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RDC 2020 Recap: Our First Digital Developer Conference

July

31, 2020

by YoSoyTofu


Creators Events

We recently wrapped up another incredible Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) over the July 24-26 weekend, bringing together over 600 of some of the most talented scripters, builders, and artists from 34 countries around the world. With RDC going fully digital this year, this has been one of our biggest, most global events to date. It may have been under a different set of circumstances than usual, but we can’t deny the spirit of community, camaraderie, and connection from past RDCs was still alive and well.

RDC attendees got together at a virtual recreation of the Roblox HQ for a massive group photo. Scroll down to the end of the blog post for footage of the photoshoot. It was epic!

If you wanted to catch up on some of the announcements from the conference or play all the Game Jam hits you might have missed, we’ve got it all right here in the mega-sized blog post. For any developers who want to re-watch the breakout sessions, they’ll be available on the Developer Hub soon.

A glimpse into the future of Roblox

Our vision to bring the world together through play has never been more relevant than it is now. As our founder and CEO, David Baszucki (a.k.a. Builderman), mentioned in his keynote, more and more people are using Roblox to stay connected with their friends and loved ones. He hinted at a future where, with our automatic machine translation technology, Roblox will one day act as a universal translator, enabling people from different cultures and backgrounds to connect and learn from each other.

During his keynote, Builderman also elaborated upon our vision to build the Metaverse; the future of avatar creation on the platform (infinitely customizable avatars that allow any body, any clothing, and any animation to come together seamlessly); more personalized game discovery; and simulating large social gatherings (like concerts, graduations, conferences, etc.) with tens of thousands of participants all in one server. We’re still very early on in this journey, but if these past five months have shown us anything, it’s clear that there is a growing need for human co-experience platforms like Roblox that allow people to play, create, learn, work, and share experiences together in a safe, civil 3D immersive space.

Up next, our VP of Developer Relations, Matt Curtis (a.k.a. m4rrh3w), shared an update on all the things we’re doing to continue empowering developers to create innovative and exciting content through collaboration, support, and expertise. He also highlighted some of the impressive milestones our creator community has achieved since last year’s RDC. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Adopt Me! now has over 10 billion plays and surpassed 1.6 million concurrent users.
  • Piggy, launched in January 2020, has close to 5 billion visits in just over six months.
  • Developers are on track to earn over $250 million in 2020.
  • In June 2020, developers earned nearly $2 million from Premium Payouts, which rewards them based on the amount of engagement time Premium subscribers spend in their games.
  • There are now 345,000 developers on the platform who are monetizing their games.

And lastly, our VP of Engineering, Technology, Adam Miller (a.k.a. rbadam), unveiled a myriad of cool and upcoming features developers will someday be able to sink their teeth into. We saw a glimpse of procedural skies, skinned meshes, more high-quality materials, new terrain types, more fonts in Studio, a new asset type for in-game videos, haptic feedback on mobile, real-time CSG operations, and many more awesome tools that will unlock the potential for even bigger, more immersive experiences on Roblox.

Vibin’

Despite the virtual setting, RDC just wouldn’t have been the same without any fun party activities and networking opportunities. So, we invited special guests DJ Hyper Potions and cyber mentalist Colin Cloud for some truly awesome, truly mind-bending entertainment. Yoga instructor Erin Gilmore also swung by to inspire attendees to get out of their chair and get their body moving. And of course, we even had virtual rooms dedicated to karaoke and head-to-head social games, like trivia and Pictionary.

Over on the networking side, Team Adopt Me, Red Manta, StyLiS Studios, and Summit Studios hosted a virtual booth for attendees to ask questions, submit resumes, and more. We also had a networking session where three participants would be randomly grouped together to get to know each other.

What does Roblox mean to you?

We all know how talented the Roblox community is from your creations. We’ve heard plenty of stories over the years about how Roblox has touched your lives, how you’ve made friendships, learned new skills, or simply found a place where you can be yourself. We wanted to hear more. So, we asked attendees: What does Roblox mean to you? How has Roblox connected you? How has Roblox changed your life? Then, over the course of RDC, we incorporated your responses into this awesome mural.

Created by Alece Birnbach at Graphic Recording Studio

Knowledge is power

This year’s breakout sessions included presentations from Roblox developers and staff members on the latest game development strategies, a deep dive into the Roblox engine, learning how to animate with Blender, tools for working together in teams, building performant game worlds, and the new Creator Dashboard. Dr. Michael Rich, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, also led attendees through a discussion on mental health and how to best take care of you and your friends’ emotional well-being, especially now during these challenging times.

