Transforming the Look of ROBLOX with New Particle Effects

Today, we launched our revamped particle effect system and a new look for the existing particle effects: smoke, fire, sparkles, and the spawn forcefield. All of these particle effects were completely redesigned from the ground up to fit the high-quality and high-definition look that we’re working hard to bring to ROBLOX, and several key members of the Rendering and Art teams collaborated to redefine what ROBLOX particle effects are. It was important to us to ensure that implementing these effects in Studio is the exact same process as it always has been, which it is. As Senior Software Engineer at ROBLOX, I want to share an under-the-hood look at the technology we developed to implement the new particle effects, and talk about an interesting challenge we overcame in the process. Get ready for a deep dive.

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3D Thumbnails Bring Our Virtual Catalog to Life

See angles of your avatar you never could before, right from our website!

See angles of your avatar you never could before, right from!

You’ve no doubt noticed the “Enable 3D” button perched next to your favorite hats, gear and packages when you visit the pages of catalog items. Starting today, we’ve enabled the 3D view for shirts and pants as well, giving you the ability to view clothing from any angle before you buy it (or decide not to because of what’s on the back). Using the Rendering team’s OBJ Exporter as a foundation, we were able to roll out this feature and make it possible for you to take a 360-degree look at hats, gear, packages, heads, clothing, and characters on

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Your shadow will now act as it would in real life -- dependent entirely on the position of the sun or moon.

Character Shadows Get the Dynamic Lighting Treatment

Ever since we introduced dynamic lighting last May, we’ve been listening to your feedback and prioritizing improvements based on your requests. One of the most common developer requests was for objects blocking light to cast shadows — an update we implemented in late 2013. Another top request was a revamp of character shadows, which, as of today, has come to fruition. Character shadows are now integrated in the voxel-based dynamic lighting engine, making them an aesthetic match to ROBLOX worlds and preventing them from rendering when they should be blocked by walls and structures.

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3D printing is awesome. Imagine what your avatar would look like as a toy. You no longer have to imagine -- you can do it!

OBJ Exporter: Open ROBLOX Files With Any 3D Software

You were always able to save your Studio files locally as .rbx files, but now you can export your Studio creations as .obj files. The OBJ Exporter exports all level geometry, textures, and materials of any place you create inside Studio. You can then load that file in a variety of 3D software platforms to refine, tweak, and enhance your virtual creation.

Exporting a creation is as simple as opening your place in Studio, then going to File > Export Place.

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The Tech That Fuels Developer Success

With an integrated development environment, multi-platform support, and a global cloud of multiplayer game servers that auto-scales to hundreds of thousands of concurrent players, ROBLOX is one of the easiest and most opportunity-rich platforms on which to make games. But we didn’t stop there. The ROBLOX game developer can now create even deeper, more immersive experiences with the rollout of technology that redefines the ROBLOX game – that gives developers the fuel they need to create exactly the engrossing games they envision.

We’ve talked at length in this series about the ambitious games that are possible with a set of newly released features and exactly what those features entail. But that technology, while game-changing, represents a fraction of ROBLOX’s global framework – interconnected systems that let anyone develop a full-featured game and release it to an international audience millions strong in a matter of seconds. Continue reading →

What can we achieve with rendering now? The sky is the limit.

Farewell to the OGRE: The New ROBLOX Rendering Engine is Here


ROBLOX Engineers used Apocalypse Rising as a benchmark when crafting the new rendering engine. On average, the smash-hit title runs 2x faster.

We’re proud to announce the full-blown release of a custom-built rendering engine, now powering games across ROBLOX. The creation of this engine is the culmination of all we’ve learned from features released in the past year (such as fast and featherweight parts), which were tailored to function within the parameters of our previous rendering engine, the open-source OGRE (Object-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine). Though we were able to come up with workarounds to achieve all we needed within the confines of OGRE, we began to hit limits on low-end hardware and mobile platforms. We eventually concluded that for ROBLOX to be everything we envision (and our vision is massive), we needed to develop our own rendering system. This was one of the biggest challenges the Client team has ever undertaken — read on to learn about not just the performance upgrades you’ll be seeing, but what this new rendering engine means for you (a lot more than you probably think). Continue reading →