Chimera was meant to be an homage to Knight Lore. I had two motives to make Chimera back in December 1984.
- I was 18 when Knight Lore came out having recently released my C64 version of Jet Set Willy. I was young so I thought my budding “career” was already over. It was another video game for me, or bust. And when I say bust, I mean bust for life.
- Knight Lore was a glimpse into the seemingly impossible. The naïve young me saw it as a challenge. I had to know how it was done – and I had to do it myself. Only a handful of games have had the same effect on me. They include Star Raiders, Ultima Underworld and No Man's Sky. I really cant think of any more right now and if I'm ruthless, it's really only Knight Lore and No Man's Sky. I was inspired. Deeply, indelibly inspired. How often do games come out that not only take their place in the pantheon of greats, not only do they inspire a generation, but they divide time into “before” and “after”.
After I made Chimera on the first four 8-bit platforms, I think I lost my way a bit. I had so many options. I just didn't make the right decisions. I was young. I didn't know what I had until it was gone.
This is perhaps recklessly honest, but I don't want to do “this” the easy way. I want to write the follow-up to Chimera the best way I can. That means C++. Everything from scratch. As close to the metal as I can get these days.
A lot of people, quite rightly and logically have suggested that a man with a day job as demanding as mine should use all the help he can, perhaps using a tool like Unity or GameMaker. I like both of these tools, they're incredibly empowering, I would recommend them to most people, and I will use them for other projects — just not for Chimera.
I want to go as hardcore as I dare. I want to drink deeply from the pool of OpenGL and seek wisdom from the gurus of GLSL. I want to make this game look fantastic and play in a way that affects people. Only then do I want them to say “not only was this game made by one man, but he did it with ridiculous constraints”. If I'm shameless, I want a young, aspiring developer to look at what I've done, and without knowing anything about me at all be inspired to make a game like it, or better.
There is no better way to live and yes, it's the only way I know.