After much deliberation at my college, I managed to get it accepted as a project that will provide me with some grades that I need. There are 336 hours scheduled for Dune(Which comes down to 42 full days, or 1.5 month of work fulltime).
This should give me plenty of time to actually get anything done on the project. However, after reviewing the old code and an attempt to get it to compile again under Visual Studio 2008 on Windows 7, I have decided that certain parts of the game are utterly useless. Managed DirectX support appears to be dropped by Microsoft, and is replaced with XNA.
Because of this, and the insane difficulty I had with integrating a network component into the game, I've decided that I'm going to partially re-write Dune. I will completely replace the rendering layer with XNA, and I will start bottom up this time. Instead of working on the game logic at first, I will start out with the networking engine, and build a game on top of that. This allows me to focus on writing a solid network component first, and then slowly integrate parts from the game into the simulation.
However, since I spoke of a partial re-write, you might wonder what I will re-use. Well, I will re-use all the logic components I've written till so far. I will still use many of the components from the original engine(Such as the manager for gamestates, tasks) and try to port as many things over to XNA. One of the first things on the list is the Window Manager because I'm going to need it on short term.
I started testing out some code on networking and NAT punchthrough last monday using the latest Lidgren Network Library, and I must say, it's great! I wrote a little test application that creates a P2P network with 1 host and 2 clients, and I was able to generate a solid, working p2p network. They all saw each other, and it could connect over a home router and a corporate firewall(Microsoft ISA). The codebase I know have, is derived from that, and has a working lobby that recognizes new players, sends game settings around and at the moment, I'm working on setting up an actual simulation, that will start out by running a few rounds, and the host sending 1 to 2 orders around to all clients, have the clients execute these and then have them send the results back.
I'll report back later. I hope to have some screenshots by then too.