Teleportation: The Art & The Science

TeleportScience

It has been a long journey, people. A long journey.

In the beginning, there was no notion of space (or spaces) in ROBLOX. When I joined the company in June 2006, the only playable place there was was Crossroads. Then we allowed the users to host their own multiplayer instances: independent worlds of their own design; shards of a larger reality. This momentous decision lead to the creation of universe that is, in a very real way, infinite. New games are being uploaded to ROBLOX.com faster than you can load them. You will never see them all.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Teleportation: an ethereal link between two distant locales, ignorant of the base substrate of the ROBLOX website. The fractured infinity of the ROBLOX universe will be made whole again. The space between our worlds has been annihilated.

TeleportOk

Teleportation for Beginners

TeleporterTakeOne

  1. First, grab a copy of the Teleporter model.
  2. This will make it appear in the “My Models” section of the Insert Panel in ROBLOX Studio
  3. Insert a teleporter wherever you want in your level
  4. By default, this teleporter goes nowhere. You need to configure it so it knows where to send people! See directions for this step below…
  5. Congratulations! You have a teleporter that will send people from level A to level B.
  6. For best results, place a second teleporter in level B that allows your players to return to level A. Without bidirectional teleporters, ROBLOXians can easily get lost!

Configuring the Teleporters

imageThere are three settings inside the teleporter model for you to play around with. These allow you to modify the behavior of your teleporter with no scripting knowledge!

PlaceId – This is the ID of the ROBLOX place you want the teleporter to send people to. This is the only setting you must change to make it work. You can find the ID for a place in the URL for that place’s page. For instance, Crossroads is PlaceId 1818.

DestinationSpawnName – You can program your teleporter to send a player is a specific spawn location in the destination level. For instance, the teleporter pad in Crossroads has a spawnpoint in it named “CrossRoadsSpawn”. If you set PlaceId to 1818 and DestinationSpawnName to “CrossRoadsSpawn”, players traveling through your teleporter will spawn on top of the teleporter Sorcus placed in Crossroads (instead of at a random spawn point).

ThisSpawnName – This is basically the address of the teleporter. You can set this to something like “TeleporterInSecretBase” and then teleport people there from another level by using this as your DestinationSpawnName.

Teleportation for Scripters

If you are a scripter, you don’t have to use our teleporter models. You can build your own! Here are the two function calls that you can make:

game:GetService(“TeleportService”):TeleportToSpawnByName(placeId, spawnName)

game:GetService(“TeleportService”):Teleport(placeId)

Important: these calls will only work from inside a LocalScript. Take a look at the code in our teleporter to see how it’s done!

Personal Note

It has been my extreme pleasure to present this particular feature to you guys today. Back when there were only 4 of us working at ROBLOX, sometimes Dave and Erik (the guys in charge) would leave Matt and I alone for the day and we would secretly work on teleportation! I’m psyched that it is now part of ROBLOX! Have fun experimenting!

- Telamon

Ideas and Suggestions for ROBLOX

Tell us what you want

We’re taking another step towards 100% player satisfaction! This time we are testing out an ideas and suggestions system. We’d like you to test it out with us. Let us know how you feel about the ideas that are already there and maybe post a new idea or suggestion.

In general it’s better to search and add your voice to an existing idea than to make a duplicate idea. The goal is to build power behind the most desired ideas!

Here is the link again – Ideas and Suggestions for ROBLOX.

-ReeseMcBlox

ROBLOX Features Survey

A lot of you gave us great feedback by taking our 2009 survey. Please take our 2011 survey to help ROBLOX get to 100% player satisfaction!

Take the Survey

We are following up on a survey we did in January of 2009 to compare with what the players are interested in now. Check out the results of the 2009 survey below. We have completed a lot of the popular features requested back then!2009 Survey

 

We are looking forward to a great new year for ROBLOX and our players! You can talk more about the surveys and fun features on our forum!

