Monte Cook Games

http://www.montecookgames.com

 

Monte Cook Games is a publishing company with a strong line of books, a great presence in the industry, and the need for many types of technical assistance to keep their online presence strong. For the last few years, I’ve been creating their websites and handling the majority of their online development and technical solutions needs on a freelance/retainer basis. The scope and breadth of the work I perform for Monte Cook Games is varied, and every month brings up new and interesting challenges that push me to find new solutions.

 

 

One of the great joys of working with Monte Cook Games is getting to push the envelope and create some incredible looking websites with the art assets available. Great looking websites are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Much of my work with MCG is done on the backend, creating unique solutions that help support their supply chain, tech support, ecommerce stores, or help foster internal communications between the team membersand external communications with the fanbase.


Selected Projects for Monte Cook Games

  • Maintenance and Updating of Multiple Sites
  • Weekly Server Maintenance/Database Optimization
  • Technical Advice Research
  • Custom Coding (PHP/jQuery) Integrating Ecommerce System with Shippers
  • Custom Programs to Support Marketing For Kickstarters/Promotions
  • Creation Of Internal and External Forums
  • Cross Site Linked Logins For MCG Properties

Maintaining A Robust Web Presence

By Keeping The Servers Running

When you host multiple sites with many visitors each day, you have to have the right architecture to maintain it. When I was first brought on, MCG’s sites were crashing every few days due to underpowered hosting. I worked with MCG staff to gauge their needs and upgrade them to a better architecture. As we added more sites and built more robust solutions, the sites began to groan under the limits of the server again. This was at its peak during fulfillment of The Strange Kickstarter (garnering over $400,000 with just under 3,000 backers). During the crunch time, I manually optimized the servers and interfaced with the data center staff to ensure smooth operations with minimal downtime.



Secured And Updated

Any large network of sites requires constant checking and maintenance. As part of my work with MCG, I maintain server security and ensure all available patches are applied to all sites. I also maintain monitoring and daily notification alerts, ensuring an overwatch of the entire network. Daily virus scans alert me to problems as small as suspicious emails sand enable me to notify MCG of issues they might have. Automatic firewall blocking of IP addresses that attempt to scan for open ports occurs instantly, ensuring that any potential threats and nullified the moment they start poking at the walls.


And Creating New Sites

To Help Support New Properties

When Monte Cook Games has a new book line, kickstarter, or promotion, they understand the necessity of making sure their web presence for that property is supported. I’ve created many sites to help support a diverse range of properties, each with their own themes and audiences. Here are a few of the sites I’ve created for MCG.

Click on the images for a bigger preview and on the links below to see the live sites.

 



 cypher-system.com – A promotional site showcasing the Cypher System game system and corebook.

 

The Recursion Codex – A site where users can submit their own worlds and powers for The Strange.

No Thank You, Evil – An interactive and dynamic site for the children’s game No Thank You, Evil.

 

The Asset Team Forums – A private forum to foster communication between members of MCG’s street team.

 The Strange Character Creator – In charge of reworking a previous character creator app to bring it in line with The Strange’s game mechanics and options.

 

 The Estate Foundation (external) – A seemingly bland corporate website that hides a secret.

 

 The Estate Foundation (internal) – The hidden “backend” of the site is part of a social media promotion where credentials were leaked.

 

 

eCommerce & Custom Coding

Click image to enlarge

And Create Solutions

Selling online isn’t the only area where MCG needs custom solutions. Custom contact forms, personalized sharing links, integration of Backerkit data and Kickstarter campaigns into the prebuilt solutions, shipping platform integration, and database management tools are just a few of the things I’ve created to help support the company.

To Handle Diverse Needs

Another major task I undertake for Monte Cook Games is the maintenance and setup of their eCommerce solutions. Using prebuilt modules to handle the base eCommerce needs, I create custom coding or locate appropriate scripts and solutions to handle all of Monte Cook Games internal eCommerce needs.

 

 

Click image to enlarge

A Good Working Relationship

Is essential to help maintain a large network of sites. I am quite pleased to continue my working relationship with Monte Cook Games, supporting them with the level of development and growth that they require for a business of their size. I’m pleased that my technical assistance can be a lever to help them achieve the best results with their game  lines and products.