[4/28/99]: It's All About the Add-On's, Baby!
First, About The Postcards: This is soooo cool, I had to mention it even before the news about my upcoming Lunatix add-on. Robert Fogt of BlueSparks has created a set of Online Lunatix Postcards. Send postcards to your friends as an invitation to come check out Lunatix. It's fun, and it's a quick and easy way invite your friends into the game! Check out all the Virtual Postcards HERE!!
Ringo's Lair IGM: Coming Soon! What sets us apart from the typical web browser-based game? We know of no other one that allows In-Game Modules (add-ons). Lunatix players can use our free IGM Kit to create new places to plug right in to the game! Bring your crazy ideas to life!
My current IGM is called Ringo's Lair, and it's nearly done. This is the largest add-on to date, and it takes place as a quest (broken into multiple levels) to seek out and destroy the evil Ringo! I'm doing some interesting stuff with this IGM. I've put an “about the author” section (which I've never done before) which has four photos of me. Plus, all the graphics are being drawn by me -- yep, I'm doing them myself!
Another scene from Lunatix Online: Ringo's Lair IGM -- The Violet Temple
Account Deletions: The number of accounts we've had to delete due to cheating (verbal/profane abuse of other players, multiple accounts, and more) has taken a jump recently. Remember, we only have a few rules, but they are very important. In order to maintain a fun, fair game, we simply can't allow players to create extra accounts, curse at/abuse other players, or in any way detract from the fun light-hearted environment we hope to maintain. Doing so will get you deleted (and sometimes banned forever).
[4/17/99]: Two New IGMs!
You Have To Check These Out! Robert Fogt (Gambit) recently sent us his latest Lunatix Online IGM. It's called “The Museum of Art.” If this wasn't enough, Sarah Philips (Hobbit) just sent us “The Snax Kitchen.” The Lunatix Elevator now takes you to these two new areas.
If you don't know what an IGM is, it's an “In-Game Module.” By using the free kit provided, anybody can create new areas to add-on to the game! These IGM's get plugged right into Lunatix for all Lunatix players to enjoy. To enjoy them yourself, sign up for your free two week trial Lunatix account now!
[4/6/99]: Stormy Weather, Sunny Skies
There's No Place Like Home... There's no place like home! Yesterday morning, a tornado ripped through a couple of city blocks here in Wichita Kansas where my web host houses their server. The whole area was just devastated -- store roofs flying off, vehicles picked up and moved and flipped over, big boards flung violently into a church roof, terrible damage done to a nearby school, and lots more. Nothing got carried off to Oz, thank goodness. Luckily, my web host is in a basement so yesterday's downtime was minimal. Everything should be back to normal now.
The Lunatix Notepad: Not everything in today's news is a disaster. =) This program is a must-have! Robert Fogt has written a nice little utility that can be used to keep track of your escape code, nurse flirts, weapon prices, and more! It's called “The Lunatix Notepad” but don't get confused by the name. It's built to fit in the upper-left corner of the game screen, over the “P” logo and the links, right above the color select box. An option allows it to stay on top, so it's always there for a quick click to remember what you've done. It's very cool. Download lunpad11.zip (file size is around 140k) now!
The Haunted Basement of Doom -- A New IGM! We need your IGM's! To help get those creative juices flowing, I wrote a new, simple IGM yesterday called “The Haunted Basement of Doom.” I thought of the idea, did all the scripting, and drew all the graphics in only six hours. We aren't kidding when we say it's simple to write your own Lunatix Online add-ons! Look for this new IGM in the Lunatix Online elevator.
As a simple IGM, this one mainly focuses on random happenings, much the way the Odd Ward IGM does. However, in the Haunted Basement of Doom, progress is remembered when you return, which is an interesting feature.
[3/29/99]: New Lunatix Web Site
BlueSparks: Check out the site www.bluesparks.com which is a site operated by Robert Fogt. BlueSparks has an area of interest to Lunatix Online players, which includes hints and tips, an IGM developer's area, and message forums. While you're at it, remember to check the Prowler Forums too!
New Version of IGM Developer's Kit:
A new version of the free IGM Developer's Kit has just been released. This
version fixes a small problem concerning the “/option” command when used to
go to a label at the top of an IGM script. If you don't know what that means,
don't worry. If you're an IGM author, or if you'd like to win your share of
the $350 cash prizes in the IGM
download IGM Kit version 3.1 from the
Developer's page now! Bring you
crazy ideas to life!
Additional Note: This developer's kit is not required to play Lunatix. In fact, you can play without downloading anything at all (although we do encrouage that you download the game graphics, but even that is not required). The IGM Developer's kit is a free tool that you can use to create your own add-ons for Lunatix -- but it is not something that you must have merely to play the game.
