On June of 2014 the name Stonebound was born. It’s got me thinking about all the path we have traveled.
I’m going to submit a post every day for the next few days. I’m going to tell the origin story at least from my point of view and also make an announcement surrounding the future direction of Stonebound.
The process of thinking about the history of this place has been really fun. It’s humbling to think about the friendships and great people I’ve had the chance to meet and hang with along the road. Building and watching relationships that started here but transcend Stonebound is in my opinion the best part of this place.
Each year for my birthday my best mate and I take 10 days and canoe camp in the waters found at the border between the US and Canada. ‘The Boundary Waters’ If you haven’t heard of this magical spot. It’s incredible.
Three years ago - logging back in after my trip. My avatar was moved into a different place on the map. I was in a room with Graphika, phit, Twitch,Panda, Alleluid, and Dwaing to name a few. I was on teamspeak as they gave me a tour of what they had built.
A ‘mini’ city - floating on a huge Airship. The statues of everyone from the server could be found around town - fishing, or walking about. Some sitting at the brewery. Others hanging in the library. The level of detail and effort made this place really cool. Inside jokes were played out with statues of people recently banned. Or friends lost to time. A very cool build indeed.
The folks on teamspeak then sang me happy birthday. Pretty cool huh?
Stories like this have colored my experience and have made my time with Stonebound fun and memorable.
Many people along the way have helped to shape this community. Stonebound has survived massive change. We have lost some great people along the way - we have banned terrible annoying people. We have lifted bans - only to ban again. The leadership structure and makeup has changed - from a single leader to panel leadership - and back again.
Stonebound at its core is a community setup to allow you to play modded Minecraft with very few rules and without a pay-wall. But what makes it special is the people who hang out here.
I’m going to raddle on for a few posts on how we got here, share some stories that have stuck out and some changes we are making as we move forward.
Did you know that when Stonebound was first created - it was called Mind-bacon?
This is post two in the "Story time with Parz" series, to read all posts visit forums.stonebound.net/history.
Five years ago I was introduced to Minecraft by way of the ‘Unleashed’ FTB pack. A friend who just got into the game sent me a link to a video to ‘sell me’ on playing. It was Direwolf20 - with his one of a kind voice talking about his automatic tree farm build. Wait Minecraft isn’t just shitty graphics and tree punching?
I had tried Minecraft once before. At the time I thought any game that looked the way Minecraft looks must be terrible. And gave up on it within the first few minutes.
Modded minecraft looked interesting. Base building - technology progression. The depth and openness of the game had me interested and soon would have me hooked. Ultimately it’s the reason Minecraft is now my favorite game ever.
So a friend of mine brought his computer over. Old School lan party! He and I installed the FTB pack - Unleashed. We played all weekend, and every weekend for a month. Looking back I have fond memories of that first world. I’m sure many of you do of bases you have built along the way. I was really proud when I built a piston driven door that opened up our base.
It didn’t take long for us to realize we wanted to play without the hassle of lugging around our rigs. So we looked for a multiplayer server to play on. And if you're reading this, you have found yourself in this very situation. How do you find a community? What should you expect when looking for a server to play on? We stumbled into four or five different servers. Everything from small servers - to the mega population servers.
The experience to be honest sucked. Lag was rampant. And before Mojang cracked down on this behavior - it was common to join a server and find artificial paywalls. As an example in order to chunkload an area - you had to pay. Want to use a quarry? Pay. The servers would have elaborate Tiers or levels of support one would have to subscribe to in order to have access to particular blocks and features. yuck.
Now clearly not every community and server was trying to run it as a for profit business. I didn’t know it at the time but you can find great communities and servers to play on if you look in the right places.
After a few months of bouncing around from community to community. Losing progress with map resets - enduring unexpected server downtime. I rented the first server. It was from one of these companies who purchase a dedicated box from a Data Center - and then sell off Virtual servers to run Minecraft on.
That first servers functionality was highly gimped. It didn’t help that I had no idea what I was doing. It really wasn’t a server - it was an instance of Multicraft running on a server.
I spoke with my friends on what we should call ourselves. After a night or drinking and debate We decided on Mind-Bacon.
When I woke up - Mind-bacon was online. I purchased the now expired domain Mind-bacon.com. I thought this name was the coolest thing ever. I mean - who doesn’t like bacon. And get it - mine? Like minecraft? Jeeze guys - is this thing on?
The performance of the server sucked. So eventually I purchased the dedicated server that Stonebound uses today. This server sits in a data center. Faster - stronger but at by 4x the cost. Our limits were no longer the hardware - but my terrible admin skills.
Fast forward a few months later. My Friends started to log in less and less. Me on the other hand was becoming obsessed. If I wasn’t playing - I was watching youtube or reading reddit and learning new mods.
