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Mattcrampy
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icon Not Fooling (+5)  
Well, it's been a long road, filled with tears, torment and truffles. (Truffles?) We've had our problems and fights, and we've worked into the night countless times to make it the best it could be. Every little milestone just made the goal that much further off, but we knew we had to reach the end eventually, and now we finally have.

If you don't hang around on DROD.net much, our new game, DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold, has now been released. (We tried to fool people by releasing it on April Fool's, but that worked about as well as a match in a blizzard.) You can get it from http://www.caravelgames.com, which will give you the first three levels of the demo hold, the Foundation style ('style' here meaning graphics and music) and the editor. We'd expect that some new JtRH holds will start turning up soon enough on the DROD.net holds page.

So, what, exactly, is new? I'll probably need to revert to a 'lots of other stuff!' bullet point, but here's what's what:

* A monstrous new official hold, which introduces everything old and new in 25 levels with 350+ rooms filled with DROD's trademark deadly death(tm). We've worked hard to make sure this hold is better in every way over King Dugan's, and so we're considering Journey to Rooted Hold to be the new 'official' hold and go to all the parties instead of King Dugan's. It's got smoother introductions to each of the new monsters, diabolical new puzzle ideas, a more forgiving difficulty curve, and yet it's harder than King Dugan's! Truly something for everyone.
* New graphics engine, from the big (tiles are bigger, everything's colourful and hi-res) to the small (when Beethro turns, his sword makes a little 'swish'. Oh, and now everything actually moves into its square). You can have six different floor styles - the ol' checkerboard, mosaic, road, grass, dirt, and sand, as well as the image floor, which lets you put any image you want on the floor. Try it out: it's really fancy.
* Lots of new elements, from the expected (bombs, which blow up) to the un-expected (wubbas, which will come towards you and *won't* kill you, although you can't kill them either). Or maybe you'd prefer some tunnels (zip from one side of the room to the other!) or orthogonal squares (like force arrows that stop you moving diagonally)? How about sticking your sword into rock golems (very dumb monsters that collapse into an impassable pile of rock once killed) or rattlesnakes (a new long monster that you need to hit on the tail to kill)?
* The Slayer! This wily foe will chase you down and stick his hook into you, which is not pleasant. He's one of the smartest foes in the game, and he also looks like a clown, which is very disturbing. Think of him as kind of like an anti-Beethro.
* Halph! Your closest ally, Halph can open doors for you and follow along behind you. Great for covering your back!
* Characters! Now any monster, Beethro, Halph, the Slayer, or a random passer-by can speak, including voice and subtitles. They can also move around and use orbs, and they have the ability to change their behaviour based on what's happened in the room - they can react differently if a door's open, if the room's been completed, of if Beethro's in a certain place or facing a certain way. In fact, there's 40 different conditions a character can react to.
* There's now a threat clock on the side of the screen - when you're in a room where a creature depends on the spawn counter (a spawning monster, a long monster, Halph, or the Slayer) the threat clock will appear and tick away each turn.
* You can now click on orbs and evil eyes to see what they affect/see.
* Rooms now have a 'mood' - empty rooms are ambient, rooms with low monsters are contemplative, and rooms with lots of monsters are aggressive. There's different music for each mood, and you can change the music using characters if you need to.
* The mini-map has gone through a colour change - the back's maroon now, but that's a bit trivial. What *isn't* is that now you can double click on the map and bring up a level view. Non-required rooms also show up as magenta on the map.
* Secret rooms have been added - they can be hidden by secret crumbly walls, which are very difficult indeed to see, and solving all of the secret rooms in a hold will make you a 'master' of that hold. You can now restrict parts of the hold to masters only and can give editing rights to masters instead of conquerors. Secrets rooms also won't show up on the forum.
* Spiders no longer blink, and they're no longer blue. No more staring at the screen! Now, they'll be easily visible when they move or rotate, and completely invisible when they're not, which makes them actually puzzley. We're finally happy with how spiders work, so expect to see a lot more of them in DROD in the future.
* We've fixed the brain/arrow bug, and broken lots of rooms that relied on this bug in the process.
* Lots of other stuff! (It was inevitable.)

The game is US$19.95, or US$28.95 (including shipping) for the CD version, which has some nifty cover artwork. The game's available for both Windows and Linux. Your cashmoney will buy a new 25-level hold, Journey to Rooted Hold, filled with brain-busting puzzles and a clever and entertaining storyline (with voice!), two new styles, Iceworks and Deep Spaces, and one year's subscription to CaravelNet.

