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Developer Spotlight: James Ross, Nodecraft


3 min read

Nodecraft allows gamers to host dedicated servers for their favorite games. James Ross is the Chief Technology Officer for Nodecraft and has advocated for Cloudflare — particularly Cloudflare Workers —  within the company.

"We use Workers for all kinds of things. We use Workers to optimize our websites, handle redirects, and deal with image content negotiation for our main website. We're very fortunate that the majority of our users are using modern web browsers, so we can serve images in formats like JPEG XL and AVIF to users through a Workers script".

Nodecraft also maintains a number of microsites and APIs that are relied upon by the gaming community to retrieve game information. PlayerDB provides a JSON API for looking up information on user profiles for a number of gaming services, and MCUUID and SteamID are wrapped frontends for users of those services to interact with that API. Each of these is written and deployed as a Cloudflare Worker:

"Whenever a player joins a Minecraft server, we want to get their information — like their name and player image — and show it to our users. That API receives a hundred million requests a month. And we use the same API endpoint for three other websites that display that data to our users."

We love these kinds of integrations between Workers and developers’ existing infrastructures because it serves as a great way to onboard a team onto the Workers platform. You can look for existing parts of your infrastructure that may be resource-intensive, slow, or expensive, and port them to Workers. In Nodecraft’s case, this relieved them of managing an incredibly high amount of maintenance cost, and the result is, simply put, peace of mind:

"Handling three hundred millions a month in our own infrastructure would be really tough, but when we throw it all into a Worker, we don't need to worry about scale. Occasionally, someone will write a Worker, and it will service 30 million requests in a single hour... we won't even notice until we look at the stats in the Cloudflare dashboard."

Nodecraft has been using Cloudflare for almost ten years. They first explored Workers to simplify their application’s external image assets. Their very first Worker replaced an image proxy they had previously hosted in their infrastructure and, since then, Workers has changed the way they think about building applications.

"With the advent of Jamstack, we started using Workers Sites and began moving towards a static architecture. But many of our Workers Sites projects had essentially an infinite number of pages. For instance, Minecraft has 15 million (and growing) user profiles. It's hard to build a static page for each of those. Now, we use HTMLRewriter to inject a static page with dynamic user content."

For James, Workers has served as a catalyst for how he understands the future of web applications. Cloudflare and the Workers development environment allows his team to stop worrying about scaling and infrastructure, and that means that Nodecraft builds on Cloudflare by default:

"Workers has definitely changed how we think about building applications. Now, we think about how we can build our applications to be deployed directly to Cloudflare's edge."

As a community moderator and incredibly active member of our Discord community, James is excited about the future of Cloudflare's stack. As we've been teasing it over the past few months, James has been looking forward to integrating Workers functions with Nodecraft’s Pages applications. The release of that feature allows Nodecraft to move entirely to a Pages-driven deployment for their sites. He's also looking forward to the release of Cloudflare R2, our storage product, because Nodecraft makes heavy use of similar storage products and would like to move entirely onto Cloudflare's tooling wherever possible.

If you’d like to learn more about Cloudflare Workers, and deploy your own serverless functions to Cloudflare’s network, check out!

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Kristian Freeman|@kristianf_

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