By the time I got ZBasic I had been writing code in BASIC on my TRS-80 Model III for a few years.
After my friend Brad Grantham wrote an Apple IIe emulator, the thought trickled into my head that I could implement an alternative history where BASIC programmers could actually write decent video games.
I ran out of room after implementing most of BASIC, having to leave out floating point and string support.
Of course a real ROM would need these, and I don't know whether re-implementing the compiler in assembly would free up enough room for them.
I'm okay leaving floating point out of my implementation because any program that used it would see a much smaller speed-up from compilation.
Also, the original ROM BASIC didn't have floating point and people were able to write video games just fine.