CaravelNet allows you to connect to the Caravel servers from DROD, so you can download holds in game. We may have other things you can download as well - watch this space! There's also a built-in highscore table, so when you connect to CaravelNet you'll be able to see how good your solution was compared to the rest of the world. DROD will also save the best-scoring demos, and you'll be able to download them when you finish the room they're for. We'll have a place on DROD.net where you can see the overall highscores and we can find out once and for all who's the best DRODer of them all! I've tried it out, and it's a great feeling to finally get that room you've been working on and then have '2nd place!' come up on the screen as well - makes it all worthwhile. The forum will also track your progress through CaravelNet holds, and will remember which room you're in (and won't show you rooms you haven't finished).

Of course, you could forget all that purchasing stuff and just play around in the (free!) level editor, or download some (also free!) holds. This is a good idea - we've got a diabolical scheme in place for those people who make the very best holds...

(cue lightning)

So, to recap: we're not joking, we're finally done, and you can get Journey to Rooted Hold at all good http://www.caravelgames.com near you. Enjoy!

And now we're going to Disneyland. Erik's driving, I'm kicking the back of Mike's seat.

Matt (making little excited 'squee' noises)

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04-02-2005 at 02:42 PM
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MasterGiga
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Yes, I've already bought the game. Now I'm waiting for up to 12 hours to receive the link...I won't download the demo and end up playing the 3 levels over. I'll be very patient.

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04-02-2005 at 02:58 PM
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gamer_extreme_101
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After beating the demo 4 times yesterday and setting aside all of the important work I needed to do yesterday, I can't wait to get the full version! Congrats to all!

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04-02-2005 at 03:02 PM
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eytanz
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quote:
MasterGiga wrote:
Yes, I've already bought the game. Now I'm waiting for up to 12 hours to receive the link...I won't download the demo and end up playing the 3 levels over. I'll be very patient.


You don't need to be. If you play the demo, export your player, and import it into the full version, your progess will be saved.

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04-02-2005 at 04:14 PM
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masonjason
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Bought. I reckon I'm the second non-tester ever to get as far as I have, since I'm seeing a big phat "second place" after completing every room. :D Impressive, very impressive so far. eDIT: connected to CaravelNet, that is.

[Edited by masonjason at Local Time:04-02-2005 at 05:13 PM]

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04-02-2005 at 05:05 PM
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Mattcrampy
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I want to head stuff off at the pass, even if it means I stand around on the mesa waiting for the entire day and go home slightly peeved - if you have inquiries about buying JtRH, please e-mail sales@caravelgames.com. This is more direct than posting on the forum, and has a greater chance of reaching someone who can help you with your enquiry, that chance being 100%.

It also means that you don't ask me, because I really don't know, man, I just run the website.

Matt

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04-02-2005 at 06:14 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
Mattcrampy wrote:
if you have inquiries about buying JtRH, please e-mail sales@caravelgames.com.

I'd agree with this advice except that right now with the order process being so new, there are things that come up which are beneficial for others to hear on the forum too.

If anyone wants to use the forum for dealing with order problems, it will be okay to do that. In a month or so after the dust settles, we might shoo you off to e-mail.

-Erik

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04-02-2005 at 07:20 PM
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Stuwy
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I tried the demo and got the feel of the game. Then couple hours later, bought it. Still a happy camper exploring the new hold. Mad props to you guys for a huge leap between the last version and this. Worth the wait? Definitely.

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04-02-2005 at 08:25 PM
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J.O.
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Ooooh, at last! :D
I see that it was well woth the wait, yet I'll need to wait (and beg parents) to have enough money to buy the full version :~( (Well, it is "cheap" in US terms, but here with a 2.60 (or more) dollar-to-real ratio, it isn't that cheap)

And is it me or my slime idea was used (in the form of the mud), or did two great minds have the same idea :lol

Edit: Oh, and is it possible to somehow kill mr. Evil slayer without using bombs or mimics? Or is he too smart for beethro?
Also, nice title splash screen, specially the speaking...
*Mutters* "Within these walls..."

[Edited by J.O. at Local Time:04-04-2005 at 10:55 PM]
04-04-2005 at 10:51 PM
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swann_88
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masonjason told me it was out but this is the first time I have been able to get on drod.net in 3 days

running off to try it now :)

quote:
if you have played DROD before and have exported your player profile to disk ...


thank you! I didn't do this last time I upgraded and stopped playing because I had lost track of all the holds I had done

what is the out of range box over where I enter the player name?




[Edited by swann_88 at Local Time:04-05-2005 at 02:18 AM]
04-05-2005 at 02:04 AM
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joker5
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2 questions.

