Looking for a very rare test demo version of the game TheSting\DerClou!2 (2001)

Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
Hi all! I'm looking for a very specific pre-release alpha-beta demo of the game DerClou! 2 (The Sting) 2001 by the Austrian company NEO Software. This version had very limited availability among the gaming community in Europe and possibly the USA BEFORE the game's main release. This version was in English, and is notable for the fact that instead of 2 buildings, a third one was available for robbery, depicted on the screen - in the form of an oriental palace (it is believed that it was a jewelry store). The origin of this version was not known at the time of receipt; one of the players in Europe told me about it, and in some detail (I myself was not interested in this game at that time). After the official release of the game in the spring of 2001, demo versions from all over the world no longer contained this building; it was removed, although the foundation remained. This “palace” was not in the full version either. The channels by which this version of the game got from Austria before it went on sale is still a mystery, there is no information about it, but it’s possible that someone also accidentally received it or at least remembers/can guess its origin. The building is firmly etched in his memory because when loading the theft planning mode in it, the game often crashed. This building was also on the European packaging of this game, which is how we now know for sure about its existence. Thank you in advance.

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: neogunhero
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
Hi all! I have a little more relevant information. I was talking to someone who had previously worked in the games industry for a short time. He thought a little and surfed the Internet. As a result, he suggested that such a demo (promo) version could have been sent to English-speaking countries in 2000 as part of some collection, for example, “101 demo versions of PC games,” “Best 100 demo versions of 2000,” and so on. Such things were done when the Internet was not yet well developed, and the developers wanted to recruit fans in advance - for example, in England or Ireland, or the USA. This explains why this demo was in English and not German. He sent me a link to a similar topic on Reddit. There I learned about the existence of similar collections from Future Publishing, but, unfortunately, they began to be published only in 2002. But perhaps there are other similar collections? I found very little on archive.org, unfortunately. Maybe someone has similar CDs in private collections, or friends who are collectors can take a look? I'll leave the Reddit link here.

[TOMT] 101 Game Demo disk included in a Magazine in the early 2000s in Ireland & U.K. : r/tipofmytongue (reddit.com)
View: https://www.reddit.com/r/tipofmytongue/comments/i31kia/tomt_101_game_demo_disk_included_in_a_magazine_in/

https://imgbly.com/ib/G2uyaL7K4u

https://imgbly.com/ib/KwAPHic3dU

P.S. This building is now known. It was a Jewelry Store. This is indicated by the names of several surviving textures and models in the game resources.
 
  • Like
Reactions: neogunhero
I don't know the legitimacy of these websites, but is it either of these?


These were the only 2 links that came up on a Google search.
 
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
I don't know the legitimacy of these websites, but is it either of these?


These were the only 2 links that came up on a Google search.
Thanks for your response. But it seems to me that I have already looked through all the available files in the public domain (including those from the links that you sent). I had no success. That is, this version is either in some CD collection, does not contain an open title, or is in private hands, but is not uploaded to the Internet :( If, of course, it has been preserved for more than 20 years.
 
Last edited:
Last edited:
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
@DerClouFan You could try to message Hannes Seifert - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/hannesseifert. He was a co-founder of NEO. I found this clip of him talking about the game you mentioned:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DkwZKLrsC0

Here is the magazine edition the video was included in: https://ia601502.us.archive.org/12/items/PCJoker19912001Archiv/2000/2000-01/PC Joker - 2000-01_text.pdf
Thank you! Yes, I know this video. My friend and I wrote several times to Hannes Seifert on Facebook and Twitter -X (from which he seems to have recently deleted), and even a paper letter - he did not respond. Recently we tried to write on LinkedIn, but in order to write a direct message, it turns out that you need to register a premium account (and this is also not a guarantee if he has not closed personal messages). We are still thinking about what to do about it. One of the fans wrote a message on his wall asking him to contact him, but also did not receive a response in a week.
There is a feeling that he does not have a strong desire to contact us on this issue - either he is too busy (he is now a director at Riot Games), or he does not want to remember this old project. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why he has been ignoring messages from 2-3 people on various platforms for six months now (we wrote more than once).
 
@DerClouFan Have you tried contacting people on eBay? I went through a couple of the game demos there, but it is hard to see the titles on most CDs since they come in a big bundle. Maybe some selling demo discs from 2000 could go through their discs to see if they have that demo version. Throwing in the mail to editors@pcgamer.com, maybe someone there has some insight about this elusive demo or has a tip on more ways to get a hold of it.
 
Last edited:
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
@DerClouFan Have you tried contacting people on eBay? I went through a couple of the game demos there, but it is hard to see the titles on most CDs since they come in a big bundle. Maybe some selling demo discs from the year 2000 could go through their discs to see if they have that demo version. Since they sell a lot of CDs they might even have some more insight as to where you could find that version. Throwing in the mail to editors@pcgamer.com, maybe someone there has some insight about this elusive demo or has a tip on more ways to get a hold of it.
Could you write me an example of a phrase for the ebay search engine that you used to find demo collections? I found only one of these through Reddit (I wrote about this above in the post - 100 PC Games demo), but it began to be published in 2002, and there could only be demo versions after the official release. I also checked several similar collections on arhive.org.
One person yesterday voiced to me another assumption about the origin of the game. Initially, the American company THQ planned to be the publisher, but in December 2000 JoWood suddenly became the publisher. There is no doubt that, at the request of the publisher, the developer (Neo Production), during 2000, could send the future publisher THQ some promotional versions (alpha? beta?) for evaluation. Therefore, the demo version had an English translation, and the mission with the Jewelry Store did not work (it was simply not completed at that time, probably) - it was not yet intended for the general public. Perhaps THQ decided to somehow attract the attention of gamers in advance and create a fan base before the official release, and published this version on the disk of some gaming magazine or collection of demos in 2000?
 
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
@DerClouFan Have you tried contacting people on eBay? I went through a couple of the game demos there, but it is hard to see the titles on most CDs since they come in a big bundle. Maybe some selling demo discs from 2000 could go through their discs to see if they have that demo version. Throwing in the mail to editors@pcgamer.com, maybe someone there has some insight about this elusive demo or has a tip on more ways to get a hold of it.
Thank you very much) Maybe they will give us some advice or the right direction to search)
 
Nov 7, 2023
8
12
15
Visit site
@DerClouFan Have you tried contacting people on eBay? I went through a couple of the game demos there, but it is hard to see the titles on most CDs since they come in a big bundle. Maybe some selling demo discs from 2000 could go through their discs to see if they have that demo version. Throwing in the mail to editors@pcgamer.com, maybe someone there has some insight about this elusive demo or has a tip on more ways to get a hold of it.
Hello! I take it that no new information could be found? :(
 
@DerClouFan Unfortunately not. The only other thing I can think of is to see if you can find a discord channel or a way to contact the folks doing the https://wiki.retro-exo.com/index.php/EXOWin3x. They are preserving and cataloging thousands of games, so there could be a chance that they have some knowledge. At least, I would think that this might be something they would be interested in pursuing.
 
I think Archive.org—The Wayback Machine—may be doing that too.
Yeah, a lot of nice retro games to play there:) The eXO has also been helping Archive.org preserve games and has a couple of catalogs at the site. I believe the difference is that eXo goes a bit more in-depth when it comes to configurations like what type of graphics and sound you can choose from, which differ at times from platforms like for example GoG that do not necessarily have the same depth. This might not be that much of a problem for people who just want to plug and play old retro games through DosBox/SCUMM, but more for people who want to have the best quality possible through a little bit of tinkering.
 
Last edited:

TRENDING THREADS