a.k.a. T0UCAN or tucan - born in 1984 in Manila, Philippines
What have you created with ZZT, or related to ZZT?
Yoshi's Island - My first game, not much to speak of.
Yoshi's Island Part Deux - Probably the most fun I've ever had making something, to date.
ZZT Times - A big fatty magazine for ZED-OMEGA Productions.
pop - An adventure game that was a little over-intellectual, maybe.
ZZTwisted - a utility that changed the charset.
Also, freaking like a million and a half different master projects that I started but never had the heart to finish. These include: Stinky the Sock Munching Ocelot, Root the Sensitive Poet Aardvark (in a couple of different verisons), Space Otter (a StarFox and Mother Assault inspired shooter), a game about dreaming, a four-part Rashomon-like game that would require you to play through the same scenario as a plankton, a seahorse, a person and an angel (it was kind of like Spore in its conception)...
When you think about ZZT, what games come to your mind and why?
Probably kudzu, turmoil, Darkness, the MegaZeux game, Mother Assault... Not sure what else.
Have you created any games outside of ZZT?
I dabbled a bit in MegaZeux as well. I had this medieval RPG starring animals (I don't want to say that it was furry), a demo for a game called The Glade about a little dude stuck in a nightmare factory that was inspired by this demo that I think it was Emzee made about an alpaca, and another aardvark game where you shot Mentos.
Do you have any artistic pursuits other than making games?
Yeah. I thought ever since I was a little kid that I would go the path of a literary superstar and put out lots of novels. It's not really working out right now, although I do occasionally write poems or short stories. I guess that I'm starting to give up that dream a little and try to work in other media, namely comics, hip hop (sort of tongue-in-cheek), theater & dance. I've always been interested in street art/culture which is kind of a murky category except that my understanding of it is that it involves urban centers, things like spraycan art and parkour, and is highly subject to commodification... but can at the same time be a site for the global Marxist revolution!!!!!!!1
What are you up to, lately (in life, generally)?
See above... I'm basically trying to survive through college and after that I don't know. I probably will travel. In the end I guess I'm working toward becoming an intellectual/artist of some sort. My dream is being able to make and interact with fun stuff, in the same way that I liked making ZZT games at one point, but not having to worry too much about sustaining myself. Oh yeah, and ending capitalism.
Has your experience with ZZT or the ZZT scene made any sort of lasting impact on your life?
Yeah I think so for sure, if only for the simple fact that at one point in my life I actually spent like five hours of each day in an IRC chat room with teenagers debating video games... I think where I'm at in life now I'm getting disillusioned about a lot of things, including creative processes. Sometimes I look back at ZZT days and think about the simple pleasure of going back and forth between Super-Tool-Kit and touching up graphics on a board. I do kind of miss it, but I guess the challenge is thinking about how to bring that sort of absorption and flow into other activities.
What works of non-ZZT art have inspired you the most?
I read Haruki Murakami in high school and it really put me on a different track of thinking about literature, as I think he did for a lot of people. Most of my influences I guess have been literary ones, mostly contemporary people like Stuart Dybek, Linh Dinh, Sherman Alexie um... Arundhati Roy? Various poets & playwrights. I keep forgetting who exactly... Another moment which I remember really clearly was when I was on summer vacation with my parents and Chungking Express came on the independent film channel. Otherwise I listen to wide varieties of music and think of the time when I was really into techno music as a pretty inspiring time in terms of making stuff. Right now I'm pretty into international hip hop, Sufjan Stevens... Others? As far as video games... Probably Yoshi's Island? And Bubble Bobble.
Do you have any interesting stories to relate about ZZT or the ZZT scene?
Not too much, except if you can excuse even more self-aggrandizement for the record I would like to reiterate that I coined the phrase "not meant in any obscene way," [nmiaow]. Probably I think that will be my lasting contribution (if it lasts) to the ZZT scene, since my games are not durably entertaining.
Do you plan to create any games in the future, with or without ZZT?
Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about games lately, especially since I've seen some of cly5m's gamemaker stuff and also this guy Jenova Chen's MFA thesis called flOw (google it). I do think gamemaking and playing are really fun pursuits and probably I will get back into the swing of things once I feel more stable in my other pursuits.
- May 2006