Every week, we’re busy telling the stories behind our community, 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: our latest adventures in the world of groups, a recap of last week’s many BLOXtober festivities, the implementation of our new water, City of Boston, 1775, Truss Bust, and other bits and pieces. Enjoy.
Seven-day blog recap
Adventuring with groups, big and small
Last month, Alan embarked on a journey into the world of ROBLOX groups. For the uninitiated, groups are sub-communities that are focused on just about any interest you can imagine — pets, music, game development, building and more. One of the hottest aspects of groups is competitive military-themed gaming. In the first edition of Group Dynamic, that’s what we explored. More recently, we dove into a variety pack of smaller groups doing exciting things, from samurai-style training to large-scale naval battles to community-based gaming events. While the groups explored share little in common other than being groups, they all come together to illustrate the depth of social interaction and the emergent gameplay that comes to be on ROBLOX.
Sure, the 13 days of gifts were exciting. Body packages going on sale for all ROBLOX members was, too. But this week, BLOXtober really kicked into full gear. Not only did the Games team launch Early Paid Access to our 2013 Halloween Game, The Witching Hour, but we held a costume contest, which is now in the voting stage for just a few more hours. Of course, we covered it all on the blog. Here’s a handy recap:
Having received somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 costume contest entries, we decided to expand the total number of prize receivers from five to 500. Voting just got a lot more important!
The Witching Hour remains in early-access mode, but rest assured: it will become free for everyone in the near future. Our early adopters have been instrumental in helping us find and fix bugs, and this thing is almost ready to go. We’ll have an update when it’s officially released.
The new look for water
The new look for water has been enabled for well over a week at this point, so we decided the time was right to look at the challenges of simulating it in ROBLOX — a place where visual fidelity must be balanced with well-scaling performance. If you’re interested in graphics rendering, the math that goes into creating effects, and shaders, you might want to read through the article. It’s tightly packed with information, but you’ll come out the other end with a little more rendering knowledge than most of your friends.
You should play this ROBLOX game
This week, games you should play is brought to you by Alan!
City of Boston, 1775: Relive historical Boston in stunning detail. There’s a lot to explore, including forts, a shipyard, and homes — each modeled with meticulous detail (like “wanted” signs on the walls and letters written in olde English type). Most of the members inside the game dress in red military-style uniforms that reflect the olden time period, though throughout my tour we were frequently interrupted by opposing soldiers known as Patriots who wore blue and would yell things like “FREEDOM” before attacking us with swords and muskets. I was told later that the Patriots are traitors and deserters who have since sworn revenge on the Boston military. A great place to explore, though I recommend asking one the friendly local soldiers to give you a sword. You know. Just in case.
Truss Bust:Though this game is still in beta stages, the visual aesthetic alone is totally worth the 25 ROBUX it costs to gain access. If you do decide to join the game, make sure to watch the intro, which features epic music and tells the story behind the game Star Wars-style with vertical scrolling text. The anecdote is bizarre and quite funny — the gist is that Shedletsky has begun haunting residents of a small town, and they’ve awoken in a world made entirely of trusses. If you’re thinking, “what’s that look like?” then I’d be happy to show you:
We’re eager to see where developer pokemonkiller101 is going with this. For now, it’s quite the sight to behold.
One last aside: a lot of community favorites are getting great Halloween updates. Here are some good ones:
- Worsen has an interesting side-scrolling game in the works. There’s not much there just yet, but experimenting with the mechanics is fun.
- Alexnewtron announced last week that he’s going to launch his own ROBLOX Studio plugins catalog. It sounds very ambitious, but exciting.
- Why is this not a Spotlight? Well, this is the first we’ve seen of it. And it looks good.
- A couple successful developers are working on an online book about ROBLOX game development. See their (very professional) progress so far.