Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

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 […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: Read the First Comment



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



Being a Part-Time Indie: Finding the Rhythm

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 7, 2016

One of the reasons I really enjoy the Day Job is that … for the most part… it doesn’t depend much on employee heroics or people working 50-60 hour workweeks to survive. Given my senior status here, I work hard to make sure that’s NOT the case. Usually. However, sometimes the craziness happens. That’s pretty […]


Filed Under: Game Development, Geek Life, Writing - Comments: Read the First Comment



A Bag of Blocks – Tips for Generating Quality Procedural Content

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 9, 2016

I guess my very first experience with “procedural content” – at least the one that stuck in my memory – was Appendix C of the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. Starting with an entrance template, you randomly rolled up to see what lay beyond every open section of the dungeon, and […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: Read the First Comment



10 Classic Game Development Post-Mortems

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 3, 2016

For many years, Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra published Postmortems. They were always fascinating insights into the struggles of teams making some of the most popular games of the era. While there were fascinating tidbits unique to each game, a lot of the struggles and “best practices” were common, almost to the point of being […]


Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: Comments are off for this article



Game Design: Chrono Trigger’s Design Secrets

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 27, 2016

Even if you aren’t a fan of classic JRPGs, this article provides some valuable insight into the design elements that went into Chrono Trigger, and made it stand out as a classic more than twenty years after its release. While the approaches they chose aren’t universally applicable, it does demonstrate how some very conscious, careful […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: 3 Comments to Read



At What Cost Survival?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 25, 2016

Okay, depending on the game, I like survival mechanics. It’s a not-insignificant part of why I love the Ultima Underworld series so much. Maybe there’s an effective Maslow’s Hierarchy for RPGs or something, but having that base level struggle, particularly at the beginning, can be pretty fun. It’s becoming more common lately. I think this […]


Filed Under: Design - Comments: Comments are off for this article



Games vs. Stories, Revisited

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 21, 2016

I have often posited that you can have a great game, or a great story, but not both. Having spent some time improving (well, reducing the suck level of) my fiction-writing chops, I think I’m ready to offer a more informed opinion: You can have a great game, or a great story, but not both. […]


Filed Under: Design, Writing - Comments: 5 Comments to Read



What Game Could I Build for a Million Dollars?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 13, 2016

So let’s say you were given a million dollars to build your dream game. Could you? At least in the U.S., the chances are… well, only if you don’t dream very big. Michael Fitch tackles the question in “What Does $1 MM Buy in Game Development?” I don’t know what it would take to have indie […]


Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 2 Comments to Read



Learning to Program: How Hard Is It?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 6, 2016

When people ask me about learning computer programming, I truthfully answer that I don’t feel it’s hard to learn. It’s not. It’s about one semester’s worth of a high school algebra class and a high school language class.  There’s a “coding bootcamp” in nearby Provo that trains students how to do web development in JavaScript […]


Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 2 Comments to Read



Unity – Full Adam Demo Video

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 20, 2016

When I was a kid, I got the premier issue of a magazine (Discover?) which had this great illustrated article about computer graphics. Maybe that’s one of the things that sucked me into being a game developer. It showed the evolution of 3D computer graphics up until that point, focusing on non-real-time rendered images. How […]


Filed Under: Art - Comments: Read the First Comment



2D Game Programming: Why, Y?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 13, 2016

I have a problem programming in modern game engines in 2D. It’s weird, it’s embarrassing, and it trips me up constantly even when I think I’m being careful. And I finally figured out why. My problem is Y. Now, let me preface this by saying I don’t have this problem when doing 3D coding. It’s […]


Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 12 Comments to Read



The Stigma of Game Engines

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 9, 2016

These days, the question of whether or not to use an off-the-shelf game engine as a small, indie developer has largely been settled. The flood of games coming out these days has largely settled that. Sure, there are reasons for rolling your own… especially if you’ve already done so, it works, and is both familiar […]


Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 3 Comments to Read



The Publishers Who Will Destroy Your Career

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 24, 2016

A publisher can be awesome. Even as an “indie” – having someone else manage the crap you don’t want to may be absolutely worth it. Things are changing, and the role of a publisher is changing along with it. And in many cases, a publisher can really make a tremendous, positive difference in your sales […]


Filed Under: Biz, Game Development, Writing - Comments: 4 Comments to Read



Game Development: Try it, you might like it. Or it might consume your soul.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 6, 2016

James Wymore talked recently about the difference between those who want to write novels, and those who want to have written a novel. This resonated with me both as a writer and as a game developer. When interviewing people for positions for the game studio, there were people who I felt would do anything short […]


Filed Under: Game Development, Writing - Comments: Read the First Comment



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