Feedback Loop

Feedback Loop: Dynamic Lighting Advances, Studio Tips and More

Feedback Loop99% of the content available on ROBLOX is created by our passionate community of builders. In Feedback Loop — the spiritual successor to the long-running Responding to User Feedback series – we respond to builders’ grand ideas for ROBLOX and questions about the past, present and future.

In this issue, John Shedletsky discusses updates to dynamic lighting and shadows, offers advice for ROBLOX Studio builders, talks about the specularity of parts, considers the idea of place subscriptions, reflects on the rise of ROBLOX, and a whole lot more. Check it out.

Basic building

asimo3089: Hey, I had a quick Studio improvement idea. I’d love to be able to double click a part that is in a model to access that part. Right now, you click a model part, you get the whole model. I’d love to pick out individual parts in a model easily. Thanks!

This is a great idea. It would also be consistent with how selecting decals works–one click selects the parent part, and the second click drills down to select the decal.

According to Tyler Berg, one of our ROBLOX Studio developers, we already have the ability to drill down into a model and select an individual part. To use the feature, just hold down the Alt key and select the part.


bill52600: Will more starter templates be added to the ROBLOX Studio Project Creator? And will more Genre categories be added to it, as well? As in, the Baseplate one is in “Basic,” the CTF in “Strategy,” etc.

“Yes” is the short answer. This is our long answer: our vision for ROBLOX Studio templates is that users will eventually be able to create them, meaning there will be infinite templates for any type of game you can imagine. The trick will be finding the best ones.

Walk AnimationGaIlium: Will ROBLOX ever have a different character walking animation?

I don’t know about a walking animation, specifically, but I know we have some announcements to make at BLOXcon this year that will answer this question more fully. Stay tuned!

cooldude56345: Will there be more physics added to bricks, vehicles and the ROBLOX character?

Yes, yes and yes. We have an awesome physics developer who has been hard at work on implementing a new physics system. We don’t want to give too much away in this article–we’ll be showing off some prototype physics demos at BLOXcon this summer.

The technical corner

McVisibility: Something I’m interested in is whether dynamic lighting will be updated to cast shadows of objects in front of a light source, depending on the light’s direction. I really do understand this would probably not run perfectly on older PCs, etc.

Right now, the sun is the only shadow-caster in our dynamic lighting solution. If you’ve read about how our dynamic lighting system works, you know that non-moving lights are basically free to render–the light grid requires no updates. Moving lights create light grid updates, so there’s a limit as how many of these can happen before shadows cause lag. Now, moving parts require no light grid updates. If we turn all lights into shadow-casters, we’ll have to update the light grid when lights move and parts, since both have an effect on where shadows are drawn.



This is something our engineers need to play with a little bit more–to find the right level of implementation compromise without incurring a crippling performance slow on the rendering side.

From Arseny Kapoulkine, part of the ROBLOX Rendering Team: is “watch this space” too brief of an answer? We have a solid plan for this feature and we’ve started working on it. It will be enabled per-light with an extra property.

arbirator: Would it be possible to remove specularity from ROBLOX characters and their hats/gear/packages? I am currently running the ROBLOX client with a mod that removes all specularity because it ruins a lot of items, as details are obscured.

We have a weird specularity on Decal objects (of all things), but we’re backing away from per-part rendering customization. Ultimately, we want properties like reflectance, specularity, and specific gravity to inherit from the materials parts are made of.

I believe we already determine the specularity of parts based on their material. It’s possible that if you make the parent part of a mesh a non-specular material (like wood), you won’t see specular highlights on the mesh. I  haven’t tried that–give it a whirl, and let us know what happens in the comments.

keyboardWoot3: I would like the ability to copy and paste text into and out of the textbox GUI object. This is because I want to be able to give users the ability to save something of theirs via a code. It’s a simple idea, and easy enough to add.

Simple idea and very easy to add. Thanks for the suggestion.

TechTeam911: Server-side data persistence. Concept: storing saved data (instances, strings, numbers) specific to a place, not specific to a player. Saved data can be recalled from any server specific to the place it was saved at. Caching data would be disabled, but excessive requests would be throttled to prevent stress on the servers.

Data persistence is going to be reworked in the near-future, according to our internal product roadmap. You may see some things announced at BLOXcon this summer that hint at the direction data persistence is going to go. We continually hear, “why hasn’t ROBLOX thought about data persistence improvements?” We have. They’re coming.

Idea 2: Data persistence panel. Concept: control panel under the configuration tab of a place that can be used to recall a key that is saved to a specific player. Loaded key can be modified and saved, or deleted.”

Yes. Debugging and analytics tools for data persistence. No-brainer in version 2.0.

Express yourself

manfaceMcVisibility: Something I’d love to see on ROBLOX is emotion animations or poses. Emotion animations would be ones like being able to wave, sit, clap, moonwalk, shake your head to “yes” and “no,” etc. Poses would be viewable on your profile, and let you do such things as flex your muscles, do a “superhero” pose, stroke your beard, etc. These would bring something new and enjoyable on ROBLOX. Of course these could also be purchasable with Robux and Tickets.