Woops! How Could We Forget? We (almost) completely forgot one very important feature -- the Lunatix Hall of Fame. When a player claws his or her way up to level 12 to escape five times, the player has *won* the game. Unlike the BBS version, Lunatix Online will not completely reset for everybody (thank goodness). However, the winner will have his/her name added to the Hall of Fame (in the hallway) plus a new stat called “wins” has been added to keep track of how many times a person has won the game this way. When you win the game, you'll get a cool Lunatix Online t-shirt, free game time, or other cool prizes. We'll be releasing more info about the Lunatix Online prizes soon, including some pictures of the T-Shirts you could get simply by winning!
StarLock: Don't forget to bookmark the new StarLock Web Site for information about our next web-based role playing game! As a Lunatix Online subscriber, you will get to play StarLock for free!!! No release dates have been set yet, although we anticipate having it up for play (possibly as a beta) this summer.
[3/10/99]: Lunatix Online: Global Insanity Crisis
We Need Your Support! Remember that your subscriptions are important. If you enjoy the game during your two-week trial, you don't have to subscribe of course, but we hope you'll agree $5 a month is very cheap (you can just barely eat a meal at a fast food place for a mere $5). Developing a game of this size and complexity has been difficult. We hope that if you enjoy Lunatix Online, you'll take a few minutes to subscribe. Also remember that our pool of beta testers for StarLock will be selected first from active Lunatix Online subscribers.
Some Small Bug Fixes: We completed more of the small changes (and bug fixes) on our ever-shrinking to-do list, as anticipated. All such minor changes should be completed soon. Keep in mind that we are currently planning no new “features” for Lunatix Online (except our “Hammer's Quest” IGM) at this time so we can devote our time and resources to StarLock. Lunatix, for all practical purposes, is finished at this point. If you have been waiting to try it out until the game was done, now is the time to play! Sign up at www.lunatix-online.com and experience one of the most entertaining multiplayer games you'll find on the web!
[3/6/99]: StarLock Official Web Site
It Has Begun! The official home page for our upcoming web-based RPG “StarLock” has been launched at www.prowler-pro.com/starlock. Check it out -- and bookmark it -- for all the latest information about our next multiplayer role-playing game!
[3/3/99]: Nothing But Good News!
Routing Is Fixed: The routing problems appears to be fixed, and I got the confirmation from my web host. Everything appears to be running smoothly again.
Our Next Project: We're in the planning stages of our next web-based game, StarLock. Some info (and a temporary logo) have been posted at our Prowler Productions home page, www.prowler-pro.com.
[3/2/99]: Good News and Bad News
Bad News First:
Our ISP is (yet again) having problems. This time it seems to be with
their domain name server -- at any rate, it's some kind of routing
problem. When going to
People are reporting a “login.cgi is missing” error. I assure you there
is nothing wrong with the server. All the files are there and in
tact. This error comes from the routing problem -- at times, www.lunatix-online.com
points to the WRONG server -- the old one we started on. This is why
the error appears.
You should probably be able to use the DNS number directly, so we have modified that "redirection" page on our old server to point to the Lunatix DNS temporarily. Go to www.lunatix-online.com just like normal, to play. DO NOT bookmark the temporary DNS URL -- players have done this in the past DESPITE our warnings not to, then wonder why they can't access then game when the routing problem is fixed and the temporary URL no longer works. You will need to clear your browser's cache, or hit shift-reload on the page. You can also try the temporary URL directly by going to 220.127.116.11, but remember that it's just temporary.
Now, Some Good News: The “Crazy Comrades” feature is done! Now, players can send game mail to a predefined list of friends -- a great time-saver for people who operate in “teams.”
[2/28/99]: Crazy Comrades Nearly Finished
Build a List of Friends: As a viable replacement for what was originally to be “gang” or “team” support, we are creating a feature called “Crazy Comrades.” Players can create a list of up to 18 names (of other patients) to use in sending private chat messages to all members of the list. Soon, the Comrades List will also be able to control limited “Mass Mail” as well. The list itself (and comrade chatting using the “-” dash key) is already available.
[2/27/99]: The Fortress
The Fortress Banner: As mentioned before, we recently found a new site that reports on games and appears to be a great new source for information. Check out The Fortress and see what they're up to.
I never heard back from the creators of Holy Wars (www.holywar.net) about the possibility of exchanging links. At any rate, the game is still in alpha development but looks really good and has a play style similar to Hammerfell. It's definitely worth a look. I'm still on the lookout for more web games!
[2/25/99]: We've Been Busy!
New Developer's Kit: We were a little slow in posting this newest update to the IGM Developer's kit. Download version 3.0 from the newly-created Developer's Page now! This version completely removes the pre-compiler which formerly slowed down starting and running an IGM in development. If you're working on an IGM add-on for Lunatix, or if you're interested in starting one, be sure to download the free kit!
