ZZT is a 1991 published Action Game by Tim Sweeney. Features include a level editor included in the package and its own scripting language, which own game worlds can be created.

Game Description

The graph is constructed from colored characters from the extended ASCII character set code page 437 and was out of date even at publication. The only graphic "design" is to modify the pixel resolution in text mode so that no gaps between the characters develop and the appearance is smooth on surfaces.

The game was released by Epic MegaGames as shareware. Of the four pre-made worlds was a free to play and the rest had to be enabled by registering the game.

The gameplay was very simple: the character was controlled with the arrow keys and shots were with the spacebar, if the player still had ammunition issued.

Scripting language

ZZT is based on the developed by Sweeney for the game, event-driven scripting language ZZT -oop. The name stands for " object oriented programming".

Each script component is defined as an attribute of a certain type of character, the so-called objects. The scripting language was at time of publishing a major breakthrough, but it has some fundamental limitations. The script commands allow them to perform basic actions of the other figures. Some functions, however, are missing, such as the movement on the water, or scene change commands. Mathematical and Boolean operations are completely absent. The variables are limited to global Boolean variables, called flags, and the strange way to explain jump label invalid. Consequently also no statement variable arguments can be passed.

Clones and editors

Listed here are some external editors and clones of ZZT.

  • DreamZZT is an open source ZZT engine for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux and SEGA Dreamcast.
  • KevEdit is a versatile editor for ZZT. Since the release of version 0.5.1 on 2 July 2005, the editor is no longer being developed.
  • ZZTAE is a senior editor for ZZT. It offers, among other things, a color changer, an improved text editor, support for object libraries and other fonts and a music changer. The last version is 1.0.1 from 1 October 2001.
  • DirectZZT is a program written in C # open source game that aims to simulate ZZT as close as possible and to improve, without being a direct copy. It relies on modern technology such as DirectX ( where the "Direct" resulting in DirectZZT, although it really is XNA ). It is in a very early stage, so not very many features are installed. The plan is, inter alia, a 100-percent compatibility with ZZT -oop, the savegames and worlds of ZZT, multiplayer mode with up to 4 players, a new and improved World / Score Format ( ZML ) and a new, improved and extensible scripting language ( PowerScript ) which ZZT worlds offers more options.