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Responding to User Feedback, V4

May

31, 2012

by John Shedletsky


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ROBLOX Player in ThoughtEver since we made the request for your ROBLOX “Top Three,” we’ve been combing through the feedback and responding to your most insightful comments and pertinent questions. This week, John Shedletsky, ROBLOX’s Creative Director and Content Lead, elaborates on a variety of topics, including non-player character (NPC) functionality, scripting tutorials and environments, character “outfits,” particle effects and more.

madscientist42: More NPC functionality – walking destination, backpack, target, alliance – would allow games to always have enough players for a specific objective and/or make RPGs a whole lot more fun. (For example, instead of walking to a NPC that stands still, perhaps the NPC journeys with you.)

You’re totally right – better NPCs would bring ROBLOX worlds to life. This is an ambitious, multi-layered project. First, we need to build awesome NPCs; then we need to build a series of plugins that make them easy to customize. There is already some work being done in this area. Our Physics Team is currently addressing performance issues that we observed in our 100-bot test level. In the medium-term future, the Content Team is going to try to build a ROBLOX RPG and better NPCs will obviously be a cornerstone of this project.

Itachi500: I would like ROBLOX to create a series of videos to help beginners learn scripting. The Wiki is nice, but many people can’t understand it and would prefer a more visual aid. Creating a “How-to-Script” YouTube video series will help beginner ROBLOXians create more high-quality games.

For much of its history, ROBLOX has been a very small company with limited resources for producing professional-looking tutorial materials. This is rapidly changing, however. I have four new individuals joining the Content Team this summer and one of the projects we are going to tackle is creating a collection of help materials that should get more people scripting in ROBLOX. Until then, you can reference Luke Weber’s series of scripting videos from last year to get started on the basics. Click here to watch the first.

ROBLOX Studio 2.0 ScreenshotEpikYummeh: I would like to see a more efficient and scripter-friendly scripting environment to increase productivity and make good programming format require less effort. I program in Visual C# a lot and having IntelliSense to auto-complete methods and field identifiers makes it easy to get a lot done in a short period of time.

IntelliSense is a tricky feature to provide for typeless languages like Lua. However, we think it might be possible to do something here. Most of the Content Team uses SublimeText to write code – partly because of its super-handy code-complete features for Lua. We understand that this is an important feature for scripters. There is actually a whole raft of new scripting features that we’re planning on adding to ROBLOX Studio 2.0 once we ship the first version.

LuckymaxerPlace Teleportation Interactable Mirrors. These would enable a user to see what is going on in another game before joining it. Also, a user would be able to interact with other users through different places. They would also allow data, such as bricks or stats, to transfer from place to place.

Yup. This is something that we’ve been thinking about for a long time. I also imagine being able to build a spaceship, fly it to other levels, and abduct hapless players for use in science experiments.

333333333: An “outfits” tab in your character customization. Once you’ve made an outfit, it would give you the ability to save it and wear it at any time without recreating it again. You simply go to My ROBLOX > Character > Outfits > select the one you want to wear.

We’ve thought about bookmarks for character outfits. They will be especially useful once we have shipped in-game wardrobe changes. We’re having trouble figuring out what to call them. Costumes? Outfits? Get-Ups? Post you favorite suggestion in the comments!

ROBLOX Space Ship ScreenshotSkrall2: Gravity controls. I would like to be able to set the distance to the central point of an object and control how strong the gravity is.

Gravity and magnetism are going to have to both wait their turns. I think the next physical phenomenon we want to try to simulate is either light or fire. (Or both!)

MettaurSp: Create more Events for classes, such as some sort of “touched” event for Sparkles, Fire, etc. Also, introduce new classes, such as Electricity, for more effective electrical effects (Sparkles don’t work for everything).

Adding additional particle effects to our library is on our list. I agree; sparkles, fire, and smoke are definitely not enough.

Jason5000ROBLOX Game Awards. These would be hosted at ROBLOX Game Conference, or at the end of the year, and give users a thrilling, heart-pounding reason to create games, and feel accomplished for their creativity. It would also be a fun way for users to vote and have fun. I would suggest categories like ROBLOX Game of the Year, Best Platformer, Best Strategy and more, with nominees for each. There would also be a section in a game, just like a description of the game, that would show what awards the game has, if any.

RGC Logo 170x170We actually did this at last year’s ROBLOX RALLY and we intend to repeat this event at the ROBLOX Game Conference this year in Santa Clara on July 14th. It’s already listed in our official schedule under “ROBLOX Hall of Fame.”

 As far as recognizing the awesome games that our users are building on the website with a special badge or accolades, this is something that we are thinking about. If we did implement something, it would probably happen on a more frequent schedule, like once a month.