Time passed - and Counterstrike ate my friends. Now - I was alone on the server most of the time. I alone had to pay the bills. Plus I wanted to show off my increasingly complex builds to someone. So my plan was to let go of Mind Bacon - and join another community.
Wait - the server is paid for another 60 days. What if I open up mind bacon to the public? What do I have to lose?
The only problem with the plan - my Admin skills were ‘limited’. As an example - to get mindbacon setup. I paid a kid that lives on my block 30 bucks to ssh into the server - and install the Ubuntu OS, setup Multicraft and setup the pack. When he was done he gave me the credentials The Password was ‘Password123Changeme’.
I would have changed it - but I had no idea how…
Mindbacon Becomes Stonebound with a little help
This is the third post in the "Story time with Parz" series, to read all posts visit forums.stonebound.net/history.
In the early days the vision for Stonebound was nearly identical as it is today.
No banned items
I met Siigari on the FTB message boards. He liked the vision that I had pitched in my post asking for Admin help. And after a few Skype calls he signed on to become our first ‘Head-Admin’. MindBacon was out - and the name Stonebound was born.
Soon we found our first pack to run on the new server: Test Pack Please Ignore (TPPI). Do you remember that mod-pack? It blended cool mods with custom recipes to balance the experience. Ahead of its time really. It’s influence can be felt in today’s mainstream FTB releases. The goals we set for users - passed quickly. Even some of the developers of the TPPI pack started playing with us. The success of that first pack gave us the momentum but more over it gave us confidence. I will always appreciate the work Siigari did for Stonebound to get things up and running. Here are a couple of videos from his youtube channel.
To me, the first round of Stonebound was like the original cast of Saturday night live. Full of big personalities, tons of drama and I’ve it’s filled with nostalgic memories. I think I’ve found a story that will show you what I mean.
Graphika and phit; Florida and Germany; Disney World and German Engineering
A lot of things have changed over the years. Folks have come and gone, but some of the originals are still with us. Graphika and phit are two of the OG’s that must be mentioned when telling the Stonebound story. Today you know them as the leaders of the community. But it wasn’t always that way.
One late night, I was on the server; Teamspeak running in the background I was building a farm using MineFactory Reloaded. I had a basic understanding of how the mod worked. At this point I’ve been playing Minecraft for like at least 3 mod packs. Expert level bitches!
Over Teamspeak, Graphika asks about MFR. She happens to be working on a tree farm for her base and didn't exactly know what’s wrong with her setup. Equipped with my overconfidence I offer to help. I teleport her over to my base and promptly begin to ‘explain’ to her my setup and how the mod works. Mind you - I don’t have a functioning setup and the youtube video I was watching (copying) hadn’t yet got to the part of how to incorporate the planter.
Before we go any further in this story - can I ask you a question?
Do you guys know how phit talks when something goes wrong with the server? To say the least he isn’t the kind of guy who tiptoes around what he thinks.
Ok.. I’m trying to say that he can come across sharp.
Ok.. I’m trying to say he can sometimes come across rude.
Ok, I’m trying to say he sometimes comes across as a dick. As I write this, I’m nodding my head in agreement - just like you are right now. (I love you phit!)
So back to our story - Here I am, out my depth - rattling on about a mod that I had yet to use successfully. It was at this point - phit cuts in, with his classic measured dry delivery and simply says “no, that’s not correct and I’m not sure you know anything about MFR” Fast forward an hour or so. I’ve rebuilt my shitty build into something that functions. And Graphika has a working tree farm - no thanks to me.
Embarrassed? Yes. Lesson learned? No, my ego still drives me head first into the ground all the time.
That’s not the story.. That’s the setup - This is the story.
I log off for the night, with a new found understanding off planters. The next day, pumped to continue my base. I log back into the server. My base comes into view - my now working MFR build welcomes me. Barrels of Saplings, Wood and Apples are now nearly full. I load up Teamspeak and what do I see? Graphika and phit are still in logged in. They have been talking the entire night..
And they haven’t stopped. A relationship that all started one night on Teamspeak years ago is still going to this day.
Today you find them building together. Graphika working on the creative aspects and phit plugging away on the tech tree. That same dynamic plays out in how they lead the Stonebound community, phit working hard on the technical side of things and Graphika bringing her creativity as she manages the community. It’s impossible to tell Stonebound story without the two of them.
Florida and Germany; Disney World and German Engineering. Graphika and phit
Two posts remain in this series; Next time
Stonebound is dead… Is it all over?
This is the fourth post in the "Story time with Parz" series, to read all posts visit forums.stonebound.net/history.
Minecraft communities take a lot of work. They need to constantly re-launch modpacks or at the very least - reset the world. You have to serve your core players as well as bring in new players to keep the server active and fun. This takes effort, time and most importantly leadership.
A perfect storm of circumstances took place after the first major cycle of Stonebound. Siigari was out and Stonebound didn't have a public pack online. We found ourselves without a head admin - and Stonebound was slowing slipping away. Months passed and our players moved on to different communities.