1: Can we play Dugan's in the new front?
2: Can we download the new hold if we bought the CD? I mean it's kind of a pain to pay more to wait longer for the new JtRH.

~joker5

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04-05-2005 at 03:54 AM
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mrimer
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quote:
joker5 wrote:
2 questions.

1: Can we play Dugan's in the new front?
The old KDD can be imported as a hold file (if you have it). Caravel will release a new 2.0 version of King Dugan's Dungeon in the near future.
quote:
2: Can we download the new hold if we bought the CD? I mean it's kind of a pain to pay more to wait longer for the new JtRH.
That's correct! When you purchase the CD, you may also immediately download the game.

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04-05-2005 at 04:08 AM
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mrimer
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quote:
swann_88 wrote:
what is the out of range box over where I enter the player name?

I'm not sure what you are asking. Would you explain this in other words?

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04-05-2005 at 04:09 AM
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joker5
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Um.... I've ordered it. Where do I download it?

~joker5

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04-05-2005 at 04:10 AM
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mrimer
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quote:
joker5 wrote:
Um.... I've ordered it. Where do I download it?
Soon after your order is confirmed, you'll receive an email with a download link. Enjoy!

[Edited by mrimer at Local Time:04-05-2005 at 04:17 AM]

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04-05-2005 at 04:17 AM
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joker5
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I will. Of course, I assume the 12 hour wait time is really a 12 hour wait time and not a worst-case scenario. Tons of DRODders waiting to get their hands on Rooted Hold...

~joker5

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04-05-2005 at 04:18 AM
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ErikH2000
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Joker, can you e-mail (erikh@caravelgames.com) and send me the e-mail address under which you placed your order? I will check your order status for you. You might have to wait 12 hours, according to the order-processing company, but most people get their download link more quickly.

-Erik

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04-05-2005 at 04:41 AM
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joker5
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Sent.

~joker5

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04-05-2005 at 04:45 AM
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swann_88
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explain further ok
when I installed I used the run now option
the first screen that comes up is supposed to be the box where you enter your player name to import your previous character
I have an error message box saying "out of range" right over where you type the name
I typed the name anyways and it went to the menu
the error box stayed on (no way to close it) and hid the link to play the game so I had to shut it down and restarted and no error this time

finished the demo although I now have to go back and find the other secrets I missed

looks great so far and loved halphs voice who did that?


04-05-2005 at 04:51 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
swann_88 wrote:
looks great so far and loved halphs voice who did that?


That was a young man named Tyler Downing. His father, Todd Downing, did the voice of the Slayer. I'll pass along the compliment.

-Erik

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04-05-2005 at 05:17 AM
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rowrow
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Around how old is tyler? Both of them were very good.

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04-05-2005 at 05:46 AM
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Mattcrampy
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Indeed, I've been very impressed with the quality of Tyler's work. That young man will go far.

But mostly I think he nailed the zig and zag stuff, and some other dialogue around the place. Voice acting can be tricky, and you can really help a game's verisimilitude with good voice acting (and vice versa), so it's good that ours turned out so well.

Matt

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04-05-2005 at 06:08 AM
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deepcut
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I visited drod.net an hour ago for my ritual checking on the non release of JtRH to be pleasently surprised. Now I'm giddy as a school girl on a first date as my purchased download is meer seconds away from finishing. Here's hoping it doesn't dissapoint :)
04-07-2005 at 05:29 AM
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cheese obsessive
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Ugh...I have been waiting all day to get home from school to order JtRH. However, my dad will not let me order it online. I was about to place my order last night, but when I asked my dad for a credit card number, he looked at the site for a while, and said, "They're trying to scam you." I asked him why, and he said that that website is not in a secure zone (which it wasn't...there is no 'lock' symbol at the bottom), and it asked for a security code, so my dad came to the conclusion that it was a scam.
So then, I tried money order, but he also thinks it is a scam. The word "your" is spelled "you" on the top of the form, so he concluded that the company is irrisponsible, and there is also a field or two to fill in under "additional info" that are just blobs of random letters and numbers. He has no idea what those mean, and a phone order is out of the question with my dad. So I am not able to get JtRH, unless my dad gets convinced that this is not a scam. :( I am angry. Grr.
04-07-2005 at 06:03 PM
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AlefBet
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It actually is secure, but it doesn't look secure inside a frame. With frames, part of the page can be secure and part can be insecure, so the browser has to show the whole page as insecure.

You can verify it's secure by opening the "buy now" link in a new window (or new tab, if you have a tabbed browser). I actually think it's a bit scary that no one thought to look for that until now.

