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Comments on Comments: Battle, Outlines, Paid Access and More

August 1, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Comments-on-Comments-LogoMany readers pour significant time into writing thoughtful replies to our blog articles, and we want to make sure we address them. Comments on Comments exists so you get answers, straight from a ROBLOX developer, to your questions. For this post, we’ve tapped Creative Director John Shedletsky and Software Engineer Dan Healy to answer a wide range of questions about outlines, making the new ROBLOX Battle, our recently released “White List” chat system, our new Paid Access feature and much more.

To start off, here are the two most frequent questions asked on our blog in the last month:

Q: Will outlines be optional?

Creative Director John Shedletksy: They will default to being on, but we are adding a setting that will let you turn them off either per-surface, or for an entire place. We announced this at our stage presentation in BLOXcon London, and expect this feature to release in the near future. Speaking of BLOXcon…


Q: Where is BLOXcon going to be next year?

Creative Director John Shedletsky: HA! Let’s get done with the current round of BLOXcons (including the virtual one in September) before we even start to think about next year.

From Building ROBLOX Battle, Part 1: Core Gameplay Mechanics

Q: The new ROBLOX Battle is awesome and I love the new features. I think Games should work on more balanced team settings, or put an XP track and use the levels to choose teams. That way, the better people and the worst people are in balanced teams.

Software Engineer Dan Healy: Glad you like it! For team selection, the doors in the Lobby actually do close when too many people join the same team, but we do not automatically assign people based on playtime or skill. This was a conscious decision. In this case, it was a decision between automatic assignment and the freedom to choose your own team. This allows you to play on the same team as your friends, regardless of how long each of you has played. So for this aspect, we ruled in favor of player agency.

takeaseatCreative Director John Shedletsky: I usually don’t even enter a door–I just wait for the game to randomly assign me to a team. Did you know you can sit a game out, and still keep your place in the server? Just walk over to the chairs in the lobby, and have a seat.

Q: I have lots of suggestions for armor. What about a Cloth Tunic that could up your walking speed but reduce your health by 20 points? Or Korblox boots that give you 20 points of additional health, but reduce your walking speed?

Software Engineer Dan Healy: We’ve been getting loads of feedback from all over the place about the types of armor you guys would like to see in ROBLOX Battle, and have recently begun adding even more types that give you various abilities. We’re far from done, and we’ll be continuing to fill the in-game store with more unique types of armors. Thanks for all of your great ideas–keep them coming!

From New “White List” System Gives Everyone a Voice

Q: Everyone deserves to talk. If guests want to share an opinion they deserve the right to do so. Besides, many people who start as guests eventually become users anyhow.

Creative Director John Shedletsky: Anyone who wants to talk in-game can just sign up for a free account. It’s simple as that. We have chat disabled for guests to cut down on griefing opportunities.

From Everyone Can Experiment with Paid Game Access

Q: I think this is an interesting idea–despite the numerous complaints about it. Something like this can greatly benefit the quality of games on ROBLOX. I do agree that players should be able to use tickets as an option, however.

gamespageCreative Director John Shedletsky: As you can tell if you’ve been watching the Games page, we’re still experimenting with different layouts. I think we’re going to end up with something much better than the original Games page. The ultimate goal is to allow more builders to get to the front page–we’re doing that by increasing the number of games that live there. As far as paid games go, we opted to use Robux for simplicity. If, as a developer, you’d rather have tickets, you can always use the currency exchange to turn your Robux into tickets. On the other hand, if you are a gamer and you want to play a certain game, we only sell Robux, not tickets. So if Paid Games were priced in tickets, it would add an extra currency conversion step for anyone who wanted to play  your game. We don’t think that’s good for anyone.

From How the Top-Rated Games Earn Your “Thumbs Up”

Q: I personally think that people who give a thumbs down should have to give a reason that is systematically messaged to the creator so they know why people don’t like the game and what to fix.

Thumbs Up, Thumbs DownCreative Director John Shedletsky: ROBLOX wants to add more ways for builders to get feedback on the stuff that they are creating so they can use that information to make better stuff. However, I’m not sure that thumbs up/down is the place to do this. Often games that get a lot of thumbs downs are either scams, copied places, or both (in which case the “creator” already knows why his or her place is getting downed thumbs).

Q: Add thumbs up/down to all clothing. I think that would be good because there is fake invisible clothing out there. I also believe that if you give a thumbs down, you should have to message the creator explaining why you did it.

Creative Director John Shedletsky: Once we’re happy with how the thumbs up/down feature is being used to improve the Games page sort, we’ll think about extending it to other places on ROBLOX. Another thing you might want to know before you buy anything from a player–be it a shirt, game, or game pass–is the player’s overall reputation. That would be a cool direction to go–if each seller had a combined score for all the stuff they’ve sold. That way, if a person makes great stuff and sells at great rates, they’d have a positive reputation and people would feel safer buying from that user. Just an idea, we’ll see what happens.