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Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:05 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Some of you have already seen this topic on BetaArchive, so I've decided to move it here as there doesn't appear to be much interest in it there (and I've also regained access to this account so now I can actually post here).

Anyways, here's the link to my OneDrive folder with all the gathered screenshots:
*here*
I suggest you don't link to individual images in that folder, as the links may break when I update the collection. Instead, link to the entire folder or upload the image you want elsewhere and link to that.

These were found on various sites (gaming news, fan sites such as this one, etc.). As mentioned in the original topic, I've decided to keep the best versions of screenshots, meaning higher resolution, better JPEG quality, smaller or no watermarks, etc. I've excluded screenshots for which I am unable to estimate their date and can't find any notable differences compared to the final version of the game. Some sites mix beta and final screenshots together and then you sometimes can't tell what's what… The missions were largely done by summer of 2002 and so was the on-foot HUD, meaning that Tommy walking around at the airport doesn't give anything away that says "Beta!". The vehicle HUD, on the other hand, was not finalized yet, so those can easily be identified as pre-release screenshots.

If you have any suggestions or complaints, let me know. I'll be doing a bit of an overview of most of these screenshots to point out interesting things and notable differences compared to the final game.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:21 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

I sorted out the URL tag in your post. Wink

So many pre-release pictures there; it'll
take me some time to study them carefully

Welcome to Mafia Scene. Very happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:08 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Yeah, there's Quite a lot of them and also more remain to be found. I've only been able to find thumbnails for some, but reverse image search doesn't find any matches.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Just for information's sake, here's a couple of Alpha-related posts I made regarding some of the screenshots not so long ago Smile

AsaSK wrote:


Just about everybody with an interest in Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven will have seen the famous 'gangster' promotional shot. This picture, showing a mobster wielding a Thompson 1928, was created and released to gaming sites back in the year 2000. As is the case with pre-rendered game media to this day, the visual quality is notably higher than any screenshot of the final game. This detailed scene was constructed solely for this one image, and would never actually have to (or be able to) run on a domestic PC. The high-poly models, high-resolution textures and high-definition lighting on display were far beyond the graphical capabilities of the LS3D engine, and would most likely have choked any consumer PC back then, anyway. Dan Vavra cited in multiple interviews at the time that one of the main problems facing Mafia's production was optimisation, as the city was so big that even on the (then newly created) LS3D engine they were struggling to preserve quality without experiencing poor framerates (Lost Heaven was redesigned three times in an attempt to remedy this). On the other hand, modelling packages were capable of rendering beautiful-looking scenes even as far back as 1995 (thanks Mr. Rob!), so the above picture was almost certainly created & rendered in 3DS Max (Illusion Softworks' package of choice).


The foreground


Figure 1: The mobster, main focus of the image.

Particular attention has been paid to the quality of the mobster's face, clothes, Tommy Gun and rigged pose (see fig. 1). His model possesses the level of detail similar to the cutscene models of the final game, and the quality of the fedora and Thompson is even higher than that. The lighting on his face and gun in particular has been carefully rendered with shadows. The textures of his coat and hat do not appear in the final game, but the suit underneath appears identical to Tommy's. By the time the second press image was released a year later, this generic mobster had been replaced by one whose face is a little more familiar (see fig. 2).


Figure 2: Another pre-rendered promotional image, released in 2001.


The middle ground


Figure 3: The apartments & parked blue car.

Behind the man sits an alpha version of the blue Falconer, as well as some buildings (see fig. 3). At this stage in development, it was not known whether it would be possible to purchase the rights to the real names of the game's many cars. The Falconer itself casts a shadow onto the road, which has no other shadows or baked lightmaps. The nearest building, in front of which are some boxes (bednka01.4ds), is a custom model not found in the final game itself (though it is similar to 'newdum1.4ds'). The bottom portion is textured with 'vyloh27.bmp' and the top portion is a modified version of '%nd6fas.bmp', notably redder and with windows that were later taken out and replaced with holes. The other building is 'newdum4.4ds' and, judging by its scale, the building beside that is probably 'newdum5.4ds' ('made 3D' with a custom model comprised of the textures 'rimsach.bmp' & '@zade04b.bmp'). All of these textures are noticeably higher-resolution than their final-game counterparts, and would have been scaled down for the sake of performance and space (even with the lower-res textures in the final release, Mafia still shipped on three CDs and the texture archive 'A6.dta' was still one of the largest parts of the installation).


The background


Figure 4: The large buildings, clearly visible in the distance.

In the background (see fig. 4), the well-known Central Island/Downtown landmarks '4build121.4ds' & '9mrak1.4ds' can be seen. The first one differs from the final version, having a different texture and larger 'staggered' sections lower down the building. The second one also has a different texture, but its shape appears to have remained the same. The two buildings also appear to be a similar size, suggesting that one model was scaled up or the other scaled down for the purpose of this scene. The sky behind them is a rather pretty evening sky, not used in the final game. There is also an unidentifiable distant building at the end of the street, conveniently filling the gap between the man's arm and the edge of the image on the right, difficult to identify but possibly using the texture '%hofas.bmp' or '5okna29.bmp'.


