Blocklr: A Never-Ending Universe of Places and Games

April

17, 2014

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Archive

Blocklr5With an integrated development environment, multi-platform support, and a global cloud of multiplayer game servers that auto-scales to hundreds of thousands of concurrent players, ROBLOX is one of the easiest and most opportunity-rich platforms on which to make games. But we didn’t stop there. The ROBLOX game developer can now create even deeper, more immersive experiences with the rollout of technology that redefines the ROBLOX game – that gives developers the fuel they need to create exactly the engrossing games they envision. We’re already starting to see early examples that show serious promise.

Blocklr is one of the first examples of recent ROBLOX game development features coalescing and spawning something brilliant. The game is simple, in concept: players enter the game and can either create their own world out of cubes using built-in tools or explore (and collaborate on) those of other players. Upon closer inspection, though, it’s obvious that there are a lot of interconnected systems — the DataStore, Teleports, the CreatePlace/SavePlace API — making this ever-expanding world of player-created content possible.

Blocklr’s developer, blahblah26, has attempted to create this sort of a sandbox building game in the past. At the time, the features that would make it a smooth and reliable experience for players weren’t quite as robust as they are today.

“I had made a prototype voxel building tool called Blox Universe, about a year ago,” blahblah26 recalls. “But I really wanted to give builders the ability to save creations.”

Blocklr

Two key features have enabled blahblah26 to execute his grand vision — a universe built within the ROBLOX framework that features its own creations, currency, in-game building app, and leaderboards. First is multi-place games or game “universes,” which allow each player to establish and build their own place within Blocklr. Second is the new DataStore, which offers reliable saving of player creations and other information.

“When a player enters the hub for their first play, the game creates a Blocklr place for them using CreatePlaceAsync and then saves the PlaceId in the DataStore.”

The player experience is straightforward. You arrive in a “lobby” that is actually a GUI menu with several options. The aforementioned building game is your first option, but there’s so much more to explore within the Blocklr universe. Blahblah26 has developed several sorting algorithms that allow you to explore other players’ creations within the Blocklr universe. You can sort by popularity, most visited, highest reputation (there’s a “like” function that lets you vote on your favorite Blocklr places), and Elite Built Worlds, which are worlds that blahblah26 personally finds to be awesome.

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Look at the Active Places to see places being built, block by block, by Blocklr players.

Every one of these worlds exists within the framework of Blocklr, and players use our teleportation system to access them. Once inside any given world, the rules of that world are dependent on the user who created it. You never know what’s going to happen when you join a new world — what items will appear in your backpack, the environment you’re going to find yourself in. It’s spontaneous and exciting.

One personal anecdote stood out for me. I joined a game and found myself in front of a massive castle, and noticed that the creator was there as well, putting some finishing touches on the back end of the structure. I spawned armed with a handgun — he clearly didn’t expect anyone to show up while he was building. I didn’t want him to feel threatened, and I’m certain he didn’t want me to shoot him, so there was an awkward pause. Finally cautionary instincts got the better of him — he pulled his weapon and shot me. It was a hilariously random exchange, and only one of very many memorable instances in the Blocklr universe.

This isn’t just a game built in ROBLOX — it’s an ecosystem of creativity and sharing, where an infinite amount of content can exist.

This is exactly what we want to see. This isn’t just a game built in ROBLOX — it’s an ecosystem of creativity and sharing, where an infinite amount of content can exist. It’s also a fully functioning building app where you can create a place and work on it with your friends (every place you create gives you full admin commands). Feel like making a new place? Purchase some in-game currency (called Blux) to buy new templates. Want to earn some Blux? Build an awesome place and get paid ten Blux per visit. Looking to see what your friends have created in the Blocklr universe? Search their username to see their creations. This is a true game universe — a massive game existing within a game — completely fueled by creativity, imagination, and ROBLOX. We’re thrilled to see this, and can’t wait to see more.

Could be a cave, a castle, an arena, or a ship made out of transparent blue blocks, floating through space. You never know what you'll see in the Blocklr universe.

Could be a cave, a castle, an arena, or a ship made out of transparent blue blocks, floating through space. You never know what you’ll see in the Blocklr universe.

Blahblah26 has a lot in store for the future.

“I’m going to add a daily stipend of Blux for returning users. Currently, if you join the official group you will be granted more land, and I want to add more benefits for members. There’s also a clothing company called Dragon Clothing, and they’re using Blocklr to build their home store. I want Blocklr to allow people to create worlds just as detailed and fun as any place on ROBLOX.”

Blocklr is an impressive and advanced realization of a game consisting of multiple places. For an introduction to the basics, check out this ROBLOX Wiki article.