Chimera was meant to be an homage to Knight Lore. I had two motives to make Chimera back in December 1984.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


4 thoughts on “Reasons”

  1. I really hope you find the time to complete this massive undertaking. I enjoy following this quest on Twitter. However never forget that Allowing yourself the time and serenity among the busy schedule you seem to thrive on will help in more ways than you could ever imagine.

  2. Inspiring stuff Shahid – well said. I believe there are far too few people like yourself working in all the creative industries – especially video games and films.

    Don’t compromise your vision – inspire that 18 year old who’s out there….

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