ZZT Pro is a very nice set of lessons on problems to avoid when writing ZZT games. A lot of it is common sense to non-newbies and has appeared before in ZZT Syndromes (its predecessor), but it contains a few tips that anyone can consider and some material that is updated/new.
A fair amount of the content is opinion. However, I do not think this detracts significantly from ZZT Pro, as it is just as valuable to hear the likes/dislikes of a fellow ZZTer as it is to be preached objective fact. Kjorteo even stated himself that his suggestions are not absolute, just ideas to be taken into consideration. As a result, I have no complaints on this point.
A couple of lessons did not seem thoroughly discussed. For example, the section on guarding against cheating left out a couple of methods that have already been described in the ZZT-OOP Encyclopedia. I also agree with Commodore to a certain extent that there could have been a tad more content. However, these are not significant concerns, as long as you don't consider this to be the 100% comprehensive guide to everything ZZT.
Finally, the bulk of the content mostly applies only to newbies; I was hoping for something even more advanced, perhaps more tutorials on psychology, creating balanced gameplay, etc... Still, this is a valuable resource for a newcomer.
Conclusion: A very good update to ZZT Syndromes that could have been ever-so-slightly better. Good work, Kjorteo.
Although this is certainly useful, and is something newbies should consider playing, it should not be followed as a steadfast rule. All the information is good, if not a little biased. (I like stars!) Still, it does what it promises. ZZT Syndromes is dated, but it is still essential, this is not so much a replacement (I do mean to suggest it was intended to be) but a good "chapter 2"
While it tries to do the things Syndromes did, occasionally placing the player in hated situations as examples of what not to do, it doesn't do it enough, and often resorts to explaining what should or should not be done. I can't really complain about that too much, especially when it talks about things beyond the realm of the visual.
Its a welcome "chapter 2". It is a little off puting coming from Kjorteo, who I've not yet seen a game from, but there are plenty of ZZT players out there who know what they like.
My biggest complaint is not very big... The whole thing seems a little short. I would like to see Kjorteo maybe continue to update this utility. Hopefully he'll get more feed back than just mine and Will's.
So take your grain of salt and give it a whirl.
A wonderful addition to the site. This gives a lot more practical information than the regular "Don't do the yellow borders" Each topic really hit home when the explanation was followed by an example, if applicable.
I especially liked the "Your interests vs. The players"
Each message, like I said, really hits home.
This is a must-use for everyone!
Download it NOW!!