Riddle of the Maze - Barry Edition


A while back I joined a conversation about solving this old book, and the art in it. A gent suggested to acquire the book to admire the art alone and go from there. it was This book here. That of course started a dialogue of attempting to solve it. I thought of solutions like turning the pages, or just reading it without going to the rooms, but reading it as if it was a traditional book and finishing it. Another was a suggestion to redraw Christopher Manson's Maze from start to finish, room by room, detail by detail and that would be the solution. It took a couple years and well, I'm sure you know the results:

A lot of renditions of pretty art but in my format. I learned a ton about art by doing this. What exactly I can't say, but just the experience was enough. To say I studied and did another rendition of each and every room and maybe, just maybe my skills have honed just a little bit. This is definitely not my subject or at least wasn't before. I usually draw people portraits so a labyrinth still life is/was out of my league but I managed and, yeah, enjoy!

Some differences with this version:

This is different from the Riddle of the Maze CDRom / Phillips CD-i counterparts. There's no narration, no words, just the images and links to them. Clicking on the room number will take you to the next room as if you are simply reading the book or you can of course click on the doors traditionally to take you to the next room. Rooms with only one exit have the whole hotspot covered to the appropriate room.

There is also a secret room I put in there not in the original. If you find it PM me or find me on the intern-net in the wile of what the room is and how you got it there, what links to the room/etc. Enough to convince me you discovered it. It's a far fetch but I feel like some will find it. I consider the secret room the win condition of this version of the maze. Omitted special spoilers here. Happy searching. There are also the coast err PRIZES INVOLVED.

The interactive portaions (aka portions) were linked together using Adventure Maker using the html output so it should work well with tablets and phones as well as your internet browser desktop solution. I haven't tried every platform yet but I have no issues using the ones I've got. Enjoy!

Event Created For: 
Made For: 
Glorious GDC Gameboree 2010


clyde's picture

This is pretty amazing. I've

This is pretty amazing. I've only looked at it briefly so far, but I plan to examine it more thoroughly now that I have more of an understanding of the scope involved. The thing I notice most while having the original pictures on one side of the screen and your pictures on the other, is that in your drawings, certain aspects seem to be given priority; that makes me look at that aspect in the original drawing. So it's like I'm going through while following your notes that happen to be neat drawings. This is really cool.

Thanks for that

I know I've probably PMmed you on the other social network some of the rooms in progress, or one. This is partially the finished product I had in mind. Not exactly where I want it, but yeah. I'm thinking maybe I could resize them and let Grog and Santa and crew could explore them a bit maybe? It might end up being like "Nowhere to Go But Nowhere" maybe but that wouldn't be a bad thing. That's potentially possible, very possible even. Maybe not in the chinese site unless I ask someone if they are interested in upping the images there or channeling the translator and submitting them officially. I can of course ask a mod if they're up to par or if I need to chisel it with colourful hues.

There is a big chance I might go through and finish giving each page a colourscheme and ... maaaybe an animation like the CD-Rom/Phillips CD-i versions had, but they had a whole team. I'm just me. Actually I did one of them. This one adds a small detail when I converted it to vectors using Xara 2013 to make the light between 21 and 41 on page one into a figure. I'll attach it to this post.

And yeah, feel free to try the hidden room challenge. It shouldn't be too hard. the hotspot for it is pretty big. You and Sergio both have a good chance of even stumbling on it by accident.

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atuun's picture

When I was a kid I went

When I was a kid I went through a phase where I got a bunch of puzzle books, including many like this, out of the library. I don't think I had "The Maze", but I remember playing a few like it. I regretfully inform that my skill at them has not tremendously improved in adulthood, meaning I have no idea how to solve it. So the riddle of the maze, and your secret room have eluded me for now (I'll certainly take another try at it at some point!). Nevertheless, what I enjoyed about these kind of puzzles were the oddball, Wonderland-style environments, and this satisfied that itch very well.

