Chimaera CEO Andrew Colosimo on its radically different approach to blockchain gaming
More than a dApp here, a dApp there
Since this article was published, Chimaera has rebranded to XAYA. You can check out the website at XAYA.io.
Given the trajectory of Bitcoin prices, there are plenty of crypto enthusiasts with stories of being – and selling – too early.
Andrew Colosimo’s interest in blockchain started in 2011 when the-then IT specialist started mining Bitcoin in his rented flat in which electricity was free.
Chimaera is a blockchain gaming platform for making proper games
And beyond his regrets about not hodling, it was this spark that now sees him heading up one of the most interesting blockchain gaming startups.
For, if nothing else, Chimaera isn’t based on Ethereum or the ERC20 token standard.
“We can’t do what we want to do on Ethereum and with ERC20 tokens,” Colosimo argues.
“Chimaera is a blockchain gaming platform for making proper games.”
Hard won experience
Of course, the current generation of dApp game developers may beg to differ and there’s a lot of technical work going to improve Ethereum with side chains.
But given the founders of Chimaera – Colosimo and CTO Daniel Kraft – released Huntercoin, first blockchain game in February 2014 and continue to run it, no one can question their experience, even if it has resulted in a very different proposition from current consensus.
For Chimaera’s architecture has been profoundly influenced by Huntercoin. Based on the Bitcoin blockchain, in that game players explore a virtual world to search and fight for Huntercoins (HUC) which are regularly released into the environment through mining.
In the game, each character’s move or turn takes as long as it takes to create a Huntercoin block, currently one minute. The mining of each block generates 10 Huntercoins, nine of which were spawned into the world, with the miner receiving the tenth.
Keen to stress Huntercoin was always considered a year-long experiment to test blockchain scalability, Colosimo also points out it was no surprise its gameplay proved too limited.
Certainly a combination of Huntercoin’s simple design and Bitcoin’s rising price quickly resulted in it becoming more of a speculative experience than a game.
“If players can make money from your game, there will be exploitation,” Colosimo says, noting at certain stages, some players were making $10,000 a day in Huntercoin as they deployed bot armies across the game.
A different way
Updates to the game have improved the situation compared to the period when two players regularly pitched their 5,000-strong bot armies against each other but without a lot of redesign it will never be a great experience for human players.
Based on the Lighting Network, Game Channels operate off-chain and allow for near real-time gameplay while keeping the game decentralized
In that sense, at least, the experience failed successfully and that’s resulted in Chimaera’s particular architecture.
Powered by its mineable CHI token, Chimaera’s solution to the problem of main net transaction speed are Game Channels. Based on the Lighting Network, these operate off-chain and allow for near real-time gameplay while keeping the game trustless and decentralized.
In this way (and if the game is so designed), only the final outcomes are synchronized to the main Chimaera blockchain. Similarly, items can be stored and traded on centralized marketplace, or in a decentralized trustless way.
Currently in the midst of a pre-sale, the focus for the Chimaera team is to start onboarding the first developers who will making games using its blockchain.
Two have been announced to-date. UK developer Soccer Manager is spinning out a version of its eponymous title as Soccer Manager Crypto, while US outfit Fast Tricky Studios is working on collectible beat-’em up Treat Fighter.
More, and more ambitious projects are expected to be announced through 2018, with the first game prototypes testing in Q3.