since 2015

74 companies

84 games

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AleForge Interview

We spoke to the founder of AleForge and asked him to complete this questionnaire, here are the answers they gave us:

When did you form your game hosting company and why?

I formed AleForge, LLC March of this year. I have been hosting servers for friends and several gaming communities for over 15 years now. I always have wanted to start my own hosting company and bring my passion for running servers to more people that may not have the technical know how.

What experience of game hosting did you have before you formed your GSP?

My original hosting experience started with running Battlefield 2 and 2142 servers. I operated these servers for several large communities for many years until around the time of Battlefield 3 arrived. Shortly before that time I got heavily into running large 80 – 100 slot Minecraft servers and a Gmod community. I ran these community servers through college until real life interfered at which time I turned the servers over to some very capable friends. From that time until now I have operated game servers for small groups of friends with the games ranging from Minecraft, Factorio, Terraria, and others that are escaping my memory.

What have been the most important lessons you have learnt during your time as a GSP?

I would say there are three really import lessons I have learned in my IT career and operating game servers:

  1. Always communicate with your community. Don’t hide or obscure things, and always provide in detail what is going on and happening. I plan to carry this mentality over in my hosting. I want to always be fully transparent with my customers.
  2. No matter how well you design something it will break. Have a recovery plan and test it regularly and double check the backups.
  3. Don’t make changes in production. Always have a development server/site to test changes and a backout plan when deployment doesn’t go well.

Where do you see your GSP in 3 years time?

I want to see AleForge, LLC grow while keeping all our customers happy with an unparalleled hosting experience. In the near future we plan to expand our game server offerings with 10 new games. I don’t want to reveal these yet until more testing as been done because I want to avoid getting hopes up. For the longer term we plan to start expanding our product offerings into domains, web hosting, VPS, dedicated hardware, and more with game servers remaining the core of our business.

As revenue picks up we plan to start funding development into our own custom management panel to fit all of our product offerings to provide a more seamless integration and experience than we can currently offer. We plan to be here for the long haul and keep pushing the envelope.

What has been your main game? Have you maybe focussed on one game and specialised in hosting it?

My primary experience has been with Minecraft vanilla and modded. I would consider this my specialty. I have dabbled in hosting several other games on the source engine, and others and I am fully confident in our ability to operate other servers. Our staff has a background in linux system administration and gaming so that support is efficient and effective for our customers.

How do you handle support in difficult situations?

When faced with a difficult support situation the problem needs to be broken down into several stages.

  • Communication: let your customers know via news, email, and announcements what has transpired.
  • Problem Solving: Break the problem down into smaller pieces and work to get the service operational while providing updates to the customers the entire time.
  • Post Mortem: Provide a written update of what happened, what the root cause was, and what was done to resolve it along with providing information on how your planning to prevent this in the future.

What Early Access or young games do you see taking off in the near future?

From my knowledge and personal experience I think Astroneer, Empyrion – Galactic Survival, Blackwake, Interstellar Rift, and Staxel will continue to grow at a good pace as long as the developers keep updating and progressing along their current roadmaps.

Has there been a situation where you have had to deal with a difficult request and how did you respond to it?

Most of the most difficult situations I have had to deal with have stemmed from the communities I managed as they grew. The key to solving tough situations is listening to all opinions and parties involved prior to making an educated decision and listen to your close trusted friends and mentors. You have to remember that unfortunately you will never be able to please everyone when making a tough decision. My goal when making these types of decisions is to make the morally right choice for everyone involved even if it has a negative financial impact.

Do you sponsor any Twitch/YouTube channels and if so would you like to give them a shout out?

We currently are not sponsoring any channels but are looking to form partnerships with some up and coming streamers in the very near future using our affiliate program along with providing servers for the games they play.

Do you offer your customers any free additional services or go further than your competition in any way?

We currently have a partnership with Enjin and are able to offer 45 days of their Advanced plan to all of our customers.

We also offer automatic mod deployment for Technic and FTB packs for Minecraft. If it is not listed at checkout or when configuring their service customers can request their pack to be added. We will also look at other modpacks on request. Put it on our radar and we will add it to our roadmap. Our goal is to give you your game in our world.

If our other game offerings support modding then it will work with no issues on our service. We just don’t currently support automated installs for games other than Minecraft

Is there anything else you would like to add to your interview that wasn’t asked above?

The only thing else I would like to add is that security has been neglected by some hosts putting profits first while putting their customers personal information at risk. This is why AleForge is focused on security first, from all our network communication internal and external, to our servers and management panel and website. We strive to provide all our customers a secure environment to game from without impacting their hosting experience.


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