Lua Learners: A Haven for Scripters of All Levels
LuaLearners is one of the biggest scripting oriented groups on ROBLOX, with well over 4,500 members. The group was created as a resource for users to ask questions, give feedback, and communicate about all things scripting. The leader of the group is user Coolbob44, and we got a chance to talk with him about the popular community and their website, LuaLearners.org, which he created from scratch.
When you’re on the homepage of LuaLearners.org, you’re struck with the immediate sense that everything is in a state of flux. The Public Wall, where users can have discussions and share feedback right on the homepage, changes every couple of seconds. You can literally watch users work through problems, share images, and congratulate one another on scripting achievements. In the last seven minutes (at the time of this writing) one user shared a custom video player he had just created. Another user linked to a forum thread he had just started, and asked for people’s thoughts on his proposal for a Book Appointment button on ROBLOX. Other users are congratulating a contest winner. Unmitigated, healthy interaction. It’s really neat.
LuaLearners.org was built to help ROBLOX users of all skill levels learn how to script. The website has a full staff of writers, moderators, and graphic designers, who all met through the LuaLearners group on ROBLOX. The blog section is updated daily, often with Lua challenges for users to discuss or participate in. The website also features scripting tutorials and a large forum, which is very similar to the one on ROBLOX.
“Our most popular forum is called Lua Help,” says Coolbob44. “It’s really active. Questions are always answered the day they’re posted.”
LuaLearners.org has developed a social aspect to it as well–users can create profiles (which can be synched to ROBLOX accounts), and user a personal messaging system to communicate privately with one another. Each profile has reputation points that users can earn through participating in activities–whether that’s actively helping others work through their scripting problems, posting in forums, or participating in contests and promotions. LuaLearners also features a strict set of rules very similar to the ones we uphold. They want their content to be accessible to people of all ages.
“We try to keep a very serious tone,” says Coolbob44. “People are here to learn. That’s why if you post swear words, we’ll ban you.”
Even the contributors who are on-staff have to pass a test in order to write for the site–the fifteen question exam tests for grammar skills and scripting knowledge. If you don’t pass the test, you can’t write for the site. Simple as that. Coolbob44 has created a website that supplements ROBLOX, and we’re all for it if it encourages more and more users to build using our platform.
Creating a fully functioning website was a daunting challenge for Coolbob44–the then thirteen year old had never created one before.
“Actually building a website that was useful was a huge challenge,” recalls Coolbob44. “I bought the domain and paid for hosting out of pocket. My biggest challenge initially was getting a good moderation team, and I got really lucky in that regard. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”
ROBLOX Community Manager Becky Herndon has been following the website since its inception a year ago. She had this to say: “LuaLearners is cool because they really encourage their community to participate. We’re proud that Coolbob44 has blended his passion for Lua and ROBLOX into this thriving entity. It could be just a blog, just a forum, or just a handy reference, but it manages to be all those things and more in one site. I encourage anyone curious about Lua scripting to check it out.”
Now that the website is up and running, Coolbob44 spends time with his group continuing to create content for the site and contributes to forums on ROBLOX. Having survived creating his first website, he offers this advice for people looking to create a web entity from scratch.
“With websites, you definitely don’t want to put something out there that you wouldn’t personally use,” says Coolbob44. “Spend extra time locking down security–if your website isn’t secure, people will find out and destroy it. And always have a healthy line of communication between you and your users.”