Oh! You clicked the button up top that says Support! (Or a link to the article itself) That's very good! The Worlds of ZZT project is supported by folks such as yourself who click on links. Below you'll find a variety of ways you can help keep the Museum of ZZT and other Worlds of ZZT projects thriving! Any support, be it financial or otherwise helps keep ZZT alive!
Methods Involving Money
Pledge to the Patreon
The Worlds of ZZT project is committed to the preservation of ZZT and its history.Support Worlds of ZZT on Patreon!
In 2021 I left a retail job to be able to focus on preserving and curating ZZT worlds for a living. ZZT is now my sole source of income, and if you enjoy the site, streams, articles, etc. making a monthly pledge is the way to go! Since making the Worlds of ZZT project my career I've been able to write more content at a less stressful pace, get games from the upload queue properly published and archived, begin enhancing the site with more features (like the user account system), and stream ZZT worlds twice as frequently.
ZZT worlds are something that can be known and understood. The real world can be a bit more surprising. Making a monthly pledge via Patreon is hands down the best way to ensure that I am able to continue working at the pace I am. A Patreon pledge means that I can better work without fear that an unexpected financial need could require scaling things back here and having to return to a more traditional form of employment. There are lots of people out there who can write code or ring up groceries. There are far fewer (but by no means am I the only one ) with the knowledge and passion to do the work of preserving ZZT's past and paving the way ahead for its future.
The Patreon has plenty of details on the various perks you can get for streaming as well including participating in polls for Closer Looks and streams or at higher levels being able to choose ZZT games to be streamed or even make a guest appearance on them! Other benefits include being able to read one or more articles early, access to the Worlds of ZZT Twitter queue, and getting to be known as a supporter via site credits, stream credits, and a Discord role.
Pledges of just a few dollars a month can go a long way!
Worlds of ZZT on Patreon
Make a One-Time Donation
Some may be worried about the commitment associated with making a monthly pledge on Patreon. Others may be reluctant to have part of their money go to "Patreon" the company. You can also donate financially in a lump sum. (But do consider, a $25 donation can just as well be a $2 per month pledge which will be a steady drip of support versus a sudden one-time windfall.) The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a ZZT game of mine with name-your-own-pricing hosted on itch such as Wake Up and Save the World.
If necessary, a simple PayPal payment is also an option. Contact me if you would prefer taking this route.
Contact Dr. Dos about a donation
Subscribe on Twitch
The Worlds of ZZT Twitch channel is an affiliate level account which means you can purchase subscriptions to the channel for $4.99/month. Notably, if you have an Amazon Prime account you're able to get one free Twitch subscription each month, an easy way to donate without touching your bank account!
Subscribe to Worlds of ZZT on Twitch
Methods Involving Personal Contributions
Donate Data Backups
Were you ZZTing in the past? You wouldn't happen to have say... an old computer with ZZT files still on the hard drive? A decrepit CD-R you burned to backup your files? You weren't... running a BBS that had ZZT games that you've still got copies of somewhere? A ZIP disk that isn't clicking? A 3.5" floppy that offered 50 free hours of AOL but now it offers your childhood ZZT projects? A registered ZZT disk you mailed in an order form to purchase? Anything like that collecting dust in a basement?
ZZT's been around now for 30 years. The goal of the Museum is to make as much of that history easily accessible as possible. Sending in a copy of any old backups you may have is one of the most reliable ways of finding lost, unknown, and alternate versions of ZZT worlds toady, and it's all on a timer that's really beginning to wind down. As these old storage mediums decay, their contents will be lost to time and it's quite possible that you have the last accessible copy of something important.
Several ZZTers have donated backups of their old collections, and in some cases even mailed physical media in formats they no longer have a way to read. We have tools to help identify files that are unpreserved and are willing to do the work of sorting ourselves. Privacy is respected and nothing you created will be published without your permission. If you have any old backups, ZZT or otherwise, I urge you to take the step of get them onto something newer. Talk to us on Discord if you need help with this!
Just a few notable finds that originated from donations include:
- Coolzap Part: 1 and The Great Co-Co Caves of Bratha (1991-07-25 edition) - Two games that are part of what is now a three-way tie for the oldest preserved ZZT worlds that aren't part of an official ZZT release.
- MegaZeux 1.03 - A private testers only build of the ZZT clone MegaZeux
- ZZT and Epic Newsletter Scans / The Epic Mega Haul - Physical documents from Epic's earliest days including public newsletters as well as internal company documents.
- Barney Exterminator - A game whose sequel was readily available for years and years before the first game was finally recovered.
- Software Visions ZZT Pack - A disk containing registered versions of the ZZT games released by the ZZT/MZX company Software Visions.
- Yapok Sundria (Update) - A graphical overhaul of a ZZT classic that nobody was aware of even existing until its discovery.
- Omidon's Downfall (Preview Version) - A lost game from 2001, showing that even if your backups are from a time when the ZZT community was far more centralized than its earlier years, that there's still plenty to discover.