More Features Completed: I can't even recall everything that has been completed in the past few days, but one of the biggest missing features (actions/emotes) has now been added. Also, see what happens when doing smileys such as :) or =( or :/ in the game chat. Now they're replaced by real faces!
We're Looking For Links:
We're trading links with
which is a hot new gaming site (with a lot more). As soon as we get their
banner, we'll post it here and on our links page. For quicker access, look
for the new fortress link under the Game Sites column on our navigation bar.
We recently traded links with Hammerfell which is an awesome web-based RPG. It seems to work wonderfully using Internet Explorer, but may have a few kinks with Netscape. We just received their link banner!
I came across another web-based RPG today and I've emailed the site's
admin to see if they're interested in trading links with us. I'll post
more info when they respond.
If you have (or know of) a web-based game or a good gaming site, please let us know. For information about trading links with us, send email to email@example.com and check out our links page.
[2/17/99]: The Final Days of Development
We're Finishing It Up! The third phase of the development of Lunatix Online is almost over! In the first phase, we developed the initial game engine and did internal testing. In phase two, we continued development and opened the game to public testing. In this (third) phase, we opened the game to the public while finishing up these last few features. We expect to be finished in a matter of days, which leaves us very excited about beginning work on our next large web-based game. When Lunatix Online phase 3 is completed, we'll most likely still revisit the engine for improvements and fixes (a sort of “ongoing” phase 4) but our chief focus will be our next full project.
[2/15/99]: New IGM Kit Coming Soon, And More!
Kit 3.0 Coming Soon.
Version 3.0 of the IGM Developer's Kit is coming soon. This version may
actually eliminate the pre-parser which until now has slowed down the loading
and running of IGM's. Robert tells me that it's almost done.
Also, he has released the first tool built especially for the IGM kit -- a visual text editor (Version 1.0 - 141k). This tool can be added by first unzipping it, then by running the IGM Developer's Kit, select the tools menu, then configure tools. The Visual Text Editor allows room text to be edited as it will appear in the game. Upon exiting, the LunScript source is automatically copied to the clipboard, where it can be pasted (shift-insert) into the IGM script at the appropriate place. Very slick!
We would like to encourage you to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Fogt) concerning the IGM Developer's Kit and this Visual Text Editor. He has invested many weeks of hard work into creating these tools and could probably use a few comments, suggestions, or a plain old thank-you. :)
[2/13/99]: More Features Added To Lunatix Online
We're Getting Close! Three things were added to Lunatix Online today. First (and most important) is Player Marriages. Now, after a player gets 10 bedpost notches, they have the option to send a romantic note to propose marriage to another player who has at least 5 bedpost notches. Also, a much-needed “HELP” command for chat has been added. Last (and possibly least), the remaining shadow monsters now include the “you-killed-it” message which (until now) was only shown for the monsters of the first two levels. Only a few things left undone now!
[2/11/99]: The Final Phase
Lunatix Official Web Site Changes: No, we're not changing the location of this site. It's still here. What has changed is the navigation bar. It's easier to find the info you need. Plus, the features page has been revised and a screen shots page has been added. This is intended to help potential players get an idea of what the game is all about (and what it looks like) even before signing up for a free trial account. A history page has been created as well, and it's a small explanation of where the idea for Lunatix originated and how it became the game we know and love today. Also, not yet done but coming soon is a fictional story set in the Lunatix asylum. It should be an interesting read!
The Big Push: We will be finishing up the missing features in the days to come. This includes player marriages, possibly some “team” list support, monster death text, the “Hammer's Quest” IGM, and some new administration functions (behind the scenes). This does not mean that after the game is done, it's over. We expect to continue improving it even after we begin our next big project. Plus, the game will keep growing and growing because people creating IGM add-ons will make sure it does! In a way, the end is just the beginning.
[2/9/99]: Lunatix IGM Contest... and More!
Announcing... The 1999 Lunatix Online IGM Contest! As hinted about in prior news, we are now hosting an IGM contest! We are giving away $350 in cash prizes. Bring your wacky, loony ideas to life as an IGM (add-on) for Lunatix Online and win money! For all the official rules, see the IGM Contest Rules page.
Updated IGM Kit Is Here: A new version of the free IGM Developer's kit has just been released and includes many bug fixes since the original. It's also faster! You'll need this kit to create an IGM for the 1999 Lunatix Online IGM Contest if you are interested in entering, but feel free to download and use it to create IGM's even if you don't wish to participate in the contest. The program requires a Windows 95/98 platform and is available as a WinZip-compatible archive (IGM SDK 2.0 ZIP, 669k) or a self-extracting executable file (IGM SDK 2.0 EXE, 695k). It seems that Netscape has some problem downloading the .exe version, so you may need to grab the ZIP instead. Thanks again to Robert Fogt for constantly improving the kit and immediately acting on our bug reports! We may not have had a kit yet otherwise!
