Chimera II

Before David and I started work on Pandora, we talked about an interim project. We should have done this.

I loved the way we worked back then. I’d have these grandiose ideas and David would help me to ground them. This makes me sound creative and David sound organised, but actually, David is perhaps more creative than I. It was just the way we interfaced. It’s almost impossible to describe, but it worked to a fashion.

David went on to create Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator, one of the most innovative games I’ve played. (I helped with the graphics libraries and music, and with porting, graphics and music on the St and Amiga versions). He then created the even more ambitious Floor 13, which I’ve urged him to remake for the modern era.

Chimera II would have been a suitable half-way point between the commercial success of Chimera and the creative ambition of Pandora. I had a bunch of ideas, which David then ran with and turned into something actually useful. I present his Chimera II document to you after 27 years. This won’t be what I make next, but it might have been a very good Chimera II in 1986.

1985 Chimera II Design Notes 11985 Chimera II Design Notes 21985 Chimera II Design Notes 31985 Chimera II Design Notes 4

Retro Gamer

I just spent a couple of hours speaking to the lovely Paul Drury of Retro Gamer. The interview will feature at some point, I’ll let you know nearer the time. I’m looking forward to it I must say. It was quite a ride to cover my first 30 years in the business in just 2 hours, especially with the cough I’m currently sporting! The interview made me remember some things I’d completely forgotten. It was quite an experience.

I’ll post more of my archived stuff as and when I get more time, including the full Z80 printout of the room editor I wrote when I started building Chimera on the Spectrum.

Nightshade C64 – Part 3

This is a continuation of my earlier posts, Nightshade C64 – Part 1 and Nightshade C64 – Part 2.

Here is the rest of the document I referred to in Nightshade C64 – Part 2. I hope you enjoy this piece of history. It was one of the most exhilarating times of my life and also became one of my biggest professional regrets, but you’ll have to wait for part 4 for that, and that won’t be out for a while. Definitely worth reading if you’re into Ultimate though. (Or Chimera, for that matter)

All of this is why the subtitle for Chimera2010 is “This Time Get It Right”…


Nightshade C64 – Part 2

Continuing from Nightshade C64 – Part 1, here’s part 2, where I post half of the bound pamphlet that Ultimate sent me for the conversion of their Nightshade from the ZX Spectrum to the C64. I’ll post the second half in part 3 of this series. Please note that the aspect ratio of the cover page is wrong, it’s a little stretched because of the camera scanning software I used. Note also the shadow of the iPad across the bottom right of each page.



Nightshade C64 – Part 1

I’m going to post a few things on Nightshade tonight. I wrote the C64 version 27 years ago, so it’s about time. I’ll write up my thoughts more fully at some point, and probably for another destination, but for now, I’ll share with you some of the documents I’ve kept from that time, starting with the contract I had with Firebird, and then later, maybe tonight, maybe in a day or two, the nicely packaged document that Chris Stamper sent me.

The 8th of October is of 1985 – and that’s my handwriting on the MOU, though the initials were of Paul Jacobs of Telecomsoft. It was Firebird who had the licence for publishing Nightshade, but I guess they didn’t have too long to do it, because they gave me four weeks, after which I’d have to pay a penalty of £400 a week.

The contract is brutally short, but that was fine by me, and would be today too.


1985 10 08 Nightshade Contract 11985 10 08 Nightshade Contract 2

Welcome, David Eastman



It is with great pleasure that I’d like to welcome my dear friend David Eastman. David and I have been friends most of our lives, and we even collaborated on some games. Most of them were really good.

David is one of the most interesting people it has been my pleasure to know. His lateral genius is obvious to anyone who gets to know him and his intelligence and insight serve to inspire me, constantly. David is one of those people who through their encouragement and support helps get the best from me.

I could continue, but David was around 25 years ago and I know that he will be able to provide a perspective on that era that the readers of this blog will enjoy. And finally, Chimera would never have been signed in the first place without David’s input and support. He was with me on one of the happiest days of my life, when Chimera was accepted by Firebird.