What have you created with ZZT, or related to ZZT?
Um... It's hard for me to say. I made a game called xod, and then some spinoffs of that called boulderxod and then numbered in a mix of the cardinal and Roman systems. I think. I did a dumb tongue-in-cheek thing after September 11. I updated goldenhog's game Freaky ZZT without his permission to add fancy colors, because it was made in the pre-STK environment. I made the second reptile house ZZT magazine thing. I also did an update to Pirate Perils before I knew roastbeef had made one, independently (naturally). Then there were a few things I started and never finished and are now lost to the ether, including one I was kind of excited about that I didn't have the maturity or bother to finish. It was essentially uh, Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something, and it was going to be all in grayscale, which I thought was a novel and neat idea. To segue I made some utilities for my own use and named them dexkit. There was around four, I think, but right now I only remember the standard one like everybody had their own little vanity kind for, and then one I made that was just monochrome stuff for that mentioned project.
When you think about ZZT, what games come to your mind and why?
Burger Joint I guess chiefly. That one made me laugh and laugh. Zenith's Chickenwire for the same reason. hm's Castle (of?) ZZT was really acclaimed and neat. Rhygar was pretty cool. I think I had fun with Stupid RPG even though I wouldn't have admitted to it and don't really care to now. tseng did well. Stasis Qube and November Eve mostly. draco's Teen Priest and whatever. Actually one of the first games I remember really liking was yenrab's Mighty Morphine Powder Strangers. It's a real laugh riot. I knew most of these cats personally. It'll sound glib but Kudzu, too, I recall just having a great ambience to it.
Have you created any games outside of ZZT?
Do you have any artistic pursuits other than making games?
I'm an amateur musician, but it's strictly amateur. Right now my website, glitterandtwang.org, isn't hosting any of it due to a recent server change, but a fair amount's available at <http://www.songfight.org/artistpage.php?key=marcus_kellis>.
What are you up to, lately (in life, generally)?
I'm a student at the University of Idaho, majoring in political science. Being discontent with the Bush administration, looking for dumb summer work, reading and listening to music and watching films.
Has your experience with ZZT or the ZZT scene made any sort of lasting impact on your life?
Well, I guess so. I'm certainly the man I am today in part due to it. I've now met Yenrab, during two independent occasions in fact. I've kind of migrated to the Songfight community (at ) which I was introduced to via a ZZTer (zorkboy). And being an adult now, and there being Songfight folks within driving distance, that's an affect on my life. But I don't spend any time on the game anymore. When I did my dumb September 11th thing, maybe several months after it happened, it was already by then on this side of unusual for me to open up the program, and that's four years ago. I just downloaded this collection of things I'd posted to z2 and it really makes me cringe, that I was so uneloquent and naive and young. I imagine I must have been pretty unbearable. The chief reason I left the scene is because after one of those endless migrations from IRC channel to channel I lost my operator privileges and left in a fit, though I'm sure it was only a matter of time by then anyway with all the new juvenile blood coming in. It was a specific time and place in my life. Now I don't have much in the way of regular contact with many ZZTers. Yenrab, zzblue (who is in the songfight community now too), zorkboy, bongo I still speak with, some much more infrequently than others. Lemmer and I talked very frequently for a very long time but not for a while now. Jujubee/pickled and I have had odd spasms of conversation, having occured a few times in the last year, but now again on a dry spell. Draco or the odd other ZZTer will sometimes message me on AIM (or sometimes I'll get a funny email asking for an interview...) and I'll usually be curt and courteous. I don't know. There's this guy, ando, who it turns out is attending the same university as I am, or actually he just graduated, but we met a few times, which was fine.
What works of non-ZZT art have inspired you the most?
Gee, I don't know. I'm still young and I don't know anything. But for now where I am I really adore Albert Camus, a French author who wrote The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, and The Stranger, among other works. He won the Nobel prize in literature and died young. I don't know about inspiration per se from film and music. Kubrick and Bob Dylan are the repsective lords of the respective media, in my opinion (a noncontroversial one to hold), but I wouldn't feel right calling them inspirations to me. I'm also very fond of David Sedaris in the literary realm... again, noncontroversial... but that's just more banal namedropping. I'm not good with this kind of question, sorry.
Do you have any interesting stories to relate about ZZT or the ZZT scene?
No, I don't suppose so. Nothing offhand. I've dropped by a few times over the last while but it's not my scene any longer, and it hasn't been my game in a longer time still. I'd criticize the scene but I'll take a relativist and peacenik standpoint here.
Do you plan to create any games in the future, with or without ZZT?
No, I don't think it's for me.
Anything else you'd like to add?
L'enfer, c'est les autres.
- May 2006