Weekly ROBLOX Roundup: September 1st, 2013
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: a new articulated physics engine demo, preview the improved Studio dragger tool, a gallery of beautiful builds, the Virtual BLOXcon Game Contest, a swordfighting Crossfire, the Labor Day Weekend Sale, Jeep Obby 2 and an airport simulator, and other bits and pieces. Enjoy.
Seven-day Blog Recap
This week we had a great blend of content: exciting ROBLOX updates and impressive creations from the building and development communities. We’ll start with a pair of previews.
Exploring the possibilities of articulated physics
By now, you’ve probably caught wind that we’re developing a new articulated physics engine for ROBLOX. Our resident physics expert, Kevin He, has been working on the development and implementation of the engine, and has already shared a number of very exciting prototypes: a 10-wheeler semi with two separate bodies joined by a ball-and-socket joint, monster trucks powered by various suspensions, and, most recently, a front-end loader that showcases various mechanical joints. Here’s a telling video demo:
You can read more about articulated physics and how it makes this sort of complex simulation possible by reading our complete blog post on the front-end loader. The feedback has been almost unanimously positive. We’re excited too.
Improvements to Studio’s dragger tool
If you’re a builder who likes to create large models and levels with lots of parts, you might have experienced the slowdown that occurs when you move large quantities of parts in Studio using the dragger tool. With our scale expanding and builders pushing the limits, we decided it was time to take a close look at the dragger’s code and find a way to make moving parts faster. By cleaning things up, we’ve achieved a significant improvement:
If you’re interested in the engineering that resulted in a roughly 5x framerate improvement while dragging 1,000+ parts, read our article on the topic. This update should be coming to Studio in the near future.
A gallery of beautiful builds
There’s never a shortage of fantastic creations to be discovered on ROBLOX. In our latest gallery of must-see builds, we showcase six places — all created in the recent past — that deserve as much credit as we can give them. I mean, look at Stratosphere Settlement. Incredible!
We’re in the thick of the Virtual BLOXcon Game Contest — the submission deadline is roughly one week away and voting on current entries begins shortly. This contest gives you an opportunity to have your BLOXcon-themed game or place featured at the Virtual BLOXcon on Saturday, September 21st, which means an opportunity for serious traffic. Up-and-coming builders and developers, take note.
Crossfire: sword fighting developers Loleris and TheGamer101
We love doing Crossfire articles for many reasons, not the least of which is to get two competing game developers from around the world in one place on the internet for a friendly sparring match. In our latest edition of the series, we have TheGamer101 and Loleris — developers of Sword Fighting Tournament and Intense Swordfighting, respectively — discuss the design of their hack-and-slash arenas. While the games seem similar on the surface, they reveal their different approaches to balancing luck and skill, pulling a profit, weapons and abilities, and more.
The Labor Day Weekend Sale is in full swing
The Labor Day Weekend Sale has been running for a couple days, and there’s still more left to go. We’re rolling out more deals through Monday, so keep an eye on the catalog (and check out our Thursday sale preview, if you haven’t already)!
You should play this ROBLOX game
This week’s selection of games is unique, to say the least. No weapons, no intricate building; lots of vehicles.
Jeep Obby 2 is a very simple, but very difficult vehicle-based obstacle course. It’s strangely addictive — you can see how simple the course is, but maneuvering your jeep without it losing a wheel (or completely falling to pieces) is deceptively difficult. The game isn’t high art, but it’s fun. The epic crashes and cliff dives are often hilarious, too.
I have a fascination with airports, so seeing crazyman32 launch a simple airport simulator piqued my interest. There isn’t a great deal of interactivity here — all you can do is pick from one of 10+ camera angles — but you have to appreciate the AI that’s telling planes to taxi and take off. I’d like to send my character into the airport building to watch through the windows. Perhaps someday we could see a lucrative combination of mall and airport simulator!
This week, it’s all videos! Some good stuff surfaced in the last week.