Weekly ROBLOX Roundup: October 21, 2012
by Andrew Haak
Every week, we’re busy telling the stories behind our platform, our technology, and our place in the gaming and technology industries. For those of you who catch up with ROBLOX over the weekend, the Weekly ROBLOX Roundup collects the best stuff to hit our various avenues of publication in the last week. This time: the first iPad development progress report, group items and funds, what happens in the ROBLOX cloud when you change your character appearance, the deep end of the ROBLOX Currency Exchange, Add Gear to Game statistics and more.
It’s not much of a secret that we’re working on ROBLOX for the iPad, but this article represents the first time we’re explaining just what’s happening. In this “progress report,” we uncover some initial engineering challenges we’ve encountered and tasks we’ve completed. Need I say more? Check it out, and get excited.
Raise and spend money as a group
This week, we released a feature that lets groups raise money by selling shirts, t-shirts and pants, then spend the money they raise on group advertisements and ranks. It’s a step toward allowing groups to function more like companies. If you have a group and want to take advantage of this feature, check out the blog post to learn how it works. And if you’ve already started using it for your group, let us know how it’s working for you in this first week.
As always, more than you might think. You can read the entire explanation in the full blog post, but here’s a telling excerpt:
When you create a new or completely unique clothing combination, our database tells our web server, “We’ve never made something like this before. Please render it and store it.” We have a default, standard, blank ROBLOX character model onto which we can load assets directly in full 3D space. So we render a single frame of the character, and save it to S3. We then store the new combination of numbers with our existing ones.
The Currency Exchange: in detail
We often say, “if you don’t know how the ROBLOX Currency Exchange works, don’t use it.” That’s because it’s a complex system, based on real-world market principles. If you do know how to use it, though, it can be a valuable tool. In this article, we explore the ROBLOX Currency Exchange, break down terms like “market order,” “limit order” and “spread,” and offer advice for trading currency without giving away hard-earned money.
ROBLOX developers are profiting from adding gear to their games
ROBLOX developers can now allow specific pieces of gear in their games. When a player buys that gear from their game’s page, they receive 10% of the sales. With the feature now out for almost two weeks, we put together an article looking at some of the successful implementations and offer tips for using it effectively.
ROBLOX, elsewhere on the web
Gamasutra Editor-in-Chief Kris Graft wrote a detailed article about successful user-generated content platforms, with perspectives from several experts: ROBLOX CEO David Baszucki, Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley, Caryl Shaw (The Sims 2, Spore) and SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen. As Graft says, “the potential for user-generated content has become too hard to ignore.”
User-generated content isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s still such a complicated concept that actual execution of a game that revolves around user-generated content seems extremely overwhelming.
Despite success of user-gen-supported games like Little Big Planet, Minecraft, Trials Evolution, and Team Fortress 2, relatively few companies have really been able to tap into their communities’ talent — and wallets — in a really meaningful way.
You should play this ROBLOX game
Multi Minigames by Sam3260 is awesome for many reasons, but my favorite quality is the simple fact that it works perfectly. With 28 mini-games, each running for a couple minutes, the game is constantly spawning new mini-game arenas and cycling players through them. Despite all the moving parts, things never slow down; even the airship, which functions as a home base between rounds, has a store and fun between-game diversions.