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Portfolio: Gaming Community Site

Spring 2006

This website was built for a gaming group, commonly known as a clan, situated in New England. This is primarily a community site and involved integrating various web and server applications from different developers and across different platforms to provide a consistent feel and easier usability for this community. Our clients wanted the information they access the most easily accessible, such as who was in a server, what the latest forum posts and news posts were, and what the current player stats on their game servers were. Originally this site was driven by the popular phpBB2 forum software (http://www.phpbb.com) and a Teamspeak Voice-over-IP server (http://www.goteamspeak.com). This project involved creating a new phpBB2 style and integrating its pages and information into new stand alone pages. The final result was a community oriented site which used many different existing 3rd party web and server applications combined with custom built dynamic pages.

Highlighted Features:

Light Weight CSS Driven Design

Since our clients were on a limited budget and had limited bandwidth available we used a lightweight CSS design rather than a nested table design. Images were used sparsely and CSS effects were used to ensure that the website used only a minimum of the bandwidth available without sacrificing quality and aesthetics. CSS color themes were created and used and a horizontal CSS menu, rather than javascript, in order to degrade nicely and not lock out their visitors who didn't enable javascript on their browsers

PHPBB Style Creation and Integration into Site

The PHPBB software was the main driving force for this community's previous site. The wanted to keep that but be able to expand upon it with things like articles, reviews, custom galleries, and file download pages. A custom PHPBB2 style was created to give the same look and feel across pages and custom pages were created to access certain aspects of the forums from other pages, such as the latest news posts on the main page and the latest forum posts.

Screenshot of Main Forum Page

Gaming Site: Main Forum Page

Screenshot of Forum Thread Page

Gaming Site: Forum Thread Page

Player Stats and Server Queries

This site was integrated with server status and player stats pages for games such as Raven Shield, Counter-Strike: Source, and Joint Operations. Existing server queries and stats pages were modified to fit the theme of the site or created from scratch to get the desired functionality and existing 3rd party player stats pages were used where desired by our clients.

Screenshot of Teamspeak Status Page

Gaming Site: Teamspeak Server Status Page

RRD Server Statistics

The Round Robin Database (RRD) tool (http://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/) is a cool piece of software that was used to track and plot the number of people in the various servers this community ran. Updated with a cron job on the server and combined with some simple PHP pages users could look at different periods of times, such as past hour, past 24 hours, past month, and past year and see the number of people in each of their servers.

Screenshot of Stats Page

Gaming Site: Stats Page

Gallery

Like many sites our client had images and screenshots that they wanted to display on their site. Using a simple database and php pages were were able to provide them with an expandable gallery that could grow and expand depending on how their needs changed without reprogramming the pages. A simple back-end was also created to allow admins to upload, file and add comments to new content.

Screenshot of Stats Page

Gaming Site: Stats Page

Calendar of Events

This community wanted a dynamic calendar to allow them to schedule tournaments, regular play nights, or any other type of event. This was created using a simple MySQL database and a single PHP page to display months or specific events to suit their needs.

Screenshot of Calendar Page

Gaming Site: Calendar Page

World Map

Our clients wanted a simple world map to others could see where the various members were across the globe. Using an easily expanded image and rollover techniques we were able to provide a interactive map that showed the various countries and which players resided there.

Screenshot of World Map Page

Gaming Site: World Map Page

Screenshots:

(Click Image for a large Image)

Screenshot of Main Page

Gaming Site: Main Page