-ReeseMcBlox

Builderman Ponders the Future of Social Gaming

Mancala

Gaming has always been a social activity. Recent excavations of an ancient house in Jordan uncovered an 8,000 year old limestone Mancala board. For more information on the history of games check out some even earlier Hunter / Gatherer games.

There is nothing fundamentally "new" about the trend today in online social networking and gaming. Prior to the PC and gaming consoles, pretty much every game you could buy at a toy store was a social game – it required "2 or more players".

monopoly

Today we are seeing computers and networks catch up with what naturally occurs in real life: Most people want to be "connected" with their friends! Not just statically, but actively communicating, playing, chatting, you name it. This is validated by the growth of social networking sites and online communities.

Where is all of this going? In the not too distant future, I believe devices will be available that provide for "continuous" connection with ones friends in real life! One example will be a pair of glasses with a heads up display that provides a continuous chat capability with your closest friends. At any time of the day you will simply point to your friend, say something (or type on a virtual keyboard), and they will receive a real-time text-to speech bubble of what you have said.

You may recognize people who are doing continuous friend communication because they will be wearing glasses that look like this:

glasses1 glasses2

This is what a person will look like who is using a virtual keyboard to chat with their "continuous" online friends:

glasses3

Here is what these "continuously connected" people will be seeing through their glasses – the real world plus an overlay of their friends (hopefully these glasses will not be allowed in school!). Maybe this will be called FaceSpace or RobloVision!:

facespace

Will this be a good thing? Maybe not! Just as many parents limit the time their children spend in front of a screen today, I can see future parents limiting how much time their kids can spend "plugged into the grid". And we’ll really have some issues to deal with when products migrate beyond HUD glasses towards retinal displays and neural taps!

You can talk more about this post on our forums!

- David Baszucki / Builderman

The Next Generation of Indie Game Developers

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Darwinia, World of Goo, Cave Story. Not all the best games come out of giant studios with tons of cash to back them up. In fact, arguably some of the best computer games ever made were created by small handfuls of passionate people, on a shoestring budget, relentlessly pursuing an artistic vision.

I recently attended Indiecade in Los Angeles with some of my friends from the Copenhagen Game Collective (they won the festival’s “Wildcard” award for their frenetic social button-masher, B.U.T.T.O.N.). The most interesting part of Indiecade is browsing the work of the 32 finalist game makers that they invite to LA. However, you don’t need to travel to LA to see some refreshingly creative indie games. There’s actually a ton of innovation happening on ROBLOX right now. The next generation of indie developers are honing their skills here.

I interviewed 151 ROBLOX game developers; here is a small taste of some of the amazing projects people are building on ROBLOX.

Briguy9876: Point and Click Adventureimage

Briguy’s Point and Click Adventure is a retro-styled adventure game that imports the canonical player verbs “Examine”, “Grab”, and “Use”. Combined with sardonic narration in the grand tradition of such classics as Quest for Glory or Full Throttle, the result is a game with a very unique feel. The premise of the game is simple: escape the room that you start in. Winning? Not so simple.

On ROBLOX, this game pushed the envelope in several ways. It was one of the first point and click adventures created in ROBLOX – and a leader in the genre. To date, the game has been played more than than 25,000 times.

Briguy has been playing ROBLOX for three years. He runs the popular fansite, Briguy’s ROBLOX.

I asked Briguy what one feature he thought we should add to ROBLOX, and his answer conveyed a certain can-do attitude typical of our best game makers:

Rarely do I run into a problem that I say "Man, I want a tool to do this" because I know that with enough time, creativity, and LUA, you can make anything.

SuperMarioWorld24: The Adventures of Noob Boy

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We have met Noob Boy and he is us. The Adventures of Noob Boy is a fiendish obstacle course that we in the office here found very challenging (the rate at which I was dying is comparable to when I was playing Terry Cavanagh’s brutal platformer VVVVV, at Indiecade).

