Responding to User Feedback Community Edition

Responding to User Feedback: Community Edition

Every 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, talks about a variety of ROBLOX topics, including NBC trading, video tutorials, the ROBLOX film community, group documents, and a whole lot more. We pulled these questions from this active thread, which we’ll continue to keep an eye on. 

jeffstewertalt: Let NBCs (Non-Builders Club members) be able to trade. And, let NBCs be able to buy Limited Unique items after they are all gone. And maybe NBCs could get a weekly stipend of 10 Robux? Think about it and try to write me back admins of ROBLOX. Thanks!

ROBLOX is a free-to-play game. We make a small amount of money from advertising, but for the most part, we are supported by our players who choose to buy Builders Club or purchase Robux. In order for us to continue to develop ROBLOX, we need to be a sustainable business, which means we need to make money somehow. In our case, this means we have to convince people that upgrading to Builders Club is worth at least $6/month. So it becomes a question of what benefits do we wish to extend to our premium members?

From our various user surveys, as well as talking to hundreds of current Builders Club members, I know that most BC members sign up because they get extra places, a daily stipend of ROBUX, and the ability to sell things (there are a lot of other benefits, but those are the main ones). So it’s very risky for us to open these features up to all users. We might lose a lot of subscribers. In particular, I think it’s safe to say that getting Robux will always be a premium feature. Selling stuff will probably always be a premium feature. We’ve talked about opening up the trading system to free members, but trading and selling feel like very similar activities.

One thing we’re definitely not going to allow *anyone* to do is buy Limited Unique items after they are gone – the whole point of limited items is that there is a limited number of them.

Ultimately the real game in ROBLOX is building stuff and exploring what others have built. That part is 100% free. If you want extras, we feel that $6/month is a very fair price.

IceKingFinn938: Remove Builders Club-only from Personal Build Servers. NBCers have many rights, but at least let us have personal servers. More people would use them. A lot of us like to group build.

ROBLOX is actively working on a new multiplayer building experience that will likely be available to everyone. Personal servers are only for premium members because unlike other ROBLOX games, the cost to operate them is high. This is due to several factors: 1) personal servers get twice the compute resources as other games, 2) personal servers often only have 1-2 people in them because they’re not public and 3) personal servers are constantly saving data to the cloud (and we pay for this bandwidth). Making them available to free members is not viable from a business standpoint.

ethanfireeyes: How about a sort of “tutorial” level for newer players? It would cover things as basic as moving around, to intermediate- level scripting. It would also make newer users feel more welcome.

This is a great idea. We are actively working on adding tutorials to two areas of the product. First we’re going to be overhauling the “Welcome to ROBLOX” level with more in-depth tutorial content and missions. Second, we’re going to be adding a series of video tutorials that will teach users how to build stuff in ROBLOX Studio.

Pexec: Make a ROBLOX tutorial for new accounts. Like when it pops up “Info is missing from you” instead of that, have a youtube video of a great tutorial of how to get started on ROBLOX.

This is another great idea. As long as watching the video is optional, I think people would find it helpful.

TheRoblox138: You should add in a tutorial feature to how to join or make games on ROBLOX. I have gotten lots of messages asking how to build.

Yup – we’ve had a lot of requests for better ROBLOX Studio tutorials. We’re on it.

eTempest: More acknowledgement/support for the film community. I mean outside the fact of place’s gallery videos. We could have, for example, a yearly film festival and the videos are all put up on the contest page.

ROBLOX loves YouTubers and we want to support them as much as possible. We’ve shied away from video contests as the site has gotten larger, due to the impossibility of us watching 1000s of entries to try to pick the best ones. One possibility is to leverage our existing contest system, extending it to support video contests. Then players could be the judges. If we had this, we’d be running video contests at least once a month.

BenMck: I’m sure you all know about the total Spam in the Catalog’s Items Commentary.

Here are two suggestions:

  1. Stop people from commenting on it altogether.
  2. If it’s a limited item, the people who own it should be able to delete comments.

I have two other possible solutions to fight comment spam (and its insidious cousin, forum spam): Reputation system. If enough people report your comments for spam, and moderators agree, we stop letting your account post comments. New accounts would need to build up their reputation level before they would be able to post comments. This is a complicated technical solution.

1. Reputation system. If enough people report your comments for spam, and moderators agree, we stop letting your account post comments. New accounts would need to build up their reputation level before they would be able to post comments. This is a complicated technical solution.

2. Commenting costs 1 ticket. Most comment spam is advertisements. There’s no way that advertising is effective enough to be worth even 1 ticket to be able to do it. Meanwhile, for many ROBLOX players, 1 ticket is not much money. This is the simple solution.      

I prefer either of these to turning off comments altogether.