Contact Dr. Dos about backup preservation
Methods Involving Time
Write Some Reviews
The vast majority of ZZT worlds out there have had zero reviews! At the time of writing, not even one in four files has a review. If you spend some time playing a ZZT game, using a utility, or tinkering with a clever engine after seeing a proof of concept elsewhere leaving a review is a great way to show your appreciation. The reviews on the Museum of ZZT were originally imported from z2, so even games with plenty of them haven't had anybody put some analysis into them in close to twenty years. In my years of running the site I've stumbled across plenty of great ZZT games I had no idea were out there, and also my share of ones that were well regarded in their time, but don't hold up so much now. A review is an excellent way to provide insight for others about to try out the same world.
Reviews are the most accessible source of information on how others felt about a world, and just a paragraph or two can be quite helpful. It's great knowing a little bit about a world before you play it. Is it enjoyable? How long does it take? Are there any bugs that you'll run into, or better yet, be able to avoid? Is the game full of casual slurs or other offensive content? Having this information up front can dramatically change how someone approaches a game. Seeing new reviews on the front page will often get others to check out the game as well providing more insight and dialog about the world in question.
Plus, newer ZZT worlds have the misfortune of being released to a much smaller community than in the past. A review lets the author know that somebody played their game and cared enough to comment on it! (Do check if the game is available on other platforms itch where reviews can be given though. Always favor helping the creator of a ZZT world over the curator of the Museum.) Reviews on the Museum of ZZT don't require an account and providing numeric ratings is optional for those who want to avoid boiling a game down to just a number.
Review a ZZT World
Write a Featured World Article
A review is expected to be a quick and straightforward overview of a game and the experience playing it. Some games may seem a bit more notable and be worthy of getting a spotlight shined on them on the front page. Currently, almost every single Featured Game on the Museum was imported from z2's own list (plus its Game of the Month and Classic Game of the Month awards). There are definitely a lot of modern titles as well as overlooked gems of the past that deserve that extra attention.
A Featured World article should be a little longer, and including a few screenshots is strongly encouraged. A featured game should be one that really exemplifies what a ZZT game can be. These can be games that excel at classic ZZT adventuring, demonstrate innovative programming, or exemplify the unique experiences ZZT offers.
However, a Featured World can also be important not just for its outstanding quality, but for exemplifying the empowerment ZZT gives to creators with little or no traditional programming experience. If a ZZT world can act as a sort of platonic ideal of something positive, then it's probably fair game for having some compliments paid and appearing sometimes on the front page to give those new to ZZT an idea of what the medium is all about.
Before getting started though, get in touch with me to be sure I'm okay with marking a particular world as featured in the first place. I don't want myself to be the sole arbiter of what ZZT worlds are noteworthy enough to get that spotlight. I just don't want anybody putting in the effort of documenting such a game only for it to go to waste.
Contact Dr. Dos about writing a featured world article
Write A Guest Article
I only specifically bring up Featured Worlds because their numbers are fairly dire and quality titles in the past decade (if not more) are almost entirely missing from the list.
But if you'd rather write something other than praise for a ZZT game, you can write about many different things! Guest articles can cover pretty much whatever you like that's ZZT related or perhaps even ZZT adjacent. If you've made a ZZT world yourself, a Postmortem is a great idea for not only an insightful read, but something that only you can do justice. Revisiting a childhood game and seeing how it feels to you today is another unique opportunity.
Contact Dr. Dos about writing a guest article
Make a ZZT World
What better way to keep ZZT going after more than 30 years than to actually create something for it? Creating new worlds is the very definition of keeping ZZT alive. With modern tools it's easy to jump in and start creating, and the community is more than happy to help answer questions on development or beta test worlds prior to release.
Plus you get to tell everybody you made a video game.
If you're interested, check out these helpful articles to get going (or don't. You can honestly probably figure it out with ZZT + Zeta + KevEdit or ZEdit2):
- ZZTing With Zeta
- Modern ZZT Editing With KevEdit (alternatively try Lancer X's new ZZT editor ZEdit2)
- The Joy of ZZT
- ZZT to the Masses - Publishing to the Museum and Itch.io
Upload a World to the Museum of ZZT
Methods Involving Almost No Effort!
Join Us On Discord
If you want to take an active role participating in the modern ZZT community, the Worlds of ZZT Discord is the place to be! There are folks of all skill levels with ZZT from returning oldbies to those who never heard of ZZT prior to discovering the Museum or Twitter account. We've got channels for general ZZT related discussion, showing off worlds/programs you have in development, channels for community projects (like the Town of ZZT remix world pictured above), a mirrored Twitter bot feed and more. The server doesn't move particularly fast and strives to be an inclusive and welcoming place. It's a great place to be to get questions answered about ZZT-OOP or help finding a ZZT game you played as a child, find testers for your own worlds, and share cool stuff you've made!
Join The Worlds of ZZT Discord Server
Like, Comment, and Subscribe
Click buttons! Increase numbers!
Worlds of ZZT has accounts on several sites and bumping engagement or following can help show that the community is thriving. Subscribe on YouTube for VODs of livestreams. Watch those streams when they happen by subscribing on Twitch. Follow the Twitter account and retweet cool, silly, or bizarre ZZT boards to your friends who might know nothing of ZZT!