Details: Z-Band (2004-2008)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Z-Band is my favorite project, but it never saw the light of day sadly. I started it after Z-Net 1.0 was officially released. I think it was technically my first project using C++, so I was still learning as I was making it. At this time, my inexperience was certainly what hindered this project, as I couldn't figure out how to get it to work exactly like I wanted.

Before I go on more, I''ll describe the intent of the project. It was to be a mIRC dll designed to automatically track scores from Z-Net users netplay games, and automatically submit the scores to a IRC bot for tournaments and scoreboards. I derived the projects name from the, ahead of its time, X-Band modem for SNES.

Now, in 2004 I got stuck on the project. I couldn't get it working properly like I wanted it as a dll. I was able to get it working better as an exe however, but didn't like that. I produced a spinoff version of Z-Band called "Z-Band - SMK". The notable differences being that is was an exe at one point, and a dll at another. Also it didn't send its scores to a bot, but just updated the channel with score changes. This spinoff version was more of a proof of concept, that the idea could work. Still though, while I proved the idea could work, it had it's issues, and I couldn't advance the project along further towards getting released. So the project died out.

Years later when I started the Z-Net 2.0 project, my C++ had improved by then and I gave Z-Band another look. I was now able to fix the issues I had with it years before. I got it working perfectly, and added support for more games including Street Fighter 2, Gundam Wing Endless Duel, and Bust-A-Move was almost finished. This time however, the issue I ran into was different. While I did design a bare-bones server bot, I realized I didn't want to invest the time into developing a more proper one. No one else stepped forward to offer to do so, so Z-Band never progressed further.

I wasn't interested in developing a bot, cause one, I'd want to do it properly, and that would be to involving, and two, I just wanted to work on things more directly with Z-Net. It was enough of a project itself.

The close tie in of this project to Z-Net itself, of course also played a factor, as soon after I came to a conclusion to end development of Z-Net all together.

No screenshots of this exist, but shouldn't be needed. And the project was never released, except maybe the SMK version. I have no plans to release any version now, and if the project were ever to continue forward, it would be a part of a stand alone client or possibly a stand alone client all in itself.