Spotlight: Unprecedented Place Detail With TacoConsumer

March

19, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Archive

Every now and again, we like to show you some awesome places in ROBLOX you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a joy jumping into these virtual worlds, and bearing witness to stunning vistas and huge castles and…a busted up office building? Wait, what?

I blame sentiment for Derelict Office catching my eye—I couldn’t shake the fact that it looked like Half-Life 2, a game I fondly remember playing on my dad’s self-modded desktop PC. Though it’s kind of small, the Derelict Office has features and objects that you just don’t normally see on ROBLOX.

The level feels like a something you’d see in a standard triple-A first-person shooter. The graffiti-ridden walls have textures. Water leaks from cracks in the ceiling and puddles on the floor. Cones are haphazardly strewn throughout the map. As I explored the map I found myself wondering, how?

Derelict Office

So I decided to ask him. I wound up talking to a user who built a place with a very unique method: TacoConsumer takes textures from games  that he likes and imports them into ROBLOX. He’s used this method, along with some really crafty building, to create Derelict Office—which is one of the most detailed, small-scale places we’ve ever seen on ROBLOX.

“When I first started building, I built this horrible awful place that consisted entirely of free models and nothing else,” he says with a laugh. “But it taught me a lot about level design.”

More importantly, it taught him that he could find ways to leverage ROBLOX as a building platform to construct insanely detailed levels. Having been a huge fan of first-person shooter games outside of our platform, TacoConsumer kept wondering how he could recreate the graphical experience using ROBLOX. Derelict Office was his first attempt at answering that.

The idea was simple enough, though the execution was quite complex. TacoConsumer wanted to create a virtual environment that looked like one you’d find in games like FEAR, a title he was playing repeatedly at the time. In order to properly recreate the look, he would need to create textures that closely matched those he found in FEAR. After doing some digging, he realized the developers  had released an open source-toolbox, providing users with every file used in their popular game. This toolbox became his roadmap for building Derelict Office.

“The toolbox indexed all the parts so they were easy to find. So I converted them to .PNG files then uploaded them as textures to ROBLOX. Once I started doing that, I started building, improvising as I went along.”

The textures are eye-catching to say the very least—they’re the first thing you notice upon entering the place. The second thing you notice is how many parts are jam packed into your line of vision. There are details everywhere. Old coffee cups, stains of all types on the walls, loose wiring sticking out of the ceiling. Lamps are knocked over and are flickering on the floor, and garbage bags are strewn about—it looks organic, like a building that a construction crew simply gave up on halfway through.

There's a lot to explore--see if you can get outside!

It’s fun to think of what type of game could be built into the environment. TacoConsumer has had plenty of suggestions from other users.

“People keep saying I should make it into a zombie map, but I feel like that’s generic. I want to do something unique with the map, but I’m just not sure what that is yet.”

Having pretty extensive ROBLOX experience designing levels but a limited knowledge of coding, TacoConsumer is totally open to the idea of a proficient programmer taking his level design, and working with him to turn it into a full-blown game. Like many complex ROBLOX creations, however, that amount of detail brings about certain challenging limitations.

“The sheer amount of textures would make scripting pretty tough,” says TacoConsumer. “I don’t know the exact number of parts in the place, but I do know that there are lots.”

For now, the 16-year-old high school student has reminded us that beauty doesn’t have to be found in wide open valleys or high in the sky—with the right amount of detail and determination, it can be found in something as simple as an abandoned building.

“People think that ROBLOX has to look one particular way, but it doesn’t,” says TacoConsumer. “Textured games with lots of decals and textures are very rare, but they set your game apart. I love it when people come into my place and immediately ask, ‘how did you do this?’ That’s the most rewarding part of the experience.”