Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

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



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 […]


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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 […]


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Utah Unity Users Group Meeting – Feb 2016

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 19, 2016

The quarterly meeting of the Utah Unity Users Group Meeting began with the usual Monty Python jokes about the “UUUG” acronym in a classroom at Salt Lake Community College. Then we launched into pizza, networking, and a word from our sponsors. In particular, we heard from KForce Staffing & Solutions, the bringers of the pizza. […]


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



[Archive] Of Game Engines and Swarm Missiles

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 1, 2015

Editorial Note: This is an article that first appeared in the previous blog back in January 2006. Yeah, it’s old, but still valid. I’ve edited it to bring it up to date. Although I must admit, working with Unity has provided me with a lot fewer ugly surprises than some other engines. In early 1995, […]


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How “Old School” Graphics Worked

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 26, 2015

Oh, man. This brings up some memories. I worked with the Commodore 64 graphics for years. Never produced anything commercial, but I certainly struggled with these challenges. There’s something he doesn’t bring up in the video about the Commodore 64’s sprite mode. Each sprite had its position dictated by two bytes – one for X […]


Filed Under: Art, Programming, Retro - Comments: 3 Comments to Read



Insight into the mind of a programmer

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 13, 2015

Ever try to count a large number of things, and have someone walk up to you, see what you are doing, and then say random numbers at you to make you screw up? After three decades of computer programming (two of ’em professionally), I finally realized that this is a great analogy for the mind […]


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When It All Just Works

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 8, 2015

I think I managed to damage myself working in the Torque Game Engine for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon. Not meaning any disrespect for the people who developed and improved on it, as it was pretty dang cool for its time, but I kept finding things that I needed to do were really, really […]


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How 3D Racing Games Worked Before 3D

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 6, 2015

This may be for hard-core code geeks only, but I don’t care. It’s fascinating reading! It’s an article about how titles “faked” 3D race tracks in an era before there really was the hardware or processing power to do real 3D at racing-game speeds. I remember making some games of my own that faked it […]


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Indie Game Dev Thought of the Day #1

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 15, 2014

Dumb thought for the day: Being a game programmer will teach you that there’s a very fine line between genius and stupidity. very fine indeed. What sounded brilliant in your head last night may prove to be absolutely unworkable, shortsighted, and stupid when you try to implement it. Or… it might not.  


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Unity 4.6

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 26, 2014

The long-awaited UI system is here for Unity! I’m pretty used to using NGUI by now (and the creator of NGUI helped work on this new UI system), so I’m not sure how much I’ll want / need to mix ‘n match. But it’s nice to have that option, and worth investigating. I’m still in […]


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Man, I think that Mass Paralyze spell is imbalanced!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 11, 2014

Amusing bug story of the week. Actually, two bugs: On Utah Indie Night, one of the group was playing the (updated) Comic Con demo for Frayed Knights 2: The Khan of Wrath. As he gets into combat for the first time, I explain that the spells are randomly generated every time the game resets, and […]


Filed Under: Frayed Knights, Programming - Comments: 5 Comments to Read



Game Development: Rolling Your Own Engine?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 11, 2014

This weekend in the indie game developers group on Facebook, a vocal minority (very much a minority) ventured “opinions” disparaging developers who don’t build their own game engine from scratch. The predictable crapstorm ensued. Mainly it was troll-feeding and simply fun to pile on, as these Internet arguments often go. Now, ignoring for the moment […]


Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 7 Comments to Read



Belated BASIC Birthday

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 6, 2014

I didn’t realize that last Thursday was the 50th anniversary of the release of BASIC. Wow. And I thought it was pretty old when I was first introduced to it when I was twelve. BASIC stands for “Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.” But not really. I think they just came up with whatever words fit […]


Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 13 Comments to Read



Lord British Wants *You* to Port His RPG…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 17, 2014

This looks like fun for programmers around here… Before there was Ultima, before there was even Akalabeth: World of Doom, there was…. DnD1. On a PDP 11 mini-computer. There’s a one-month contest going on at Richard Garriott’s Portalarium – a contest to port his first computer RPG to Unity and to the browser. This is […]


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