ClassicZoo - improved ZZT 3.2 experience

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asie
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ClassicZoo - improved ZZT 3.2 experience

Post by asie »

Hey. I've been working on a fork of ZZT for the past year or so. It was initially meant to be a side project before my C/C++ rewrites were complete, but kind of became a thing of its own. Its goal is to improve the ZZT experience while sticking close to the original engine's feel and keeping full compatibility - essentially, being a drop-in replacement. (Though I know I won't convince ZZT 3.2 purists! That's fine.)

Major features include:
  • EMS/XMS extended memory support - allows worlds of effectively any size within specification, and makes existing near-limit worlds run more reliably on real hardware.
  • Increasing the board limit from 20000 to 65500 bytes.
  • Major CPU and memory usage optimizations.
  • Major editor enhancements: syntax highlighting, OOP import/export, STK color and element support, multiple patterns, block and OOP copy/paste, bugfixes
  • Fixes for crash/hang engine bugs, while keeping compatibility.
  • Subdirectory support in the file browser.
  • NEC PC-9801 port.
Of particular interest to ZZT 3.2 developers might be the ?DCOMPAT feature - it tries to detect and warn the developer about features which crash (f.e. #BECOME in scroll) or are unreliable (f.e. double #BIND) in vanilla ZZT 3.2.

You can learn more and download it here.

asie
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Re: ClassicZoo - improved ZZT 3.2 experience

Post by asie »

I'm still updating it! Now with a matching Super ZZT fork.

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Dark-Star2018
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Re: ClassicZoo - improved ZZT 3.2 experience

Post by Dark-Star2018 »

Dammit, what I wouldn't give for a time machine so i could send this back 20 years.

Keep up the great work! If i can get Last Call Productions off the ground I would love to use ClassicZoo to make my game "Seasons".

So with the new board size, does that allow for full length songs? Any changes or improvements to the music system?
Energizer - you are invincible
ZZT @narchists unite! Turn off the dark, get free money, defeat death itself!

asie
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Re: ClassicZoo - improved ZZT 3.2 experience

Post by asie »

Neither fork adds features, they just fix crash/hang bugs and bump those limits which do not affect compatibility with existing worlds - this is why the stat limit isn't bumped yet. (except for fixing the conveyor bug, which one recently released game seems to actually rely on - I'll have to do something about that...)

You can probably fit full-length music, but there are games which did it already (Dark Citadel has a 3-minute long title song). Going from 20000 to 65500 bytes is a >3x increase, after all!

With regards to new worlds and compatibility-breaking additions, we've been working on a specification for an interoperable extension format; it does exist, there is some tooling for it, but it's not ready for general use yet. Maybe in 2022...

PS. If you want an external editor, that area received a new contender over the past few years: ZEdit2 by Lancer-X.

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