Highlights from RDC 2019

August

20, 2019

by YoSoyTofu


Creators Events

On August 9-11, we had the privilege of meeting so many incredible designers, coders, and producers from all over the world at the annual Roblox Developers Conference (RDC), held in Burlingame and London. In total, over 500 attendees joined us in person with thousands more watching the live streams online. We were overwhelmed by the amount of talent gathered together in one place, and we couldn’t have felt more invigorated by the creativity, enthusiasm, and sense of community on display this year. 

Whether you want to catch up on the news over the weekend or relive some of your favorite moments from #RDC2019, we’ve got you covered. To see more videos and all the presentation slides from the keynotes and breakout sessions at RDC 2019, head to RDCGlobal.com.

RDC 2019 Group Photo (Photo Credit: Roblox)

RDC 2019 Group Photo (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Friday – Welcome Reception

What better way to kick off RDC 2019 than with a celebration of the developer community? Friday night was chock full of food, refreshments, magic, and games galore, all set to some iconic video game bangers from Hyper Potions. A few lucky attendees also walked away with awesome raffle prizes, including Roblox action figures, an electric skateboard, an all-expense-paid trip to next year’s RDC, and more. Words alone can’t do this party justice, so watch the recap video below and see for yourself.

Saturday – Keynotes, Breakout Sessions, and Engineering Panel

To get attendees pumped for a day of learning, networking, and fun, we wanted to honor and celebrate some of the stunning experiences that were developed on Roblox over the past year and beyond. You’ll want to break out the surround sound speakers for this one; this video will blow your mind. 

Our founder and CEO, David Baszucki (a.k.a. Builderman), went up on stage to deliver the first keynote and discuss our vision for the future of Roblox: “We have this vision that there’s a new category emerging that’s bigger than gaming,” he said. “It’s the category that allows people around the world to connect, to not just play together, but to work together, to learn together, and to create together.” 

It’s an exciting time to be a part of Roblox. We now have a global community of 100 million monthly active users, with over a billion hours of engagement each month. We envision a future where there will be studios of 100 people or more creating worlds that are more massive and more realistic than ever before. In his keynote, Builderman recapped some outstanding community milestones, highlighted our commitment to the success of our developers, and shared an update on his predictions for 2023. 

David Baszucki, founder and CEO of Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

David Baszucki, founder and CEO of Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

The developer community accomplished a lot since the last RDC. Justin Sousa (a.k.a. JParty), our Head of Developer Community, did a deeper dive into those successes and what we’re doing to expand our creator ecosystem worldwide. The dev community is on track to earn over $100 million by the end of 2019, so expect to see bigger games, bigger worlds, and even bigger, more immersive experiences. 

Justin Sousa, Head of Developer Community at Roblox (Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox)

Justin Sousa, Head of Developer Community at Roblox (Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox)

To help developers make those bigger, more immersive experiences, Adam Miller (a.k.a. rbadam), our Vice President of Engineering, Technology, took attendees on a tour through some of the innovative new product features we’re working on to make games look and perform even better. On-stage demos included a new level of detail and lighting system for models, custom materials, procedurally generated terrain vegetation, a new Lua type system, Team Create with source control, 3D layered clothing for avatars, and diversifying the Catalog offerings by opening it up further to community creations.

Adam Miller, VP of Engineering, Technology (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Adam Miller, VP of Engineering, Technology (Photo Credit: Roblox)

We were fortunate to have two brilliant guest speakers from the gaming industry this year. Crystin Cox, who works as a Director of Live Operations at Xbox Game Studios Publishing, shed some light on live ops and how developers can use analytics to foster community and engagement. Roblox recently partnered with Microsoft’s PlayFab service to provide a suite of analytics tools for developers. We look forward to empowering more and more developers with these tools to help make their games even better. 

Crystin Cox, Director of Live Operations at Xbox Game Studios Publishing (Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox)

Crystin Cox, Director of Live Operations at Xbox Game Studios Publishing (Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox)

Robin Hunicke, the co-founder of Funomena, took the stage to explain her game design philosophy, called Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA). The “Mechanics” are the rules of the system, the “Dynamics” are the behaviors of that system when the player interacts with it, and the “Aesthetics” are the feelings that emerge within the player. She explained that while it’s tempting to start designing your game by thinking about the mechanics first, it’s much better to work backward: understand what emotions you want the player to feel, then come up with the dynamics and rules that will achieve that outcome.

Robin Hunicke, co-founder of Funomena (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Robin Hunicke, co-founder of Funomena (Photo Credit: Roblox)

This year’s afternoon breakout sessions included a wide array of design, technical, and business topics. Attendees explored the ins and outs of procedural generation, how to engage and retain players, the value of working with YouTubers, creating more immersive worlds, and so much more.

