An online portal for Scholarship Schools

On March 13th we launched the new website for Scholarship Schools, a charter school with a university-inspired college scholarship concept which was founded by former California Senator Gloria Romero and a long time educator and veteran charter school operator Jason Watts. Check the official History page to learn more about the California school.

We built an all-in-one portal solution that powers both the organization’s primary website as well as sub-domains where the school specific portals live. Teachers and administrators got an admin panel where they can login to manage content for their pages in real-time. Parents and students got a mobile-ready interface for receiving the latest updates, contacting teachers, and submitting enrollment applications.

We built the system with the latest and greatest open-source technologies utilizing the LAMP stack.

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Apache
  • Composer
  • Symfony Framework
  • Bootstrap
  • jQuery

The web server sits behind DNS protection and content delivery powered by CloudFlare. The web server is hosted by our trusted, long time server partner LADedicated.

Finding youth sports players, teams, and leagues is easy

In 2010, Strategy Star helped SelectAndUnite bring their player, team, and league networking website to market. In 2016, we upgraded the technology driving the web application.

We upgraded the Kohana Framework (PHP) to the latest version and refactored code to leverage ORM database modeling to a greater extent.

We updated the web application’s payment mechanism to use the latest version of the Authorize.Net PHP library and expanded checkout options to also include PayPal which is driven through the company’s Authorize.Net account so all billing transactions receive unified reporting.

The gist of the SelectAndUnite service is simple. Players, teams, and leagues create profiles and the web application uses an algorithm to rank everyone based on their preferences. This is similar to what dating websites do for consenting adults looking to meet new people, but SelectAndUnite does it for youth sports, which parents know to be a highly competitive and time consuming arena.

In addition to upgrading the back-end architecture of the website, Strategy Star also implemented mobile-ready responsive elements to the website using the Bootstrap HTML/CSS/JavaScript framework.

Competitive online gaming for over 45,000 players

Strategy Star developed a robust community website and an integrated server software suite for Leetway Inc.

From 2013 to 2014, Leetway hosted a Beta service for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. During the Beta, the software we developed was used to operate over 70,000 online CS:GO matches for over 45,000 users.

The website we built was integrated with the Steam Community API and OpenID

The community website was integrated with the Steam Community API and OpenID service, so the CS:GO gamers could seamlessly log-in to Leetway with their existing Steam accounts.

The website boasted features including Forums, account management, profiles, teams, matches, statistics, ladders, videos, screenshots, as well as robust administration tools that Leetway administrators and moderators used to manage operations.

We used the LAMP stack to build the website using the following technologies:

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Apache
  • Composer
  • Kohana Framework
  • Bootstrap
  • jQuery

To operate a world-wide network of game servers, we built a server software that provisioned game servers in real-time as CS:GO matches were initialized on the community website. Players would create and join match lobbies on the website and then be prompted to connect to the provisioned game server when enough players had committed to play.

In addition to being able to play through the website, we built a custom desktop application which was integrated with the Easy Anti Cheat (EAC) tool used to prevent and catch cheaters.

To make a full-cycle integration between the website, desktop client, and the game servers, we also developed a plugin for the CS:GO game server itself. We used SourcePawn and SourceMod to build a system that managed the CS:GO matches in-game and essentially acted as the referee. The plugin would ensure that the correct players joined the server, that they played on the correct teams, kept score, changed maps, switched teams at half time, operated overtime scenarios, recorded GOTV demos, sent real-time notifications to a REST API, and finally submitted match-end statistics and data to the community website for processing and publication.

All the different components that we developed came together to form an epic competitive gaming hub that facilitated well over 35,000 hours of gaming fun during the 2013-2014 beta.

Real-time DDoS mitigation for LADedicated

LADedicated operates a high demand server network. With many customers using servers for many different purposes with visitors and users from all over the world, the server and network infrastructure is put through all sorts of trials on a daily basis. When you operate servers for long enough, you eventually run in to occurrences of abuse, threats, and attacks. A common threat to server operators is a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) in which a malevolent party floods a server or network with bogus traffic in an effort to cripple its performance or sometimes to even cause it to crash all together.

To combat and mitigate the threat of DDoS attacks, LADedicated deployed the Corero Smartwall Threat Defense System, which a piece of network hardware that sits between the internet and the server infrastructure at a data center. The defense system detects malevolent network traffic and triggers alerts to the server operator so they can take action to mitigate the problem.

Strategy Star helped LADedicated to respond to the Corero Smartwall alerts in real-time by developing a custom software application (DDOS-AMS) that receives the real-time threat notifications, analyzes them, and immediately takes action on the network by shutting down connections from malevolent sources directly on the Cisco routers used at the data center.

The software we developed is saving LADedicated money by reducing the amount of man-hours that would otherwise be required to manually react to threat notifications. The software is also ensuring excellent up-time and service to LADedicated’s customers by mitigating threats in real-time and ensuring that the network stays available. The business depends on it!

Video publishing platform for a Counter-Strike community

Strategy Star worked with NetcodeGuides founder, Casey Foster, to build a custom video and content publishing platform. NetcodeGuide’s team of professional Counter-Strike gamers uses the platform to publish proprietary video content that is only accessible to their community members.

