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December 6, 2006

by John Shedletsky


In the beginning there was an empty darkness.. The only thing in this void was a black brick, Two-By-Two. Two-By-Two was the Alpha Brick, the First. Copied, pasted, and recolored a million times, Robloxia was built out of nothing from the images of Two-By-Two. These were the early days…

The Chronicles of Roblox, VI.203

Welcome one and all to the Roblox Developer’s Journal. Like everything in Roblox, this journal is an experiment. The idea is that members of the Roblox team will post here to share their thoughts about different aspects of the game, give hints, answer questions, and occasionally post some sneak-previews of what is in the works. Builderman wanted to write the first post to the roblog, but unfortunately he is buried under a mountain of gnarly C++ and merciless graph theory. We all hope that he recovers soon.

One thing we at Roblox have been thinking hard about is how to make sure users can find fun maps on Roblox when they want to play a quick game. In the past this has not been a problem since we didn’t have all that many users, and only a handful of those users knew how to make cool places that others would want to play in. Recently, the number of users who are proficient builders has exploded, as evidenced by the abundance of cool new maps that are published to Roblox every day. If you go to the “Browse Places” tab, you’ll now get exactly 100 pages of places (as of this writing). That’s 1000 places. Let’s say you are tired of playing on the newest maps and you want to find an old favorite. If you remember what it was called, you can just search for it. Otherwise, you are hosed. Your best option right now is asking a veteran player what the cool maps were three months ago. Clearly we can do better than this.

Some of the solutions were are considering are:

  1. Letting users give a “thumbs up” to a place. The places with the most “thumbs up” are probably pretty fun. Search results can be sorted by “thumbs up-ness” so that the best ones appear at the top. There are problems with this idea, mainly that once a place has enough “thumbs up” it will always be listed at the top, as new players will “thumbs up” it even more.
  2. For each place, track the amount of total time visitors spend there. In theory, people will stay longer in fun places, so we can rank places this way. This scheme has the same problems as above.
  3. Bring back our “Cool Places” feature, but make it “Cool Places of the Week”, where only the last week of traffic or rating data is used to rank places. Probably we would take the top 20 or so places on Roblox each week and everytime someone visits the Roblox homepage, we would randomly show 5 of them as links.
  4. Having a weekly “Blast from the Past” feature, where we somehow pick one really cool map that no one plays anymore, and host it on an official Roblox server.

We welcome player input, so if you have thoughts on this, post them as a comment to this entry or on the Roblox Forums. In the meantime, I have pulled out some of my old favorites that new players may not have ever seen. So if you are looking for something fun to play, check them out.

Sites to See

  • Sunset Plain – A great-looking arena map from Shwaabo
  • Forest of Desolation – A darkly atmospheric map from Abyss
  • Angel of Truth – An amazing sculpture from DigitalMessiah
  • Rebel Wars – A fun team battle map from Mattigreenbay
  • Air Base Sector 128A – A heavily fortified air base from Tie It Up


Since you’ve read this far, I feel like you should be rewarded with a little sneak-preview of what I am currently working on. If you look closely at the picture (click to enlarge), you will see at least one problem, so obviously it’s not going to be shipped tomorrow. Soon, though.

– Telamon