Earlier this year, we set up a Roadmap of all the things we would like to achieve this year. While we are only in the 5th month of 2023, we have actually accomplished a LOT from that roadmap.
Most of you may have noticed that we don’t push out mod updates as much anymore, and this is due to a couple of things. Mostly, it is due to IRL stuff (like me being a father now), South Africa not being able to provide the country with power, and, the major stuff happening behind the scenes, that not everyone sees.
Firstly, let’s start off with the things we have crossed off the list for this year. We will go into more details below.
We have added two new moderators to our team. Amber and Kaleidio. These two are some of the more active members of our community, and Kaleidio in particular has helped out a lot in my absence.
We also welcomed a new developer to the team, KuryKat. Kury is new to the modding/java scene, but as part of our goals, we are training him as we go along.
Earlier this year, we announced an early, playable prototype of our first game, titled Silent Things. You can read more about the game HERE
Replacement of Arcano
This one, we also had to speed up thanks to Dyno cancelling our Premium subscription for no reason. Still in early stages, Hibernia was launched in our server to slowly take over from Arcano, until it becomes time to fully replace it.
Massive Server maintenance and restructure
This part was also done ahead of schedule. Our FDD Black Lake server is now fully updated, with disaster recovery in place and everything that possibly can running in Docker containers, for easy re-installation and updating when needed.
Secondary Dedicated Server
This part was also achieved quietly. We now welcome our second Ryzen 5 powered dedicated server code named Blood Moon to the infrastructure. This server is responsible for running our Minecraft servers and discord bots, along with some smaller, less resource intensive internal tools.
Expanded Webhosting Offering
This one is not yet fully in place, but we are busy expanding our Web Hosting capabilities for Partners, which will also take over the hosting for any of our websites still running on our Black Lake server. This is to ensure things can stay online, during planned or unplanned outages.
And now, for some things that happened that we did not plan, or announce.
FDD CDN Replacement
It’s no secret that we LOVE CloudFlare. Not only do we use them for DDoS, DNS and security features, but as of yesterday, we also use them for a PROPER CDN.
Our old CDN server, was basically just a website hosted by us, proxied through CloudFlare, who would then cache and deliver the content, to make it faster and lighter on our infrastructure.
Now, the CDN is fully powered by R2 from CloudFlare, so it is a PROPER CDN, with proper caching, delivering and most importantly, offsite storage.
Currently this only applies to our own CDN, but will be migrated to the Partners CDN later on.
Removal of NGINX on crucial services
Many of our hosted services, like our Documentation Website, Jenkins, Maven and hosting panel were reverse proxied using nginx. To put this in simple terms, NGINX tells ci.firstdarkdev.xyz to connect to localhost:5678, so that your browser knows what to display.
While this works fine, it does cause a bit of delay and pulls a bit of resources on the system, the more people visit these services. In keeping with the CloudFlare relationship here, these services are now powered by CloudFlare tunnels, making them connect and respond so much faster, while using less resources on the server itself.
Upgraded Network Status (or Uptime) page
Our Uptime Page (status.firstdarkdev.xyz), has not seen love in a long time. It has now been updated to the latest version, and now displays the uptime status of almost ALL our services.
So if something is down, check the uptime page to see if it is really down.
Last but not least, our domain name is changing
You may have already noticed this change, but our domain is changing from firstdarkdev.xyz to firstdark.dev. Most of our services and even this website already uses the new domain, but some of them are kept on the old domain, like our maven, to prevent broken builds.
At some point during the future, we will stop using the .xyz domain entirely, but that will be announced months in advance.
And now, a message
from to our sponsors
We don’t say this enough, but without our sponsors and supporters, we would not be where we are today. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Jetbrains, for sponsoring us with not only a free Ultimate License for all jetbrains apps, but also a free enterprise license for both YouTrack and TeamCity, which we plan to start using more in the future.
MacStadium, for our awesome Mac M1 Mini, which they have been sponsoring since 2021. You guys ROCK!
Kaleidio, bro, seriously, thanks for your continuous donations every month!
And to all our other supporters, we thank you for your donations as well.
Finally, thank you to you, our users. Without all of you, none of this would exist. Also CloudFlare, we love you, but eh, been waiting almost 3 years for a sponsor… Just saying… (For legal purposes, this is a joke. They already provide so many free services)