Arseny Kapoulkine, Technical Fellow at Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Arseny Kapoulkine, Technical Fellow at Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

From left to right: Alex Hicks, RedManta LLC; Andrew Bereza, Vesteria Inc.; Chris McDonald, ROLVe LLC; Christian Hunter, Top Developer Program Manager, Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

From left to right: Alex Hicks, RedManta LLC; Andrew Bereza, Vesteria Inc.; Chris McDonald, ROLVe LLC; Christian Hunter, Top Developer Program Manager, Roblox (Photo Credit: Roblox)

At the end of the day, we held a Q&A session with some of the top engineers and product leaders at Roblox, including Vice President of Engineering, Technology, Adam Miller (rbadam), Technical Fellow, Arseny Kapoulkine (zeuxcg), Vice President of Product, Sorcus Chandrasekaran (Sorcus), Product Manager Matthew Dean (Seranok), and Senior Director of Product, Avatar, Matt Brown (Captain_Rando).  

From left to right: Matt Brown, Senior Director of Product; Sorcus Chandrasekaran, Vice President of Product; Adam Miller, Vice President of Engineering, Technology; Arseny Kapoulkine, Technical Fellow; Matthew Dean, Product Manager, Developer Services (Photo Credit: Roblox)

From left to right: Matt Brown, Senior Director of Product; Sorcus Chandrasekaran, Vice President of Product; Adam Miller, Vice President of Engineering, Technology; Arseny Kapoulkine, Technical Fellow; Matthew Dean, Product Manager, Developer Services (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Watch some of the highlights throughout the day below.

Sunday – Game Jam

Last but not least, we rounded out the weekend with our annual tradition: the Game Jam. But what exactly is a “game jam”? Simply put, it’s a chance for developers to form deeper connections with each other by challenging themselves to create a new game from the ground up in a limited amount of time. JParty, our resident lord of memes and RDC master of ceremonies, explains further in the video below.  

Throughout the night and into the following afternoon, teams raced against the clock to polish their games and present them to our panel of judges and the entire world. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Game Jam. Over 50 games were made in the span of one night! Truly, these were some of the wildest, most out-of-the-box, creative experiences we’ve seen. 

Without further ado, congratulations to this year’s standout Game Jam creations! 

Third Place: Granny’s Home! (Created By: Plutonem and jeparlefrancais)
Granny’s been left to take care of the house all by herself. What could possibly go wrong? Spoiler alert: literally everything. Put out fires, fix microwaves, and more in this hilariously chaotic experience.

RDC 2019 Game Jam 3rd Place Winners: Melonslice (Photo Credit: Roblox)

RDC 2019 Game Jam 3rd Place Winners: Melonslice (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Second Place: CATS (Created By: Explod_e, SkeletalReality, Brick_man, Builder_Boy, TheGh0stRunner, theloudscream)
Your grandmother’s cats are running amok, so it’s up to you to prevent cat-astrophe while she’s away! Interact and play with various objects throughout the house to keep them from tearing the place apart.

RDC 2019 Game Jam 2nd Place Winners: Team Meow (Photo Credit: Roblox)

RDC 2019 Game Jam 2nd Place Winners: Team Meow (Photo Credit: Roblox)

First Place: More Than YOU Can Stew (Created By: Quenty, AlgyLacey, xJennyBeanx, Zomebody, Wsly, Arch_Mage)
Team Stealthy Carrots challenged attendees and online viewers to help make a quality stew during their Game Jam presentation. Though our efforts were thwarted, they did come away with a big RDC victory.

RDC 2019 Game Jam 1st Place Winners: Stealthy Carrots (Photo Credit: Roblox)

RDC 2019 Game Jam 1st Place Winners: Stealthy Carrots (Photo Credit: Roblox)

Honorable Mentions:

we are stuck in space help (Created By: Team Bribbleco Inc.)
A zany, cooperative survival game where you’re trapped aboard a malfunctioning space station. Coordinate with your teammates and scramble to maintain system integrity before it’s too late!

Beef Up! (Created By: Team Super Clans)
A darkly humorous game in which you play as a cow attempting to escape from a ranch. Eat hay, drive a tractor (because why not?), and run away from the ranchers before they turn you into a hamburger!

…Tycoon? (Created By: Team Unexpected Items in Baggage Area)
If you thought this was going to be your average ordinary tycoon game, think again. Everything you built will come back to hunt you down in this epic survival game. Join forces to defeat the boss, Gluttony!  

For the rest of the 2019 Game Jam submissions, check out the list below:

See You Next Year

Whew. That was one whirlwind of a weekend! 

I cannot express just how remarkably inspiring our community is. Seeing the bonds that were formed between developers of different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines was truly heartwarming. One of the things I love most about RDC is that it’s a chance for the community to cherish the friendships they’ve made through Roblox, and it’s such a humbling experience to see people come together. You are the reason why conferences like these are possible and why our community is so amazing today. 

Builderman said it best. This isn’t just the future of gaming, but the future of human co-experience. We can’t wait to make history with you again at RDC 2020. See you then!


Header Image
  • Top Left – Photo Credit: Roblox
  • Top Middle – Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox
  • Top Right – Photo Credit: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox
  • Bottom Left – Photo Credit: Roblox
  • Bottom Middle – Photo Credit: Roblox
  • Bottom Right – Photo Credit: Roblox