when and how did you first get into ZZT?
About 5 years ago, my father got ZZT. For a long time the only games I knew about were the ones that came with the shareware version, so I didn't play it that often. Since I was about 8 or 9 years old I thought that "board editor" was some sort of credits for the people who made ZZT and the games that came with it. Then one day my little brother, Tony, pressed 'E', and once I found out that he was making a board I wanted on too, so we took turns making the board. It had some forests, spinning guns, water and other stuff(in other words, it was a Blue Buckaroo type game). I didn't know how to program objects for a couple of years, but I got my father to figure it out and teach me. Eventually, we got a new computer and signed on to a BBS, and I found another game called ACELAND.ZZT. Soon I downloaded all the ZZT games on the BBS(there weren't many). A little later my family got the internet. At first, I didn't like the internet, but one day I did a search, and found Norris ZZT and Megazeux Page, and eventualy found out about this group of ZZT/MZX followers.
how many ZZT games have you created? what are they?
3 finished games: Pyramids of ZZT, Escape From Mars, and Escape From Mars 2.
what things do you consider most important in a ZZT game?
The programming is the most important. The plot/story is almost as important. Good graphics and music are nice to have and can greatly increase the quality, but is not a necessity. And a little humor here and there can make the game more fun.
what tips, if any, would you give aspiring ZZT programmers?
I'm not really that sure, but play-testing your game until you're sick of it is a good start. And try to make it so the player can't get stuck in your game without realizing it before it's too late (so they don't save when they're stuck).
what are your favorite ZZT games?
In no particular order (well, except for Mission: Enigma, which I think is the best): Mission: Enigma (for putting such a complex puzzle on a single board), Yapok Sundria, Escape From Castle Zazoomda, Coolness, Code Red 1-3, Kudzu (although it's a bit weird), EFM1 & 2, and various others that I can't think of right now.