At the time I was playing a ton of Counter Strike. I'm talking about Aim maps - learning unique smoke throws the whole nine. Twitch (a leadership member of Stonebound) and I would spend hours playing. We had a 'team' and would play with and I was convinced Id go pro someday!
The Minecraft bug bit Twitch again. He was offered an admin position with another community. That prompted us to talk about a Stonebound comeback. What did we like about the first go? What would we change? It wasn't long before Twitch brought Alleluid into the mix. We would run things with a leadership committee.. The group expanded. Everyone having input on the direction and decisions. In the situation we found ourselves in it worked well. Stonebound was back.
Lots of folks joined us during this time - Twitch and Alleluid saved Stonebound and before I move on I want to thank both of them. Thanks fellas!
For a while things were great, the first pack based on Resonant Rise was put together by Alleluid and Twitch looked promising. A lot of the old players returned, but we were struggling to attract new players. The modding community had shifted and there were more servers than ever, running popular packs and people just weren't looking for customized packs
Over time the leadership structure started to hurt our progress. Everyone having equal input on all topics- translates into long never ending conversations. Talking with Twitch today thinking back about this time - he called it "Functional but chaotic". Something had to change.
phit was involved with Stonebound in one way or another from the start. Stonebound 2.0 - he was who we called when we had server issues. He’s the most technical person on the team. I made the decision to offer him the head admin role. He said.. No. Like a lot. I think the only reason he said yes - was so I would stop asking.
He would hold 100% decision making power on everything. We would have advisers or 'cabinet members’ instead of co-leaders.
This meant our conversations would become fruitful. phit was able to make decisions after hearing points of view. It also meant he could move forward on things without getting consensus or having to bring every issue to the group.
We hit new highs, running stock FTB packs. First with the then new Infinity and later its expert variants, especially Skyblock giving us more applications and players than ever before.
We take for granted the resources and features we have today. The website, fourms, application process, a donation system. The current version of the Stonebound logo and color scheme. Each modpack is connected from a chat standpoint. We have a world hub that lets you hang out while the server restarts. This isn't to mention the countless back-end optimizations and scripts that are used every day.
Stonebound has been changing from the start. Its morphed into something almost unrecognizable from it’s early days. We don’t have phit - without Twitch and Alleluid. We don’t have Twitch and Alleluid without Siigari.
And without you - we don't have Stonebound
Last post tomorrow,
This is the fifth and last post in the "Story time with Parz" series, to read all posts visit forums.stonebound.net/history.
When I started this place I had no idea it would last as long as it has. In the time Stonebound has been up - I’ve built and sold a business. I got married and most importantly my wife and I welcomed to the world a beautiful baby girl. Stonebound has been rewarding for me individually for may reasons. As cheese balls as it is, I like knowing in some small part I’ve thrown some positive energy into the fray.
The last couple of months the amount of money I've had to pay to keep this boat a-float has been dropping. Folks have donated via Patreon and some via PayPal. Some of the people who have given money have asked not to be acknowledged so i’m not going to list them here.
But I will say this, Honestly - thank you, it really does help and we appreciate the acknowledgement.
A few weeks ago, I was driving to Michigan to spend time with my in-laws. The drive takes 7 hours so I had lots of time to think. Thinking about Stonebound and the history of stories and people I've met along the way I was left with the need to say thank you. Thank you to the person who has made all of this possible.
One constant you may have noticed in these stories is that phit has been involved every step of the way. Many people have come and gone - but phit has been here from the start, plugging away, working to improve this community.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know phit. I’ve had many debates with him over the years and one of the many things I have come to admire about his character is how honest he is. He tells you what he thinks. Not enough people these days say it as they see it. He's been great as my friend and even better to Stonebound as the glue that holds it all together.
Thank you phit for making all of this possible
When you see him in discord or on the server - Join me in thanking him. He’s a humble guy who works really hard let him know it matters.
Today I’m announcing phit is now the co-owner of Stonebound. This may not mean much to you, but it’s the only thing I have left to give to a guy - who has given all of us so much. It also means that when I decide to walk away completely from Stonebound - it will live on.
I want to thank the retired staff, as well as the active Staff; Graphika, simibubi and maskj003. They volunteer time and effort to make sure Stonebound keeps on keepin on.
Moving forward we have our eyes on upgrading the server. We have reached the capacity of what can be done with this hardware and phit is already working on the preparations. At this point - the timeline in unclear, Donations have always been optional but if you care to help links are on stonebound.net.
So that's it! You made it to the end of the series. Thanks for indulging me and looking past my third grade spelling and grammar errors.
I may not play on Stonebound much anymore. But I think you can see from the stories i’ve shared in this series - it’s been fun for me. I hope you find the same fun while playing here.
Until next time,