Your art adds to that experience a lot. I found the way the art changed and evolved as I explored to be pretty interesting, and ended up exploring the maze to see the art rather than solve the mystery. I think your illustrations make it feel much more alive, and I prefer them to the original, honestly - it has a lot more character and reflects the nature of the maze more, especially how the rooms are so different from each other. Also, in many puzzles, I often feel like there's a weird tension sometimes between creating a space that only exists to be solved, and a space that feels like a real artefact, containing the messiness that implies it served a purpose other than the reader/player's personal amusement. This version navigates that divide really successfully, more than most puzzles like this I've seen, and feels like genuine self expression in a way many puzzles don't.

So yeah, I liked it a lot! It made kid me and adult me pretty happy :)

clyde's picture

I agree with pretty much

I agree with pretty much everything you said here and I wanted to show my appreciation for you stating these things so clearly.

clyde's picture

I'm starting to try to spend

I'm starting to try to spend some time actually solving the puzzle. I think that the html-version of the original may have a mistake in it. Clicking on room 18 from room 44 takes me to room 11. Since this bug wasn't caught, I'm assuming that it is not the optimal route; still, I wanted to mention it.
I still have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm fine with that. I enjoy not knowing how to solve the puzzle because I end up hypothesizing about what information is relevant. Are the symbols paths? Does the direction of the lighting tell me something? Is this just a math-thing? Why do some of the doors have no numbers? How are the objects in the rooms (like the alligator/crocodile chained to a palm-tree) relevant? Don't answer any of that, I just wanted to give you an idea of what types of methods I'm currently imagining.

ihavefivehat's picture

This is pretty interesting.

This is pretty interesting. The original has a beautiful sense of mystery and I like your drawings. Is it possible to solve the puzzles without the dialogue though? It seems like there are a lot of clues in it..

Also, on your itch.io page, the links to the page numbers underneath the picture actually open up the archive website. Don't know if that was on purpose.

clyde's picture

This continues to perplex me

This continues to perplex me to an absurd degree. Clicking on the face/furnace on page 18 of your version takes me to room 46. So now I'm wondering things like "Are the objects in the room doubling as page-numbers?". I love being so bad at games. The state of confusion is under-rated. I'm thinking that for my submission I should just take some of my hypothesis on how to solve these puzzles and try and make my own rooms where those methods are supposed to be used. I'm also considering just making a bunch of rooms that have random objects in them that only suggest solutions, but don't actually have any coherency. We will see.

ihavefivehat's picture

That sounds pretty

That sounds pretty interesting in a De Chirico sort of way. Like a surrealist juxtaposition of objects that seems to suggest a solution, but only really offers dread and a vague sense of the incomprehensible.

clyde's picture

Which is pretty much the

Which is pretty much the experience I'm having, so it would be a good representation of my perspective. lol. NO HINTS!

clyde's picture

I was just thinking about

I was just thinking about how #21:The World pretty much does exactly this.

You have unlocked room 46

Room 46 was the win condition to this version of maze. You can get to the seabag room through the elephant's hat, room 22 by winning the jackpot on the seabag bandit, room 55 through that door, room 17 via the inside of that evil grand piano, or room 24 via that random spiral. I kinda just freeform drew this room with some reference maybe by doing image searches on bing or whichever image searching site you prefer.

Yeah, not much really said about this room and there's no text I conjured up for this room. It's non-canyon/cannonymous/cannonball/canon though it could be in the convention some day.

You enter room 46, a Casino with a piano.

"Did you bring your chips?" interrogated the guide. We all get some play money and have the grandest of times. One of our crew even plays a funning song while another told a silly story about a pig. We laughed so hard we almost cried.

After long deliberation, we make our way to ....

Anyway, great work finding it. I'll send redeem details on the prize through private message.

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clyde's picture

As I'm attempting to follow

As I'm attempting to follow the above navigational instructions, I'm going through some of your rooms again having drawn a few myself. I really like your versions. Room 43 in particular is killer.

Edit: I see now that you are describing room 46's doorways. No wonder I was having a hard time trying to navigate through your game from the beginning looking for the elephant's hat and such.
I like the idea of a free-form room, I hope to make one myself when I've internalized the aesthetic from doing a few more studies.

clyde's picture

I like how in the original

I like how in the original on page 26, the font for the '3's vary. Also the door-knobs are drawn like nipples.

clyde's picture

I used some of the studies I

I used some of the studies I did of the original book in this Tyrano Builder tutorial.