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Meet the Boss – Exclusive Interview with Chimaera CEO Andrew Colosimo

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Chimaera is a blockchain platform that provides a full suite of tools and infrastructure for game developers to build their own game worlds and ideas on the blockchain itself.

With smart contracts, newer and richer in-game worlds can be created by developers while item trading systems become much more enhanced, flexible, and most important of them all, more rewarding to the player base and game developers. Despite its highly technical nature, the Chimaera platform is incredibly easy to use and intuitive for users. The Chimaera team aims to support developers and help overcome the problem of marketing games due to limitations like budget issues or time constraints; with Chimaera, game developers can get their vision to the market easier than it was ever before at a lower risk of failing.

We recently sat down with Andrew Colosimo, the CEO of Chimaera to have a chat with him about the project as well as finding out his thoughts and insights.

Hi, Andrew. Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us more about yourself and Chimaera?

Chimaera-logoHi Daniel, thanks for having me. About myself. Since I was very young I was fortunate enough to have access to the latest computers of the times. Starting with a Sord M5, Commodore 64, Amiga, 386 and 486 PCs. I really enjoy all things technical especially computing. I ran my own IT services company for a few years but despite all this, my main hobby and time was spent gaming. I love gaming. My favorite old games were Elite, Dungeon Master and Dune 2. In 2000 I started playing Everquest, this was life-changing. I pretty much played it 18 hours a day, it was literally an alternate reality, only I spent more time in EQ than I did in real life. From then on it was mostly MMOs. What I really liked about EQ and other MMOs was how items were so sought after that they could be worth thousands of dollars, and this is mostly what drove me to continue to play them.

We believe the future of gaming is blockchain

In 2011 I came across Bitcoin and was fascinated by it. I mined for a few months until profitability got low at which point I sold all my mining equipment thinking it was too late to keep mining. I was, of course, wrong and should have continued. What I did understand was that virtual currencies will and can have major value, based on my past gaming experiences.

In 2013 I came up with a concept called Chronokings, which would be an entire game world MMORPG that takes place on the Blockchain, and in which players could mine coins through skill and cooperation. I believed this would give crypto more value if those coins mined could be used to purchase items in the game too, as in, more value than normal MMOs and also as a crypto as well.

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As the scope of the project was quite large we decided to develop a prototype game called Huntercoin. Huntercoin was the world’s first game on the blockchain, and it pretty much still is.
In 2016 we came up with Chimaera. Instead of creating a full-on MMO on the blockchain, as was the original plan, we decided it would make more sense to build a platform that would allow developers and studios to build their own games on blockchain, as opposed to 1 game on 1 blockchain. We built up a solid team over the last few months and here we are.

First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building Chimaera? What was your thought process behind it?

Unlike a lot of the “popup” ICOs that in reality are only using a blockchain to raise funds, our whole concept, which began in 2013, was about running games entirely on the blockchain, and always was. There are a few reasons we are doing this, but essentially, we believe the future of gaming is blockchain.
For the original Chronokings idea, it was about multiplying the value of in-game assets and currencies by combining them with crypto. Play to Earn was probably the main reason this all began. Some other advantages we see are things like provably fair gameplay, human skill/ time-based mining or coin distribution for cryptocurrencies, 24/7 uptime, new gaming genres, fraud-proof payment gateway and all the other lovely goodness that you get with a blockchain.

Chimaera blockchain based gaming platform

Tell us about how you came up with the idea of Chimaera. Did you face a problem within the gaming industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for Chimaera to fill?

Yes to both.
Basically, it stemmed from our original concept Chronokings, and then Huntercoin as I mentioned earlier. We planned to build a full MMORPG on its own blockchain where players could mine and harvest resources, and collect rare items in a provably fair, decentralized way so that those assets would have real-world value.
Playing a game to earn money is an amazing feeling and this is what the original concept stemmed from. We know there is a market for Blockchain Gaming, and that items and in-game currencies that are acquired in a provably fair, deterministic way – rather than items that can be created at will by developers – will hold significantly more value.
It’s important to note that Chimaera can also be used solely for asset storage and as a payment gateway without forcing developers to create fully decentralized games.

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What do you think is the biggest problem Chimaera will solve and why is the problem important to solve?

Chimaera will open up blockchain to game developers so they can utilize the technology to their own end with reduced costs. It can be daunting for even adept game developers to utilize new technologies, but we’ll make it simple and easy to integrate with Chimaera. By opening up this new market, they’ll be able to utilize all the advantages that blockchain has to offer, such as true item ownership, decentralized gaming servers that are reliable and secure, and a fraud-proof payment gateway. Another important problem is the time gamers spend in games is often not rewarded. Chimaera will facilitate the development of games where game time is rewarded.

We’re seeing a shift in decentralized gaming but there’s always one issue that’s up for debate. How effective are decentralized games and servers compared to the centralized systems we have today? In the case of MMOs (like what you’re building), can the blockchain actually handle all of that load and provide a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience for players?

