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The Success and Making of the 2013 ROBLOX Egg Hunt

April 2, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


The ROBLOX 2013 Egg Hunt has become the most popular event we’ve ever thrown on our platform. We thought we’d take some time to share some of the staggering numbers the game has accumulated in the last week (nearly 2.5 million players and 20,000 concurrent players!)–both in terms of users playing, and the amount of eggs collected. We also got the chance to sit and talk with three of the key architects behind the Egg Hunt, who shared some of the challenges of undertaking such a massive endeavor.

First, some numbers:

  • Total Number of Eggs Collected (to date): 3,166,553
  • Place Visits (to date): 2,415,099
  • Most Collected Egg (to date): The Watermelon Egg (310,387 collected)
  • Amount of Egg Related Gear Sold (to date): 65,417 virtual items
  • Most Concurrent Players (to date): 19,079 players at the same time (a new ROBLOX record!)

Now that’s how you do an Egg Hunt! As we mentioned above, we took some time to talk to some of the key architects of the 2013 Egg Hunt to get a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the game.

The Race Against Time — Development Oversight

The ROBLOX Content Team had to stick to a rigorous time table in order to finish the Egg Hunt within a small time frame. Content Team Lead Deepak Chandrasekaran had each of the developers design a specific facet of the game, including level design, egg design, or egg coding, and own those individual parts, while keeping an open dialogue between one another during the development cycle.

Once the level was designed, the attention shifted to determining a “spawning order”, meaning the team had to determine which eggs would spawn where, and for what reason.  This is why many of the eggs appear in logical locations–don’t be surprised if you find the Spider Egg or the Dragon Egg in the depths of dark caves.

The Content Team built the eggs individually; partly because each behaves differently and partly because the team was crunched for time and anticipating the potential for bugs. Isolating behaviors to each individual egg gave the team the flexibility to simply remove eggs if necessary, then re-insert the fixed versions without causing any disruption to the core gaming experience. This is why some of the eggs, like the Scale Egg and the Scrambled Egg, were released later.

The pace of the hunt was also an important factor to consider–the developers wanted to ensure that the average player would be able to find some of the eggs, but only enthusiasts would be able to capture all of them. To that effect, custom gear items were created so enthusiasts could arm themselves with the tools they need to find each and every egg.

Massive Level Design — Our Biggest Egg Hunt Yet

ROBLOX Software Engineer Luke Weber recalls that starting the Egg Hunt was tough. The development team started with a long list of eggs, and Luke worked to design the level not only to be massive, but also contain all the elements needed to unlock the eggs. The baseplate for the level was 2,000 x 2,000 studs–though it all started as a 2D sketch to establish the overall look of the place. As with many game designs, big things often start on a small scale.

You can see some of the key environmental elements in the sketch. Luke knew the level would need a volcano, a city, a dungeon and a neighborhood of sorts. The city was procedurally generated, though he tweaked and hand-painted some of the buildings before writing the script. He also added some waterfalls, a giant tree (which you should go look at, if you haven’t collected a certain egg there) and an intricate cave system.

But the biggest and most challenging aspect of building the Egg Hunt level was designing the mountain. If you’ve seen the map, you probably know what we’re talking about. It’s easily accessible but challenging at the same time–you’ve got to do some problem solving to make it all the way to the top, but we think the pay-off is worth it (we won’t spoil it here). Luke also found that smooth, organic-looking hills were difficult to build in ROBLOX because our parts have hard edges. He added cows and a bunch of trees to help smooth the overall look of the level’s largest hill.

Sunny Side Up — The Looks and Behaviors of the Eggs

The eggs not only look radically different from each other, but act differently as well. One of the most interactive eggs was the Troll Egg, which was nestled away under the bridge in the map. The Content Team flooded the map with spam (literally, cans of spam), and the only way to unlock the egg was to feed spam to the Troll. There were cool details, including a GUI that kept track of how much spam the Troll had eaten so far, and if you fed him precisely the right amount, you’d earn an Easter bonus (we won’t give away what it was, but it was hilarious). Giving each of the eggs their own nuances and behaviors was part of what made building the Egg Hunt so fun, and so challenging.

From the Egg of Duty (which fired at you) to the Cataclysmic Egg (which caused a massive, level-wide explosion), there were some truly memorable and sometimes beautiful eggs to be collected in this year’s Egg Hunt. We’re always looking to top ourselves, so please feel free to sound off in the comments. What did you like about the Egg Hunt this year? What would you like to see in the future?