Hammer's Quest, an IGM In The Works: Since the IGM contest is going to be a big topic of interest to up-and-coming Lunatix IGM Authors for the next several months, it is important to remember that the game also needs IGM's now. Contest IGM's won't make it into the game until the competition ends in July, so it is important to maintain the constant addition of new IGM's to the game. We're doing our part by developing a large “adventure” IGM, tentatively titled “Hammer's Quest,” to help expand the ever-growing institution. We're excited about this IGM, because it will be a challenging adventure and a nice break away from your daily routines as a mental patient.
Maintenance Is Automatic: The kinks were worked out of the process by which Lunatix is able to automatically regenerate turns for all players at midnight. Now, the game will reset as designed, each morning at midnight so it's easy to know when the “new day” will begin.
Get Two Weeks EXTRA For FREE! As we previously mentioned, members will receive two weeks free each time a friend subscribes to Lunatix Online! The interesting thing (and suspicious, considering the almost unending attempts to create multiple accounts) about this is that over 75% of all new players sign up stating that they heard about Lunatix Online from “a friend.” Remember that to qualify for the two free weeks, tell your friends to sign up and put YOUR PLAYER NAME in the spot where it asks where they first heard about Lunatix Online. Otherwise, we cannot give the two free weeks to the referring member.
About The Recent Server Problems: Last week we experienced server problems which resulted in two days of downtime. In actuality, the server kept on going without us -- there was simply no internet connection to the game! Our web host resolved that, and only a few days later a new problem cropped up. In the process of “fixing” our www.lunatix-online.com domain name, the link was broken. The temporary URL has continued to work however. Today, the problem was fixed and www.lunatix-online.com works once again... but a server setup problem prevents the game from actually running if accessed from that domain name. We have a temporary fix in place, and we want to appologize for these problems even though administration of the server itself is handled by our web host and we are mere customers.
The Final Phase: We are now in the final development stage of Lunatix Online. A few things must still be wrapped up, including Player Marriages, Gangs (although our current idea is to abandoned the concept of “gangs” since it just doesn't fit in with the way the game works), Chat Actions, and a handful of other small miscellaneous game tasks. We are excited about wrapping up this project soon and watching it grow on the momentum of new IGM add-ons. We are very excited about beginning on our next large game project, so completing Lunatix Online is an immediate goal.
Cool Link - LORD for the Web: Legend of the Red Dragon (or “LORD”) was/is the most popular BBS game of all time. In early 1995, we parodied it with the original Lunatix BBS game. Now, a version of LORD is available for the web at www.czone.com/lord. It's pretty true to the original. It might be an unauthorized version at present, but I'm not sure -- and I suspect that the guys at CZone may have gotten the go-ahead at some point. At any rate, go check it out!
[2/2/99]: More IGM Goodness Coming Soon
Lunatix now has three IGM's (The Odd Ward, The Restrooms, and The Psycho
Scramble). More are on the way, including the missing option in the
Odd Ward, tons more phrases for The Psycho Scramble, and a brand new
An updated version of the free IGM kit will be released soon as well, for anybody interested in creating Lunatix Online IGM's (add-ons). For now, continue using the existing released kit, Version 1.8 (609k).
The Official Rules of the Lunatix IGM Contest will be posted soon. We recommend that you do not begin your contest IGM until after the rules are posted.
[1/25/99]: The IGM Kit is Here At Last!
Yes it's true. The Lunatix Online IGM Developer's Kit has just been
released and runs on a Windows 95/98 Platform! Download the
ZIP File (609k)
or the self-extracting
EXE File (635k).
Take your pick! This is version 1.8 of the developer's
kit, and is the first official release version.
To get started, download the ZIP file and use WinZip to extract it into its own directory (or, grab the EXE file instead, and it will unzip itself when you run it). Create an icon to easily start the “IGMDeveloper.exe” program (it can be run from the DOS prompt and it launches a window, but it's easier with an icon). If wanted, you can even set up your system (if you're a Window's 95 guru) to tie the “.igm” extension to the kit.
Click “Help” when running the kit to get full instructions on how to use it, and how to program in LunScript. To assist in getting started, an example IGM is included (it's contained in the "“igmtest.zip” file, which you must unzip to use). After unzipping the sample IGM, load it from the kit by selecting “igmtest1.igm” as the starting file.
MORE WONDERFUL NEWS: Prowler Productions will be sponsoring an IGM contest soon! We'll announce all the details in a few days. The contest will last several weeks. Ten prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $150 cash, $100 for second place, and $50 for 3rd place. Stay tuned for more details. You could win money just for creating a cool Lunatix Online IGM!
And... Last but not least, Prowler Productions would like to thank Robert Fogt for his efforts in turning our LunScript specification into a working developer's kit. THANKS!!! The kit is wonderful!