Good question.
There are multiple ways developers can utilize Chimaera for their projects. Just as a fraud-proof payment gateway. Their games could be hosted on a cloud server or however they want, with no restrictions on performance. So there are no limitations for only using Chimaera as a payment gateway. For virtual currency and asset creation and storage. As with the payment gateway, developers can solely use Chimaera for these features, in which case they can still use their centralized setup if they so wish. This gives the advantage of real item ownership for the players so they can trade them as they wish. There are multiple blockchain projects that utilize just this specific feature alone.

Chimaera ICO Gaming Platform-Blockchain

And finally, what we call Decentralised Autonomous Universes or DAUs. Developers can host part of or their entire game in a P2P way on the Chimaera platform. It’s possible to run entire game worlds (or Virtual Realities) on Chimaera, so that they run autonomous and unstoppable, resistant to censorship, secure, probably fair, and in which players can harvest resources and items that are placed deterministically in the world, giving them known rarity and significant real-world value, as opposed to items being created at will by developers. This will create real thriving economies.

In these DAUs, latency is increased slightly over some cloud-based services due to the P2P way it is setup and also due to signing and verifying of player transactions. This makes competitive FPS style games difficult to host in a completely decentralized way on Chimaera, although we believe in due time we will overcome this. Other than that, it’s free to use. As for scalability and enjoyment, we believe that in most Chimaera games you won’t be able to differentiate from games hosted centrally. This is mostly due to technology we’re developing that we call Game Channels, which allows for trustless off-chain gaming, reduces blockchain bloat, and allows for pseudo-real-time gameplay.

What are the advantages of using Chimaera to build games for developers instead of current practices? Does Chimaera help with the process, e.g. checking the developer’s status, help with onboarding, verifying if a game is safe to play etc.?

Developers are free to build on Chimaera as they wish without interference from us. Although, we will offer support, guidance, and toolkits for developers and studios to build on the platform. For developers who wish to have their games listed on our planned Community Hub, which is like a game launcher with other services integrated, we will check and verify what we can and make sure games are safe to play on our software.

Chimaera blockchain based gaming platform

Can you explain game channels and ephemeral timestamps in a way that a 10-year old can understand? How do they help the Chimaera platform to be effective?

Issues with true blockchain gaming such as our first prototype Huntercoin are blocktimes, which restrict game moves to being once a minute or longer, and also blockchain bloat. If every move is stored in the chain, it’s unable to scale to the magnitude that we require. A concept we came up with to solve these issues in 2015, which was peer-reviewed on Ledger in 2016, is as I mentioned earlier, Game Channels. In the simplest terms, it takes the majority of game transactions, or game moves, off chain, similar to the Lightning Network concept. Ephemeral timestamps are an extension to game channels that improve on the original design. Only the required data is saved on the blockchain such as the winning move in a game of chess.

Today’s games are only bounded to their own game universe so it’s interesting to see a platform that moves past that boundary. How do different games interact in Chimaera and how does this benefits player?

Games in Chimaera don’t interact with each other unless developers design the games that way. However, accounts can work across multiple games.

What has been your happiest moment so far working on Chimaera? On the flipside, what has been the most painful, or perhaps the hardest decision you’ve made with Chimaera?

That is a tough question, so far it’s been all work and no play.

Chimaera blockchain based gaming platform

Is Chimaera already working with notable businesses or firms? Are there any future partnerships in process? If yes, can you explain briefly about it?

We’ve partnered up with Trickyfast Studios. They have a highly qualified team of developers who have worked with EA, Square Enix, and others on AAA titles. We will be working closely with them to improve compatibility with some of the popular game engine suites. We’re also in talks and finalizing contracts with another studio who will create the first true blockchain game on Chimaera. More details on that will be coming soon. These developers have also worked on AAA titles for the likes of Ubisoft and Blizzard. We are also in discussions with some other parties of which we’ll release this information if and when we can.

What do you think is the biggest challenge or obstacle Chimaera will face? How do you plan to tackle that challenge?

I expect blockchain gaming to take off in the coming years or even months, so I expect there to be a lot of noise in the space with other projects popping up. It may become difficult to be heard, but we think we are in a strong position with our history having been working on blockchain gaming years before anyone considered it.

Moving on to more personal stuff, what does a typical day in your life look like?

At the moment it consists of emails, Skype calls and writing documents. Not much fun, although I do have my beautiful daughter to give me a cuddle and smile. I enjoy gaming, although time has been limited the last few months. Warhammer Total War 2 and PUBG are what I play a little.

Can you express one personal opinion of yours about the blockchain? It doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, we just want to hear your thoughts on it.

I expect blockchain to continue on its current path, disrupting various markets and areas in everyday life. This could be a new age for humanity but we’ll have to see what happens in the coming months or years.

Finally, what other personal goals (besides your career) do you have in life? Is there anything else in life you want to achieve?

This is an easy one, to be the best Dad for my little daughter Lara.

That concludes our Interview with Andrew Colosimo

More Interviews to come

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