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The real reason that ZZT has remained popular for so long is that it included a built-in editor, allowing anybody to make their own games. Simple action games could easily be made using built-in enemies and puzzles could be done with pushers, boulders and locked doors, but objects allowed for much deeper interaction using a simple programming language called ZZT-OOP.

ZZT's built-in editor is quite limited, only allowing the bright colors to be selected, which led to the introduction of STK. Other limitations and bugs, including one where an object's code would suddenly be erased, led to the development of external editors.

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