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A Web-Based Multi-Player RPG by Mike Snyder and Anna Kasl

¤¤¤¤¤ The History Of the Game ¤¤¤¤¤
In 1987 (maybe 1988) I played an adventure game on the TRS-80 (COCO II) put out by Radio Shack. The game was called Bedlam and I was hooked. In Bedlam, you play the role of a mental patient. I have forgotten most of what I remembered about it. I think it was more serious and dark though.

In late January of 1995, I became a BBS-addict. After being hooked for only a few days, I vowed to figure out how to write a BBS “door” game of my own. I had no idea where to start, but I found a few reference texts and a good QuickBASIC communications library and set to work. I had been programming games for several years at this point, so by by mid-March I was able to complete the first version of my first BBS game -- Lunatix 1.0a. It drew from my memories of Bedlam, borrowing the play style (and pretty much every major situation) of the popular BBS game “LORD” (Legend of the Red Dragon, originally by rtsoft.

Much to my surprise (and delight), Lunatix was a hit. I continued to improve it through the rest of the year, and it really bloomed into a nice game. It didn't see the success of giants like Trade Wars, BRE, or the big-dog itself (LORD), but it did well.

In October of 1995, circumstances brought me out of Oklahoma and into Wichita, Kansas. I found a large BBS with telnet and lots of lines (CONNECTions at and was hooked on BBS'ing once again. Unfortunately, it was a WorldGroup system without the capability for running my game.

The sysops of CONNECTions turned out to be great people with a good eye for business opportunities. After being approached by them about converting Lunatix to a native WorldGroup module, I accepted. I enlisted the help of my best friend (Anna Kasl) to assist with ANSI artwork, and in the second quarter of 1996 we began development on a complete re-write of the QuickBASIC game into a C-based DLL for Worldgroup.

After much hard work and a few setbacks, Lunatix 5.0a was released to the public and marketed as a native WorldGroup/MajorBBS add-on in September of 1996. This version was well received too, targeted at large pay-boards (as opposed to the hobby BBS) and has done pretty well.

After many months of improving the 5.xx version of Lunatix, we discussed writing a third version -- one that would run over the internet as a web application. We first had the idea to do this in late 1997, but never followed through for whatever reason (other obligations, lack of motivation, and more). After several enthusiastic discussions about it at several points in 1998, development actually began in late August of 1998.

As they say, the rest is history. Lunatix Online (version 6.xx) is the 3rd incarnation (in fact, the 3rd complete re-write) of a game that has been around since early 1995! Needless to say, at more than 4 years (so far) of being my biggest ongoing project, I'm very anxious to start on a large new online gaming project that has nothing to do with Lunatix. :)

Mike Snyder
Prowler Productions