Community Outreach: ROBLOX Stops by Bay Area Middle School

Alice Rice is the Technology Coordinator for the OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center in San Francisco, California. The non-profit center works with various local educational entities to serve the San Francisco Community through a variety of programs and services for adults, youth, and families.  One of these services has come to be known as The Games Review Board–kids collectively review video games they’ve been playing and share the reviews through a podcast. Alice had noticed that mostly all of the recent reviews were from ROBLOX games, so she asked us to participate in one of their sessions. Founder and CEO David Baszucki, Senior Software Developer Robert Morgan and Studio Engineering Director Tim Brown took up the opportunity to interact with ROBLOX users in person and headed to the James Denman Middle School in San Francisco.

“The kids still can’t believe it happened,” says Alice. “They’re still talking about it even though it happened a week ago.”

Dave, Tim and Robert spent the day chatting with the crowd of kids, who had many questions they wanted answered. What’s your average work day like? How can I design games for a living? What’s it like making games?

Tim had a very specific idea as to what he wanted to do with the remainder of the visit. He heads up the design work in ROBLOX Studio, and values feedback that could help his team make ROBLOX Studio an easier-to-use experience. He hoped to gain some useful information from his visit–and he did. Here’s what he learned:

“I realized that a lot of these kids weren’t actually using Studio to build, they were using other forms of build methods. A big one was Build Mode, where you can run around with another user building things in ROBLOX,” recalls Tim. “I saw three kids on the same personal server building with one another–they seemed to really appreciate the social aspect.”

This wasn’t news to Alice, who has been keeping a close eye on how ROBLOX has been affecting students over the past couple of months. A big part of the attraction she says, is the shared feeling of collaboration.

“Kids are curious, and ROBLOX satisfies a lot of curiosities they have,” says Alice. “These kids are learning social and team-working skills by building and playing with one another. The longer they spend with it, the more they start to wonder about ROBLOX Studio. They start to build things and show them off to their friends.”

“A huge part of it is that kids will share a space in the lab making stuff on ROBLOX. Then they can go home and continue working together on the internet,” she added.

Alice explains that many kids start off by playing video games on ROBLOX, but they often feel the desire to actually create things by the time they hit the 7th grade. Some of the students frequent public libraries during the weekends to game and build with one another on the public-use computers. Many of the students in the after-school gaming group have already learned the fundamentals of Lua scripting. Some aspire to be programmers when they become adults.

“Reach for your dreams,” Dave tells students. “Do well in school, learn as much as you can about math and science, and go to a good university to learn computer science.”


About Alan "JacksSmirkingRevenge" Fackler

Communications Specialist at ROBLOX. JacksSmirkingRevenge on ROBLOX; @JacksColdSweatX on Twitter.

148 thoughts on “Community Outreach: ROBLOX Stops by Bay Area Middle School

  1. iddp

    I think the ROBLOX creators are pretty awsome cuz there being so nice. WOW i luv those guys. I wish they can come to my school.

    BTW try my: The Hunger Games. Only 2 peeps needed

  2. Nicholasdepickolas

    I wish they would come to my school but besides my brother I’m the only one that plays Roblox.

    1. bakugandrago18

      I know how you feel. I am one of only 2 people in my school that play roblox, and the other person doesen’t admit it. Everyone else plays Minecraft and says Roblox is for babies. I then think of games like Apocalypse Rising and Call of Robloxia and lol.

  3. DriftRacer14

    This is awesome. Keep up the good work ROBLOX! I’m still with you! (Had me hanging on by a thread a few months back when Studio+Build stopped working; I’m REALLY glad that was patched.)

    I see that they mentioned that you can go in Build Mode and create Collaborated Games with friends. Is this a feature for use with Personal Build Servers only, or does it work with standard places as well? And if so, how?

    On a side note, when are you going to make a Tank Tread/Belt/Caterpillar Tracks tool? :3

  4. Dogwarrior24

    The best building method for teens is studio mode, especially when your in build mode on roblox studio.
    You should try going to the link on your desktop or start menu called Roblox Studio. Once you open it go to your game,and click edit or build, in build mode, you can still use studio mode tools, but you can use the roblox tools at the same time. The roblox studio tools have much greater value of building than the usual tools though.
    They are complex but once you figure them out, it can exeed your experience in building. You can also spawn your own blocks, so you dont have to use the new blocks they have on roblox. If you discover what you can do with studio mode, you will find that the old roblox is still there, just harder to get too.

