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Jonty Barnes was a programmer of Dungeon Keeper.[1]

He coded the creatures' artificial intelligence, combat, level editor (not the consumer one[2]), and the interaction between the rooms and creatures.[3] In September 1995, Barnes left to complete his degree at the University of East Anglia.[4][5] He returned 10 months later.[5]

As the development of Dungeon Keeper wrapped up, Barnes sneaked a message into the game's data. It read:

"I am writing this at 4AM on Keeper's last day. I look around the office and all I see are the tired, pale faces of the Keeper team. This project has destroyed the health and social lives of each member, so I hope you like the game. Amazingly, after sixteen hours a day, 7 days a week, for nearly 5 months, we still do. This game has been written with a passion I am proud to be part of ... I do not just hope you like it, I also hope you are aware of the huge amount of work we have all done."
— Jonty Barnes


Despite the claim it was written on Dungeon Keeper's final day, the message is present in the 28 May 1997 build of the game (the final, released build is dated 13 June 1997).

Barnes also participated in a multiplayer match with Peter Molyneux against testers Andy Robson and Andy Trowers. He and Molyneux cheated, but still lost. Barnes attributed his defeat to Robson possessing a Horned Reaper.[8]


  1. Dungeon Keeper Gold Manual. p. 81.
  2. Dungeon Keeper Editor Manual. p. 52.
  3. Prima's Official Guide To Dungeon Keeper Gold Edition. p. 332. Prima Publishing. (1998). ISBN 978-0-7615-1581-4.
  4. "The Making Of: Dungeon Keeper". Retro Gamer (Bournemouth: Imagine Publishing) (143): 64–69. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Prima's Official Guide To Dungeon Keeper Gold Edition. p. 327. Prima Publishing. (1998). ISBN 978-0-7615-1581-4.
  6. Hall, Charlie (18 July 2014). Destiny producer rediscovers emotional 17-year-old secret on beta's launch. Polygon. Retrieved on 14 August 2019.
  7. Cavalli, Earnest (18 July 2014). 17-year-old secret message found in Dungeon Keeper code. engadget. Retrieved on 14 August 2019.
  8. Trowers, Andy (18 January 2017). How I Beat Peter Molyneux at His Own Game – Literally. Kotaku UK. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved on 17 October 2022.