Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Matt Chat Interview – With the Rampant Coyote!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 20, 2011

I feel like an old-timer going off telling stories that nobody wants to hear or something. But I appreciate the chance Matt Barton (author of “Dungeons & Desktops” – the history of computer RPGs) gave me to participate in his show.

This is part 1 of our interview, where I talk mainly about making games in the “good ol’ days” – Twisted Metal, Warhawk, Jet Moto, etc.  But the last bit takes us to Frayed Knights, and the challenge of making indie games.

As always, if you like this video, please send Matt a tip (and share it with others).

And if you REALLY like it, please feel free to check out Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon.

If it didn’t put you to sleep and you have any follow-up questions on my rants in response to Matt’s questions, please feel free to ask away.

I should add here, too, that while Aveyond really found a strong audience with women, it is NOT, IMO, a “girl’s game.” It was designed to have a more broad appeal than just the traditional audience, and it won over a lot of people for whom it was their first RPG.  The Aveyond series – and several others of similar style – are very “gender inclusive,”  and in so being have tapped into a brand new audience. But I’m a grumpy old-school gamer GUY and I really enjoy these games too.

Filed Under: Frayed Knights, Indie Evangelism, Interviews - Comments: 9 Comments to Read

  • Rowdy Rob said,

    I was introduced to you, and “Frayed Knights” incidentally, via this episode of “Matt Chat.” I am quite intrigued! You seem like a great guy, and your programming history is amazing and admirable!

    I don’t consider myself a hard-core CRPG’er, but I do enjoy the genre as well as others (like “Twisted Metal” and “Warhawk!”). I just tend to tire of a CRPG long before the “100+ hours of gameplay” that they generally advertise as a feature, so your more limited “30 hours” seems just about right to me!

    I’m quite curious about your development team. Without spoiling the details, do you get into this in the next episodes? Surely you can’t be developing everything solo, right?

    Considering the other indie CRPG’s on Steam, some of them with primitive 8-bit-like game engines, I can’t see any reason why Steam wouldn’t carry your game. I hope you manage to get “Frayed Knights” on Steam, because it seems like it would fit very well in their indie line-up!

    Thanks for participating in the “Matt Chat” interview! As a fan of the show, I was intrigued enough to check out “Frayed Knights!”

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Hi Rob!

    No, I didn’t do it solo, but I didn’t exactly have a “team” either. This was a part-time endeavor with me helming the thing from start-to-finish, using off-the-shelf content where I could, and pressuring and contracting some friends (who I think remain friends… at least I hope so…) to help out for a fraction of what they were really worth, when they could. I was really the only guy working on it week-after-week the whole time (and when the day job got into crunch mode, there were some weeks that didn’t see much work done by me either). But I couldn’t have done it without their valuable assistance either.

    Yeah, I can’t see why Steam wouldn’t carry the game either, but they turned me down. They turn down the majority of indie submissions, actually – I was hoping FK would stand out enough to be one of the exceptions, but apparently not.

    But hey – maybe when Frayed Knights 2 hits the ‘Net, possibly bigger but definitely better, Steam will bite and retroactively add The Skull of S’makh-Daon.

  • OttoMoBiehl said,

    Pretty nice interview Jay. I always like watching these kinds of things as I enjoy seeing where people came from and what they did to get where they are. Congratz!

  • McTeddy said,

    Jay Barnson and Matt Barton on the same screen! How did my computer not explode from the awesome!

    I actually saw the video an hour after it was posted and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’d known very little about your work in AAA and enjoyed hearing your tales.

    Though… I admit… I am usually entertained when I hear a dev say “You know that really cool feature you love? Yeeeeah… that was a bug.” Its amazing how often I hear that.

  • Xenovore said,


    (I’m a part-time member of Jay’s team, and yeah, we’re mostly still friends.) =D

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    @OttoMoBiehl – For a long time I took the approach that you could / should “graduate” to indie-dom by first working at a non-indie games studio. It was an incredible learning experience for me. But I think that advice has become at least partly obsolete, especially if you are talking about a major studio. It’s too huge and specialized for you to learn much about the overall process. But you can still get the experience at smaller studios.

    @McTeddy – I now treat it as an axiom that you ‘can’t design fun on paper.’ Just as I said in the interview – once things start moving from the page to the screen, the actual game should be your primary guide. A lot of the best ideas come later in development – so not exactly “bugs” but ideas that occur while you are playing earlier builds.

    @Xenovore – Whew! 🙂 So I didn’t abuse our friendship that bad, then?

  • PC World Interview – More on Warhawk and Twisted Metal said,

    […] CommentsRampant Coyote on Matt Chat Interview – With the Rampant Coyote!Xenovore on Matt Chat Interview – With the Rampant Coyote!McTeddy on Matt Chat Interview […]

  • Rats said,

    What are the next parts about?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    We still touch occasionally on some of the games from the “old days,” but mainly it’s about Frayed Knights, and being an indie game developer.