24 Hours of ZZT Autumn 2003 [Disaster]

Oct 11, 2003
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Judging The Autumn 2003 24 Hours Of ZZT

15 years later, an unfinished contest gets some results!

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: May 31, 2018
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And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for, the results!

Rank Title Author Avg. RT-55J Ravenworks DavidN David M. Danno Celine Kalante Mike W. Xyzzysquirrel Geight Dr. Dos
-DQ- Disaster: The stampede76 story stampede76
Dr. Dos
2.03 5.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.3 1.5 1.5 4.0 1.0 0.0
7th THE KRUSHING DISASTER ELITE EDITION Nukem 2.65 7.5 3.0 0.0 1.0 0.5 3.0 1.0 4.0 4.0 2.5
6th Sid Disaster TTTPPP 3.65 4.5 3.0 2.0 5.0 2.0 5.0 4.5 3.0 3.0 4.5
5th Paper Wisdom Oof 4.50 4.0 8.0 5.0 7.0 0.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 4.0 4.0
4th Virus Mr. Smith 5.40 6.5 6.0 8.0 8.0 2.0 3.0 5.5 2.0 8.0 5.0
3rd Oil Dave2 5.55 3.5 7.0 5.0 6.0 3.0 7.0 6.0 4.0 9.0 5.0
2nd Silicate My Liver Hurtz 6.12 6.0 9.0 7.0 8.0 2.2 5.0 7.0 5.0 7.0 5.0
1st Fallout eRN56 6.75 7.5 6.0 8.0 9.0 3.0 5.0 7.0 8.0 7.0 7.0

(/ used to denote scores above/below the title's average score)

The results are pretty decisive, with eRN56's Fallout taking the first place entry, with its complete from start to finish, lack of major bugs, and some well received animations. My Liver Hurtz's Silicate holds a respectable second place, owing to its unique combat engine that seems to have caught the judges' eyes, but failed to utilize its own ideas all that well. In third place, Dave2's Oil takes bronze by having a strong start that got people's attention, but ultimately lacked the longevity or rewarding gameplay necessary to really rise above.

Moving down to the non-placing ranks, in fourth, Virus by Mr. Smith had people paying attention, but an abrupt ending and lack of gameplay held it back. In fifth, Oof is robbed of higher marks for Paper Wisdom, as the judges have stopped being teenagers in these past fifteen years. The game's stylish graphics being seen as squandered for crude humor not palatable to an older audience.

Reaching towards the bottom of the barrel in sixth place, is TTTPPP's Sid Disaster, a world with a cool looking horse, and nothing else. Seventh place gets taken by Nukem's first and last ZZT world, the purposely nonsensical Krushing Disaster.

And then my game gets disqualified.

Kudos to those who signed up and were able to send something on that long ago October Friday. No matter how big or small, managing to create a game in 24 hours is no small feat.

Congratulations to eRN56 on winning the Autumn 2003 24 Hours of ZZT competition! You, er, have the right to host the next one now?

Raw Scoring Data

David N.
David M.
Celine Kalante
Mike W.
Dr. Dos

Final Thoughts

I am very pleased at just how many people decided to play these games. I had expected maybe half what I got, and was quite worried until the first ones came in that I'd get none at all! These competitions are a gateway into what the ZZT community once was, preserving in time a day when dozens of us went out of our way to get as much computer time as possible in hopes of fame and glory. In a world today where game jams are all over the place among the indy gaming scene, there's something wonderful about realizing just how far back they go.

In 2003, getting eight entries made the contest a flop, but in 2018 the idea of eight new ZZT worlds being created overnight would be astonishing. I hope everybody who took the time to play these games enjoyed themselves.

The last 24 Hours of ZZT may have had a long wait, but the spirit of the ZZT game jam did not die with it. Just a few short months later, the community decided to try something a little different, acknowledging the pressures of a 24 hour time limit and launched the bi-annual Weekend of ZZT contest, continuing the legacy with a less restrictive 72 hour time limit.

There are a few more contests that have had either no results at all, or a winner declared and no formal judging. I think it's a great way to take some darker moments in ZZT's history and bring them back with the respect they should have gotten. We should really do this again sometime!

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