Responding to User Feedback - Mobile Edition

Responding to User Feedback, Mobile Edition

Responding to User Feedback - Mobile EditionEvery so often, we ask our users to let us know what they’d like to see in ROBLOX, then respond to some of the most insightful comments and pertinent questions. This time, John Shedletsky, ROBLOX’s Creative Director, focuses on our upcoming mobile release. He responds to questions about mobile optimization, a future where ROBLOX and Android can play together, and security concerns, to name a few. The topics for this User Feedback session were submitted to us from users at LuaLearners, a ROBLOX scripting group/website.

Mobile Game Play

Orca101: Will games need to be as optimized as possible to run well on mobile?

Our goal is to create a platform where you publish once, run anywhere. That means if I’m building Sword Fight on the Heights V, and I publish it from ROBLOX Studio, that the game is immediately available to play on all devices that ROBLOX supports, with no modification. In practice, this is likely to be a negotiation between ease of use on mobile and ease of use on desktop. For example, mobile controls want to be mainly touch-input based: tapping, dragging, pinching etc. Games that support these types of input are likely to be popular with mobile users. Other types of ROBLOX games make extensive use of the keyboard for controlling vehicles or manipulating object in-game. These games are likely to be much less successful on mobile.

Right now, our strategy is to show mobile players games that are popular on mobile. We will show desktop players games that are popular on desktop. There will doubtlessly be games that are great on both. Can’t wait to see what pops up. We’ll run a more in-depth “How to design games for mobile” article next week.

Third-person on the iPad

Causticity: Is mobile always in first person? 

No, just as in desktop ROBLOX, the place builder has the option to control which camera mode players use. It’s possible that mandatory 1st person games will be easier to control on mobile and thus become more popular there. We’ll see.

Mobile platforms

McVisibility: Will ROBLOX eventually come out for Androids too? Or is it iOS exclusive?

Depending on whose numbers you look at, Android makes up 50-60% of the mobile market. Anecdotally, I can tell you that there is a huge audience of ROBLOX players who want to play ROBLOX on their Android devices. It’s definitely going to happen.

dr01d3k4: When is the Android release date? What are the minimum Android specs, and what’s the pricing going to be? 

Android LogoWe have one mobile development team here at ROBLOX. Let’s let them wrap up the iOS version first before announcing an Android release date, eh? Android is a very different environment from iOS and the team is starting from scratch, so I would imagine that it’s going to be a couple of months before we have anything to share.

Minimum specs are likely to be hardware similar to the iPhone 4S. It was difficult to find comparative processor benchmarks online, but I imagine any Android smartphone produced in the last 2 years would be very likely to be able to run some form of ROBLOX.

Mobile ROBLOX Studio

Cookie2900: Will there ever be a mobile version of Studio? Just something to test scripts with?

There will definitely be a building experience on mobile. We don’t yet know if this can be full-blown ROBLOX Studio, or if it is a series of custom-purpose building apps that allow you to create and save specific types of ROBLOX models (such as cars, buildings, monsters), or if it is a multiplayer building game that allows you to save your creations to ROBLOX.com.

Scripting is a task that seems specifically suited to the desktop, where you have a keyboard. We want to nail simple building experiences before we venture into unknown territory.

ROBLOX Studio Interface

ScratchCrow: Hardball question coming in: Will the mobile version of ROBLOX Studio allow server tests? 

Like I said, we don’t know what “mobile Studio” looks like yet. It’s very possible that ROBLOX will build an analytics package for place builders that will allow them to check on the health and popularity of their games on the go, including crash dumps from Lua scripts collected in-game by a logging service. Further than that, all I can say is that our goal is to build whatever tools the ROBLOX game development community wants or needs.

Mobile Security

SCS: What measures will be taken to prevent exploitation of the ROBLOX mobile Studio software? 

We’re attacking mobile security on several levels. First of all, account security is 100% assured on mobile devices. “Account security” is all about the integrity of your account: can people login as you, can people spend your ROBUX, can people impersonate you in-game. The answers to all of these questions is no. We use the same techniques your online bank uses to protect your account – SSL for logins, certificates, salted hashed passwords in the backend DB, etc etc.

As far as people attempting to exploit the ROBLOX code in-game to cheat or steal other player’s levels, we’ve been dealing with these bad actors for the past seven years on the desktop. The desktop, especially the PC, is a much more open platform and as a result, the hacker toolset is much more developed there than on iOS. As a result, we expect that exploits on mobile will be a relative non-issue.

About John Shedletsky

ROBLOX Creative Director @Shedletsky on Twitter

87 thoughts on “Responding to User Feedback, Mobile Edition

  1. Bradley Payne

    Another reason that ROBLOX dominates Minecraft… You guys have done some remarkable things with this game recently! I have to admit you really got me hooked. Although I can’t wait for the Android version so I can try out the mobile! Keep up the good work!

  2. harb64

    I just got an iPad mini, ROBLOX was the 1st app I downloaded on it (the iPad was a gift). It works almost flawlessly. But all the issues I’m having with it I see you are working on. Great job! Also are you going to come out with ROBLOX mobile gaming for iPod Touch 4th gen. I have a 4th gen. and I really wish I could play games on it as well as my iPad.

  3. HKS23

    If ROBLOX does come out on Android, I think that it would work great with the Android devices that come with the Tegra 3 Quad-Core Proccessor.

    e.g. Nexus 7

  4. Nathan7090

    LOVE IT!

    One problem though im in charge of a small 25+ group but people invade our meetings we need to be able to chat
    PM me with any suggestions

    1. Scythe

      ROBLOX is available on all devices. However, to play the games, you need either a 5th gen iPod, an iPhone 4 or an iPad 2 or higher.

