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Interview with Telamon

September 14, 2009

by reesemcblox


Hi everyone! Recently we received some interview questions for Telamon. He was gracious to take a few minutes his super-loaded time and answer them. Here are the questions, and his answers.


– How old were you when you started at ROBLOX, and how long have you been involved?

I joined ROBLOX straight out of college when I was 23. I have been involved in the project for 3 years, almost from the beginning.

– Were there other people involved in coming up with this game?

David Baszucki and Erik Cassel spent a while developing ROBLOX before I joined up – they made a lot of the early design choices. We have a team of extremely creative developers who all have their influences on the game.Telamon

-  Did you start with another program or start it from scratch?

ROBLOX is built from scratch.

-  How does the team come up with ideas? What inspires you?

I used to have a lot of construction toys, growing up. There’s a cool game called BrikWars that I used to play a lot as a kid. That’s one of my main sources of inspiration for ROBLOX. Our developers are into board games, toys, video/pc games, model rockets, making stuff, you name it! The core idea, however, was always about letting people create their own worlds. So maybe that is the root inspiration.

– How long did it take to create ROBLOX?

ROBLOX has been a work in progress for more than 4 years. I doubt it will ever be “done”!

– How often do you work on ROBLOX to fix bugs/problems?

Every day.

– How did you come up with the name for your game? For virtual money?

David Baszucki came up with the name ROBLOX. I think it is supposed to invoke both “Robots” and “Blocks”. Another name that was considered was “Dynablox”. I came up with “ROBUX” it’s a pun on “ROBLOX”and “BUX”

– Who did you think would play your game? children? adults?

We expected that most of our players would be kids, aged 7-15, but we also think the idea of building your own world has broad appeal outside that age range.

– How did you come up with the idea for the Builder’s Club?

The business plan from the beginning was always to make ROBLOX free and sell a premium service to users who wanted more features. ROBLOX is mainly about building, so “Builders Club” made a lot of sense.

– Did you start with a 3D program or did you have to come up with your own?

While I’ve been here, we’ve re-worked the 3D engine twice. Each time we’ve started with existing code that we then heavily modified to suit our needs.

– How did you start the design? By drawing on paper?

David and Erik started with an idea of what they wanted the game to be like, and then just dove in and started to tinker. We’ve gone through a lot of rough drafts.

– Is ROBLOX what you planned for it to be? Did it change as you were creating it?

ROBLOX is always changing. We have some general goals, or things that we would like to see added to the game. However, a lot of the stuff we work on is the direct result of player feedback. The project has a life of its own.

– What college did you go to? Or what classes did you take to learn how?

I’ve been writing computer games since I was 8, so I guess experience is the best teacher. I got my degrees at Stanford University, and took a lot of classes that involved computer programming. Those helped too.

– What kind of things were you interested in studying?

I studied Biology, Classical Literature, and Computer Science.

– How much education did you need to invent ROBLOX?

Creating a game like ROBLOX is complicated. You need technical skills, like being able to program, and being able to design a working system.

But you also need creative skills – you have to be able to envision a game that would be fun, make it look good, anticipate problems before they happen, etc.

– What classes did you take in school that best prepared you for making your invention?

Probably “Introduction to Algorithms” – that stuff is pretty fundamental for programmers.


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