Similarity to the tutorial

Because of the proximity of these buildings (both to the player and one another), this scene bares a striking resemblance to the tutorial level. I have wondered whether the single-street model created specifically for rigging this picture actually became the Tutorial. As mentioned earlier, the middle ground buildings are models named 'newdumxx' ('dum' being Czech for 'house'), while in the tutorial of the final release the buildings seen in front of the skyscrapers are models named 'dumxx'. I suspect that the 'newdum' models were new buildings created specifically for this image, and that Hoboken was originally made up of 'dum' models (hereon referred to as 'olddum' models) (see fig. 5). Then, it was later decided that these didn't work so well, and so they were swapped with the 'newdum' buildings of the scene that then became a small tutorial level.


Figure 5: Two isolated 'dum' models for comparison: an 'olddum' building on the left and a 'newdum' building on the right.

Additionally, not only is most of Hoboken 'newdum' buildings, but most of the tutorial level is 'olddum' buildings, as if they were swapped. By the time the game had reached beta in 2001, the tutorial was laid out as we know it today (see fig. 6).



Figure 6: A comparison of two beta screenshots from the tutorial with the same locations seen in the final release of the game.

There's no doubt that Mafia was well ahead of its time, and it's disappointing to imagine how many higher-quality models and textures might have survived if better PCs and greater-capacity storage media had existed fifteen years ago. However, despite the necessary evils of texture compression and lower-poly models, the game we got was phenomenal. Mafia will always be a shining example of what even a young group of developers can accomplish, thanks to the love and dedication of the Illusion Softworks team.


Figure 7: An image showing the original Illusion Softworks team in 1999, shortly after the release of Hidden & Dangerous. All of the people shown here worked on Mafia until its completion, and during development the number of employees rose to 26. The image below that is one of the earliest images of Mafia in existence, showing Central Island and running on the first Insanity engine (complete with H&D UI at the bottom). At this point, Mafia itself was essentially nothing more than a mod.


AsaSK wrote:
LS3D continued development in 2004, two years after the release of Mafia, and was given cloth and shooting mechanics, as well as early ragdoll and environment physics in preparation for Mafia 2, but then IS as we know it dissolved and the remaining members became a subsidiary of 2K (we all know how well that ended up working), and due to ability limitations the LS3D engine was scrapped and a new one was built from scratch.

The last build of the LS3D engine in 2004



Also, for information's sake, the video in German was Fourth-build Alpha gameplay, not Beta. I suspect this was literally just after they had switched over the using the LS3D engine, when the engine itself was in its infancy (you can see that the FOV, aiming mechanics and movement are different, but the rendering of the draw distance and physics look very similar to the final version).

The game went through several different builds and each one had various nuances that differed, but as far as I can define these were the main stages:

Pre-Alpha [H&D engine/Insanity, 1999]





First-build Alpha [Insanity2]









Second-build Alpha [Insanity2, 2000]



Alpha press release [H&D engine/Insanity2 or pre-rendered in 3DS Max, 2000]





Third-build Alpha [LS3D]











Beta [LS3D]









As stated above, each category seems to have had earlier and later stages where things were added or improved. Mafia's Alpha stages ran on modified builds of the H&D engine (Insanity2), while Beta used LS3D and was visually closer to the final product - this is with the exception of the 'transition period' build, where the final Alpha stage appears to have run on a very early version of the LS3D engine.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

I've seen those posts of yours and they were actually the motivation for me to gather all these screenshots. Smile

However, I have to disagree with you on the timeline. The developer diary on mafia-game.com (and also .de and .cz) claims the alpha was finished in early October 2001 and beta testing was done in March 2002. The alpha featured pretty much finalized missions according to that source, so I suppose that means you could play the game from start to finish, whereas with earlier builds you couldn't.

This means that anything before October 2001 is effectively pre-alpha, including the E3 2001 build. If you look at that material (video and screenshots), it already features the old HUD. In fact, some of the screenshots you listed for the beta were actually first published in May 2001 and are said to be related to the E3 build (the diary says the E3 build was finished just in time but I imagine that means fixing bugs etc., not major new features). It also seems they started showing more actual gameplay (and not just scripted sequences) around E3 2001 time, which is also when we first start seeing any on-foot HUD. There's a variation of the old HUD seen later in two screenshots, and I would place those to be in between the old and the final HUD. The new/final HUD starts appearing in early 2002, which coincides with beta testing.

So long story short: if it has the old HUD, it's actually alpha or E3 pre-alpha (or thereabout), and if it has the final on-foot HUD but a different radar, compass and speedometer for vehicles then it's actually beta. At least based on what I've observed on these screenshots I've gathered and the info available.

