Matthew Smith, celebrated designer of Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy and the unfinished Miner Willy Meets the Taxman. Little seen and little heard of since the transition to 16-bit, he was the subject of much debate as to his whereabouts - all signs pointed to him staying at a commune somewhere in Amsterdam, which seemed somewhat at odds with a man who, at the height of his fame, seemed to be a strange, chubby goth. He was finally tracked down on Thumb Candy, a fairly interesting show charting the history of computer games, by Iain Lee, irritating TV presenter formerly of the 11 o'clock show. He had grown a beard, and actually had spend his time in a commune in Amsterdam. His frazzled, incoherent speech seemed to confirm this.

A more complete list of work Matthew has either been involved in or inspired:
Styx (Bug Byte, 1983)
a shoot-em-up game loosely based on Tutankham by Konami

Manic Miner (Bug Byte, 1983)
Miner Willy, while prospecting down Surbiton way, stumbles upon an ancient, long forgotten mine-shaft. On further exploration, he finds evidence of a lost civilisation far superior to our own, which used automatons to dig deep into the Earth's core to supply the essential raw materials for their advanced industry...

the Birds and the Bees (Bug Byte, 1983)
a pleasant little game about a bee which Matthew did the graphics for

Jet Set Willy (Software Projects, 1984)
rich from his past mining exploits, Willy has bought a huge mansion with over 60 rooms, most of which he has never seen. There's been a mammoth party and the guests have left the place in a dreadful mess. Willy just wants to go to bed, but his housekeeper, the nightmarish Maria, won't let him until every bit and piece has been picked up and tidied away...

Andre's Night Off (Computer & Video Games magazine, 1984)
a rather dull, repetative, type-in BASIC game Matthew wrote for C&VG

Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh-eating Chickens From Mars (Software Projects, 1987)
last word was that Software Projects had asked him to revamp the game when they thought the version he did was not good enough. This was about 9 years ago, and nothing has been known since.

Stairways (Thor, 198?)
a bizarre Commodore 64 game, inspired by a wild night out where Matthew wore nothing but a toga to a nightclub. "Matthew Smith was always outrageously out of his tree, especially when we went clubbing, and turned up in a rough Birkenhead biker club called Stairways (...) wearing only a white bed-sheet which he described as a toga. This incident inspired Marc Dawson to write a C64 game called Stairways (...), where the object of the game was to get through the club without knocking over drinks and shooting at hallucinations with bubbles flying out of your head" -- Stuart James Fotheringham, Dec 1997

Information gathered from:
All about Matthew. Be careful with the dodgy Return of the Mac midi tune though!
Matthew's homepage.
The Jet Set Willy Ultimate Fan Page

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