A marvel of Sega Genesis programming, Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote didn’t garner massive fanfare when it was originally released on the console, but it’s contributions to 16-Bit legend and lore can never be understated.

More than 25 years since the game’s initial release, one of the game’s creators, John Fulbright is still proud of what he and the team were able to accomplish. Regardless, he still feels as if the effort isn’t as understood as it could have been, for a variety of reasons.

“We did something groundbreaking,” Fulbright said. “That game has more memory devoted to the cart than any other video game on the Genesis. We had so many animations and different animations- so many frames with that page. The only way we could make it work was compression and lightning-fast decompression, but there couldn’t be any lag. That was one of my favorite things to do because it worked exactly how I wanted it to. I could compress these large pieces of art and then decompress them quickly and to video, so we never ran out of memory.

“Sometimes, they’d show up and they’d ask us questions about our games. They’d want to come up with some snazzy PR material. And I remember one time we were telling them about the compression algorithm, but someone just said, ‘We just blast it.’ Usually, we say ‘bled’ and for some reason, they had ‘blast video’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, you blasted there.’ Suddenly that’s the word they wanted to use. Blast programming. This game uses blast programing. Like what does that mean? I think it’s nothing.”

Despite how influential he was to the game’s success, Desert Demolition was again, a different type of project for Fulbright. One that was more a job, but one that he found a way to make special. If nothing else, it served as a valuable lesson to him for the rest of his time in the video game industry.

“Look beyond just what it takes to get a job done,” Fulbright said. “What happens after the job is done? Who’s going to look at it? What parts are they going to be happy about and what parts are they not? What could have been done to make it better? What are the other technologies and tools that are available to me now that maybe I could have used or known about beforehand that might have produced a better result? That’s the passion and the commitment to what you do as a professional.”

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (319 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com