This is an idea that bubbles up occasionally; I think it would be very popular. People love anything that involves additional character customization. This would also add some depth to some of the role-playing games on ROBLOX.


TheGamer101: It would be nice if you could “subscribe” to a place (or this could just work off players favorite games) and see updates appear on your ROBLOX feed. These updates could include a message from the creator of the place about new updates or just alert you if the place has been updated. These messages would have to be limited to maybe one a day to prevent players spamming the feed.

Genius. What if you got these updates for any place that you have favorited? That way, if place creators get spammy, you can un-favorite their place.

ybmul1380: How big could you see ROBLOX going, and how much has it affected your daily life?

We’re going all the way, and it’s been a crazy ride. When I joined, you could log in on a Friday afternoon and there would be zero people playing. Zero. 150,000 people are playing ROBLOX as I respond to this question. The biggest game on Steam, DOTA 2, has 141,000 players online. We’re getting pretty huge.

cardboardsidekick601: How do you guys do it? How do you moderate every single image on ROBLOX? It’s a question I’ve been holding for so long. I mean, there are millions of players on ROBLOX. Is it a bot?

A human looks at each one before it goes live on the site. If you could write an image-moderating bot that was at least as good as our human moderators, we would like to buy it from you, and so would many other companies.

About John Shedletsky

ROBLOX Creative Director @Shedletsky on Twitter

252 thoughts on “Feedback Loop: Dynamic Lighting Advances, Studio Tips and More

  1. klaq2

    One idea I have had for a long time is the ability to edit the “safechat” menu to add contextual chat options. Players would not be able to edit existing menus but can add their own and put dialog choices that fit the game. Players could easily select the chat option to say “regen car,” or “I need a medic.”

  2. Greenguy2000

    I like the old Roblox Studio where you didn’t start with any build tools, unless you put them in the startpack. I think you should have the option of when you build you can choose whether to start with the new default build tools or not.

  3. Ohaider

    I think you should add an option to not have Builder tools when you enter build mode, because I’m sick of changing the tools in my backpack in order to have all of my tools instead of other tools I don’t need.

    1. Kazagent

      Agreed, the new update might be nice but its kind of scary, since some updates are nice for us and some aren’t…

  4. xman263

    Here’s a great idea: Bringing back user meshes and music. The selection of meshes is limited and the selection of music is REALLY limited. Adding back user meshes and music could open up whole new possibility’s and other ways to enjoy your game. You just need a good moderation system and boom you have a great update :D.

    1. theAwesomelyProCHICKEN jk My Username is really: theproCHICKEN

      I’m not to sure on the music (probably because I don’t use it) but I am 100% on the Meshes!

    2. DuckyMomoQuack

      User meshes! User meshes! I think it would be way better because it would boost inspiration.

  5. OKAJLNv2

    This is probably an old concept but sometimes the skybox in a game becomes glitchy and you start seeing through everything everytime you look a certain direction or everytime you move, is there any patch coming or solution to fix this problem?

  6. IAmAMelon

    Give us the ability to remove certain CoreGui objects. There is a need to be able to remove things such as the chat, leaderboards, or backpack GUI.

      1. Robloxian1997

        Back when I had OBC, I had a few games where the backpack was kind of useless, it was more of an adventure map. I say it should be optional, as in you can disable it from your game’s options page.


    The Light Change inside a building is not so great if you set the brightness to 0,which makes it completely dark. There should be higher brightness settings if you want the game in heaven or something.

      1. VilleSlay

        There already is one. game>LIghting>Brightness. Set it to 1.5 or higher and it will be just fine. The shadows should be around 32 in a dark shade for a good result.

  8. Minecraftia133

    Will you add animations to the Shrinking Exlir? Ex. Growing and shrinking, Jump higher effects, etc

  9. linx3215

    I would love if the developers got rid of that annoying tip toe animation when your character is stationary, they always look like they are walking even though it is just the slightest bit of moment in the arms and legs going back and forth when you are standing still. Also i think dynamic lighting should affect player shadows instead of having the sun always affect them, dynamic lighting is still dull because of the shadowing system that revolves around dynamic lighting. I have too many ideas and requests and so little time to do it in..

  10. UnusualGuy

    One thing I’ve always hoped for on Roblox
    is the ability to save your clothes as a ”Costume” and then load the costume at a later stage, saving all the time having to rebuild your character’s look.

    For example,
    If you were about to participate in a Group Event, you can load your Costume that has a specific title for the certain occasion.

    1. Elsa152

      Yeah!! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and have heard this idea from a few other people, and really hope it ends up coming out in an update. That way if you make an outfit you really like, but you want to change, you can save it for later. For example, if you have a casual look but are about to go roleplaying, you can save what you’re wearing but go back to it later.

  11. Ennik

    I think all those ideas are all the things I’ve been thinking of lately, personal best is the poses.

