As a programmer, I’ve always been interested in many languages, rather than just sticking with one. As a result, I’ve explored many different multiplayer games to see what I can do to create a multiplayer game server. When I first started playing World of Warcraft, I wanted to explore the programming aspect rather than staying at an end-user level.
Learning the World of Warcraft (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG) api and programming language was my gateway into the programming world. By the end my WoW programming endeavor, I had a reasonable understanding of “Lua”, a hybrid between C++ and Java in the form of a scripting language. I also became familiar with MySQL, a database structure for storing world objects, items, and player information. This language is used everywhere throughout the game, from HUD scripting to entire boss fights. Little did I realize at the time that to this day I would still be programming in the languages I learned from a small World of Warcraft side project.
When I moved on to Minecraft in 2010 (soon after its release), I immediately began programming in that language, Java. I had a server titled “HoffGaming”, with an active community of about 30 people on at once.
A cached page for the Minecraft server from 2012 can be found here.
A few friends and I were fascinated with level design, and Minecraft allowed us to make whole cities with ease for random players to explore and enjoy. This let us build whatever we think of, and that’s exactly what we did.
Eventually, I moved on. I discovered a game called “Garry’s Mod”. Like my portfolio shows, most of my work has been done on there. I actively post my projects as addons on the Steam Workshop for Garry’s Mod. Before I focused mostly on the workshop, however, I hosted a server for the gamemode “Trouble in Terrorist Town”. Although the server hasn’t existed for several years, the Steam group still has many members in it. The 32 slot game server was always full, so reserve slots had to be made to make room for staff.
Administrating the server by myself was unrealistic with this many community members, and as a result, I recruited other administrators and moderators to watch over the server with me and while I wasn’t online. These staff members were voted into their position by other community members, essentially adding a democratic process to the scene
The server was fantastic, and I wanted to keep it open as long as possible. This, in turn, called for several instances of upkeep pricing. I made the most of the situation by adding a donation system, where people could contribute money to the server, which made the server become self-sufficient and pay for itself. Players could buy vanity items for their characters, like hats, pets, outfits, and many more
HoffGaming eventually turned from a community of strangers into a large family, and most people are still talking, and some even close friends as a result of meeting on the server.