A lot of people get on ROBLOX and just start dragging bricks around. I was particularly impressed by the amount of thought and deliberation that goes into SuperMario24’s development process:

It’s an obstacle course, sure, but I’ve made it stand out. What’s the point of making a game if you can’t make it as good as you can? The level isn’t just walking across a bunch of lava strips in thin air; you’re actually in a setting. You can see the cliff walls. You can admire the trees. You can walk across an abyss that just gets dark onto forever when you fall into it.

Our conversation also touched upon another perennial topic in the indie gaming scene – make art or make money: the eternal dilemma of the indie developer. 

Obstacle course games, if advertised, can bring in tons of money, whether or not its quality. I didn’t just make such a place for a profit, though. I make it look nice and pretty because I want the entire mass of the population to like it. As I was creating it, I tried keeping it as original as possible.

If you beat it, make a victory post on the forums (maybe even use ROBLOX’s secret screenshot feature to prove it happened).

Playrobot: Robloxaville

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Robloxaville is basically an institution on ROBLOX. It’s been under constant development for 3 years and has been visited 3.2 million times. Playrobot, Robloxaville’s creator explains her iterative process:

It’s [my] best game because it was designed using ideas from people who are really love to play there. It’s kind of like ROBLOX itself in that way. Players come up with ideas for it and I try to figure out how to make stuff for them. After 3 years of building on it, I think it’s become a really fun game for players.

What is the point of Robloxaville? Robloxaville is actually a freeform virtual town sandbox game. You can hang out in the local restaurants, turn criminal, become the sheriff, or (for a limited time only, one would assume), explore the new haunted house on the edge of town.

For fun – trying chatting the word “alien”

Until Next Time – Keep Building!

- Telamon

Do You Need Any Body?

Body parts are a BC Beta feature that we are testing right now.

  1. A selection of body parts *will* be available to all members at a future date (not just BC members).
  2. There *will* be a much bigger selection of body parts in the future. Our artists are cranking away on them as you read this.

NewBody

“The ROBLOXian is an action figure.”

That’s something I scrawled in one of my notebooks awhile ago when I first started working at ROBLOX. The ROBLOX Team plans for some features months or even years in advance, and our current body part release has roots that go back to the very beginning. In fact, if you look closely in the background of OBC Cast 10, you can see a concept rendering of thirty or so proto-ROBLOXians that Builderman commissioned an artist to draw before the current boxy ROBLOXians became canon. Today, the ROBLOXian becomes a customizable action figure. You choose the limbs, torso, and head. You can keep the classic boxy look, go futuristic, or mix and match. ROBLOX is all about allowing users the freedom to control how their game looks and feels. Power to the players!

Packages

Packages At least initially, bodies are going to be sold together in packages. A package is a collection of items that you get for one price. This means that when you buy a body as a package, you actually are going to be getting 5 items for the price of one: a left and right arm, a left and right leg, and a torso. In the future, we may create other sorts of packages. A package of wizard hats, for example, or a package of ninja gear.

Body Parts are a BC Beta Feature

BConly2This release is our first large-scale public test of the new body parts.

We’re going to be monitoring game performance to make sure that body parts don’t create framerate issues or lag. For this reason, initially there will not be too many different bodies to choose from. We’ve also decided to make body parts a BC Beta feature.

A “BC Beta Feature” is a feature that isn’t quite ready for use by everyone, so we ask our BC members to give it a whirl and help us to work out the kinks.

Get your ROBLOXian 2.0 today!

- Builderman & Telamon

ROBLOX Installer Survey

In an effort to achieve complete technical excellence ROBLOX is posting this and future surveys. The goal is to find out what we need to do to get to 100% success in various areas.

For this survey we are mostly just asking about the installer, the program that updates the game every time we change something. So please take the survey and help us out!

Click here to go to the ROBLOX Installer Survey.

Click to go to the survey. Isn't roboboy722's computer model neat?Clicking the survey links will open an official ROBLOX survey on Survey Monkey. ROBLOX will never ask for your ROBLOX password on any survey.  If you find a survey asking for your password, don’t give it!

Thanks for helping ROBLOX get even better! You can talk more about this survey on our forums!

-ReeseMcBlox