Miracle Designs

Status: Preview, Findability: 4/5

A interesting puzzle game with some very interesting credits too.

Created by Miles Barry, who has had an unfortunate record with his game releases, having worked on Fuzzball and Escape From Colditz as well as this little puzzler.

Graphics were provided by none other than Andy Roberts, who you will all know from the days of Commodore Format, and today with Thalamus Interactive.

And the music?, well Apex are penned as doing the music and sfx, but according to Andy, they never got to do this, so the music was taken from a variety of demos. If anyone can name the ingame tune’s author, please let me know!

A strong set of credits, for a reasonable puzzle effort. The release situation was likely to be budget, though no publisher has had their name linked to this game. Miricle Designs was the only name found, which I assume was Miles Barry’s own team.

The game was scrapped, due to both Miles and Andy moving on and parting company. Andy went to work with Apex, and Miles went to work with the guys behind Escape From Colditz. The game was doomed from that point on.

The idea was to actually pitch the title to Codemasters as a cheap budget title, and they were the main targets for the title. Sadly it never happened.

What we have here is pretty much how far the game ever got. The good news is that it comes with a Level Editor, so it could be finished off. Andy tells GTW that he would wish to do better graphics, as he was quite new to this kind of thing when he first did Perplexity. So enjoy what could have been as we lay this game to rest.

A puzzling story with a clear ending… and case closed…

Contributions: Jason Kelk, Andy Roberts, Peter Sanden

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Andy Roberts speaks to GTW about work on Perplexity...

"With Perplexity, the demo you have is literally as far as things got. I was designing the game and supplying the graphics, Miles was doing the code. Most of our collaborative work was done over the telephone, then I would pop over to Mile’s house every week or so. To be honest, he did a lot of the coding very quickly in one chunk, produced the demo that you have, and then other projects got in the way (Creatures) and things ground to a halt.

Soon after, I stopped talking to Miles (for reasons which I can’t explain without making libelous comments!!!) and so Perplexity never got finished. Indeed, I never had anything other than the graphics files and a few pages of notes – Miles never even sent me a demo of the game, the first time I saw the demo was when I downloaded it from your site.

If I recall, Perplexity was going to be submitted to CodeMasters once we’d put together a small demo, and if they liked it, we’d finish the game. CodeMasters were quite prolific in 1990/1991, and we planned to do a lot of titles for them. I know we’d penciled Steve Rowlands in to do the music and sound effects, too.

Potentially, it’s something I’d like to finish in the future; one of those old projects that sits in a pile, ready to be assembled again one day. I know my graphics were pretty average and would need to be redone (I was just finding my feet at that point), certainly I was influenced by a lot of demos around at the time (and even Citadel – which is why the walls look like pipes!).

That’s really all I can think of regarding the game – it really didn’t occupy a huge amount of time and only involved about 2-3 week’s work in total."

Andy Roberts.

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