News: Project Codename: Z-Net 3.0 (The Alternative to zbattle)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In the past couple days I've devoted some free time to my blog and more specifically, the zbattle/Z-Net situation. Rather then continually re-editing the last post, I decided to create a new one.

I created a brand new page for the unreleased clone project I'm offering up as a alternative to zbattle. I've given it the code name "Z-Net 3.0" for now, but if the project does ever get moving I may go with a different name, though still including Z-Net in some way. This new page serves as a central hub for all info relating to the project, including it's origins, present status, and potential future. As well as any polls regarding the project and how you can help. Additionally I enabled comments on that page for any discussion. You can find the link to the page on the left, directly beneath the Home link. I may refine this page some more if I can, but for the most part, I've done all I can to optimally leave this projects fate in the hands of users, allowing me to return to filling my free time as I normally would, and just check up on this blog to see how things are looking with this project.

With such a page, I won't have to worry about posting unrelated news and hindering any attention to that project or polls. If you chose to share a link to this blog regarding that project, you can simply link to that page rather then the main page.

I've also done what I could to optimize this blog for catching search engine terms related to the project. It's still early in the month deadline, but if traffic stays as it has the past couple days, I doubt I'm going to feel there's enough interest in the project after its over. It's not easy deciding on a number, but I guess I will go with 150 votes. If the poll hits that sooner, then I will get started on working on the project that much sooner, assuming I have the time. Of course, if I feel the voting has been cheated in some way, I may either readjust that goal, or perhaps completely remake the poll.


Caleb said...

Sferics here again,

One thing I'm not entirely clear about is this - Does the concept of Z-Net 3.0 involve the GUI of zbattle, but on an IRC server? If so, very cool! I have thought a lot about why the older Z-Net's were not as successful, and I think it was ultimately mIRC's (and most IRC clients in general) somewhat lackluster GUI. I think zbattle, to it's credit, has always exemplified the motto: "Make it as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."

I'm not sure if this project will get the amount of attention you want, but I sure hope it does! This has always been an awesome concept, and I would hate to see such a cool community (no matter how small) completely die just because some server for a 10 year old program inexplicably went down.

Although I would love to be as active as I was previously, as I mentioned in my previous post I am very preoccupied with college (I'm actually a freshman at Harvard studying physics). I will keep this blog in mind however and watch how this project develops.

Best of luck to you!

DarkAkuma said...

Yes. That's exactly how the program I made is. If I for some reason were to change the name of it to zbattle, you would think you were using zbattle. It looks and functions exactly the same. The 2 screenshots I've made for it should illustrate that, if you haven't seen those yet.

I personally find the GUI of mIRC and other IRC clients, to be light years better then zbattle in terms of attractiveness. On top of that, you had the ability to customize the GUI with mIRC. But while zbattle wasn't pretty, I think that Ian guy who designed it accidentally hit the mark perfectly when it comes to simplicity. With the old Z-Net vs. zbattle thing I way underestimated how simplicity tipped the scales in zbattle favor. I tried as much as I could to make Z-Net 1.0 simpler, and may have made huge strides towards that goal with 2.0. But there's only so much I can do within the restrictions of relying on mIRC. At its simplest, for Z-Net 1.0-2.0 you have to install mIRC, then install Z-Net with it. With zbattle, you just install it. Even if I could boil that down to 2 simple sounding steps like that, it's still essentially to much.

The previous Z-Nets had a lot going against them that I've come to realize over the years upon looking back. 1.0 had no choice but to be compared to zbattle, so in turn anyone could see 1.0 was more complicated to install, more complicated to use, had to compete for a very limited pool of users of which whom were also mostly completely unwilling to consider another program, due to either lack of need, blind devotion to what they know, or preconceptions. I guess I technically don't consider the 2.0 release to have failed. I more chose to stop my involvement with it after realizing and accepting the limitations in the road ahead of it. While I cant say other issues might have held it back as well, in short, it was to late. I realized that, and chose to stop putting effort into it shortly after it even started. There was zbattle to compete with on the SNES front, and kalleria and CGA (at the time) to compete with regarding every other emu. And there's just not enough users to go around for split communities. Was set to be a long hard road, with zero promises to try and create and rely on new fresh users. I was not prepared for that in the slightest.

But yea. 150 votes might be a lot for this, considering zbattle peaked on sundays with about 75-100 users on line at a time. I'm going to stick with that number for now though, but it's not written in stone. Even if it comes up short, if there's still enough of a minimum amount of votes, I may just release what I have "as-is" and not planning to maintain it, hoping it works for people. Even then though, I'd have to work on it at least a little to polish it up because I can think of a couple issues already. But I suppose I could do that a little at a time.

It's good hearing from you again. Any time you're not so busy, it would be great to see you around wherever.

And thanks.

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