard press material, considering the diablo prerelease demo in its original form, which only appeared there.
Screenshots were normally pcx files, sometimes converted to gif.
A Warcraft demo on floppy could be ordered directly from blizzard via phone.

MrFlibble wrote:
Oh, and were there any official preview screenshot packages of Warcraft that were distributed electronically? If yes, could you perhaps link to some or upload them to your site (in the original form - I assume some of the screenshots in this thread come from such packages, right?)?

When thinking of the diablo screenshot and render dispersion (Observed from ~50 articles), I'd say, they had a folder with screenshots. During the production they filled it with more and more screens and sometimes they made fake shots and replaced the old versions (or just cropped screens). When a magazines asked for info and screens, they took some random shots and sent them.
It seems like smaller, online magazines didn't get screens or were afraid to ask, most of them only had the website screenshots.

Warcraft screens from all stages of the development were sent to magazines when they asked for them for making reviews. In 1994 blizzard tried to send only new shots. (or at least some shots that give a feel how a session plays -> stone shots)

This is the original article were I got some of the screens:
http://cd.textfiles.com/ie/ie05/ARTICLES/WARC/
The time stamps are worthless. The article doesn't mention stone.

The other screens were from the official website, the backside of the game box and a review in Computer Player March 1995. Some of old screenshots were also in Power Play 1/95.


----

And ofc I will upload everything to my website. Some day....

----

EDIT:
Also I remember, that you could send messages to the developers. I have no idea how it worked. There were sort of channel names that you should use, but I didn't investigate further...


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Hallfiry wrote:
This is the original article were I got some of the screens:
http://cd.textfiles.com/ie/ie05/ARTICLES/WARC/
The time stamps are worthless. The article doesn't mention stone.

Ooh, thankies for the link :mrgreen:

What's a little bit disappointing about the Warcraft demo is that they went so cheap on music. I don't think adding the main menu, briefing, win and lose themes, and at least one more in-game theme for each faction would have increased the distribution size by much. Also, they could have included the intro, kind of like in the Warcraft II demo (that would make the demo larger, but some companies would offer demo cinematics and such as separate downloads).

[Edit] BTW, I just realized that the screenshots of the "Stone version" show no roads in the player's base.

Oh, and I also wonder what that Troll-like unit (with long hair and large nose) could be. Were they planning Trolls and Ogres as part of the Orcish army in the first game already?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:26 pm 
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MrFlibble wrote:
What's a little bit disappointing about the Warcraft demo is that they went so cheap on music. I don't think adding the main menu, briefing, win and lose themes, and at least one more in-game theme for each faction would have increased the distribution size by much. Also, they could have included the intro, kind of like in the Warcraft II demo (that would make the demo larger, but some companies would offer demo cinematics and such as separate downloads).

Ppphhhhhh.... I'm not sure, but possibly the music wasn't ready at this time (or didn't make it to the programmers, yet). In 2000, Bill Roper said, he composed the music for the Dos version of Blackthorne, because the original composer was occupied with Warcraft I (maybe it was Glenn Stafford...). In 2001, Andrea Pessino wrote, that the actual music rendering and stuff, are always done very very late in the production.

MrFlibble wrote:
[Edit] BTW, I just realized that the screenshots of the "Stone version" show no roads in the player's base.

Thanks, didn't see that one :mrgreen:
Maybe it was deactivated for testing, just like they deactivated resources in Warcraft III alphas at E3 and ECTS many years later.

MrFlibble wrote:
Oh, and I also wonder what that Troll-like unit (with long hair and large nose) could be. Were they planning Trolls and Ogres as part of the Orcish army in the first game already?

It seems like they were planned, yes. But possibly it was just for testing. The first screenshot for example is obviously not ingame or at least very very complicated to explain. All units face the same direction and units of the same type are in exactly the same frame, also the minimap is from another screenshot. So I guess the units were more or less only for testing and not that much about actual race content.



Little Update:
On October 5th 1994 Ron Millar posted this on usenet:
Quote:
If you want to play a really cool, real time, fantasy strategy game with
rad gameplay, graphics and sound, then call 4next bbs(714)5594669
and download the latest Demo version titled WARCRAFT.ZIP in the games
lib.

All I can say is you will be happy...

The game is slated for release in November and will be modem and
network playable aswell as a fully enjoyable 1 player game.

Cya

Ron Millar
Blizzard Entertainment


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 PostPost subject: Re: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans - Alpha Screenshots        Posted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Sorry that I have to bump this thread.

I replaced the poor scan of the purple trees shot with a digital version.


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