I'll talk more about this later when I find time to post the relevant screenshots and describe them in more detail.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:29 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Ah I see, interesting info! Smile

Mmm my timeline was just based on loose screenshot/video guesswork, I think I ended up classing anything on Insanity 'Alpha' and anything on LS3D 'Beta' Laughing
And like you say, you can tell that some of them are super rigged for press (shots that other people have previously assumed were cut missions).
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:48 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Yeah, early screenshots and trailers are nearly all scripted to look cool and don't reveal much in terms of gameplay. Many feature weird camera angles (not the usual 3rd person perspective we'd expect) and Ii'm pretty sure none actually show the on-foot HUD.

There is an exception, namely the Gamestar TV interview from 2000 which shows some driving gameplay and a brief clip of on-foot gameplay (only vehicle HUD is seen) on a very early pre-alpha build, still running on Insanity engine I believe.



Hmm, now that I think of it, I'll probably have to create a thread for these videos as well. Afterall, the videos reveal so much more than screenshots can. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

This thread/topic is very interesting and
as much as mods are good, no one talks
about the actual game and its development
apart from Asa and a few others.

*Now a sticky*
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:19 am    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

That's a cool video. Kind of blows my mind that Little Italy, Chinatown, and those awful textures were already made in 2000. I didn't even have a 3d graphics card in 2000.

That was a looooooong time ago. Cautious
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:17 am    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

A lot of the locations were already "done" in 2000. Of course a lot's changed since then, but the base was there.

These should all look familiar to you. Smile








Of course there are also several screenshots with locations at least I don't recognize.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

I always found it interesting that the story looks like it originally ended with Tommy and Norman being gunned down mid-testimony in The Salieri Bar (although that might also have been staged for screens).

The screenshots that have always fascinated me the most are the Palermo Club ones. The location appears in some of the Alpha(?) footage with the old reticle targeting system, and those screens showing the rooms and roof are absolutely fascinating. Such a shame it was stripped down and only used as an end-mission location in Moonlighting..












(Evidently these screenshots span both Alpha & Beta)

Fun fact - In the second screenshot you can see some boxes at the back on the left (and right) that haven't been lightmapped properly (that's the blue you can see), but in the next screen (presumably taken later) they have been fixed.

The warehouse (or technically 'factory', as the Czech texture and model names suggest) can be seen at 1:29:
Quote:


Although it was all but got rid of, some models and textures from the original Palermo Club do remain:

Models





Maps



*N.B. These textures are either almost completely or completely exclusive to the old Palermo Club. Other textures can also be seen in the screenshots, but these are more commonly also used in other locations, so I haven't included them. Back then, the location looked slightly reminiscent of the Old Prison (rubble, etc), whereas its skeletal form in the final game looks much closer to the truck warehouse from mission 18 (sharing most of its textures).
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:20 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

I was wondering where those shots in the "destroyed engine room" were taken, and I was actually suspecting it might be the old prison due to the visuals. Interesting. Smile

I've read somewhere that they wanted to create a sort of "fight-club" thing in the game, there's a screenshot showing a fight between Lucas and some other guy with several other characters watching. I guess if that's actually true, this would probably take place in the Palermo Club before it was downgraded?

Regarding Tommy and Norman: I'm not sure those dead guys are them. Makes no sense that Tommy would tell Norman incriminating things about Salieri right at Salieri's bar. Probably just scripted shots, also looks like they could be from inside the editor or something debug related, due to all the dev info in the top left.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

I think it's highly likely that the 'fight club' shots are rigged, promotional. Whether the shot I referred to was canon or not, though, I really do think those are Tommy and Norman's models. Same clothes, meeting in a bar at well, so the circumstances are similar, but you're probably right about it being rigged. No real logic in the story ending like that in Salieri's bar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Well here's a couple more interesting locations from very early builds:


I think this is one of the bedrooms in the prosecutor's villa.


Looks like Central Island.


Works Quarter or Little Italy. The guy on the right looks like the playable character from the Gamestar video I linked.


Another look at early Grade Level parking garage.


Several possibilities here, not sure.


The hall of the building where Paulie's appartment is. This particular scene also appears in those early trailers.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Mafia pre-release screenshots (~400 screenshots!) Reply with quote

Really interesting screenshot collection. Applause

I remember seeing some of them in a games magazine back in the day (GameStar or PCPlayer or something) which instantly got me hooked on the game.

daviunic wrote:



I think this is one of the bedrooms in the prosecutor's villa.

Yeah, looks like it. It's interesting to see they had a day-time variant of it at some point.

daviunic wrote:


Several possibilities here, not sure.

This is north Little Italy. The road where that blue Falconer is turning into leads to the backyard of the Little Italy Shopping Center.
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