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About the Magicball Network

About the Magicball Network
By elmuerte at 2006-01-19 20:31

The Magicball Network was created by Michiel "El Muerte" Hendriks and has been the home of the Little Big Adventure community ever since 2000.

History of the MBN

The Magicball Network (MBN for short) came forth from a site called "the World of Little Big Adventure" (still mirrored on the MBN). It all started around the first quarter of 1997, that's when Michiel Hendriks (a.k.a. El Muerte, the KILLER back then) found a very active LBA forum hosted on a now defunct site InsideTheWeb. Michiel was an LBA fan since he first read a review about it in the March 1995 issue of a Dutch gaming magazine "Power Unlimited". It was not until 1997 until he gained access to the internet and found the InsideTheWeb forum. In the summer of 1997 Michiel used a lot of spare time to learn HTML and create the first version of the World of LBA. The site was well received by the other visitors of the InsideTheWeb forum and quickly grew to a very large website with a lot of content, too much to have it hosted by a single free website hoster.

At the end of 1999 Michiel went to the university where he was granted a stable internet connection with enough bandwidth. Ideas came up to completely revamp the old World of LBA. With community effort a new name came up: the Magicball Network. As soon as Michiel bought a new computer to act as server the work started to create the first version of the MBN.

Things started to look grim on the InsideTheWeb forum. The original forum was often attacked by spammers. This resulted in the new forums on InsideTheWeb. But this didn't last long since InsideTheWeb was closing it's doors. Before InsideTheWeb finally closed it's doors the first place holder for the MBN was online and a temporary forum was created on the site. This was somewhere around the summer of 2000. At october 2000 the temporary forum was replaced with the current one. Just in time to announce it on the InsideTheWeb forums before they disappeared from the internet. A little while later Michiel released version 2 of the MBN, in the mean time he learned to use PHP to create dynamic websites. A lot of the old InsideTheWeb visitors moved to the new MBN forum a new members joined. This was to become the new home of the LBA community.

Time passed and Michiel became unhappy with how version 2 of the MBN was programmed, so he started on a new version. This new version was linked with the forum database and gave the ability to grant certain users permission to add content to the site. At a certain time Ahmad Ghourab (a.k.a. Axx) was very active with reporting new information and had good contacts with the LBA developers. He was granted access to post news on the MBN. More time passed and Michiel lost time and interest in finishing MBN version 3. A this point a couple of fans (Jesse Mak and Axx) erected a site called "Twinsen's Adventure". Twinsen's Adventure became the new site for news and articles about the creators of LBA. The MBN was still the home of the LBA community, the frontpage was just not updated anymore.

At the end of 2005 version 4 of the MBN was revealed. By this time the forum software had evolved a lot and new features where added that made it easy to extend the forum. An other user of the forum software created a bridge between the forum and a CMS. This extention caught the eye of Michiel. This combination of a CMS and the forum was what he was trying to create since the beginning, and this saved him a lot of time. Thus the MBN frontpage was revived. After six years since the start of the MBN, and over 12 years since the first LBA game, the community is still very active.

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