New Algorithms for the Games Page

March

29, 2012

by Navin Lal


Archive

Last week we turned on a new algorithm for the Games Page in an effort to keep the ROBLOX experience customized to the various interests of our players.  We previously used the “Popular” sort function as the default way to organize games.  However, we wanted to build a system that puts the best games on ROBLOX on the front page based on our users’ interests and preferences.  We have now developed a way to sort by “Relevance”, and we will use this default going forward.

The algorithm for sorting by “Relevance” is something we plan to improve upon regularly.  Currently it’s fairly simple, but the system is designed to allow us to add in anything we think is relevant to players.  This could range from the genre of games users enjoy playing to the types of people users like to play with.

These are a few examples of the games that will be shown on the Games Page to a user who is starting out on ROBLOX: Welcome to ROBLOX Building, The infection and Paintball!
Here is a second example of a few games that might be suggested to a user after we’ve collected some data: The Complex V.4, Base war: The Land, and DriveBlox Unlimited.  By sorting games based on existing user data, we are hoping that players will see the games that are most relevant to them.  All information that is collected will be kept confidential based on our Privacy Policy.We incorporated the following components:
  • Game Service – Responsible for player matchmaking and keeping track of the state of all games on ROBLOX
  • Game Aggregator – Queries the state of games from the Game Service and creates a searchable wide table containing de-normalized data for games, user segments, computed relevance scores, and any other searchable metadata
  • Game Search Service – Processes search requests against the table produced by the Game Aggregator

We can change the algorithm by updating how the Game Aggregator computes relevance scores, and because the Games Aggregator is scalable, we will continue to customize player’s experience as we gather more data.  With these components in place, we have the capability to alter the algorithm as necessary.  Also, it is important to mention that the “Popular” search will still be available for users.  This is part of our ongoing effort to offer customized experiences to ROBLOX players on an individual basis, and we intend to utilize this information to increase player discovery on ROBLOX.