Introducing: ROBLOX Blazing Man

December

02, 2010

by John Shedletsky


Archive

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This morning the ROBLOX Team put out a major update to the ROBLOX game. There are a ton of awesome improvements:

  • Game join time improved 200-300% (wow!)
  • New in-game Heads Up Display (HUD)
  • New Non-Player Character (NPC) dialog tree system
  • ROBLOX Blazing Man

The first two are self-explanatory. I want to talk a bit more about the last two, which are probably the most exciting.

ROBLOX Blazing Man

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ROBLOX Blazing Man is our company-wide effort to rethink and reinvent multiplayer building on ROBLOX. We’ve been working on this project for about a month – many of you have seen early glimpses of it on gametest.roblox.com.

Blazing Man is named after Burning Man, the party-in-a-desert-everyone-bring-someone-creative-then-lets-burn-it-at-the-end-of-the-party event that is super trendy in Silicon Valley. The Blazing Man place is an insanely experimental multiplayer building level that over the next several months we will be continually improving until we have the best online building experience on the internet. During this period it may burn down several times.

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Today when you join the Blazing Man level, you get:

  • Your own baseplate to build on
  • A new building tool that only works on your baseplate
  • A delete tool that only works on parts you own

The new building tool lets you stamp out parts from a finite collection that we will be improving over time. You can rotate these parts as you stamp them out by pressing “R”.

People are already building some amazing stuff. Go try it.

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NPC Dialog Trees

Ok, so at this point everyone stopped reading and has gone to play the already incredibly fun Blazing Man level. That’s too bad for them, because they won’t see the second really cool feature that we’ve added in this release: NPC dialog trees.

imageNPC dialog trees are really easy to create in ROBLOX Studio. Check out this demo level that I made. It shows off most of the dialog features.

Here’s a high-level summary:

Dialog objects are the root instance for a conversion. By sticking one of these under a part, you can make it talk. You can make any part in the game talk, but commonly you will put this under a character’s Head part. The Dialog object contains the initial prompt. It might be something like “Hey, how are you?” There are various properties on this object that let you customize the icon (!, ?, or $) and color of the chat bubble.

DialogChoice objects go under Dialog objects. These represent different branches of your chat tree. There is no limit to how deeply you can nest these, so you can create some very talkative bots! Each node of your dialog tree can have at most 4 choices. Here is an example of how this might look in the Explorer pane in ROBLOX Studio:

imageFor scripters:

You will find the Dialog.DialogChoiceSelected(Instance player, Instance dialogChoice) event very flexible. With it you can create NPC dialogs that “do stuff” when the player selects specific responses. For example, you could create an NPC that checks the amount of in-game money the player has, and if it is above 100, offers to sell the player armor for 100 gold. If the player selects “Ok, buy the armor,” your script could then double the player’s maximum health and subtract 100 gold. The possibilities here are vast. It will likely be several months before people have completely mastered the new dialog system.

If you need help crafting your own dialog scripts, I recommend two resources:

  1. The ROBLOX Scripting Helpers forum
  2. Posting specific questions to StackOverflow, making sure to use the “roblox” tag

Whew

That was a huge release, and we have another one planned in a couple of weeks. Until next time, keep building!

– Telamon