> I've always been a fan of ZZT. It might be a bit old school (ansi graphics ftw),
> but some of the things you can do with it are pretty cool.
> It has its own simple in-game programming language which you use to create special
> "objects" which can be anything, but I mostly used them for music, npcs, bosses,
> doors, and creating interesting puzzles. Some folks made cutscenes and stuff with
> them as well. It's pretty robust.
> You can also use the editor to look at the objects in the sample world to see the
> actual lines of code as examples of how they did things. I find practical examples
> like that to be quite helpful compared to just abstract coding terms.
> If you are looking specifically for something to learn coding/programming techniques,
> it is a good one. Many game creation engines focus on design, largely leaving out
> the coding part. And you could design all sorts of stuff without coding anything
> in ZZT, but it really starts to come alive when you use objects.
> Used to be shareware, but the full version was released as freeware several years
> ago. (Edit: technically not freeware, but licensed for free distribution. Epic could
> decide to change that and charge for it again, but for a 30 year old ansi graphics
> game, it seems unlikely they would bother to stop counting fortnite money long enough
> to do so).
> There's also Super Zzt and spiritual successor Megazeux that do pretty much the same
> thing but bigger. However I've always liked the original best.
ZZT is probably the most fun I had with a learning tool. The turn around time on being able to type something up to being able to test it out is just so quick. It's not pretty, it's not sexy, but it's a great tool to tinker with.