Crystal Computing

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Crystal Computing / Design Design
IndustryVideo games
HeadquartersManchester, England
ProductsHalls of the Things
Invasion of the Body Snatchas!

Crystal Computing, later renamed Design Design, was a British video game developer founded in 1982 by Chris Clarke and Ian Stamp while students at the University of Manchester. Graham Stafford, Neil Mottershead, Simon Brattel and Martin Horsley, joined the company as it expanded.[1][2] The company's first software release was a compilation of games for the Sinclair ZX81, though it was with the ZX Spectrum that Crystal found its greatest success. A deal with the machine's manufacturer Sinclair to distribute Crystal's Zeus Assembler gave the company sufficient funds for a major marketing campaign for their next product,[3] Halls of the Things, an arcade adventure game that became their most successful title.

Clarke left in 1984 to join Artic Software, where he worked on the "business side", before collaborating with Jon Ritman on the Match Day series.[4] With Clarke's departure the company was reorganised as Design Design,[2] a trading name that had been used by Simon Brattel since 1976 for his electronic audio designs.[5] Design Design's core consisted of Stafford working mainly on titles for the Commodore 64, Brattel and Mottershead working on the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, and David Lewellyn, the company's administrator.[2] According to Stafford the new name was part of a wider re-branding, as they wanted a more professional image, along with a better relationship with the press and the public.[2]

Graham Stafford went on to form developer Walking Circles, which wrote the PC version of Bloodwych.[6]


Crystal Computing

Design Design


  1. ^ Popular Computing Weekly, 26 January-1 February 1984 (p.26), Sunshine Publications Ltd.
  2. ^ a b c d Rebirth of the Things: Design Design, CRASH, issue 8 (p.88), Newsfield Publications, 1984
  3. ^ "As Clear as Crystal", Popular Computing Weekly, 26 January-1 February 1984 (p.26), Sunshine Publications Ltd
  4. ^ "From Namtir Raiders, to a bit of a bovver with bears then on to Batman... and beyond", CRASH, issue 33 (p.84), Newsfield Publications, October 1986
  5. ^ Design Design official site
  6. ^ "The Making of: Bloodwych", Retro Gamer, issue 23 (p.55), Imagine Publishing
  7. ^ a b Trading With Crystal Archived 2012-08-25 at the Wayback Machine, Sinclair User, issue 15 (p.27), ECC Publications Ltd., June 1983
  8. ^ Monitor and Disassembler press ad, Your Computer January 1983 issue (p.131), IPC Business Press Ltd.
  9. ^ Bug Blaster review, CRASH, issue 3 (p.83), Newsfield Publications 1984