  5. thefinalbattlelloyd

    robloc ceo aka david baszucki please come to my school it’s fallon memorial elementary it would begreat news if i heard roblox CEO is coming thanks

  6. Kelvin98

    Fluency in Studio mode is a necessity in my opinion. Advanced techniques like CFraming with Cmdutl and offset of meshes are only avaliable in studio mode. Not to mention it feels more comfortable for me.

  7. Robot980

    It would be great, if they came to my school, but unfortunantly, they would have to set up a meeting with the school to find if they’re able to interfere with the school’s schedule just to talk to kids about ROBLOX. But our teachers/principle/administrators etc, are to strict about ourschedule so therefore they probably wouldnt get the chance.

  8. 5had0k

    I agree, I am a massive fan of ROBLOX, and i seriously want to meet the ROBLOX team in person, its my life dream.

  9. Jammintoad

    Yes, a lot of them use build mode, but you went to a middle school, usually, beginner/intermediate builders use build mode, however some intermediate/most advanced use Studio to create their creations. So don’t get any ideas from this :P

  10. Matt

    Hi, ROBLOX Corporation, I see you are more revolving ROBLOX game development towards the younger people, however, you often leave out more complicated things. Students of higher grades such as High School and other things sometimes want more out of ROBLOX, as being, more tools for building, not so simple game creations, and a different chatting scheme. I hope you take time to read back on this message and think a bit for the older teens who play ROBLOX, after all, they may be working for you some day.

    1. Ace

      I agree with you. I will be graduating from high school in less than two years, and I have more than a handful of friends who still play ROBLOX as college students, and almost all of us agree that ROBLOX’s target audience has decreased significantly over the past year. With ROBLOX catering to the new audience with these new updates, it does hinder the older users’ capabilities when building due to the modification of more complex building tools to those a six year old can use.

      For me, it would be appreciated if ROBLOX also attempts to cater to its older, paying, members by also working on new Studio features and still having users know Studio, and Lua, are great ways to create fantastic places.

  11. a guywhowantstoreply

    Guys they can’t go to every school in America in 80days…
    Calm down :3
    But good outreach roblox!
    I’ve had a million games since i was younger, and none of em compare to roblox….
    You can build, explore, fight.
    Its a World that Can change and not change at the same time.

  12. 5twig7

    Wow, those kids are lucky. Not many kids in my school play ROBLOX. Well maybe they do, but they’re not as “open” about it. I love to use Build Mode and get multiple people on a personal server. In fact, I’ve built a majority of my games like that. I’m learning the basics of scripting, and Lua scripting right now, and soon I’ll be able to script anything I need.

  13. TheLOLKAY

    Midland Elementary in Roy, Utah is a good school. I even know a lot of people that have heard of and played ROBLOX at that school.

  14. WakeypupsWakeypups

    If you want o improove roblox, and make it the best sandbox game imaginable, make multiplayer studio mode. End of discussion.

  15. Red678

    That is just… AMAZING. What is truly the amazing part is that even after school, the kids are building with each other! You guys should do this WAY more often… if you have the time, that is. This has been Red678, Keep going guys!

  16. POGGY

    Lol, good job team :). Good to see roblox spreading its arm out to the younger generation of ROBLOX builders.

  17. lejam7890

    That’s cool, now you are visiting schools. This will help ROBLOX’s image a lot! Showing that it is not just a video game, its a social interaction.

  18. SithCommando

    Outreaching to the community is a generous thing. I am glad to see future generations being impacted by a positive learning experience. :D

  19. MelyRz

    There goes ROBLOX inspiring children AGAIN. That is very amazing how you can create a game that is not only fun, but can teach you certain skills!

  20. ForeverEpic20

    Whoa, thats amazing.
    They went to a school, and the kids that experienced it are still talking about it.
    ROBLOX is great.

  21. Luckymaxer

    As always, Roblox still continues to inspire kids around the world :). Like stated in a blog post in the past, Roblox enables kids to develop helpful skills which could benefit them in the future.

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