AutoKick makes server maintenance easier by automatically kicking all players after showing an announcement.
After installing this plugin on your server, you will no longer have to restart the server to kick everyone and use a white list in order to deny them access. Instead, the plugin enables you to disconnect everyone at once, except operators and selected players.
Once AutoKick is enabled, a timer starts running and an announcement gets sent to everyone through the chat window. Not only does this inform players that they will get disconnected, but it also gives them some time to find a safe location before it is too late.
While AutoKick is running, players are unable to log back into the game. Upon trying anyway they are shown the reason why they were disconnected. During this time, the message displayed on the disconnection screen can be changed as well. Which is useful for keeping your users up to date about the maintenance progress.
Additional messages can be added easily using the provided configuration file. All you have to do to create a new message is adding a new line under "messages:", as shown in the example below. On top of that, the duration of the timer can be configured by filling in the amount of seconds.
All in all, AutoKick is a very handy tool for server operators and administrators. It allows them to disconnect all players from the server without requiring a restart. Besides being a time-saver for server operators, the plugin is also helpful for players; as it informs them when they will be kicked from the server and the reason why.
Lastly, we also had the opportunity to hold an interview with thekris1234, the creator of AutoKick. Continue reading to learn more about the development process behind the plugin!
What inspired you to start this project?
I used to run a Minecraft server with plugins such as WorldEdit. We had frequent problems with misuse of Worldedit or accidents with it. Before AutoKick I had to take the server down, change the port so no one could log in and clean up the map with no one there. Unfortunately this was just seen as downtime to users because there was no explanation why the server was offline. With AutoKick, users could see exactly why they couldn’t get into the server and I could easily re open the server to everyone once I’d finished.
How was your plugin received by the community at its initial public release?
It was generally good feedback. Unfortunately most of the problems were due to my programming skills as I’d only just started out in Java. But people certainly saw the use in the plugin.
Roughly how much time did it take to finish the first usable version of AutoKick?
I think the first version was finished after a couple of weeks, but that was an extremely basic version.
Did you encounter any problems during development and, if any, how did you solve them?
Most of the problems are just not knowing how Bukkit expects you to handle stuff. Many hours were spent trawling through the documentation and forums trying to find answers to my questions.
What was your favourite development tool for this project?
I’ve only really used one tool and that’s Eclipse. While it may seem a daunting piece of software when you first start out it will all make sense after a short time of using it.
What stage of AutoKick’s development process did you enjoy most?
I think it has to be the release stage. Once people started using it they’d provide suggestions I’d never thought of, I believe the countdown timer and external scripts where from users of the plugin. It’s quite fun trying to think of ways to implement other people’s ideas.
And what is your favourite aspect of the plugin itself?
I’m not sure if I have a favourite aspect. I think the fact it can clear a server without the need to shut the server down is the best part.
Are you working on any other plugins or updates at the moment?
I used to run ForumAcc which was a plugin that allowed you to authenticate forum users through Minecraft, instead of having email verification. But I stopped development because I just didn’t know how to implement certain features with my basic knowledge of Java.
I’ve just released an update for AutoKick to support the latest version of Minecraft.
In addition to Minecraft, have you ever released any plugins, mods or maps for other games?
I haven’t. Bukkit just seems very friendly for beginner programmers. It’s quite easy to implement a lot of functionality into a plugin without too much Java knowledge. I’ve not really seen that anywhere else but to be honest, I haven’t looked.
Besides your own creations, what are some of your favourite plugins from other developers and why?
I think Craftbook and WorldEdit have to be my favourite plugins. Craftbook was the first plugin to move me from a vanilla server to a custom one (hMod back then). Back then plugins were few and far between due to the constant updates to Minecraft. Worldedit must be one of the most useful plugins, but it can be too powerful if you don’t set up your config right. I once wiped about 1/3 of our server map once.
LWC was very good at catching griefers with its features such as finding out who edit blocks within a certain radius.
It’s been quite a while since our server closed so I’m sure there are far more plugins I’ve yet to see.
Do you have any advice for other potential plugin developers?
Comment your code. I learnt the hard way when I didn’t update AutoKick for a long while and didn’t remember anything about the code when I came back to it. If you’re just starting out read the wiki, ask on the forums (search for your problem first!) and be prepared for bug fixing once you’re released the plugin because it is very hard to test all server configurations that are out there. If someone gives you code to solve your problem, make sure you understand it before pasting it into your plugin. In a few months time that code may not seem as obvious.
Thanks to thekris1234 for participating in our interview and for creating this plugin!
Thanks to MadPixel for the Minecrafter font.