Kraftzone.net started out as small minecraft server at the end of 2011, and grew to be a pretty popular with a unique community of creative players and loyal fans of the server.
Built on top of the PHP/MySQL based SMF forum, I’ve managed to mod many features into forum and frontpage portal much of it coded myself to integrate the ingame server community with the online forum. Including bridging the powerful MediaWiki into the main theme, and cross bridging the login system with it so SMF forum accounts work with the Wiki. It also includes a Steam login system which is also tied into the main SMF forum accounts system. Which I plan to make a lot more use of in the future allowing gamers from Steam a quicker way of becoming members on the website.
Threads and post replies made on the forum would be sent to game server to notifier players in game of the new post, the topic name and the username of who had made the post. It was a unique feature that no other minecraft servers that I knew of had. And it worked well to bring community closer, even for those who weren’t in the game.
Alot of backend code went to adding custom features not seen on alot of other server or mineraft community server website. The forum avatars would use players ingame minecraft character skins to generate a cube block face. That way players who registered on the forum could pick an avatar that other people in game would recognize from the character face they saw in game.
Voting stats, in game server plugins and league tables, and most my custom plugins all logged stat info to a MySQL database, the website had a few pages to pull in this data and show it to players. It made the website alot more engaging to players when they weren’t playing in the game, as they could see rankings etc.
The events based timer system on the website also got developed though I wish I had done it sooner, it allowed players to know when an minigame event in the game server was going to start by using ‘time until’ countdown. For a server with players in different regions in the world, using a system datetime and GMT just gets confusing where a realtime countdown saying “4hrs, 23mins until event x”… is alot more readable and players can decide if they will be able to show up at that event easier.
Many other backend tools also got made to make assist with administrating the server, from chat log reporting, backup scripts, visual tools like mapsize = filesize estimates, a quicker way of testing minecraft color codes…
During 2015 Kraftzone expanded into running other game servers included Ark:Survival, Rust and 7 Days to Die with a brief period of a Left4Dead2 Barricade mod server. The Rust and 7DTD servers both got more server mods made by myself which I’ll be adding into the relevant portfolio sections to talk about separately. The 7DTD server ended up getting a totally new website which sadly doesn’t show up the waybackmachine. I may still get it up again to give it it’s own portoflio section as I did a lot of work on it from both front and backend coding, the 7dtd devtracker was just a small part of it.
The Kraftzone logo, using a Minecraft like font, the symbol on the end represents a soundwave. It was something I had used in game for the custom server mods I did for my server as a branding and style for the server, and due to Minecraft font ::;,. actually look like the logo in game. And so that was the basics for the logo as seen below.
The wiki site for kraftzone is actually using the MediaWiki framework, by default SMF has no Wiki feature, and Mediawiki has very few themes that would fit in with the Kraftzone website. So I went to making a custom theme for MediaWiki, that would make it look like it was part of the Kraftzone website, finding an SMF_MediaWiki Login bridge, that would allow forum accounts to assigned permissions in MediaWiki’s own account system. It was a perfect balance of the powere of MediaWiki to create a wiki system, while the theme and accounting bridge with the SMF forum allowed for a perfect embedded implementation.
Alot of other licensed and subscription based forum software like XenForo, Vbulletin come with plugins and built Wiki systems. I’m proud of using 2 free open sourced frameworks like SMF/MediaWiki and enhancing both with extra code and mods to improve functionality.
The Kraftzone website is no longer a popular community due to my lack of interest in running gaming servers for other games, and developing my own games now is where my time is spent for which is still a goal to bring Kraftzone back to popularity in the future.
Still the wiki site still gets a lot visitors due it hosting the VoxelSniper guide which only exists at Kraftzone.net website, while most the casual visitors it gets daily are old players and new people checking in to see who’s on the teamspeak and if anyone has posted anything new in the shoutbox, I think most just come to see when it will come back to life again.
So while I work on other games and projects, I plan on keeping Kraftzone.net running for the future when I will give it a makeover and take it in a new direction with a game of my own. For now though it serves as both a historical record for many of the players who enjoyed the minecraft server in its popular days to visit and soak in the nostalgia of it all.
Things of note that came out of Kraftzone from the community (and is alot more including building competition events etc) were the fanbased comic strip http://dusktilldawn.smackjeeves.com/ loosely based on my castle in the sky and featuring a character based on my own in game persona. For regulars of the server similarities in characters names and personality won’t go unmissed and it was a pretty funny and interesting story to it. The creative stuff other people will do based on your own work and what you’ve done can be fascinating and amusing, in someways you learn more about yourself from it than anything else.
The Adventures of Bob, a forum thread (http://kraftzone.net/forum/index.php/topic,648.0.html) started by a player called Pepsi who started referencing common traits of certain ZFG player attitudes as ‘Bob’, providing often very funny example dialogs that any minecraft player would recognize. It was a hit thread that many other people started contributing stories of Bob like characters they had come across on servers.
The server still has an active teamspeak community, honestly I could write for hours about all the things that happened both on and off the server, and just how much I learnt from running the servers and website for it. Being an admin/developer and community leader for many players was both a responsibility and joy that I’d do again any day. Alot of my projects and skills developed for myself got started through Kraftzone and a drive to improve it. From marketing and advertising video trailers, Java minecraft client & server mods, desktop minecraft launcher done with C#, really soo many things to list.