Jeffrey Ouellette
a.k.a. Commodore

What have you created with ZZT, or related to ZZT?

I've made a demo for a Ghostbusters game (my first release), The Living Dead, Sid's Disaster, Wasteland, and The Damned (a Weekend of ZZT entry). I'm working on Escape From Castle Wolfenstein, and the soon to be released (after beta) Angelis Finale. I am currently in charge of the tenth ZZTV release. I have earlier games, but they were lost before I found the online community. Probably for the best. I founded, with Snika, Mirror Image Games in 2002. The company has collectively released around 30+ games since then.

When you think about ZZT, what games come to your mind and why?

Warlock Domain has always been a personal favourite of mine, it's got that spark of imagination that just lifts it above it's minor flaws. The story is pretty good too. Visually when I think of zzt, for some reason I imagine lots of sliders. Probably from playing a lot of the older puzzle games. Trippy games I'm reminded of too, as zzt is the only format where the ambiguity of the objects actually helps makes the game more interesting.

Have you created any games outside of ZZT?

I've tooled around with Game Maker 6 and have a few broken projects here and there. I've actually completed games with Visual Basic, but none of them are really worth distributing. Currently I'm trying to learn Java and have my sights set on making a rogue-like in space with a Super Star Trek interface for flying in space.

Do you have any artistic pursuits other than making games?

I'm a writer, or trying to be a writer. We'll see.

What are you up to, lately (in life, generally)?

Getting ready to move to Portland. Saving money, preparing for the fall of the American Dollar. College is on hold until I'm ready. Also I have been writing. (Not as much as I should be though.)

Has your experience with ZZT or the ZZT scene made any sort of lasting impact on your life?

Before ZZT I was never really involved in the internet. Now I have friends I've never even met. Really it's the best thing that's come out of MIG. (Hi guys!) The zzt scene is unique in it's own way and attracts an interesting crowd to say the least. You've got to be at least a little off in the head to still play and support this thing, that or just stupid, and that provides an entertaing mix of personalities to interact with.

What works of non-ZZT art have inspired you the most?

I'm a big fan of the classics in every field. With music I'm pretty wide ranging in my tastes, so long as it's good. Video games that inspire me are mainly freeware ones, although if you want to go real far back I started by designing Commander Keen maps in notebooks when I was in second grade. I am a proud owner of a NES. I like Russian lit, good sci-fi, Irish poets, Edgar Allen Poe, and Emily Dickenson. That's not complete but at least it covers the basics. I like movies of all shapes and sizes but really have a hard time swallowing a 30 minute CG sequence.

Do you have any interesting stories to relate about ZZT or the ZZT scene?

I remember a "crisis" that involved a young Snika in a conversation with Wil where he convinced him he was a lesbian. It was quickly resolved.

Do you plan to create any games in the future, with or without ZZT?

I enjoy games too much to stop trying to make them. I still have aspiration of getting some sort of board game published. I hope to continue to use ZZT, I don't think I've out grown it yet, suprisingly enough. I would love to gain some compentance in Java, it seems the wave of the future (sort of). In general I hope I keep on a healthy creative streak.

Anything else you'd like to add?

You've not seen the last of me.

- May 2006