Blueice506: I’ve had an idea for a group feature that I like to call “group documents”.

This is something that’s been on my head for a very long time. The idea of group documents is that certain ranks in a group can write articles for the group, such as rules, what times their HQ is open, raiding plans, etc. Now, next to the Members (Personal Servers/Allies/Enemies) button on the group page, there a button that says “Documents”. If a user clicks it, the Documents portion of the page pops up below the button, with a layout the same as Members, Personal Servers, etc. In the “Documents” area, there will be medium-sized icons of written documents listed. There are numbers/arrows to go to other pages with documents, but there will also be a search bar to quickly search a document up.

Now, how to make a document: In the group admin page of the group, and the rank privileges section of the page, there are two new checkbox sections. One is “Can Create Group Documents”, and the other is “Can Delete/Archive/Edit Group Documents”. The group owner selects which ranks can have these abilities. To start writing a document, a user presses “Create New” in Documents. Writing a group document is just like writing a forum post, but only one difference. To the right of “Title”, there is a box with an arrow on its right side, and the user creating the documents uses it to select which ranks can see the document. The user can make any rank below his/her own unable to view the document, but not her own or a higher rank. All members of his/her own rank and higher ranks can view the document. When the document is done, the creator presses “Post” to publish, but just like in the forum, there is a “Preview Before Post” button next to “Post”. The owner and any chosen ranks can delete or archive this article at any time.

If a group owner or chosen rank wants to remove a certain article from the group for any reason, he/she goes to the Documents portion of the page, and clicks the arrow pointing down on the top right of the document. This shows four options: Delete, Archive, Edit and Report. Deleting a document permanently erases it, and it no longer exists. Archiving a document, however, takes it off the group’s page but doesn’t erase it. It goes into storage in the group admin page, where the group owner or any selected rank can go to unarchive it. The article’s creator, the group owner or any selected rank can edit any article whenever they want. To publish the edit to the article, the user clicks “Update”, which is in the same place as the “Post” button used to be. A user cannot delete, archive, or edit an article if it was made by a user of a higher rank than him/herself. The “Report” button reports the article to ROBLOX admins for abuse of the rules.

This would be especially useful for:

  • A group’s rules
  • A war group’s enemies/allies list
  • An automobile company’s list of official vehicles
  • A list of an airline’s fleet

For those of you reading this, the TL;DR version of this suggestion is that we build the functionality into groups to allow them to basically have a group blog/forum (both or either, depending on how permissions are set up).

I think there is huge value in giving ROBLOX groups the tools they need to essentially create their own little communities. Blogs, forums, permanent records of group wars, a place to share models, chat, etc. All of this stuff would make ROBLOX groups a much more powerful feature for connecting users of similar interests.

Implementing everything suggested above is obviously a ginormous project, but I think we’ll see incremental improvements in this area over the course of 2013.

rockintyler8: A community helper system, where selected users are chosen to help out new members. Like the coaching system in TF2.

Ha. I use this example all the time when I’m talking to people about what other games do to make their new users feel welcome. The guys behind TF2 are geniuses.

One idea I had along these same general lines is to add a chat room to ROBLOX Studio, maybe with different channels for building, scripting, and game design.

DarkGenex: Could you add some sort of way to quickly delete messages (specifically from the ROBLOX system)? I have over 2k messages (unread) mostly from friend requests and trade requests–there’s got to be an easier way than archiving them…

Yes. The current system hasn’t been substantially improved in 6 years. Eventually we want to have all the functionality of a basic email client: search, filter, sort, mass delete.

XXXFlashBackXXX: In-game microphone use. Requirements: must be 13 or over, and the account must be at least a week old.

While we would certainly never allow this for our younger users, it’s an interesting idea for our older users. It would be good for coordination in team games, and it would add a social aspect to building games.

About John Shedletsky

ROBLOX Creative Director @Shedletsky on Twitter

165 thoughts on “Responding to User Feedback: Community Edition

  1. thespirjet

    ATTENTION ROBLOX: what we really need is for the creator of a game to be able to use a setting that allows CERTAIN PEOPLE to use studio edit on their game. If ROBLOX really is about building, then why aren’t we allowed to build games together? Personal servers really limit building and scripting…
    Reply yes to this to show ROBLOX that we all want it!

    1. CosmicBrownies2

      I agree 100%. Players should be able to build on other games outside of personal servers. I’m not even a good builder and I know this would work great.

    2. SuperSy

      This has been suggested for years and ROBLOX hasn’t really given a very clear stance on the subject. I’d like to see this, I really would.

      1. DriftRacer14

        ROBLOX Studio 2? GREEEEEEEEEEEaaaaaat… Just great. Why not 1? I know 2 is “The new thing” but I use 1 for everything. I tried 2 once and I simply hated not being able to drag selection boxes in Explorer. I know it may have been implemented since then, but still I’m so used to 1.0!

