CubeCraft Games is one of the largest Minecraft servers, offering minigames and multiplayer fun for a community of over 3 million players and as many as 38k playing online at the same time. Along with a Minecraft server, CubeCraft created a community space for their players to continue making connections.
Their brand and community design had started to feel disjointed with the direction they were moving towards and approached us to better align their brand look to their audience. Being an official partner of Minecraft and a leader in their industry, CubeCraft’s brand experience and community design needed to be unique as well as playful and fun for kids and young adults.
Early conversations with the client uncovered that CubeCraft felt their identity did not appeal to a younger audience, with most of their players being from Gen XYZ. With that in mind, people in that demographic come to expect a relatable brand and above all an ease of use. We knew we needed to deliver on both fronts with our visual team kicking off the project first.
After research into the existing CubeCraft brand, it became clear that a small refinement process to the logo was needed. With an already iconic logomark in place, we approached the logo refinement with careful thought and intention to ensure the new logo still felt familiar and trusted yet modern and fresh.
Not only a logo but a brand experience, we wanted to convey an identity that was lighthearted, enjoyable, and protective. Taking cues from the established Minecraft imagery and the amazing illustrators at Cubecraft, our designers created an experience that was strong and intuitive.
The final brand decision led us to outline our findings, specifications and brand assets into a styleguide that would provide the CubeCraft team a guideline to follow to guarantee consistency across their multiple properties.
A refreshed logo in hand, it was time to pivot to their online experience. We partnered with the CubeCraft team during our concepting round to nail down their brand essence. Their initial concerns were that their brand felt a bit corporate, governmental, uninspired perhaps, and they wanted to relaunch with an image inline with who they are and what they do. Early explorations of color, brand typography, and inclusion of illustration, resulted in a community design that exuded friendliness and fun.
Our design team executed a more bubbly and infectious style when it came to the interface instead of following cliché conventions associated with the Minecraft world. The key being forgoing the blocky style and instead leaning headfirst into rounded typefaces, oval buttons, and rounded corners.
The community audience would also come to expect an easy-to-understand interface. The previous design leaned on muted colors, outdated software, and content dense layouts. Instead we sought to contrast the bulkiness of the previous design with a more airy look and feel, relying heavily on whitespace, legibility, and consistency across design components.
Keeping in mind the old community resided on XenForo 1, we opted to utilize the same platform of XenForo for the familiarity but upgrade to 2.0 for the robust improvements in security, usability, and engagement. With much of the forum functionality in place, our development team could focus on the granular details of delivering a clean, simple interface.
The subtleties of a seamless canvas navigation, on page-load animations, fluid mobile experience, and optimizing illustrative details scalability were all the details we considered in delivering a modern web experience. The systems and devops at CubeCraft are some of the best we've ever worked with and this was very helpful in allowing us to focus on the details and needs that we know best.
CubeCraft offers an active community to players wanting to share their triumphs, newest creative and game builds, contests and events, and more. At the heart, they are a company that is continually improving for the enjoyment of their players, and for that they want to share new features, progress, and development improvements.
The current solution in place for delivering their company announcements wasn’t the most extendable and we wanted to ensure for scalability reasons that we would choose the most flexible and future-proof system. We made sure their landing page was fun and inviting and delivered content in a way that was easily digestible and accessible by their audience.
CubeCraft’s leaders are extraordinarily involved in listening to their community’s needs and wants. This is always a preferred characteristic of a partner we like to work with at Audentio. A partner that relies on us when needed but also keeps the big picture in mind as only a true community leader can know what is best for their community.
The community wanted a simpler way to login seamlessly across all platforms, integrate statistics from the game across to their web and mobile platform, leaderboard and gamification to help keep users engaged, and took in all the community feedback both pre and post launch to come up with a plan for the remainder of 2020. Partnering together, and actively engaging with CubeCraft’s core leaders and team members, testing group and helpers, and community as a whole, we are continuing our goal together to offer the ideal experience for the members of CubeCraft in new and exciting ways.
The overall goal for the CubeCraft team was to better align their brand and community with their target audience. Building a better brand story that speaks more to their users has incredible value in increasing morale, engagement, and enticing new members. It was a theory that we tested by comparing the engagement from the year prior to the project to the following year after the new release.
By comparing the year prior and year after, we were able to see real postive impact on their community. It is proof that there is value in spending the time to make sure the brand and community truly resonates with the users, the admins and moderators, and even the community leaders behind CubeCraft Games.
Community is core to our brand CubeCraft. Our forums were well overdue for an upgrade, we very rarely work with agencies but knew we didn't have the resource internally to grapple with Xenforo and get a product we'd be happy with. Audentio's reputation proceeded them - we were well aware of their prolific work in the Xenforo space and our friends at other Minecraft communities had used them before. Audentio worked with us to create a brand new look and feel for our forums. We provided them with all of our current art and brand assets and they applied this within the designs they produced. We were blown away when they took the initiative to try out a few iterations of our core brand logo - it wasn't originally within scope but we were very pleased with the outcome. One of the best things about working with Audentio is that it's partnership from the start with fresh ideas + feedback from both sides. The launch of the new brand and forums were incredibly well received by the community. We have seen increased engagement on our forums and are looking forward to continue to work with Audentio in the future.