  5. Dart219

    I offer no suggestions, I only want to say well done. You guys have been working hard, and you should be proud of yourself!

    Thank you Roblox for keeping up with awesome updates.

    1. adyu1234

      you guys are awesome good job for making roblox on ipad! also one question can you make roblox for android?

  6. Injurybringer

    That is gonna be…….. AWESOME when it comes out on the Andriod. I wonder how people are gonna control different games. But now, I am going to stick to the laptop

  7. Devilmaycry3500

    Yes! Make roblox studio for iOS. I don’t think android would be a good idea since it is like the home of mobile game hacking and exploiting.

    1. mpo9

      Android is not really a platform for pirating, it’s for the people who want to have more freedom, like a new home screen, that can’t be acheived with Apple Devices…

      1. AnthonyJF

        Yeah, when ROBLOX comes out for Android I would go to my Android tablet and get the app right away.

  8. Stonefur

    Well I really love all the work but i would also like to be able to play roblox on my pod 4th generation. Another good idea is a Roblox brand name gaming console so we can just take the cosole and play it anywhere. Mabey even a Roblox brand tablet. :)

  9. rolandj

    I noticed a pretty major glitch on my iPhone 4S.It doesn’t show up with the button to walk,you have to know it’s there or you won’t know how to walk.And you guys picked some pretty “bad” games to put on Mobile.A extremely simple game for mobile I would like better then the ones provided are “Welcome To ROBLOX Building” or “Sword Fights On The Heights” and once chat is developed “Trade Hangout By Merely”

    ~rolandj

    1. iwinulose505

      It is not just you. I have noticed disappearing chat and leaderboard, and increased character flinging.

      1. Fear

        Yeah it’s weird, what first started happening is that the ROBLOX page on my iPad would start intersecting and things would disappear and pages like Home, and Groups would merge together, and it reminded me of when you push F10 or maybe was it F11? I’m not sure… But it reminded me of when that thing pops up when you push a certain F-number key and you can see like the scripts… Or what the page is made of… Then it happened to my iPod and to my computer, anyone else having this weird problem?

      1. Scythe

        The app has came out, you just can’t play games on an iPod 4th Gen. Also, Apple devices don’t use iOS, they are an iOS. Except for Macs and Apple TVs. They’re not iOSs.

  10. SteelersFan1172

    Ok, I have an iPad 2 and on it when I go to the games there is only like 7 games. But, I recently got this update today and I don’t know what it is for but please add more games because on the iPad you guys use for you’re pictures or videos you guys get to play all kinds of games! So, I would really like to be able to make play more games. Also, like on catalogue heaven they have a mobile version but whenever I play the app it won’t let me play the games. It’s always those sevens games. Please update.

  11. TheGunner247

    That’s right, Helpful ROBLOXians like me are up there! :D But I also have a question; I’ve played the beta, but what will be the differences between the beta and the full version?

  12. Scienceboy0

    Nice! Before this, I didn’t even know people were thinking about an android version! Keep up the good work, Roblox!

  13. Scribblenautical3alt

    I was very flustered when I got all worked up when going onto my iPod touch 4G, seeing the update, and finding out I cannot play on there. Will I be able to soon? It says only the iPod 5G. :C

  14. 99Nickster

    Not being able to build on mobile will be no big deal. It will probably be difficult to use anyways, maybe just scripting support. The only thing I really want to see is a ‘mouse-lock’ type option for mobile.

  15. TheMetasponge64

    I’ve been experiencing major lag issues on some games on my iPhone 4. I was connected to my internet at home but at one point the game quit loading and took me back to the game page.

  16. Fredstarson

    I think you should add a plain base plate to the games so players can get used to the stuff befour playing a game.

  17. Zucom

    Make it so we can play it on all the iPod touch’s and on the iPhone it lags to much for example when I play the game where your roll in a ball I can barely walk or jump

  18. Zedanthar Ul'Tamate

    One of the few things I notice with the games is it is very laggy. The control is hard to master too. If you start moving you can move the control all the way across the screen. Some of the games you go to you are fighting and it makes it harder especially with all the lag. One of the other things I notice is that these games aren’t only for mobile. People can follow you. I’m the Third in Command of a 1000+ empire and I usually have stalkers we should get abilities to chat on there.

  19. Mukar

    This is what I saw; “BLAH BLAH BLAH Sword Fight on the Heights V BLAH BLAH BLACH.”

    Not to be rude. But I’m pretty excited now. Don’t let us down on SFOTHV!

  20. Coolstuntman5

    Well, I love the idea but I can’t play this on my iPad 1 and the controls don’t work on my iPhone 4. Will you maybe consider making ROBLOX for iOS 5?

  21. Scooby8snacks

    Will there be a lot of lag? Take Driveblox Unlimited by NFSboy for example. Would I experience as much lag on there as I would on a Laptop, would there be more due to the small processors on Phones (Yeah, they’re Smart, but still small and cant support Adobe), or would there be less due to you changing the game software?

    1. Scythe

      Certain games would lag. By the way, the iOS supports most Adobe products. It just doesn’t support Adobe Flash.

  22. Jacques2000

    I think Studio on mobile will be a little bit complex and organized like Studio 2.0. The reason why is because on the little iphone screen with so many studio features to install… I think it is gonna be awhile. Good work so far tho!

  23. Justin

    It’s cool and all, I’m waiting for the mobile release and Android release, but when I tried to play on Ipad it said I need ios 6 or 5 and my dad needs to update it because I don’t know his apple account. But GOOD JOB ROBLOX.

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