Netcode originally started as a Forum community which eventually grew to have a private forum section for their proprietary video in-game guides. The organization wanted to better capitalize on their authentic content production and make it the center piece of their operation. Strategy Star helped the organization bring their vision to life with a custom web portal that included the following features:

  • A simplified one-page registration and login mechanism
  • User account system integrated with their existing vBulletin forum software
  • Video gallery, searching, and browsing functionality
  • Video and written content publishing platform for staff members
  • Billing and subscription management system

We used the LAMP stack with the following technologies to develop the custom video publishing portal:

  • Linux
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • Kohana Framework
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Bootstrap
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery

Contact Strategy Star for expert help in implementing gaming related websites and portals. We have years of experience with the industry.

Enabling a charter school with technology

Oxford Preparatory Academy (OPA) wanted a custom web solution to deliver the vision for their charter school campuses.

Strategy Star worked with OPA’s in-house technology manager to implement a custom website solution that served several functions, including the following:

  • Landing page for the charter school organization
  • Customizable web portals for each school campus
  • Secure back-end portal for staff and teachers to manage web content in real-time
  • Secure online enrollment application form for parents
  • Accounts for parents to log-in with to view and receive important information
A landing page for the charter school organization

We developed the website solution on the LAMP stack using the following technologies:

  • Linux
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • Kohana Framework
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Bootstrap
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
A homepage for the Chino campus

The campus portals were integrated with a few different third-party tools that the organization used to communicate with students and parents, including:

  • Google Calendar
  • Twitter
  • SendGrid

It was a wonderful experience to implement a time-saving web portal system for a unique education organization.

Unique insight into the evolution of competitive online gaming

In 2006, Strategy Star built the first incarnation of Legit-Proof.com which is an archive of teams, players, and matches from several popular online gaming leagues. The data has been maintained for over a decade and it provides a unique snapshot to the early days of competitive online gaming.

The first league which was integrated with the Legit-Proof archive was Cyberathlete Ameteur League (CAL). CAL was generous enough to provide daily XML snapshots of its data. The data processing software that Strategy Star developed for Legit-Proof consumed well over a million records in to the archive. CAL ceased operations in 2009; however, Legit-Proof still provides a nostalgic memory of the golden days of childhood for tens of thousands of gamers around the world that played in the CAL online league.

On February 22, 2009, CAL ceased online operations. At its peak CAL was one of the largest online gaming leagues in North America with 20,000 teams and over 600,000 registered players.

Source: Wikipedia

Data archiving for Legit-Proof did not end with CAL. The data processing software was expanded from consuming XML data to also consume CSV and WebCrawler data feeds from the Cyberevolution (CEVO), Xtreme Professional League (XPL), and E-Sports Entertainment (ESEA). CEVO and ESEA continue their online gaming operations to present day.

The Legit-Proof database contains data for many different games, but the Counter-Strike community has always been the most avid group using the website. Players and teams use the archived data as a sort of online gaming resume service, to validate the experience of potential new team mates as well as opponents.

Legit-Proof.com has been servicing the gaming community for such a long time that someone eventually gave it a mention in Valve’s official SteamID wiki page.

Mumble VoIP hosting with instant deployment cloud infrastructure

It was a pleasure working with the myMumble management team to bring their vision to life with a Mumble hosting platform with instant server deployments and automatic cloud scaling using the world wide server network from VPS.NET

We built a custom PHP and MySQL powered website and integrated it with WHMCS, a state of the art e-commerce system. We deployed a cloud server infrastructure with automatic scaling features along with custom software that deploys Mumble instances in real-time virtually anywhere in the world.

Shortly after launch, the system was put to the ultimate test with an explosive marketing campaign. Within a few weeks, the system handled and deployed over 30,000 Mumble instances. Everything held up!

The software we developed was able to initialize new servers in the cloud in real-time and deploy all the necessary software for Mumble hosting all by itself. We probably achieved the fastest Mumble provisioning on the market.

A fresh look and feel for the premium game server provider

End of Reality provides premium game servers for hit titles like Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike. The company uses the TC Admin game server control panel system to give its customers access to their game servers. TC Admin provides secure access to game server files and settings with the possibility to install custom mods and configurations.

Strategy Star had the explicit pleasure of working with EOReality founder, Robby Hicks, to implement the new vision for the company website.

A fresh look and feel for the EOReality website

We developed the website systems with the LAMP stack using the following technologies:

  • Linux
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

The website features new interactive features such as a clickable map of server locations offered by the EOReality network and a multiple destination login box for the different service panels offered by the company.

Establishing an online presence with WordPress and Facebook

Strategy Star helped the Finnish-American Club of Tucson establish an online presence using Facebook and the WordPress publishing software.

We worked with a designer and photographer, Brian Hughes, from Tucson to compose a unique WordPress theme for the Finnish-American club.

Strategy Star guided the club in technology decisions and helped establish an online presence that quickly became the #1 ranking website for the “Finnish American Club” search term on Google, raising its profile among the Finnish-American community.

We trained club administrators to use the WordPress platform for publishing content, pages, and managing their event schedules.