Here’s one of the stranger ROBLOX stories I’ve heard lately: in order to create his virtual world, builder manops5 found himself stopping mid-creation, walking outside, glancing at different angles of his house, then walking back inside to get back on Studio.
He builds from memory, as photos of his subject simply don’t generate the depth perception needed to build his virtual world accurately and to-scale. Oh, his virtual world? It’s a recreation of his home in Santa Barbara, California. He’s built it again and again and again, each time adding new details and more complex parts. And now, it’s becoming one of the most detailed houses I’ve ever seen in ROBLOX.
Manops5 has made a home that looks, well, real. Every room is alive with detail–the backyard has a fully built jungle gym, the living room has an Xbox and a controller sitting on top of it, and unique pieces of art hang on the walls. You start to get used to the extreme nature of ROBLOX games–the grandeur of vast mountains, endless valleys and peaks that could never exist in this world. It’s a different atmosphere when you’re in a place that feels just like a home.
But it wasn’t always so, according to manops5. You see, manops5 has been working on this home for four years. It was his first idea when he joined ROBLOX–to recreate every nook, cranny, and personal touch in his home, virtually. It was an ambitious thought, especially for a new comer. As it turns out, re-constructing his home virtually taught this ambitious builder how to creatively leverage our platform.
“When I started out, I knew nothing about ROBLOX. I didn’t know how to build anything,” he recalls. “I guess my first attempt kind of resembles my house slightly, but the first effort was pretty bad,” he says with a laugh.
What’s really interesting to note is that, upon visiting his first iteration from a few years ago, I could see where he was going with it. The house had the same basic framework, more or less, but was mostly populated with bland textures and models available in the catalog. But it was something. He was new. And he was learning.
“It all just kind of evolved from that first house,” he says. He goes on to tell me that he had no intention of making a popular game; he just wanted to pull it off so he could show his family the recreation of their home. It came as a bit of a shock when manops5’s home hit the front page of ROBLOX earlier in the year.
“I didn’t even advertise the place,” recalls manops5 excitedly. “I just opened up ROBLOX and saw it on the front page. That was a weird day.”
Manops5 has been making minor tweaks and enhancements to his virtual home almost every day, though he, like many other builders, is patiently awaiting dynamic lighting to ship so he can add an even deeper level of realism. He’s already conducted some experiments, like putting lights inside and outside of his home, exactly where they are in real life. He also plans on littering the neighborhood surrounding his home with streetlamps, which will turn on as the sun sets (which you can control using buttons in the basement.)
“I’ve been messing with dynamic lighting in Studio, and it’s really impressive,” says manops5. “I have a slow computer and figured it would cause lag, but my computer handled it just fine.”
I find manops5’s story of his virtual home to be indicative of ROBLOX as a platform. The possibilities of ROBLOX are endless, so coming up with an idea for your first build can be a daunting experience. He had no teacher; no one to show him the ropes. He went for it. He started building. And building, and building. As he did, he started to learn how ROBLOX works. His creations became better, more efficient, more unique and beautiful. The differences between the images in this article are the differences between the mind of a young, unsure, nervous builder, and that of a refined, seasoned professional. It’s astonishing.
So if you ever find yourself frustrated that a certain build doesn’t look the way you want, or a certain aspect of your game isn’t playing just right, remember this story. Remember to keep trying, to keep learning. We’ve stated it time and time again, but the maxim rings true. The more you build, the better you build. It takes perseverance, determination, and a solid work ethic–none of which are negative qualities in the least. And according to manops5, we’ve left one quality off the list.
“Patience,” says manops5 with a laugh. “Patience and free time go together really, really well.”