AdversiTurtle

After retiring from ZZT officially in 2002 with Zem! X, my friend WiL (whose accomplishments and involvement in the ZZT community far outshone mine) convinced me to join him for the Spring 2003 24 Hours of ZZT competition. The theme was “adversity.” We won first place for our entry AdversiTurtle, an “interactive movie” about a turtle who introduces adversity into the lives of the relatively comfortable. The player takes control of AdversiTurtle as he faces off against other adversity-themed opponents, such as AdversiTofu in a series of minigames. WiL took care of most of the programming and all of the music, while we wrote the game together, and we both drew the art. I’m pretty sure AdversiTurtle was based on one of my character designs, but I can’t entirely remember.

Due to a hilarious mix-up with emails, the version we submitted was missing some of the art boards I was supposed to complete and send to WiL. This version is the correctly synthesized edition.

Zem! X

  

For the final game in the Zem! series, the game moves away from its Lemmings root and toward an action platformer. The player character is Ben (or Jenna) Hunter, a lemming hunter, who has to chase down and save Zem before Zem walks into a pit of spikes or any other danger.

This was announced as my official retirement from ZZT game development. I had begun working on the game almost immediately after Zem! 2 (the Zem! 2 Level Pack included a preview of Zem! X).

ZZT games require ZZT to run. Download it from Z2.

Zem! 2 Level Pack

  

Zem! 2 was well-received, but it was frequently noted that its level design was excessively simple and presented no real challenge. Speaking to fellow ZZTers in the chat rooms of the day, the plan was hatched to collect levels from the community rather than have a traditional sequel. The game features twenty-five stages from ten contributors in addition to myself. Contributors include Gunner, Scribbit, Viovis, Glynth, tseng, and more. Levels tended toward greater challenge and some contributors programmed some interesting new elements.

Released about half a year after the original Zem! 2.

ZZT games require ZZT to run. Download it from Z2.

Zem! 2

  

While Zem! asked players to manipulate a cursor that plotted blocks to help shepherd a lemming to an exit, Zem! 2 puts you in control of the same lemming, Zem. Zem still marches on, but now the player can intervene to grant him abilities based on those in the original Lemmings game by Psygnosis.

This sequel was released just a month and a half after the first Zem!

Zem! and its first sequel were profiled by Dr. Dos in the “Closer Look” series in August 2016.

ZZT games require ZZT to run. Download it from Z2.

Zem!

 

Inspired by Lemmings, this ZZT engine game–the beginning of a four-entry series–puts the player in control of a cursor that builds block in order to safely guide the eternally marching Zem to the exit portal.

ZZT games require ZZT to run.

Zem! and its first sequel were profiled by Dr. Dos in the “Closer Look” series in August 2016.

Newt Interactive Preview 1998

A collection of ZZT boards released to my then-website, Newt’s Pond. It features a crane game that was never implemented in any released games (though was featured in Nessness, a cancelled project). There are also a smattering of sample boards from previously released and soon-to-be-released games. It also has an advertisement for the ZZT newsletter I was trying to get off the ground and teases a few projects that never materialized, including a spy adventure spoof called “James Yawn.”

 

Night Conjure

  

Made right on the heels of Parallel Universe and The Punctuation People, Night Conjure was created for the very first 24 Hours of ZZT competition in the summer of 1998 under the theme “night.” It was highly influenced by games in the Zelda series, and the protagonist, naturally, has to save the world from evil forces that arrive at nightfall. The game returns you to the same locations multiple times as the day progresses into night.

It was the first game to take place in the fantasy realm of Nellad, which was also the setting of 1999’s Megazeux game The Grand Mage.

Looking back, this has some of my most interesting board design and most attractive aesthetics in my ZZT work.

ZZT games require ZZT to run. Download from Z2.

Parallel Universe: Chapter 1

  

Subtitled “Dual Plane,” this was meant to be the first in a long serial adventure inspired by the ZZT series Chrono Wars and two episodes of Sliders I saw at my cousins’ house.

This was my first attempt at a serious ZZT adventure game. It has some embarrassing themes of young earth creationism.

ZZT games require ZZT. Download from Z2.

Ancient Castle of the Dogs

 

Originally begun as part of a cancelled Bob 3 adventure game, this action-adventure game delights in bad puns and giant dogs (with weak spots on their noses). Features some programming and design elements from Glynth and originally released to Glynth’s website right before New Year’s Eve 1997. The last game I released to use the “star system” of recurring characters playing different roles.

In 2012, ZZTer and Glorious Trainwrecker Viovis/ghettowreath published a write-up of Ancient Castle of the Dogs as a “ZZT Essential.”

Bob 2: A New Adventure

  

Bob 2 is a lot like Bob: The Adventure in time. It’s a little more sophisticated in its mission structure, but it’s also really not. It was released within a couple months of its predecessor. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this game is its reuse and recasting of the characters from the first Bob game in new roles, like actors. Not that these were terribly deep characters.

ZZT games require ZZT to run. Download from Z2.