A common misconception is that Zinc is some kind of MUD (Multi User Dungeon). This would in fact be impossible. Zinc is at its heart an interpreter for existing adventure games that have no multiplayer capabilities, and so it would not be possible to add any meaningful multiplayer aspect to these games. Instead, multiplayer Zinc allows several players to play a game co-operatively, working together and sharing ideas to try to progress in the game. The experience is very much like several people crowded around a single computer playing a game.
A multiplayer Zinc game starts with several players all connecting to a game running on a Zinc server. Once in the same game the players have the following options to aid co-operative play:
Common map. The players share a common map. Each player can modify it and add to it.
Common game. With a common game the interpreter runs on the server and the players decide which commands to try.
Control. With a shared game or map an element of cooperation and goodwill between players is required to prevent chaos. Zinc implements two mechanisms to help - voting and hotseating. With the hotseating mechanism there is one player in the "hotseat" at any one time. That player can be removed from the hotseat by a majority vote. In addition, a player not in the hotseat can suggest a command and the other players can vote to perform or disregard the idea. The game's host can determine which of these mechanisms are used. When using voting control, each command is put to a majority vote.