♦ Livestream of 4 ZZT worlds. ♦
♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (2:05) "Space Farce" by John Doty (1993) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/spfarce/]
• (19:58) "Space Fork" by Commodore (2011) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/spacefor/]
• (54:37) "Dufus's Adventure in Space 2" by METAL97 (1995) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/dufus2/]
• (1:02:05) "The Space Way (1996)" by Unknown (1996) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/spaceway96/]
Four previously unseen space games, and yet one of these things is not like the other...
Space Farce opens things up, with a light Star Trek parody featuring Captain Thickard and the rest of the crew being sabotaged by an unknown individual later revealed to be the most evil being in the universe. Shockingly, it's not Barney. Not a whole lot to do here other than explore the ship and later blast the enemy with photon torpedos. Still, a gentle warmup for the stream.
Then the obvious star, Commodore's incomplete Space Fork, the first ever recovered ZZT world created in 2011! And oh wow is it really impressive even in its unfinished state. Fly around a linear galaxy as you head to the core. Fight off space pirates. Take on other missions. Upgrade your ship. Almost get to play baccarat (it's not actually coded). Great looking planets and lovingly written ship desciptions make this one a very high effort title.
But the combat system is what's truly the most impressive thing about it. A reusable engine presents a somewhat simplified form of combat seen in the old BASIC game Super Star Trek with players advancing/retreating, managing their shields and phasers, launching photon torpedos, and taking on a variety of targets. If anyone was going to pull something like this off, it would of course be Commodore. Incomplete as it is, there's still enough on display here to understand the core gameplay loop, and it's clear that this really would have been something special.
And then back to the mid-90s AOL era games. Dufus's Adventure in Space 2 whose previous game remains lost. Zip around space for a bit NOT pressing any of the buttons the game tells you to press lest all stars turn into tigers. Shoot past some guards that don't really care much for moving, and recover a stolen crystal. Mostly notable for having the final board of the game loop back to the first so you can directly return to your ship. A lone neat idea in agame where most of the boards seem to hate the player.
Finally, The Space Way. Flee an exploding ship. Save the people of Mars from invaders. Run past a lot of spinning guns at point blank range and hope you don't get shot. (You will.) An action game that's a bit more sensible in what it asks the player to do aside from the guns. There's an attempt at making something cool here, and I suspect a young me would have had fun with it even if it wouldn't have been one of my favorites.
So, a lot of short, well-intended, but nothing too wild games, and then Space Fork which blows everything else out of the water. To be fair to the more basic titles, Commodore had the luxury of his game being made a good decade and a half after.
♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦
♦ Originally streamed on December 3rd, 2023 ♦