  12. DriftRacer14

    On Personal Build Servers we should be able to use studio if the owner gives us permission. I know of one PBS that’s giving a couple of my friends and I a hard time because we can’t see inside buildings, and without Studio we can’t add Dynamic Lights to fix it.

    Another thing, what was the big idea replacing the Stamper with those other four things? Stamper was excellent. Granted it needed a few bug fixes and the occasional update (still does) but why break it into four hotkey-hogging tools? Many of us would very much appreciate if Stamper was brought back with updates.

    Last note. A few dynamic Lighting objects should be added to the Wiring category in the Stamper.

    That’s all for now.

  13. IAmAMelon

    Could you please add in the ability to remove some of the CoreGui objects? For some games, like the one I’m making, you need a custom chat system ( without bubble chat! ) and having to manipulate the characters/camera to get rid of it is just annoying and glitchy.
    The leaderboards and backpack GUIs should be removable as well, as they can be a nuisance at times.

  14. Nefix

    Reply to your comment on TheGamer101’s comment:

    I know for myself I would rather have the subscribe as well as favorite. I use my favorites as a way to easier find games I like. If I started getting messages from those creators for their games I would unfavorite all my games simply because I don’t like lots of feed. I have feed already that I want to read and I don’t want to miss anything. If I could at least subscribe I would be in control of that as well as be able to find my games easier, as I do now.

  15. AWESOMEgabriella931

    Another idea I have is that you can report false image moderating. Like, once, I made an outfit for Roblox. It had short shorts, and a tank top, but I have seen much more showy outfits on Roblox that have been moderated and published. Then, for some reason, my outfit was declined. A day later, I pubished the same outfit, and I made a small dot on the foot part that you could barely see. Then, that got published. I think you should be able to enter things to be re-moderated instead of going through the trouble of editing it barely.

    1. xman263

      SUPPORT! This happened with one of my ads, it got rejected for no reason and i put a bell pepper on it and it was approved lol

  16. reconsoldier117

    I like the posing and emotions idea. But they shouldn’t be sold. It’s like “Stances” From Halo 4 multiplayer.

  17. stedcoolkid12

    i know this has nothing to do with this but wouldn’t it be awesome to link accounts so at the top right corner it would show the characters/accounts and the one your using has black around it and you can switch to others by clicking the name? it would be easier than logging off and logging back in as a different account i think its a great idea. what do you think people?

    1. LPGhatguy

      ROBLOX is designed around having a single account though — I think enabling multiple sign-in would defeat that idea.

  18. Lortler

    One thing I would really like to be added to roblox is saving a character. I hate that every time that I want to look different I have to change each article of clothing. It would be really nice if you could add that.

  19. applemoose

    I think that if animations/poses should be able to be made by users, but also be limited and non-limited and sold from ROBLOX.

    1. Octu

      Listen, this is a VIRTUAL world. Think virtual. I don’t like how things are control other ROBLOXians by ANIMATION. My dreams for roblox is to make things be created/animated by the way YOU control things/yourself. That’s what makes it a VIRTUAL world.

      I think ROBLOX is pretty much a copy of the real world in Legos, but in the ways you want it to be made.

    2. Elsa152

      Umg that would be soo cool! We could have little dots on the ends of our arms and legs so we can put them in certain positions.

    3. Comonkey

      the made by users part is nice, but i do not agree with the part about limited eddition poses/emotions.

  20. churchill107

    Okay, I know this isn’t related to any of the stuff above, but I just want to throw this out there. Why are so many of the good looking hats and gear so expensive?!?!?! Seriously, 10,000 robux for a felt fedora? Half of the people who play roblox can’t get that amount unless they buy BC cards. I think some of the good hats and gear should be worth atleast up to 300 tickets. I’m getting sick of things costing over 50 robux.

    1. John

      Maybe because if it is too cheap, every user will get it and it will ruin the value of an item.

    2. RobloxGuy6403

      I think, especially limiteds, need to have a high price because higher prices attract rich players and limiteds are meant to be very expensive so few people buy it, otherwise it would be sold out in 2 seconds, wouldn’t it?

    3. ancientdanicj

      Dude, the ROBLOX staff needs money. That’s why those things are expensive – to make players buy BC or ROBUX. Also, it enhances building new places – if you get lots of visitors, you get lots of TIX, that you can convert to ROBUX. You want those fedoras and expensive hats just because they are rare and limited.

  21. Anonymous

    McVisibility: Poses would be viewable on your profile, and let you do such things as flex your muscles, do a “superhero” pose, stroke your beard. Of course these could also be purchasable with Robux and Tickets.

    Don’t give them the idea of making them require purchase!

    Make poses free!

    1. miolman562

      Meh, Well. Good and bad.
      Buying things has a depth of Responsibility and makes you proud when you feel like you’ve taken one bigger step towards coolness.

  22. robloxbasher123

    I like the idea about the posing on your profile pic,that would definatley be cool.

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