PumpActionJackson wrote:Out of sheer curiosity.... How difficult is it to setup and maintain a server and website? I think I just kind of took it for granted when I played here all those years and never really thought about the amount of work it took for you to make it happen.
A website is pretty easy to maintain, depending on the amount of effort put into it, how much coding etc. A website like Harfought would be surprisingly easy to handle, except the fact K2 put in his own time and effort into customizing the theme and adding mods and such, if you use custom themes and/or mods for forums like this it's a bit tougher to maintain because updates will want to overwrite your changes, so a lot of stuff has to be done manually (This can go both ways also, sometimes it's easier to just update the existing files with the new code, other times you will have no choice but add the custom code from the old files into the new updated files). This can even work against you in reference to the mods you have installed because some mods actually edit code themselves. But if you are using one of the built-in themes (for most any forum system you could choose from), when they are updated, the theme should be updated just fine.
A game server can be harder or easier, really depends on the game and how it's server system works. If you are intending on doing everything yourself it will likely be a lot you will have to learn (again this varies, depending on game you are running etc). There may be tweaks or other things you can do to improve your servers performance (like CSS servers used to run WAY better if you opened Windows Media Player on the server (I don't know if this still works or not, and basically I don't care because Valve slaughtered CSS)). A lot of games now that allow you to run a server generally come with an .exe you run, and usually are pretty simple to configure. CSS for example you only need to install steam on the server and just have it download/install CSS Dedicated Server (you may also still be able to get it as a separate application, so you don't need to sign up a steam acct just to run the server). You also may have the choice of running the game server either on a Windows server, or on a Linux server (CSS as an example again can be run on either). Though it depends on your own personal operating system knowledge, I've heard a Linux CSS server was more stable, ran better, and was easier to setup/config, my only experience is with a Windows based box.
When KCC was kickin' strong I maintained our website and the clan leader maintained the game servers... both of which were located on one single machine that we rented, using Remote Desktop in Windows (*RDC*) to connect to the servers desktop. From there everything could be controlled, whether it be the website or the game servers. I say he maintained the game servers but that meant he did all of about nothing after installing/configuring, in fact, I'm the only one who did anything with the game servers after he got them running, and that was only to setup HLstatsX.
In this case (KCC), I would personally say setting up & maintaining the website was MUCH
more work than setting up the game servers, I literally had to go in through RDC, add IIS (Add/Remove Windows Components) and all needed applications (PHP, MySQL, etc.) before I could even begin to start setting up the actual website itself. Not to mention setting up HLstatsX and all of it's requirements. Whereas all he had to do was go in manually install/configure our servers, took him a couple hours at most vs my couple days to get the website setup properly.
Personally, I would highly recommend having your website hosted separately (like K2, he pays a fee (monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly/yearly/whatever) for hosting (where the site is located) and ran the game servers off the box he spoke of (at least in the end, I don't really know the full progression of his hosting services throughout Hardfoughts existence)). But paying for webhosting service makes it MUCH easier to do just about anything on your website, you don't have to struggle with installing PHP, MySQL, and whatever else, and ensuring you have it installed in the correct order and ensuring you have the correct versions installed (yes these can be a huge pain in the ass), and then ensuring that everything is working properly.
It also allows you to concentrate the game-server box on the game-server itself, not having to stress over whether PHP/MySQL/etc are going to drag the system down during peak times. Though we didn't really have that problem on KCC, including during times when the stats were updating (until we started running 30+ redirecters, it could get pretty nasty during stats update then lol but that's the price you pay to be a high ranked server (#3 on GameSpy in its prime)).
Edited this a couple times to fill in some extra info, may have some redundancies within.