Step into City of Boston 1763, and find yourself immersed in historical detail. The place is a collaborative effort between many prolific ROBLOX builders and scripters from around the world: BritishLeader (formerly known as cooldude215), Solyx (formerly known as FighterAce), eaglestrike999, scott12341, bruck and JulianVidiVici (formerly known as juliane14). These six individuals have joined forces to realize their collective vision of colonial Boston, from the booming harbor to the city streets and taverns. I got the chance to have a chat with Solyx and BritishLeader about the process of creating a large city–with contributors scattered far and wide.
ROBLOX: To begin: why Boston? Why the 1700s?
BritishLeader: I had the original idea when I was playing Assassin’s Creed III in late 2012. I thought it would be awesome if we could recreate the game on ROBLOX. I thought Boston was portrayed in a really cool way, and it seemed to be the perfect size for a ROBLOX build.
ROBLOX: It’s really cool that so many of you worked on this project, though I can’t help but wonder what kinds of challenges came up as you collaborated.
Solyx: It can be particularly difficult because we’re all in different time zones. Originally we thought we’d be able to create some sort of a joint account where we could all use and edit Boston, but that didn’t work out.
BritishLeader: Originally Solyx and I would go back and forth. I would build a bit, send out the new build to Solyx, and he would add scripts and provide publicity. I didn’t expect Boston to boom in popularity. People really loved it.
Solyx: We sent Boston back and forth via email early on. Now, so many people are involved that we’ve developed this mentality: “whoever has it, has it.” For example, as we’re speaking, scott12341 has the newest model of Boston. He’s completely re-doing the fort, and while he’s doing that, nobody can work on it.
ROBLOX: So once he adds the fort, he emails Boston back to you with the updates?
Solyx: Exactly. Then we all have a look and decide where to pass it next. Whoever wants to add things to the map does so, then passes it on. Boston is in constant movement between a wide range of people with a wide range of skills.
ROBLOX: There’s this false stigma that “collaborating on ROBLOX is impossible” and that “you’re better off building alone.”
Solyx: It’s not impossible, though you need to be organized, and try to keep the amount of people working on it relatively low. You’ve got to give each person working on the project something specific to do.
BritishLeader: Once you’re organized, collaboration is great. Multiple things get done at once, meaning your game is constantly being updated. It’s easy for Solyx to add the scripts we need to the game, which would be really difficult for me.
Solyx: Once I add scripts, say I need something built. Instead of attempting to do it myself, I can ask scott12341 or BritishLeader to build what I need, because they’re both a hundred times better at building than I am.
ROBLOX: So you utilize each persons’ strong point on ROBLOX. What does each member add to Boston?
Solyx: I build smaller necessities and add scripts when needed. I also hold the place under my account. BritishLeader does the majority of the building. Scott12341 adds structures, like new forts and buildings. JulianVidiVici adds smaller items like the riverbank and the recently added stables and horses.
ROBLOX: BritishLeader, Boston 1763 is one of the most detailed builds I’ve seen. How did you achieve such detail? What’s your secret?
BritishLeader: The key is to build in extremely small bits. Building large creations for a long period of time is an easy way to get bored and give up. I built Boston street by street, one at a time, and made sure that each street had the same amount of detail, if not more, than the last one. When you build in small segments you stay engaged and creative.
ROBLOX: Seems like Boston is a constant work in progress. Any big plans for the future?
BritishLeader: I’ve recently added a game teleporter that will take you from Boston to Tortuga Pirate Island, which is another place built in the same style as Boston. We’re hoping to make the shipyard a place where you’ll be able to transport to all different kinds of places.
Solyx: What I really want to do is use the Boston currency, which is shillings, to make it possible for people to purchase goods inside the game, like clothing or tea.
BritishLeader: Ultimately we want to make it so that you’ll be able to purchase larger items as well, like your own ship.
Solyx: There’s no defined “end goal” either–we’re kind of playing this as we go. We all decided that the constant goal is just continue to improve Boston, and make it more efficient for everyone who plays.
ROBLOX: There’s been a few times where I was in Boston and some armed men starting shouting things like “Freedom!” and opened fire on civilians. What’s the deal with those guys?
Solyx: Those are the Boston Rebels. They feel they need to revolt and cause trouble, because they falsely assume that this takes place during the American Revolution. I wish they’d look back, because they’d see that 1763 was when the French-Indian War was going on, not the American Revolution.
ROBLOX: I’m always curious as to how warring factions come to be on ROBLOX.
Solyx: Boston is currently incorporated under the Empire of Great Britain, which is led by KingFrederickV. This basically means that Boston is its own free-standing city, but can count on Great Britain for military support when needed.
BritishLeader: Boston also gets reinforcements at pirates from the Tortuga Island if needed for skirmishes.
ROBLOX: Wow, that’s a lot of backup. It’s great that you can experience Boston just as a regular everyday user, but seems like the full experience can be achieved by joining your ranks, right? What’s that process like?
Solyx: As soon as you join the City of Boston Group, the game becomes different because you’re given a sword and a musket.
BritishLeader: Meaning you can run around in a redcoat uniform and demand money from citizens!
Solyx: [Laughs] No, don’t say that!
ROBLOX: I was under the impression that the only way to be armed in Boston was to purchase a Game Pass.
Solyx: If you were to join the U.S. Military, would you have to buy your own weapons? If you join us, we take care of you, though you’re required to do your duty and fight when we need you. To join, send a join request to one of the Watch Commanders or the Commander-in-Chief of North America.
ROBLOX: We hope that the story of Boston inspires people to work together–some of our favorite places and games have been collaborative efforts.
BritishLeader: It’s funny because we argue a lot over the direction Boston is going, but even arguing ends in creative collaboration. It’s great to hear differing ideas from friends.
Solyx: I hear rumors that someone is using admin commands to make it rain users all over the harbor.
ROBLOX: …I have no idea what you’re talking about.
ROBLOX: Guys, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me!