Interview: Will from Cloud Gaming

Nowadays whenever you say Garry’s Mod a lot of you out there think DarkRP. It’s a known fact that this gamemode has become a standard within the game (like it or not). Recently I had a chat with Will, owner of Cloud Gaming. Formed in 2013, this DarkRP powerhouse of a community has been going strong with no sign of stopping any time soon. With over 23k Steam group members, an active forum and hundreds of daily players, Cloud Gaming takes the place of one of the biggest communities within Garry’s Mod. I was eager to hear his story on his years long adventure with Cloud Gaming.

Greetings Will! Cheers for doing this interview with us. First off, how are things going?

A bit ill but I am starting to recover which is great!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Cloud Gaming?

I have been playing Garry’s Mod since 2012, I used to play TwoScore which was a deathrun/bhop/minigames community and I also used to play Urban Gamers which was DarkRP. Both communities have shut down since but I owe a lot to both of them. I started Cloud Gaming in 2013 with the help of a real life mate named Alexj12/Enzo. It was just 1 DarkRP server but it blew up instantly, we were probably one of the first servers that really utilized CoderHire (now known as GmodStore). The server was filled with CoderHire addons but players seemed to love it. We would max out our 64 slot server 24/7 even with crashes every hour and horrific lag. Looking back it’s crazy to think how many people reconnected and kept playing. As time progressed I really focussed on learning how to code and within a year and a bit I was making custom addons for my community and making a lot of optimisations to DarkRP.

“I didn’t do this alone, the amazing community and staff team are really what keeps Cloud afloat.”

You guys are one of the “old timers” of Garry’s Mod. How has the journey been so far?

It’s been a long journey and it’s crazy to think its been over 5 years since I created the community. We’ve had our fair share of problems whether its been corrupt staff, exploits, or ddos… we have had it all. But the journey has been important to grow Cloud Gaming to what it is today. Without all the mistakes, I wouldn’t have learned how to handle certain issues. These issues brought dark times to Cloud, times where I really considered just walking away from everything but I stuck it out and I am so glad I did. By not giving up and learning from the failures, I have allowed Cloud to reach new heights. I didn’t do this alone, the amazing community and staff team are really what keeps Cloud afloat.

What makes your server different compared to other DarkRP servers out there?

The most obvious thing is the fact we are primarily custom. Most of the content was made by me solely for Cloud and no one else. But a lot of other servers are starting to take this approach now so I wouldn’t say it’s anything special. I think what makes Cloud different is its staff team. We really try to keep the staff team of a high quality.

Did you have any community experience prior to Cloud Gaming?

I run a few semi popular Minecraft communities in 2010/2011 but nothing that anyone would have heard of today.

“Nowadays no one wants to RP, they just want to kill and use their economy breaking printers”

Back when Cloud Gaming started (2013), DarkRP wasn’t as massive/overpopulated as it is nowadays. How has the gamemode and DarkRP community changed over the years?

DarkRP was still the most populated gamemode back then as far as I can remember, but it’s definitely changed a load. For starters, there are so many more servers now as it’s so easy to create one. All people really do these days is spend a bit of money on getting loads of Gmod Store addons, throw them all into a server in one day and open it with no effort. Most of the time these type of servers fail but a few somehow gain popularity. What players look for in DarkRP has also changed a lot. Back then people just wanted to RP which usually led to making decent money as making money via printing was so slow back then. Nowadays no one wants to RP, they just want to kill and use their economy breaking printers. This change might have something to do with the fact the Garry’s Mod player base has got quite a lot younger.

Do you feel the DarkRP gamemode is overcrowding Garry’s Mod?

Not really.

Moderating a roleplay server can be rough. It’s a known fact that rules tend to be bended on DarkRP servers. How do you guys enforce the rules within Cloud Gaming?

Write clear and concise rules and keep the staff team of a high quality.

I bet you have a big staff team with the number of players that connect to your server on a daily basis. Are players able to become staff? If so, what’s the process?

Anyone can become staff provided they meet the requirements. All they have to do is apply on the forums and a high up staff member will usually respond within a week.

What can you tell me about the (custom) development of the content on Cloud Gaming?

For the past 2 years everything added to Cloud Gaming has been created solely by me. This means updates take a lot longer but in the long run it is so worth it.

“I am currently in the process of recruiting more developers to help expand the community”

You currently working on anything new? Be it plugins, community or new projects.

Quite busy in real life right now, but I am currently in the process of recruiting more developers to help expand the community.

Any tips you want to give to starting developers out there?

Get creating. Stop reading books, watching tutorials, procrastinating – go and create something. Don’t try to create a really advanced addon, create something small like a gun shop. It’s going to hurt your head a lot but that’s how you know you are learning.

You have been going at it for years now. There must have been times where you were less motivated. How did you handle these moments?

There have been some times where I have questioned everything, asking if it’s all worth it etc. But I have to slap myself in the face and realise I have built something special, I have a great community that I truly cherish. Of course there are rough times, but at the end of the day I am blessed to be in the position I’m in and will continue this for as long as I can.

I bet you have some stories to tell of events which took place within your community! You up for sharing one with us?

I think the most interesting story is when the owner of Zarp (chuteuk) tried to purchase Cloud. Chuteuk didn’t actually create Zarp, he bought it from the previous owners and shortly after this purchase he had his eyes set on Cloud Gaming. This all took place in 2014/2015. It was a really weird situation, I was young at the time and I had chuteuk (a man who is close to the age of 30) sending me legal contracts to sign to give him ownership of my community. He was completely low balling me too, but at the time (coincidentally) Cloud was doing very badly as we was suffering large DDoS attacks which was ruining the player base and causing me ridiculous amounts of stress, so I really considered the offer. For the deal we had multiple skype calls involving me, chuteuk and two people who were high up in his community. I knew one of them, his name was Chris. Chris was apart of Zarp before chuteuk bought it, that’s how I knew him as back in early 2013 I would play on Zarp occasionally.

After feeling really uncomfortable about the deal, and just not happy with the price, I dropped out. Chuteuk was not happy at all, sent me some rather hateful messages, blocked me on everything and even banned me from all Zarp servers. A year later after all of this, Chris started playing Cloud and ended up becoming a staff member. I got to know Chris pretty well and we become friends, one day we was in teamspeak and started talking about the deal and when I brought up the DDoS attacks which was ruining the community, he told me it was chuteuk and the other person trying to lower the price/get me to sell. Chris could have lied about this as he did end on bad terms with them but Chris wasn’t the type of person to lie about this. Overall it was a really weird situation and I thank the gods I did not sell the community.

As always, do you have any tips for (starting) communities out there?

Do something different but not too different. DarkRP has different trends which you need to keep up with e.g. bitminers. My server is primarily custom but when blues bitminers came out and every top server had them, I would have been losing out by not adding them. Players would literally join my server and ask “how do i make bitcoins?”, some would even leave when people would say “this server doesn’t have them”. Since adding them people join for bitminers and stay for the custom content. So yeah, be unique but don’t disregard the trends/what’s popular.