Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Crafting VR Multiplayer in Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 6, 2017

I love cooperative multiplayer games. That said, I often avoid them, simply because I have such a weird schedule and got burned out trying to coordinate times with friends back when I was doing the MMO thing, and had too many bad experiences with pick-up groups. However, it still fascinates me. Especially as a game developer […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: Read the First Comment



Game Development: Getting the Basics Right

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 29, 2017

I should know better playing games that come in a “shovelware” bundle. They are published by indies now, but the same thing was true in the early days of the CD-ROM revolution in the 90s, when bundlers would throw a half-dozen or more lackluster titles on a CD for $15 or less. Actually, I do […]


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RPG Design: Being the Bad Guy

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 25, 2017

When Tyranny was announced, I wasn’t interested. I’m still not. As much as I want to play all the games, my cup is definitely overflowing right now, and the concept didn’t thrill me. Actually, it left me cold. It seems I wasn’t the only one. Rock Paper Shotgun: The Fall of Tyranny This is me: […]


Filed Under: Design, Writing - Comments: 2 Comments to Read



PC Game Development Rulebook Rule Violation #7

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 3, 2017

There ought to be Okay, here’s one for the PC Game Development rulebook (Which isn’t really a thing, but it ought to be. Let’s get that going): Rule #7: Thou shalt not take input from the game input device without authorization! Meaning: Just because there’s a device (or especially a virtual device) is plugged into the […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: 5 Comments to Read



Simpler Dungeon Design: Consider the Antagonists

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 17, 2017

Jeffro (of Appendix N fame) has a suggestion for easier dungeon design for old-school style dungeon delving. DUNGEON DESIGN: Start with the Wandering Monsters In some ways, what he’s really working through is encounter design. This was a bit of an emphasis in the late 3rd edition and 4th edition D&D dungeon design style of […]


Filed Under: Design, Dice & Paper - Comments: 3 Comments to Read



Unity 5.6 is released

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 3, 2017

Unity 5.6 Released This release is supposed to finish the “Unity 5 Cycle” – which is really only interesting to the people who bought Unity 5 under the older licensing scheme. The biggest changes (in my mind) are improved lighting (desperately needed) and other graphical improvements. Vulkan support is pretty exciting too, as is the 2D […]


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Appendix N – Breaking the Old-School Fantasy Game Code

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 14, 2017

For the Frayed Knights games, I really wanted to capture the old-school spirit of not just computer RPGs, but also the style of tabletop D&D games I remember playing and envisioning as a kid. Things were different back then. If you read the old modules (both by TSR and third-party publishers), the original rulebooks from […]


Filed Under: Books, Design, Impressions - Comments: 7 Comments to Read



RPG Design: Letting the Bots Fill In the Details

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 24, 2017

Procedural content generation (PCG) is what will save computer role-playing games, if it doesn’t kill it first. What I mean is this: RPGs are really, really content-heavy. Exploration is a major element in classic RPGs (although, as Guido Henkel recently pointed out, the dice-and-paper tradition they are based on is more oriented on problem-solving). This means the […]


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Guido Henkel on a New / Old Way To Design RPGs

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 20, 2017

Guido Henkel, designer of the original Realms of Arkania CRPG series and producer of the critically acclaimed cult favorite Planescape: Torment, has put together a list of things modern RPGs are getting wrong… and how they ought to be able to get things right. The thing is… not a whole lot of what he’s saying […]


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Gamedev Addicts Anonymous…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 24, 2017

[At the weekly meeting of Game Dev Addicts Anonymous] Hi, I’m Jay. Hi Jay I’ve gone nearly 30 days without game development. Congratulations! No, it’s driving me crazy! It’s mainly because my primary development computer went on the fritz and died and I’m waiting on a replacement. I haven’t touched it because I couldn’t transfer my […]


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Josh Sawyer Interview at RPG Codex

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 30, 2016

If you are interested in understanding the mind of a professional, veteran computer RPG developer, you should head over to RPG Codex and check out this fantastic interview with Josh Sawyer. It’s lengthy, and well worth it if you are at all interested in the nuts and bolts that go into making a commercial-quality computer […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: 3 Comments to Read



Programming a Computer with Nothing

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 7, 2016

I don’t know why this irritates me, but it does. Several times over the last few weeks, I’ve seen memes like the one on the right, generally from programmers who think it’s cute.  As if it really was a mystery. But… if you are not a programmer, or you are a programmer who actually doesn’t […]


Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 2 Comments to Read



Bit Rot (and Frayed Knights 2)

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 7, 2016

“Bit rot” is a joke we programmers make about code. Code is digital, of course, and so you don’t have to worry about the deterioration of it over time and usage like you might with hardware. Parts don’t wear out. Amazingly, code that supposedly hasn’t been touched for a long time in software which has […]


Filed Under: Frayed Knights, Programming - Comments: Comments are off for this article



Adapting Advanced Dungeons & Dragons to the computer in the Gold Box era.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 3, 2016

These articles (I’m late linking to them) are about the “Gold Box” official adaptation of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons to computers. While they are officially entitled, “Why the Economy Sucks in SSI’s Gold Box Games,” they mostly talk about how the dice & paper evolved and how SSI adapted it – and the compromises they had […]


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Mapping my Own Creative Process – How I (Don’t) Work

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 17, 2016

I think I’ve discovered something about how my brain works. I don’t know if it’s cool or stupid, or just plain weird. All three, probably. Except cool. Maybe it’s cool that I’m finally figuring it out, and now I just need to know how to adapt to it. I’ve been Game Mastering RPGs for local […]


Filed Under: Design, Dice & Paper, Game Development, Writing - Comments: 5 Comments to Read



No Man’s Sky – Suggestions

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 22, 2016

It’s been a month since the overhyped procedural universe game No Man’s Sky was released, to the disappointment of many. I’m not going to comment on what was done right or wrong here in managing expectations. I’m still playing. It’s an easy, go-to game to jump in and play for a few minutes (which usually stretches […]


Filed Under: Design, Impressions - Comments: 4 Comments to Read



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