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Spotlight: Alexnewtron and the Wheel of ROBLOX

February 25, 2014

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


SpotlightAlexNewtronDeveloper and longtime member alexnewtron has created many popular ROBLOX titles — including Dodgeball and Pears to Pairs — during his career, and is seemingly always hard at work on the next. His latest project takes the shape of Wheel of ROBLOX, a game modeled after Wheel of Fortune. Playing the game is strikingly similar to watching the classic game show. The camera swoops between familiar shots, players balance luck and wit to earn money, a friendly host banters — this game features next-level scripting, excellent pacing, great graphics and the implementation of Developer Products, which will be available shortly. It’s a fantastic example of what can happen when a good opportunity and great execution are fueled by ROBLOX.

Alexnewtron originally developed this game in 2010, though you would hardly recognize the first version. Recreating Wheel of ROBLOX was part of a decision he made in 2013, when he chose to leverage his additional years of experience to revamp all of his older endeavors.

Spin to win!

Spin to win!

“This time around, I wanted to make sure to do research. I started watching Wheel of Fortune daily, and watched how the host reacted to certain situations. It was important for me to recreate that in my game,” he recalls.

Those reactions add to the sense of detail within this title. The host, who is an actual ROBLOX user known for his voice, is jovial, attentive, and talks more than any ROBLOXian we’ve ever heard in a game. Participants react, too — get a wrong answer, and watch your ROBLOXian shake his or her head in a disappointment. Get an answer right, and watch your avatar wave to the cheering audience.

It’s sound that truly immerses you in this game, however. Every sound you would hear on a game show is here — all the pops, dings, even the familiar clacking of the spinning wheel. The host has been given so many lines that even they vary, which makes the experience feel spontaneous and fresh. I had to ask alexnewtron about creating a game with that many sounds.

I'll be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring this one out.

I’ll be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring this one out.

“There are over 100 sounds in the game, including the host’s lines and the calling out of correct or incorrect guesses,” he tells me. “When I was developing I continued to give the host lines and he’d send me back audio files at a really fast speed. I paid him for his work in ROBUX, and just started uploading all of his sounds to ROBLOX.”

“I’d ballpark that I spent about $10,000 ROBUX to make this game, and it was all worth it.”


Win a game to find yourself at the Bonus Wheel! Earn even more!

The game interface is simple and polished, clearly indicating what you need to do depending on the type of game you’re playing. The point-and-click mechanic is immediately apparent when you boot up the game, where you’re given two options: Quick Play or Advertise, the latter of which we’ll touch on later. Quick Play automatically puts you into an active game with two other players in the server, which was one of the more challenging parts of scripting the game, according to alexnewtron.

“When a player hits the Quick Play button, the client places the player into a queue for the server to go through one at a time and place players in open matches throughout the game,” he tells me. “This caused a lot of breaks initially — now, the game does a really good job at detecting faults and puts you back in the queue automatically.”

“The game still has little hiccups and freezes, but I’m working on improving these in the future,” he adds.

The camera floats in and out of the wheel seamlessly. Pictures don't do it justice, see it for yourself!

The camera floats in and out of the wheel seamlessly. Pictures don’t do it justice, see it for yourself!

Once you’re in a game with two other players, it feels like you’re playing an interactive TV show. The camera swings and pans dramatically around the stage, and even cuts between static shots of the host and the participating challengers. The host, ejob, even takes a quick break after the first round and introduces each player, how many places visits they’ve received, and when they joined ROBLOX. All of the available games involve guessing words — whether that’s in a timed manner or by selectively choosing the correct letters to describe things like a ROBLOX hat or popular phrase.


Thanks for the applause, you’re all too kind!

Play a round or two, and you’ll notice something unique: commercials. Ads for places, groups, items and gear run between each round, placement of which was purchased in-game by players. This is one of the first working representations of our Developer Products system. Alexnewtron explains how he implemented it.

“I allow any user to create an advertisement right inside my game. Their commercial has to go through an approval system by myself and moderators. After it’s approved, users can rent advertising space for either 24 hours or seven days,” he tells me. “Ads fit the aesthetic of the game extremely well, and it’s a chance for users to leverage the traffic from my game.”

There are so many innovative touches and details. The vague reflection of the stage on the marble. The way the host’s voice echoes as he speaks. The monthly leaderboard that shows the top earning players. It’s a polished game, and the best way for you to understand that is to experience it. Once you’re in, you won’t come out for a while. Yet still, with all these features in line, alexnewtron is far from finished.

“Wheel of ROBLOX is at a playable state, but there’s a lot more polishing I want to do. The interface could be better, and I want voice acting for each letter in the alphabet. I also want to add features from the show that aren’t in my game yet, such as a million-dollar wedge and a wildcard that’s used in the Bonus Round,” he says.

As you can see, alexnewtron is leveraging the many powerful tools and features available to ROBLOX developers: the ability to build and code an engrossing game, deliver it to a huge audience (the re-release has already amassed more than 100,000 plays in a few days) on multiple platforms, and earn money in innovative ways (the game is already working its way up the Top Earning sort).

Wheel of ROBLOX is not only an awesome game, but a poster-child for new features that will be made available to all developers sooner than you think.