Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Dramatic Unrealism

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 29, 2015

Monsters in “dungeons” in RPGs don’t display “realistic” AI for the same reasons that enemy combatants in kung fu movies take turns getting clobbered by the hero / heroine. An organized defense (or offense) would… well, it wouldn’t be any fun. But then, an organized attack against an actual entrenched forces dwelling underground in a […]

Filed Under: Design, Writing - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

Matt Chat Asks if Wizardry was a “Rip-Off” of Oubliette

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 28, 2015

“Rip off” is a pretty strong term, as is “plagiarism” suggested by the Chester “the CRPG Addict” Bolingbroke based on his experiences playing Oubliette on a PLATO system.  Chester makes a pretty compelling argument and lays out evidence that Greenberg and Woodhead perhaps drew a bit more than just “inspiration” from the game. However, Oubliette […]

Filed Under: Biz, Retro - Comments: Comments are off for this article

A New Frayed Knights Review

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 27, 2015

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new review for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon! But Steamfirst has one, here: Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon Review at Steamfirst.com It sounds like the reviewer “got it,” in particular recognizing the in-party banter for exactly what it is supposed to resemble. I’d at least […]

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

Making Games Instead of Talking About Making Games…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 26, 2015

I think I’ve finally given into the fact that my schedule is never not going to be crazy. Not until I’m six feet under, at least, and I have high hopes of that being a long, long time from now. I’ve decided my number one time sink is probably social media… it’s a fantastic tool, […]

Filed Under: Rampant Games - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

Ten Computer RPGs You’ve Never Heard Of*

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 25, 2015

I struggle with the obscurity of my own indie RPG, Frayed Knights, every day. That’s a common problem with indie games, in spite of our best efforts. But compared to the average indie release, Frayed Knights is doing pretty well. It’s been in some bundles, made it onto Steam, gotten some good reviews and even […]

Filed Under: General - Comments: 18 Comments to Read

RPG Leveling Mechanics – The Fairy Tale Secret Sauce

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 22, 2015

Every once in a while I’ll hear somebody complain about the leveling mechanics in RPGs, usually about how you start as a nobody with a wooden sword and progress to becoming one of the world’s ultimate superheroes. In particular, the complaints seem to stem from the idea that you always start from such lowly beginnings. […]

Filed Under: Design - Comments: Read the First Comment

Steamfest Presentation: Steampunk Video Games

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 21, 2015

Nick Lives of Deli Interactive and I will be giving a presentation at Salt City Steamfest in July on steampunk video games. And… well, steampunk-adjacent (dieselpunk, etc.) We’ll be showing a few trailers, will have some video clips from game developers, and will be discussing mostly what’s out there and how they embrace the steampunk tropes, […]

Filed Under: General - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

Visibility: Screaming at the Top of Your Lungs

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 20, 2015

I don’t like to rant. I don’t like to scream. I don’t like to shock. I like to stay positive. Maybe that’s why I have no future in this business, I don’t know. It seems that as anything moves out of a niche to the point where the market gets saturated, anything that isn’t effectively […]

Filed Under: Biz, Indie Evangelism - Comments: 9 Comments to Read

The Bard’s Tale IV Begins Its Spool-Up For Crowdfunding

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 19, 2015

The. Bard’s. Tale. Brian Fargo’s Vision for The Bard’s Tale Originally, the series was supposed to be called “Tales of the Unknown,” and the first game was to be “The Bard’s Tale.” Maybe future editions would have been called “The Magician’s Tale” and “The Knight’s Tale.” But it was “The Bard’s Tale” that stuck. It […]

Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

Rocksmith 2014: 18 Month Report – Leveling Up

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 18, 2015

Eighteen months ago, I bought Rocksmith 2014 and committed to play it at least a few minutes every day for at least a year. They advertised it as the “fastest way to learn guitar,” and it proved to be a tremendous improvement over some similar attempts to use a video game to teach guitar. For […]

Filed Under: Guitar Games - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

The “Big Indie” RPGs — Upgraded

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 15, 2015

A bunch of the “big indie” RPGs, all crowdfunded, are undergoing some major revisions. This means a lot of different things. Now, one could complain that they were all released too soon, due to the pressures of promised release dates and clearly limited budgets. That’d not be entirely wrong. But in all of these cases, the […]

Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

Are Game Consoles in Decline?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 14, 2015

There was a bit of buzz last year about the decline of gaming consoles. The buzz itself has gone into decline. I think it was in part this conjecture (building up over years) that led to the creation of microconsoles. The logic was sound, if the premise was correct and the conditions had been unchanged: […]

Filed Under: Biz - Comments: 8 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 […]

Filed Under: Programming - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

The Void – a Virtual Reality Theme Park?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 12, 2015

When I was a kid, I read the science fiction novel “Dream Park” by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. This was after Dungeons & Dragons had become something of a cult hit. The story followed sort of a live-action role-playing experience inside a virtual reality amusement park. As life imitates art (which imitated life…), people started trying […]

Filed Under: Books, Geek Life - Comments: Comments are off for this article

Cyberpunk Now! Upcoming and Recent Cyberpunk Computer RPGs

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 11, 2015

Back in the early 90s, I got into the science fiction subgenre called “Cyberpunk.” My gateway drug was primarily a tabletop role-playing game by the same name, by Mike Pondsmith through his label R. Talsorian Games. The rulebooks were full of drawings in a style reminiscent of Patrick Nagel, but with critical differences – particularly […]

Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

Game Dev Quote of the Week: Story vs. Gameplay Edition

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 8, 2015

Story vs. Gameplay – the never-ending debate. This interview with Brenda Romero circa 1998 (with a different surname) regarding the “balance” in RPGs… specifically, at the time, Wizardry 8… reveals an interesting approach that probably makes more sense in hindsight: “This is weird because I’ve never really thought of it that way. With Wizardry, it’s […]

Filed Under: Quote of the Week - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

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