News: What I've Been Up To

Friday, February 08, 2013

If you've read my blog in the past, you can tell the URL is different now. Sadly I lost access to the old URL, so you probably had to dig up the new one manually. As annoying as this change over has been, the good side is I now have a good, stable, and REAL URL! So from this point on people shouldn't ever have to bookmark anything new for my blog or the Z-Net site.

This may not seem like to big of a deal to some, but it is to me. It's like I've finally taken a step up with my websites, and further legitimized my projects.

Riding this new high, I've done some work on Z-Net I again. Mostly just adding new, but small features. It's nice to be working on a project again thats done to the point that ZNI is, because I can see and use the results of that work better. The Z-Net 3 project is so far away from anything even shareable for alpha testing that theres just little enjoyment out of running it. While the code quality in ZN3 is much more superior, ZNI is a better program at this point. I won't lie, it's ratty code has been a pain to work with after improving my skills since last year, but at least I'm familiar with the code to the point were I don't get stuck or slowed down because I can't figure out how to do something.

Well, after I worked on a few features, and improved some of the code, something dawned on me. Last year before I officially started working on ZNI, when I was waiting on the poll results, I was working on my Z-Band code. It was integrated into the ZNI client at the time, and once I officially stared work on ZNI I backed up the scraps of Z-Band code, and disabled/removed it all. Because of that, I've never tinkered with it since then, and showing anyone of a demo of my work wouldn't be easy. Well, what dawned on me was that I could try integrating the code into ZNI in a way that I could easily have all the Z-Band code disabled/not compiled when I want it, leaving ZNI builds functioning normally. But when I wanted to test or refine the Z-Band code, I could easily enable it all and compile it.

So after a bit of work, I got the Z-Band code running again, and in the most modern version of the ZNI source! From there I've had to make some tweaks after figuring out the state I left the code in, just to get it working properly again. Then I realized it wasn't the most convenient setup to use, because I just made it as a proof of concept. So I've made some changes to make it simpler to understand and use. Before both the client and host had to click a register button at some point before the host presses start. That never felt right, so I've now made check boxes labeled "Play Registered Match". When those are checked, then the host presses the start button, the normal ZSNES launch process will get interrupted while the users get their match registration automatically submitted to the server. Once the match is confirmed with the server, the ZSNES launch process will resume. While technically this requires the same amount of interaction from the users, it just feels easier, and much more proper.

I still need to add a password entry field somewhere (it links up with your account, so a password is needed or else people could easily tank your ratings or otherwise impersonate you in tournaments). Also status messages of the registration process could use some work. In some cases it's to spammy, and other cases it's just not informative enough.

Once I tweak those last little bits I'll finish up some work on the normal ZNI code where I've been integrating some small features I've seen requested. I may also try my hand at posting a video of Z-Band in action, since I've never posted a video before that I've created, and I've realized before that Z-Band can't properly be showcased in pics.