What have you created with ZZT, or related to ZZT?
I've made a lot of games but few are really notable. The Infestation
series, Kamek, Second Earth, and A Dwarvish Mead Dream, to name a few.
None of them were really ground-breaking or anything, just games that
I thought would be fun to play and to make. Sometimes I think all my
games were pretty bad... probably because I was 13 or younger when I
made almost all of them.
A Dwarvish Mead Dream
When you think about ZZT, what games come to your mind and why?
I'd say a lot of the games made during the era of Game of the Month.
I guess because that was the time I was most involved with ZZT and the
community in general was the most prolific. Games like Teen Priest,
Pop, Burger Joint, Lebensraum, Gem Hunter series, etc. Also, some of
my favorite classics such as Merbotia and Sivion come to mind rather
Have you created any games outside of ZZT?
I actually use Megazeux from time to time as well as ZZT, but have
never released anything substantial in MZX aside from a little newbie
demo from way, way back. I hope one day I'll complete a full project
and release it, if I ever find the time and inspiration...
Do you have any artistic pursuits other than making games?
I actually got into breakdancing my last year of active ZZT-ing, and
have been actively doing it for around 7 years. It's a really
interesting and diverse artform actually, and often misunderstood.
Right now I mostly just train on my own or with other local b-boys
that I can find and enter competitions, but occasionally I will do
some professional shows with a street team or whatever organization
that invites me. It's actually become a pretty big part of my life.
What are you up to, lately (in life, generally)?
I'm an undergraduate at the University of Texas in Austin and I'm
trying to get into medical school. Overall, it's going rather
painfully, but I'll manage. In my spare time I dance and occasionally
get into gcs-related stuff.
Has your experience with ZZT or the ZZT scene made any sort of lasting impact on your life?
I'd say the ZZT community definitely influenced my knowledge of the
internet and computers in general as a kid. Also it was one of my
earliest hobbies and it was really damn fun at one point. It really
helped me creatively and now I always get an urge to make things,
whatever it may be, and post it on the internet.
What works of non-ZZT art have inspired you the most?
Book are indeed an inspiration, also movies, specially of the science
fiction and fantasy genre. Other video games too, but I haven't really
played many. It's never really one thing that inspires me, it's
usually a mix of one or two things that will spark ideas in my head
about how to make some crazy combination or fusion of the two things.
I mean, the whole Infestation thing came about when I tried to mix the
game Snakes with the movie Aliens.
Do you have any interesting stories to relate about ZZT or the ZZT scene?
Ahh. Not any specific stories but lots of memories... All the crazy
fads that the community went through, BKZZTs were always fun,
community awards... like IFZZTEA and hoodian awards, those were
actually pretty prestigious at one time. Most fondly I just remember
having a chatroom open on one end and ZZT running on the another end
and spending hours just having a grand old time.
Do you plan to create any games in the future, with or without ZZT?
Yes, I do have plans to make more games. It's been 6 years since I
last released anything, but now I'm sort of curious about making games
again. Maybe it's because I've matured quit a lot since then and I'm
just wondering what kind of things I can make now. The only problem is
getting really motivated. Right now I've started on a few little
things, one in ZZT and another in MZX, simply for personal enjoyment.
Maybe if I ever finish them I'll release something again.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks to all the ZZTers and game-makers back then for making little
kid like me inspired to create, while everyone else in my age group
was busy eating animal crackers and sniffing glue.
- March 2007