The beta version of Homestuck was started on April 10th, 2009. The panels were made entirely in Flash. Andrew Hussie quickly switched back to animated .gif panels like in Problem Sleuth, saying Flash was "too much work", and restarted Homestuck on 4/13/09. It can be found .
The brief adventure consists of 8 pages, including the starting page. It appears that this adventure would've continued in the same manner as the normal Homestuck, but nobody can be sure as to the shortage of material.
Numerical data about the Homestuck Beta are maintained here.
There are a few differences between the normal Homestuck and the Beta. Starting with John's sprite, the shoes and belt are different. John's room also has some notable differences, from the arrangement of the room to the art design of the items in the room.
John's Magic Chest is flat rather than with a curved top, causing it to look more like a massive shoebox rather than a magic chest. However, the cake is still on top of the chest.
In the Beta, the hammer and nails were on the desk rather than on the floor behind the chair at the base of the bed (Where the Magic Chest used to be.) The only other difference near the desk was the stack of CDs containing Problem Sleuth, Jailbreak, etc.
Most of the posters in the Beta appeared again in the main adventure, although the Deep Impact Poster was moved from the wall above John's bed. It originally shared the wall with the Con Air poster, but was then relocated to above the Magic Chest so that the Con Air poster could occupy the entire space above the bed, probably so that it would be easier to see that it was John's favorite movie.
In the Beta, John's window displays an empty white view and bears some resemblance to Problem Sleuth's window. In the main game, the window is given a more suburban look with 4 panes rather than 2.
John's bed in the Beta has drawers underneath the mattress, but in the stable release it has an empty space instead.
John's sylladex undergoes a big transformation as well; rather than the typical captchalouge card and the captchalouge stack modus deck, there are four simple black squares in which John puts his items. It looks a bit like a vertical inventory.
Moving on from visual aspects, there are also some small plot differences. For example, in the Beta John is only 10 years old, and was born on the 10th of April, rather than having been born 13 years ago on the 13 of April. Interestingly enough, in both the Beta and stable release John is instructed to "Quickly retrieve arms from drawer." In the Beta, John goes to his bed drawer, but in the stable release (where the bed drawers no longer existed) John ran to his dresser. Because in the Beta you can interact with the Flash programming, John attempts to move the green icon that shows a place the player can interact with to his Magic Chest so he can click on it. The narrarator states that John (or any of the characters for that matter) can't see, hear, smell, touch, or taste the green icon. The next command for both stories is to "Remove CAKE from MAGIC CHEST." The Beta allows you to actually do it yourself, whereas the .gif does it automatically. The final command for the Beta (but definitely not the main adventure) is to "Quickly retrieve FAKE ARMS from MAGIC CHEST". The Beta John proceeds to "place" them in his sylladex, rather than Captchalogue them.