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04-07-2005 at 06:09 PM
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Oneiromancer
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Heh...that's pretty sad. Scams don't masquerade as independent computer games...and certainly not for $20 or so. Show your Dad this forum, the websites, and whatnot...convince him that this is a real game. Actually, download the demo and show him the sell screen...that it really is a shareware game.

Once he's convinced that it's a real game, I think Erik mentioned possibly using a check or money order to buy the game, although I'm not sure where he posted that. Some people trust PayPal, if Plimus accepts that.

Game on,

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04-07-2005 at 06:29 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
cheese obsessive wrote:
Ugh...I have been waiting all day to get home from school to order JtRH. However, my dad will not let me order it online. I was about to place my order last night, but when I asked my dad for a credit card number, he looked at the site for a while, and said, "They're trying to scam you." I asked him why, and he said that that website is not in a secure zone (which it wasn't...there is no 'lock' symbol at the bottom), and it asked for a security code, so my dad came to the conclusion that it was a scam.
So then, I tried money order, but he also thinks it is a scam. The word "your" is spelled "you" on the top of the form, so he concluded that the company is irrisponsible, and there is also a field or two to fill in under "additional info" that are just blobs of random letters and numbers. He has no idea what those mean, and a phone order is out of the question with my dad. So I am not able to get JtRH, unless my dad gets convinced that this is not a scam. :( I am angry. Grr.

Your Dad is maybe erring on the side of paranoia, but that's the right side to err on.

* The current order page is secure, but frames disguise that fact. So I can't blame anyone for thinking the page is insecure. We're going to get rid of the frames later to avoid problems like this. Here is an alternate URL that can be used to order the game from Plimus. Your browser will report it as a secure connection.

https://www.plimus.com/jsp/buynow.jsp?templateId=43377&referrer=store&contractId=1643564

* The "you" grammatical error gives a very poor presentation and I'll tell Plimus about it. I don't know that they will change it for certain.

* About the "blobs of random letters and numbers": this is part of our security for giving out CaravelNet keys. Plimus is putting it on the order page you would print out so that the information is not lost when you mail the form. We don't really need the info, but Plimus' software thinks we might so it stuffs it on the form in a way that is confusing. We'll try to come up with something better.

Please, pass this along to your father. He is right that there are signs of unprofessionalism in our order forms that we should address, and I'm glad to have this feedback. I'm happy to call and talk to him if it can help to convince him that the order forms are legitimate. I'm also happy to give my phone# to you so he can call. If that is desirable, then e-mail me at erikh@caravelgames.com.

-Erik

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04-07-2005 at 06:57 PM
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quote:
cheese obsessive wrote:
Ugh...I have been waiting all day to get home from school to order JtRH. However, my dad will not let me order it online. I was about to place my order last night, but when I asked my dad for a credit card number, he looked at the site for a while, and said, "They're trying to scam you." I asked him why, and he said that that website is not in a secure zone (which it wasn't...there is no 'lock' symbol at the bottom), and it asked for a security code, so my dad came to the conclusion that it was a scam.
So then, I tried money order, but he also thinks it is a scam. The word "your" is spelled "you" on the top of the form, so he concluded that the company is irrisponsible, and there is also a field or two to fill in under "additional info" that are just blobs of random letters and numbers. He has no idea what those mean, and a phone order is out of the question with my dad. So I am not able to get JtRH, unless my dad gets convinced that this is not a scam. :( I am angry. Grr.

Erik, he's onto us! Quick, we need to institute Plan B: You destroy the server, Matt will clear out the bank accounts, Mike will get rid of all the other evidence, I'll make the travel arrangements, and we'll all flee seperately and then meet up at the predetermined location. Now go!

:P

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Matt O'Leary
Webb Institute
Class of 2007

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception."
-Groucho Marx
04-07-2005 at 07:59 PM
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Nosdrah Circtrebla
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icon Re: Not Fooling (+2)  
I completed Drod last summer and just when I was about to get back into the world of humans, JtRH comes out. It's a great game.

I have returned to the darkest, blackest hole of my basement to play this game. Just as I had began to re-aquaint myself with my family, I suddenly disappear. No longer will I be seen in family pictures or have a family dinner. I will eat eye ball pudding and kill roaches until all hours of the day.

Good job. Keep up the good work. :thumbsup

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04-07-2005 at 08:08 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Not Fooling (+1)  
I sent an e-mail to Plimus and they fixed the grammatical error. Also, Schik and I figured out how to get the gibberish values from appearing on the mail order page and that is fixed now.

-Erik

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04-07-2005 at 08:20 PM
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