Making the Dream Work with Teamwork (presented by Roblox developer Myzta)

In addition to our traditional Q&A panel with top product and engineering leaders at Roblox, we also held a special session with Builderman himself to answer the community’s biggest questions.

Roblox Product and Engineering Q&A Panel

2020 Game Jam

The Game Jam is always one of our favorite events of RDC. It’s a chance for folks to come together, flex their development skills, and come up with wildly inventive game ideas that really push the boundaries of what’s possible on Roblox. We had over 60 submissions this year—a new RDC record.

Once again, teams of up to six people from around the world had less than 24 hours to conceptualize, design, and publish a game based on the theme “2020 Vision,” all while working remotely no less! To achieve such a feat is nothing short of awe-inspiring, but as always, our dev community was more than up for the challenge. I’ve got to say, these were some of the finest creations we’ve seen.

 

WINNERS

Best in Show: Shapescape
Created By: GhettoMilkMan, dayzeedog, maplestick, theloudscream, Brick_man, ilyannna
You awaken in a strange laboratory, seemingly with no way out. Using a pair of special glasses, players must solve a series of anamorphic puzzles and optical illusions to make their escape.

Excellence in Visual Art: agn●sia
Created By: boatbomber, thisfall, Elttob
An obby experience unlike any other, this game is all about seeing the world through a different lens. Reveal platforms by switching between different colored lenses and make your way to the end.

Most Creative Gameplay: Visions of a perspective reality
Created By: Noble_Draconian and Spathi
Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective to solve challenges. By switching between 2D and 3D perspectives, players can maneuver around obstacles or find new ways to reach the end of each level.

Outstanding Use of Tech: The Eyes of Providence
Created By: Quenty, Arch_Mage, AlgyLacey, xJennyBeanx, Zomebody, Crykee
This action/strategy game comes with a unique VR twist. While teams fight to construct the superior monument, two VR players can support their minions by collecting resources and manipulating the map.

Best Use of Theme: Sticker Situation
Created By: dragonfrosting and Yozoh
Set in a mysterious art gallery, players must solve puzzles by manipulating the environment using a magic camera and stickers. Snap a photograph, place down a sticker, and see how it changes the world.

OTHER TOP PICKS

HONORABLE MENTIONS

For the rest of the 2020 Game Jam submissions, check out the list below:

20-20 Vision | 20/20 Vision | 2020 Vision, A Crazy Perspective | 2020 Vision: Nyon | A Wild Trip! | Acuity | Best Year Ever | Better Half | Bloxlabs | Climb Stairs to 2021 | Double Vision (Team hey apple) | Eyebrawl | Eyeworm Exam | FIRE 2020 | HACKED | Hyperspective | Lucid Scream | Mystery Mansion | New Years at the Museum | New Year’s Bash | Poor Vision | Predict 2020 | RBC News | Retrovertigo | Second Wave | see no evil | Sight Fight | Sight Stealers | Spectacles Struggle | Specter Spectrum | Survive 2020 | The Lost Chicken Leg | The Outbreak | The Spyglass | Time Heist | Tunnel Vision | Virtual RDC – The Story | Vision (Team Freepunk) | Vision (Team VIP People ####) | Vision Developers Conference 2020 | Vision Is Key | Vision Perspective | Vision Racer | Visions | Zepto

And last but not least, we wanted to give a special shout out to Starboard Studios. Though they didn’t quite make it on time for our judges, we just had to include Dave’s Vision for good measure. 😛

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Game Jam, and congrats to all those who took home the dub in each of our categories this year. As the winners of Best in Show, the developers of Shapescape will have their names forever engraved on the RDC Game Jam trophy back at Roblox HQ. Great work!

‘Til next year

And that about wraps up our coverage of the first-ever digital RDC. Thanks to all who attended! Before we go, we wanted to share a special “behind the scenes” video from the 2020 RDC photoshoot.

Check it out:

It was absolutely bonkers. Getting 350 of us all in one server was so much fun and really brought back the feeling of being together with everyone again. That being said, we can’t wait to see you all—for real this time—at RDC next year. It’s going to be well worth the wait. ‘Til we meet again, my friends.