“Chilly Willy” is a “Pengo” clone (“Pengo” is a Sega game about a penguin navigating a maze of ice cubes).
John Passfield wrote “Chilly Willy” in 1984, for the Microbee system, while he was still in high school.
Passfield was in year 9 at school and spent his time playing “Pengo”at the tiny local arcade. He loved playing the game but it cost 20c a play so he thought he would have a go writing a version that he could play for free on the Microbee at home. He spent weeks programming it getting it working just right. It was not an exact copy of the arcade game as he changed the levels about and added his own embellishments to the gameplay. Not knowing anything about copyright his changes were just for the fun of it. He called the game “Chilly Willy” (another youthful copyright violation) and sent it off to publishers Honeysoft in Gosford whose address was printed on the packaging of Microbee Software. Honeysoft wrote back saying they would like to publish the game and Passfield became a published game designer. He did not tell his school friends however in case they thought his hobby was too geeky.
Reference: Interview John Passfield 27 September 2012
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