In 1991, 21-year-old game developer Tim Sweeney launched a simplistic, already-outdated MS-DOS game that would become, entirely by accident, the most popular hobbyist game development tool of the 90’s.

ZZT's free, robust, and easy to use level editor allowed players with no money or programming experience to create their own complete, easily sharable games. A large and enthusiastic community blossomed, and today there is a vibrant kaleidoscope of ZZT games out there, and new ones are still being released.

We spoke with Dr. Dos, the proprietor of the Museum of ZZT website, where he documents, preserves, and makes available a vast collection of user-created ZZT games from the community’s storied history to ensure that they can be enjoyed and studied for years to come.


Music from this Episode

All music in this episode was created by prominent ZZT game-maker WiL, often considered one of the finest ZZT composers. Many of the tracks used originate from his ZZT games. Other tracks were composed and recorded outside of ZZT.

Featured ZZT Games

This episode of Preserving Worlds featured footage of the following ZZT games, in order of first appearance:

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