  2. Firefeind1

    Why aren’t the building tools (Found in studio) not in PBS? It’s really a pain to me. I try to build with friends, and end up being stuck with these blocks used by mostly new members that don’t have experience with more expert building (edit mode, Cmd Utl). I’m really looking forward to see if someone can develop this into the Private Build Servers. Because just having selected tools, selected bricks/objects decreases your imaginary by quite a lot. So maybe you guys can create a option for PBS owners that would allow the server to have the Studio mode toolbar.

    Thanks,
    Firefeind1

  3. Jo6622hn

    I personally think in-game microphone use is the best idea up there, however there should be a party chat so only people in a party can chat with each other, kind of like Xbox Live Party Chat.

    1. OfficialPyroGaming

      I agree, the microphone idea is the best up there but I don’t want to go into a game and hear immature kids who lied about their ages screaming. There should be a mute option, like on the PS3. Anyone else agree?

  4. GoZone

    There are a lot of people who have Android tablets and you guys will have a lot of people if have Roblox mobile on it so if that happens I would tell ALL my friends to join Roblox (My friends play Minecraft).

    1. md678685

      This wouldn’t work as all devices have different specs where with Apple devices, there are pretty much only 6 different models ROBLOX has to support.

  5. Tom

    Even Google hasn’t been able to make an application that’s 100% correct in generating text from speech, so I doubt any online game will have a way of filtering out bad language in the near future. It takes a lot of processing power which will ultimately cause more gameplay delay etc, and the second somebody uses bad language, it is already too late to censor it, because the system is useless unless the speech reaches the other players instantly.

    Therefore I think the mic idea isn’t a very realistic idea at this time. If users really want to talk with each other they can use another service to do so, for example Skype.

    1. Ziggyblock

      This is exactly why 13+ was reccommended. And if some kid under 13 lies about his or her age, I’m pretty sure their parents will eventually find out.

    2. EggiePeggie

      Agreed! Younger users would sign up with a different age and get a mic and they’re done! I’m not trying to be mean, but ROBLOX needs to watch out for the sneaky kids :P

    3. 007jamesbond0071

      I’m under 13 and perfectly responsible. I wouldn’t be spoutng out foul language. There are other people I know like this too.

  6. Ziggyblock

    Suggestion: What about a plugin catalog? Distributing ROBLOX Studio plugins is hard. Why not make a place on ROBLOX where you can upload them.

  7. Grippe

    @ Reputation article,
    I think its a great idea for the reputation system! I strongly disagree for the cost of 1 tix to comment. That would practically be a punishment to average Robloxians that just want to comment to comment other than the people that use it to spam. You guys should go with the reputation system right away though, it is the best idea I’ve heard in a while.

  8. speedysonic99

    I definitely like the in game microphone chatting system. It would work especially well for the older people who need to talk as fast as they can without dying. One problem though- what about cussing? Would there be an automatic filter that keeps the bad words and other forms of bad language from going through?

    1. Anonymous

      No, this is why it is 13+ because older kids are more responsible, and mature. Therefore, they would be allowed to cuss.

  9. bunkers8399

    The mic is a GREAT idea! And can you also make the screen recorder available in the Mac version?

  10. FengoWolf

    The whole microphone thing over 13 is a bit of a dilemma, as this isn’t a perfect world. Some people can fake their age, as many people do in this reality.

  11. Bubby6986

    The microphone idea is a really cool idea! I hope we can be able to use that sometime! It would be good because we can have conversation and communicate better! I have always wanted something like that for a REALLY long time! Problem, it should be monitored or if someone reports for bad language, the moderators listen over and ban whoever needs to be.

  12. Xitlu

    The in game microphone is great idea but since kids would fake their age you could just mute them in games.

  13. TutorialBlox

    I have a good feeling of the future! I can see it now the future of Roblox and flying cars! :) Too extreme?

  14. Ajahni1016

    I love the idea for microphone usage! But there’s no way to be sure kids under 13 don’t lie about their age. I think that everyone should be muted when you first come, and if you want to be able to talk to someone then you send them a request and if they accept then you can hear them.

  15. Elizabeth9o

    I think the ideas are great, except the microphone one. It’s easier for people to convince you to give away information, and many kids lie about thier age, and also people would be swearing a lot…

  16. axelvts

    These ideas are all AMAZING! Many of them I have thought of, but some of these ideas are some that I did not think ROBLOX was going to think about.

    1. MSHaro

      I never would have thought of these! About the microphones though, What if someone hacks and tracks the voice down or records the voice? What if they start using profanity or bad language at other players? Please solve this problem so it would give some people the peace of mind. Thanks!

