Last month, ContentDB received a large spike in traffic. ContentDB is the website I created that allows you to install mods/games/texture packs from within Minetest’s main menu. On Saturday 5th, Bobicraft, a Spanish-language Youtube channel with 5M subscribers, posted a video about Minetest. At the time of writing, it has reached 1.3 million views and is now the most-watched Minetest video.
In this article, I will show the data about this increase in traffic. As the tools that I use to monitor ContentDB are ephemeral, this will keep the data around for future reference.
The data #
Saturday 5th saw an overall 3.4x increase in unique visitors and a 10x increase in total bandwidth used. At its peak at 15:18 UTC, ContentDB saw a 46x spike in downloads.
It usually has 2TB downloads in a month, but that weekend alone used 0.86TB. If this level of activity was experienced for the whole month, it would use 16TB. My hosting quota is around 100TB a month so I still have a while to go.
Per-package Statistics #
A few days after this event, I implemented per-package statistics on ContentDB, showing daily downloads. I ingested Nginx logs to get data covering the event and several weeks prior. Package statistics are public, you can go to any package page and click “Statistics” to see them.
The Impact #
ContentDB was easily able to handle the load, I didn’t notice any performance degradation. ContentDB is hosted on a Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS) from netCup (RS 2000 G9.5, 6-core 3.35GHz, 16GB RAM), and so has dedicated compute resources.
Earlier this year, we saw a huge spike after AntVenom released a video on Minetest. This resulted in quite a big growth in our community, with the Discord server gaining a few hundred new users.
Despite this new video exceeding the number of views, we haven’t seen anything like the level of growth seen after the AntVenom video. Not many new users joined the Discord server, and there was no noticeable uptick in online players. That being said, there wasn’t an increase in online players after AntVenom either.
The latter half of the video focused on ContentDB and the packages available from it, so perhaps a lot of the viewers decided to download and try them out in singleplayer.
Another reason may be that the video is Spanish language and our communities are mostly English language.
The AntVenom video accurately portrayed Minetest and our values in a more serious manner, which may have led to the correct users finding Minetest and joining our communities.
The Future #
Now that Minetest has been noticed by a couple of big YouTubers, we might start seeing more YouTubers and media sources checking out Minetest.
One of the things we’ve been working towards is an improved main menu redesign. This is vital to attract and retain users, as the current main menu doesn’t do a very good job of promoting Minetest or its values as an open game creation platform.
Another thing we’ll be doing soon is listing Minetest on Steam. It’ll start in a “coming soon” state whilst we improve the main menu and other things, allowing players to wishlist it.