What have you created with ZZT, or related to ZZT?
Ever since I discovered ZZT in 1993, I created a dozen or so games up until about 2001. Most significant
ones include Quest for the Immortals (co-production with The Agonizer), Savage Isle,
Post Apopleptic Chill, and Deceiving Guidance (co-production with Hydra). Everything I ever published
was released under the label of my own programming group, Interactive Fantasies, which still lives
on today (albeit rather passively). In the past, I also whooped out some 24 Hours of ZZT entries, two
of which won me a first place (in 1999 and 2000). :]
I remember the ZZTer Nadir saying that Deceiving Guidance was the carreer peak of me and Hydra.
We both thought of it as our best game to date, but I still didn't believe Nadir. I guess I was sure
I was going to come up with another game, but five years later, it turns out that Nadir was right. I've never
been able to complete anything anymore. I guess I should also mention that I liked Post Apopleptic Chill,
because it was different from the usual fantasy and adventure games that I created.
When you think about ZZT, what games come to your mind and why?
Of course I'd have to say Town of ZZT. No one can think of ZZT without that game. However, games that
really stuck with me, some of my all-time favourites, are Rhygar (Bongo), Chrono Wars (Chronos), Code Red
(Greg Janson), Dragon Woods (Nadir), Gem Hunter 3 (Tseng), Burger Joint (Madguy), and some other stuff.
I am probably a bit biased here, but I always really enjoyed the stuff released my real-life cousin
Hydra and his neighbor MeBo (e.g. Quest for Glory, King's Quest ZZT). I could list tons of more things
that come to mind, but I will never forget ZZT artists such as Nadir, Tseng, Bongo, tucan, Draco, Koopo,
Madguy, Chronos, etc.
Have you created any games outside of ZZT?
There is the inevitable SuperZZT, which I created one game with a looong time ago. With MegaZeux, I finished
one game; a multi-player action RPG called Brotherhood. Other than that, I once fiddled around with RPG
Maker, but I never got around to anything substantial. Right now, I just can't find the motivation for
game-creation anymore. It's been a nice teenage pass-time, though!
Do you have any artistic pursuits other than making games?
Not really. I used to like drawing, but I hardly ever do that anymore. Most of my creative efforts these
days are put into writing articles and reports, mostly. Blast!
What are you up to, lately (in life, generally)?
I've just finished up a Master's Degree in Biology (and Environmental Science). Took me six years to finish
up university, but I'm finally there. Last year, I conducted my final research in Borneo (Indonesia), which
was pretty damned awesome. I'll be starting work at the National Museum of Natural History this month
(May, 2006). And where I'll end up afterwards, I have no idea yet.
Has your experience with ZZT or the ZZT scene made any sort of lasting impact on your life?
Definitely. I spent most of free time during my teenage years working on ZZT games, with real-life
friends and on my own. I put a lot of time into the community and my programming group (Interactive Fantasies)
and it's been awesome while it lasted. It's just amazing how entertaining such a simple little program can be.
The real impact for me is the memories and the way it had me focus my energy in a creative way.
What works of non-ZZT art have inspired you the most?
Back in the days, I was mainly inspired by various RPGs and things such Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: the
Gathering, etc. (mainly for the fantasy stuff I created). For the smaller games I created, some real-life
experiences were an important source of inspiration (think of Life of a Scotter, for example). Post
Apopleptic Chill was started after I heard a song by Skunk Anansie, called "Post Orgasmic Chill" (but
it in fact has nothing to do with the song). Lastly, I guess I just always had a big imagination.
Do you plan to create any games in the future, with or without ZZT?
I don't think I will. I've lost touch with programming and even though I would still like to create a game,
I can't seem to find the drive to do so.
Anything else you'd like to add?
This June, Interactive Fantasies is celebrating its 10th Anniversary! I admit, we haven't been too active
lately and most of our members have disappeared off the face of the earth, but we're still out there. And
that's what counts, after all!
And finally, shout-outs to all my buddies from the old days! You know who you are.
- May 2006