Rethinking the future of Z-Net... again...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's now been 3 weeks since I posted a very important post over on the Z-Net website. One were I absolutely require feedback from people. Average readers may not notice, but I put a lot of thought and work into the post. I did so in an effort to draw in that much needed feedback. But sadly that effort seems to have been wasted, much like I to often feel about the Z-Nets themselves. The amount and quality of responses has fallen well below my minimum hopes. So I'm left to once again consider if I even want to continue with the projects.

To me Z-Net I has been a huge failure. I of course created it to fill in the loss of zbattle. Within the year before zbattle disappeared I saw the user count in the 50-100s range. But try as I might, ZNI could never break 25. I also tried harder to create a community. One I could communicate with was necessary, so I focused on English speakers. For that reason and for increasing the odds of pleasant interactions among the users. But that failed as well. The forums were rarely posted on. The chat room addition flopped, seeing users rarely chat outside of whining, asking for help with basic things, or just disregarding the 1 rule that's always right in your face when you open the window.

So the Z-Net I project has been one huge disappointment for me, and a giant headache overall. So whatever fun I have coding quickly evaporated when I saw such a lack of users, or users who just misuse, abuse, or ignore everything.

I stuck it out with ZNI as long as I could. This shouldn't be the first time people have seen me express my issues with the project. Some should be wondering why I even bothered to keep going as long as I have. Well, I enjoy coding. I have learned a lot over the years thanks to these projects. I believed in the goal of bringing people together to play their favorite games with each other. And also of creating a community around it.

But looking back it's easy to see I missed the boat on such goals. I was always aiming to low with my goals for the Z-Net projects. And my coding skill was always behind what I needed for a project to succeed at the time. I have been attempting to address this issue with my work on Z-Net 3. But I'm at a point now were even with that project I'm beginning to wonder "Is it even worth it?".

The overwhelming lack of feedback on my recent post for it, on top of what I've had to go through with the previous project seems to be telling me "No.". After finishing up work on my last addition to the project, the lack of interest from people has caused me to be un-interested in working on it since.

I've found myself looking into other interests. Like game development. I'd be starting from scratch again if I took that up as a hobby. Although hopefully I can translate enough of my acquired coding skill over to it. Though honestly, the coding aspects of game development have not been what have interested me.

Back to Z-Net, I don't know what its future is. I think I can comfortably officially declare the Z-Net I project done. I have no interest in working on it anymore. I'm even considering locking it down permanently. The majority of the people using it are not the ones I ever intended it to be used by, and their continued use of it kind of feels like it would be an insult to me. Not to mention the complete lack of moderation there would be without me. The type of stuff that would go one without that is not something I'd want my name attached to or knowing my work supports.

If I decide to shut ZNI down, I'll give notice. I'll pick a date and let people know maybe 1 month in advance.

For Z-Net 3. I'm not sure. I'm not going to declare that done, as I may still find enjoyment in working on it sometime just for myself (as odd as that sounds). You never know, suddenly a desire for it could spark and get me interested in it again to see it through to a release.

Z-Band should be in the same boat as ZN3. While never seeing a real release, it has been a project I've enjoyed working on over the years. So I expect to find interest in it again. And certainly would hope a demand for it would rise up.

Normally I'd have a hope from a post like this. A hope to encourage people to speak up, show their support and desire for these projects. But honestly, I don't care. I'm not saying such a voice would fall on deaf ears or fail to convince me to keep trying if strong enough. But just that that's not what this is about. This is just to let people know what I'm thinking and what could be ahead.


Anonymous said...

I know this was posted back in December, but I just got around to reading it.

I can understand working on something for so long and having to deal with lack of users, or users abusing rules. But that should stray from the motivation to continue on with the project. imo. I very easy solution could be used to solve abuse in terms of spam/hacking or whatever it may be. As well as a promotion of Znet being developed as it goes on. Creating a universal MP environment for more then just SNES would increase the popularity overall. Now since ZNET is basically seems the only way for people to connect to old games over the Internet. It will be a required tool for all types of people. Specially with twitch kicking off the ground and more people streaming classic games. They use emulators all the time and if they knew about it. Most likely would do coop or two player games with other streamers. That would give this a well needed boost to the community.

I feel IRC has its uses but does not connect ZNET to its users. It puts a distance at moderation. If there was a overall viewer list to see who is connected and a active group of moderators who have the ability to kick people and a connected chat to the program. Moderation would be more connected to keep a clean community.

Overall the population of using the service will have its ups and downs as new games come out and the old games get thrown into the back ground. But I feel things can really kick off if there was a better way to connect to the community overall and better way to let people know this exists.

I tend to start play through with my Twitch and youtube account. sometimes asking a friend to play with. I knew about Zsnes for a long time. I never new about ZNET until last year or year before when I realized ZNES network play didn't exist in the new versions. The only way I also know about this site is by typing in ZNET-I into google. ZNET alone in google doesn't even bring this site up on the first page.

but these are just my opinions.

zsnes user 9000 said...

i still use it and play whenever i can find another player..thx man !!

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