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THEM Magazines Interview

August

16, 2016

by Roblox


Archive

Just in time for this year’s Roblox Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, THEM Magazines published their fifth issue, which featured an interview with David Baszucki, Keith Lucas, Arseny Kapoulkine, and Christina Shedletsky. We’d like to share the full interview with you in case you missed it, along with a few other never-before-seen bonus questions.

 

As many of you know, Roblox is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. To celebrate, we wanted to dive deep into the everyday life of a few Roblox employees and executives to see what makes them tick. From surviving a zombie apocalypse to offering some inspiring words of advice, take a few minutes and check out some of the interesting things they had to share…

What’s your favorite Roblox game?

David Baszucki

Roblox games are like my kids. I have four kids, and they’re all my favorite.

 

Keith Lucas

I’ve played a lot of great games over the past few months, including Phantom Forces, Hex, Strobe, Bird Simulator, Heroes, Speed Run 4, Tiny Tanks, Roman Parthia, and Fisticuffs. I’m thinking the most right now about Prison Life because it highlights that Roblox is not just a great gaming platform, but more generally a great platform for social virtual experiences. I still remember that guard who tasered me when I was just walking around the yard minding my own business – that’s abuse of power and the riot that started afterwards was not really my fault. A lot of the most popular content on Roblox mixes traditional game play with social experiences.

 

Arseny Kapoulkine

Phantom Forces

 

Christina Shedletsky

It would be impossible to pick just one!  Right now I’m really enjoying Super Bomb Survival and the latest updates to RoCitizens. Also playing a bit of Design it! Can’t forget the classics either – my favorites there are the Quarry, and of course, Nuke the Whales!

 

What do you think will be the future of Roblox?

David Baszucki

The Metaverse.

 

Keith Lucas

I think Roblox will ultimately be a lot more than most people imagine now. It’s really a social network of doers, creators, entrepreneurs, and people looking to share virtual experiences. Aside from all of the things we have planned for our Imagination Platform, there’s more ways to serve and facilitate such a network.

My biggest measure of Roblox’s success is the success of our development community. If we have small teams of developers starting companies after college and making millions of dollars per year, then we have the entire Imagination Platform working: player retention, dev tools and services, cross platform play, ease-of-use, mega scale.

 

Arseny Kapoulkine

I think we already have the core – it will be the Roblox that you know today but much bigger, better and shinier.

 

Christina Shedletsky

Roblox content will continue to get better and better and appeal to a wider audience as we continue to improve the tools and expand the platforms you can experience Roblox on. I could see people holding business meetings on Roblox in the future or going on adventures with their friends who moved away. It will connect people all over the world so that they can experience things together.

 

What motivates you to succeed?

David Baszucki

The joy of creating with people I respect.

 

Keith Lucas

There is always better. Never give up.

 

Arseny Kapoulkine

The need to feel good about whatever it is I’m doing – have a hard time believing in what I’m doing unless it succeeds.

 

Christina Shedletsky

People. My family, friends, and coworkers.

 

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

David Baszucki

Fly.

 

Keith Lucas

Fly.

 

Arseny Kapoulkine

Assuming I get eternal life for free, teleportation.

 

Christina Shedletsky

Teleport through time AND space.

 

What’s your greatest achievement, and how has it shaped you?

David Baszucki

Assembling the team that works on Roblox.

 

Keith Lucas

That I am somehow surrounded by truly great people – at home, at play, at work. It inspires me to be better every day, and it gives me the platform on which to focus on everything else.

 

Arseny Kapoulkine

This will sound geeky, but I have an open-source library I worked on and off for 10 years; lots of people use it and lots of people love it. It has taught me a lot in how I write code and solve problems, both technical and personal.

 

Christina Shedletsky

Graduating college and working at my dream job – creating things that people love. Anything I accomplish just makes me want to accomplish more things.

 

Who or what inspires you?


David Baszucki

People who follow their dreams.


Keith Lucas

People who are doing exactly what they were born to do and on a path towards mastery.


Arseny Kapoulkine

In work – people who use technology I help create. In life – friends.


Christina Shedletsky

People. My family, friends, and coworkers.

 

How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?


David Baszucki

Judicious and appropriate use of heavy firepower.


Keith Lucas

Always have at least 2 people around who can’t survive a zombie attack (zombie fodder).


Arseny Kapoulkine

By teleporting to places zombies can’t reach.


Christina Shedletsky

Double tap. Always double tap. Even if it seems unnecessary. It’s always necessary.

 

What was your dream job growing up?


David Baszucki

Inventor.


Keith Lucas

Captain of a Starship.


Arseny Kapoulkine

I, uh, wanted to program video games…


Christina Shedletsky

I wanted to be a judge. Now that I’m older, I think that would be a very unsatisfying job for me.

 

What words of wisdom would you pass on to your childhood self?


David Baszucki

Trust your intuition.


Keith Lucas

Anything I’d say would turn me into something else or change my life now. I’ve read and watched a lot of sci-fi. Unless you can go back hundreds or thousands of times in some crazy optimization loop, you’re unlikely to have a net gain, but just a different set of pros and cons. I think we should always be pushing to improve, to learn more, to make things better, but there’s wisdom in recognizing the good people and opportunities we already have in life.


Arseny Kapoulkine

Balance is key.


Christina Shedletsky

Follow your arrow – wherever it points. Play more video games. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Be grateful for everything that you have.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring Roblox developers?


David Baszucki

If you can find passion in what you’re really good at, you’ll always be happy.


Keith Lucas

I’ve heard a great piece of advice in the past couple of years that makes a lot of sense: don’t follow your dreams, follow your effort. Your effort will tell you what you’re good at and have interest in. The two are intertwined: you will become great by putting in the hours at something that excites you and for which you show some natural talent. Early on, don’t worry about where it leads, just go for it. Eventually, think big picture and how all the pieces fit together, but try to find the “it” before worrying too much about the “why.”


Arseny Kapoulkine

You’re the one who gets to shape your life. Never let anybody tell you otherwise.


Christina Shedletsky

Spend a little bit of time thinking about what you want to build before you build it, but don’t get stuck in this phase. Many people get stuck in this phase. Make a plan, but it doesn’t have to be a perfect plan. Then – prototype. Then – iterate. You don’t have to build the perfect thing the first time. Also – think about how you might want to monetize your game ahead of time and include that in the design. Don’t bolt that on afterwards. Finally – the future is mobile. Make sure your game works well on mobile.