Ashes of Creation

A web platform and an online shop for the game studio working on the MMORPG Ashes of Creation.

Background

Intrepid Studios, authors of the most anticipated MMORPG – Ashes of Creation, inspire unity and bring people together through the game. Avoiding pay-to-win or cash grab elements, they simply create games the way people want them to be, with great respect and devotion to the community.“I want to see the players dictate the direction of our story. I want to see the AoC world adapts and reacts to the player’s actions. Most importantly, I want to see a game built by gamers FOR gamers.” – says Steven Sharif, the Creative Director of Ashes of Creation, describing what stands behind the idea of AoC.Ashes of Creation hasn’t just offered a beautiful fantasy world with over 100 locations but redefined the MMORPG genre giving the community the power to participate in the direction of the world's development and influence literally every aspect of the game. However the Ashes of Creation universe is more than just the game client, it also needs a great website for people to discover the game, dive deeper into the lore, meet the community and pick up the latest merch. This is the direction where Valor’s team had a big time of success.

Challenge

Ashes of Creation has a huge number of fans, and we wanted to ensure they get incredible experience not just with the game, but the website around Ashes of Creation. The existing solution couldn’t meet the company’s goals for growth and represent the brand properly after it matured. We helped Ashes of Creation address their community’s willingness to connect, purchase merch and cosmetics and launched a new website that can grow together with the brand.Also, as AoC has matured, the technologies and services they've been using have naturally evolved. Some are no longer supported, and some became too expensive or irrelevant for the company. From this occurs the second part of our mission – to refactor the codebase, remove expired services, and optimize the number of servers used, correspondingly – the budget associated with maintenance.

Deliverables

Valor team has contributed to several development and modernization directions for Ashes of Creation.

A Brand New UI/UX and a New Web Platform

We took our in-depth knowledge of the user experience, user interface design, and web development in the eCommerce and MMORPG industry to create an updated web platform for the Ashes of Creation.

Our starting point was reconsideration and modification of the website architecture. In creating the design, we followed the processes described below.

UI/UX audit

Wireframes

UI library and style guide

Collecting requirements

Mood board and style’s definition

Design for the website

Competitor's analysis

We introduced a user-friendly and consistent design that would be attractive and match the game’s vibe. Only after the information structure of the site was improved, we moved on with modernizing things under the hood.

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Technologies & services:

JavaScript logo

JavaScript

Scully logo

Scully

E. Analytics logo

E. Analytics

E. Commerce Marketing logo

E. Commerce Marketing

Tailwind logo

Tailwind

Impact

  • Better reliability for updates
  • Performance that matches the latest web standards – 99 Lighthouse score
  • Improved UX
  • Better Google indexation
  • Less complexity and deeper integrations with third-party services, e.g. Discord

Modernization of a Single Sign-On Authentication (SSO)

As the project has grown remarkably, we had to ensure that their authentication and authorization setup can guarantee the highest security and data protection. Aiming to reduce the number of databases that added complexity to their existing solution, increase app security and eliminate obsolete codebase, we decided to build a new single sign-on (SSO).

Technologies & services:

Node.js logo

Node.js

AWS logo

AWS

NestJs logo

NestJs

PostgreSQL logo

PostgreSQL

MongoDB logo

MongoDB

Sentry logo

Sentry

MS Azure PlayFab logo

MS Azure PlayFab

Impact

  • Higher readability and reliability of the platform
  • Improved interactions with the database and SSO calls
  • Higher platform visibility and improved troubleshooting

Transition to Nx Monorepo

Embracing code sharing between applications, simplified deployments, and generally less pain in life, we"ve introduced Nx. While standardizing code and libraries, Nx eliminates a chance for "spaghetti" code and allows to store all the applications of AoC in one shared repository. This and the fact that Nx give engineers exclusive control of builds and dependencies enhanced the team performance. Now, instead of testing the whole platform, they can build and test only the projects affected by the change in Nx Monorepo.

Automated content updates

More importantly, we’ve automated the flow for content updates, allowing Content Managers to push updates from Contentful directly to a new Scully build once they press Publish. Before, it was impossible without engineers who had to manually clear cache and make a deployment.

Technologies & services:

Contentful logo

Contentful

Scully logo

Scully

Github Actions logo

Github Actions

Impact

  • Advanced automation and faster content updates
  • Reduced number of repositories
  • Code is modular and can be reused
  • Code structure and quality meets industry best practices
  • Improved code documentation, faster onboarding for new engineers

Deployment of Payment Systems

To provide users with more payment options, we integrated PayPal and Stripe payment systems into the AoC web platform.

Impact

  • Saved money for processing charges, as Xsolla, their existing solution, charges 5% of transactions
  • With these integrations, we increased the availability of AoC products for users located worldwide
  • Also, we increased the security of online purchases as Stripe and PayPal prevent credit card fraud.

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