  17. cgboy11

    I absolutely LOVE the group documents that would be a good way to keep with rules, HQ times (I love you ROBLOX!) and raiding and training times. Also the mic should be an option rather than a thing that’s on all the time. Like go to the ROBLOX menu in the game and click “Turn on Mic” and the owner of that game can have a user banned from using the mic or have it off all the time if they want to by adjusting their place settings. I personally want the group documents because I’m a General in a group and I need them badly. I don’t really have an opinion on trading/selling. Just release group documents and mic option feature ROBLOX!

  18. Colbyblox10

    My opinion on the ROBLOX Studio chat room is..You can accept/decline peoples request to join. (And invite people) But you can turn Mic. on if they are over 13

  19. jinlin1

    Also, since many kids lie about their ages, I think you should make a “veterans server”, as kids who have played for a long time are more likely to be older than newcomers.

  20. MilwaukeeBrewers

    I love the idea of letting NBCERS trade. I have a fedora and a bunch of limiteds but can’t trade them because I’m NBC. So go through with that idea. I do not think the mic idea is good because of swearing.

  21. BobBrick

    Is it at all possible to have a filter that allows me to not recieve messages from certain people, or not have any personal information shown to certain people? Because people who beg me to donate can still see the game I’m on, and simply look through the servers T_T

  22. Roxasrock

    To the people that don’t want to hear music and cussing, and little kids, the solution is simple. REPORT when bad words are heard, MUTE them, and have the parents call roblox to receive the code. This way the parents will know that if they lie, their child could have a bad experience, and if the kid is 13, they know he/she is old enough to do it, besides we’ve all sworn once, why would it bother you now?

  23. timinator456

    I would truly enjoy microphones. I’m not sure how that effects iOS users, but that would make personal servers something quite special.
    But regarding personal servers, what can be done in the way of new building parts? I’ve been using the same castle, space, and house kits for years. I like these, but try extending on these. For example something along the lines of sub-kits, like castle kit that is Victorian or colonial.

  24. FlamingBeats

    I like the NBC trading even though I have bc, I like it because my sister is willing to give me her items and she doesnt have BC, and I like the In-game Microphone too, its will be more easy to communicate.

  25. SomeGuyWithAName

    Hey, Admins I think you should add a account name change feature. And after you had your username changed it would alert your friends that the player had there name changed. But you would have a e-mail sent to your parent/ self e-mail and confirm that you want it changed and you would have to write certain specs about your account that no one would know. It would help some of the people who made there account and stopped liking there username. (One of those people is me.)

    1. Ajahni1016

      Great idea, I’m also one of those people that’d like to change their name but not make a new profile.

  26. SawggerDXude

    I think that the microphones is a great idea just that you should be able to mute other players talking if you don’t want to listen.To do that you should be able to click on the players name on the right corner of the list and one of the options should say “Mute Player”.If you mute a player you should be able to unmute them also but they can’t unmute you.This is a great idea for the TEAM chat in games.

  27. Murphycool

    Okay, so about the microphone idea, it’s a good idea, but you should have it a BC only feature so alt accounts don’t spam it, and make it 13+, and have mute tools, and possible a recording system that records their chats, so if anything bad happens people can still report. Or, that thing where you can talk into your microphone and it will type out the words you say? Reply if this is a good idea.

    1. tam319

      BC part isn’t a good idea. Some people get BC once a year for one month so you’re saying they can only mic chat for one month per year. The rest of your ideas are good though

      1. mcbob431

        I ABSOLUTELY agree with BC, and 13+ only. This would be a boost in ROBLOX profits, and would prevent 75% of spam.

  28. coolbro910

    @Remove Builders Club-only from Personal Build Servers. I know, but it’s so annoying, it’s usually only noobs/sometimes nbcers c4 and spam water.

  29. zachary134

    Besides, There are Call of duty players that do play roblox or bf3. And minecraft just no. i think that they should not have this because when kids find out they’re gonna make a new account over 13.
    they get mics from computer schools for example:
    connexus academy online learning place

  30. zachary134

    Roblox please think what you’re doing. It’s not worth it. Little kids would just say bad words AND adults might cuss from Raging,Angerproblems,and more. This is not a good idea.
    They can get a new account to act like there over 13
    But please roblox DO NOT DO THIS!!!
    This is horrible

    1. thespirjet

      I agree. People are usually responsible, but think about this. Imagine a played (over 13) is fighting people. Someone comes up to him, and kills him. He gets mad, (let’s face it. We all rage once in a while) so he cusses. The mic picks it up and everyone hears. Roblox can’t filter out foul language without causing delay, ruining the mic purpose

    2. tam319

      Simple solution, just have a mute player option. In COD I mute anyone who talks because they’re annoying.

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