The Brief

StickyPiston are a MineCraft server host. They had a vision for a MineCraft arcade system that would allow their customers to smoothly transition between games, but were unsure what technology stack would be best for them. They asked us to help them try out some experimental app builds that would be the basis of their internal development programme.

Research & Understanding

StickyPiston had a clear idea of the user journey and features they wanted, but were unsure which technologies and approaches were most appropriate and cost effective. Through discussion and system visualisation we helped them translate their idea into a technical specification utilising open source web technologies.

Agile Sprints

This was new territory in terms of what we were trying to achieve technically so our strategy was short, highly prioritised sprints that focused first on experimenting and quickly proving approaches to core API functionality.

With a very short deadline and rigorous testing requirements, our agile project plan that allowed us to start coding quickly and for StickyPiston's team to begin testing core functionality and feeding back to us within the first week. We also built automated unit tests to aid future QA and continuous integration.

Team Collaboration

Our collaborative online project management portal gave the entire team the ability to contribute, feedback and discuss ongoing project progress. Due to the experimental nature of the project, we spoke every two days using video conferencing to keep everyone involved, up to date and contributing.

Architecture & Development

System Architecture

We designed a system that combined a number of technologies and choreographed their interactions to function as an organic holistic system using SOAP and Json APIs, technologies included PHP, NodeJS, Postgresql, MongoDB and Java.

System Development

The first stage development sprints concentrated on establishing communication between the technologies involved and fleshing out an end to end working system using mocked APIs, stubs and tests. The remaining development sprints replaced the mock API communication with real code bit by bit until the system was fully dynamic.

System Deployment

The build featured a full suite of Chef provisioning recipes that installed the server software and environment required for each technical component of the system, making it cost effective and quickly cloud scalable to meet the high demand requirements.

Testing & Security

Continuous integration unit testing was used to ensure that code functionality was maintained with each deployment iteration. A small investment in the initial unit test development saved hundreds of hours in system testing. We also performed benchmarking and system optimisation and the environment tests to PCI DSS level 1.

"StuntRocket's prototyping and consultation opened up a new technology stack for us that we hadn't considered before. Our business has even incorporated cloud into other aspects of our operations."

Stuart Walton | StickyPiston

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