Welcome to the Worlds of ZZT
What is ZZT?
ZZT is 1991 text mode MS-DOS game which allows players to make their own worlds. It was created by Tim Sweeney, and was the first release by Epic Games. ZZT's simplistic graphics and scripting language ZZT-OOP, made it very accessible for a younger, less artistically and programming inclined audience to create their own worlds and share them with others.
Over 1000 titles have been released for ZZT over the past 25 years.
What is Worlds of ZZT?
Worlds of ZZT is a Twitter/Tumblr bot created by Dr. Dos, designed to showcase the wide variety of ZZT worlds in an era when ZZT is mostly forgotten. Every three hours the bot randomly selects a ZZT world, and creates a screenshot of a random board from that world.
On some occasions the Twitter account will tweet other ZZT related things.
How can I play these worlds?
Most posts include a link to play the worlds in your browser via archive.org's ZZT collection. These links are automatically generated and may be incorrect, in which case you'll need to search the collection yourself or download them from the link included on each Tumblr post.
Who made these worlds?
Authors are credited in every post provided the author is known.
The authors themselves however, are typically people that were in their teenage years when they were making ZZT games. Today, they often still program or make games. Other careers of ZZTers include gaming journalists and writing for television.
If you see a game with an unknown author and you know the author, contact the account and I'll get that information updated on z2.
If you see a game with a known author and you are that author, feel free to let me know! One of the best things since launching the project has been finding out what the people who've made these worlds are doing today.
How are screenshots created?
A script is used that pulls a random game from z2's database. After selecting a ZZT file, a random board is chosen, with a few filters in place to reduce the chances of color kits and empty boards being selected.
On Tuesday, the script enters "Title Screen Tuesday" mode and specifically selects title screens rather than random boards.
These screenshots are not taken from ZZT or an external editor. Instead, zzt2png is used to read the board's information directly from the ZZT file and render an image based on that data.