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Hack Week: Envisioning ROBLOX on the iPad

August 02, 2012

by Miguel Ortiz


ROBLOX on iPad - In-Game InterfaceDuring this year’s Hack Week, ROBLOX developers shifted gears, working tirelessly to devise and present ideas fueled more by creativity than priority. This week, we’re featuring some of the most innovative ideas to come out of Hack Week. Our third highlighted project is an exploration of how ROBLOX’s in-game, game-browsing and social networking interfaces might look on an iPad. These early-stage mock-ups were conceived and produced by Visual Artist Tara Byars and Visual Designer Miguel Ortiz.

ROBLOX is an expansive platform. So, when it came to mocking up a new ROBLOX interface for a new device, we quickly realized we had to narrow the scope to the stuff users want to do on the go – browse games, play games, network with friends and groups, and buy and sell content.

Remember, these are initial mock-ups, produced outside of Apple’s development API. What you see is not set in stone; rather, we wanted to give give our ideas some tangibility and spark a discussion as to how ROBLOX on the iPad could look and feel. Click each image to view it at full size.

Browse games

ROBLOX on iPad - Browse Games

The iPad equivalent of the Games page should look familiar to any ROBLOX player. It offers three search methods, and a grid display of games, separated into multiple pages.

View and launch a specific game

ROBLOX on iPad - Game Screen

The interface for a specific game takes advantage of a classic iOS design feature: the cover flow. This would allow users to swipe their way through image and videos for a given ROBLOX game. Users would also see the game’s description, statistics and badges, the ability to share a game, and a traditional green Play button.

In-game interface

ROBLOX on iPad - In-Game Interface

We’ve shown ROBLOX running on an iPad, but there was no interface. This project focused on presentation rather than engineering, leading to this potential in-game interface. As you can see, virtual directional pads would drive character movement, while screen touches would allow users to swap equipment, interact with the environment (e.g., shoot a gun), and bring up the Backpack.

While the iPad offers alternative control schemes, such as tilt, virtual D-pads would feel similar to the traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup. They would also help level the playing field across platforms, as mobile and computer users could be in the same game.

User profile and social networking

ROBLOX on iPad - Profile Interface

Mobile social networking is growing fast. According to TechCrunch, monthly time spent on Facebook’s mobile site and apps (441 minutes) is higher than that of its classic website (391 minutes). About 61% of all tweets come from mobile apps. A key part of ROBLOX on the iPad is social networking.

As you can see in the above image, the ROBLOX profile page would include many important social features – a friends/best friends list that indicates who’s online, a listing of groups, and the ability to follow and message a user. It’s comprehensive, given the screen real estate, but also portable, so users would be able to communicate and organize even when they’re away from their computer.

Again, these are initial mock-ups, produced outside of Apple’s development API. We’re already thinking about these mock-ups at the ROBLOX headquarters, but we’re also interested in hearing what you think.