Coolzx
born in 1987 in China
zeshenonegmail.com
ZU


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 easily too.

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

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