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Weekly ROBLOX Roundup: August 25th, 2013

August 25, 2013

by Andrew Haak

Archive News

Weekly ROBLOX Roundup Logo, V2Every week, we’re busy telling the stories behind our platform, our technology and our place in the gaming and technology industries. For those of you who catch up with ROBLOX over the weekend, the Weekly ROBLOX Roundup collects the best stuff to hit our various avenues of publication in the last week. This time: ROBLOX Battle goes open source, a Virtual BLOXcon contest (and other news), the binary file format rollout, the technology behind outlines, a great new Feedback Loop article, a Spotlight on the creator of Sandbox, Coastline Highway and Sea Breeze Home, and other bits and pieces. Enjoy.

Seven-day Blog Recap

ROBLOX Battle goes open source

ROBLOX Battle: Big PictureOver the past couple months, we’ve been covering the development of ROBLOX Battle, which has transitioned from a classic deathmatch arena to a game loaded with play modes, tactical choices, social spaces and more. Most recently, Sorcus — who’s been leading the charge on the game’s overhaul — explained how everything the Game Team did to the game has been informed by player metrics. In particular, the team used an in-game statistics GUI, which tracks player behaviors and is now available for you to try as part of the entire ROBLOX Battle now-open-source code base.

Have you done something cool using a piece of ROBLOX Battle as a foundation? Make sure to let us know.

Virtual BLOXcon news (and contest!)

With all three in-person BLOXcons now in the books, we’ve gone right back to work on the Virtual BLOXcon. The online event is taking place on September 21st, and is set to feature not only live streaming and media of our own, but your BLOXcon-themed games and places. To learn more about how the event is going to work and how you can enter our BLOXcon game contest, see Friday’s Virtual BLOXcon update.

Binary Blue

The incredible aftermath of the binary file format rollout

Last week, we rolled out our custom binary format across all of ROBLOX — Studio included. The feedback we’ve received tells the story:

Before I knew this I couldn’t tell if I the save for Roblox Titanic worked because it was so fast! Thanks! -TheAmazeman

30 MB to 0.2 MB for Supremacy in the new binary format. Yay! -Quenty

Nice, my The Mystic Land RPG was 41.9, it turns into 549 KB. -d4rk886

Whoever thought of the new save format needs a raise, like 12 times. -ScriptOn

If you’re interested in the reason the binary format is so much more efficient than the previous XML format, I recommend you check out our article covering the engineering that went into the project.

5393875375_395a4a8e4e_bThe technology that renders outlines

While outlines have a very simple appearance, arriving at a performance-friendly method of rendering them and writing custom solution were both complex processes. In this article, we break down a number of existing outline-rendering techniques (and discuss why they don’t quite work for ROBLOX), and explain how ROBLOX’s unique technique works. If you’re interesting in graphics rendering and shaders, it’s certainly worth a read.

Feedback Loop

Every so often, we give you a chance to ask questions and give us your ideas and feedback so we can respond here on the blog. Our most recent round of feedback got sparked some really great discussion surrounding user-created faces, sounds and music, removing group ranks, game analytics, rendering motion blur, a “badge showcase” section on the profile, building performance questions, and more. If any of that sounds interesting, give Feedback Loop a read!

REDALERT2’s Sandbox Spotlight

REDALERT2 is a veteran ROBLOX developer who had the brilliant idea of creating a “middle ground” for building, aimed at beginners who were eager to build but not ready to learn the ins and outs of ROBLOX Studio. The game, known as Sandbox, has become a fixture on ROBLOX — millions of builders have visited to see the works of fellow ROBLOXians and try their hand at building in a social environment. For more about the inspiration behind Sandbox and the technique REDALERT2 uses to save and load builds, read this, our latest Spotlight article.

You should play this game

This week I have a couple really cool coastal places for you to explore.

Coastline Highway by asimo3089

Coastline Highway is the latest release by the active and experienced asimo3089, who’s become well known for everything from disaster-survival games and coasters to calm worlds with intense atmospheres. This game focuses on the latter — the atmosphere — and achieves a real sense of place with its dreary color palette, nice weather effects, and subtle touches like a plane floating through the clouds. As you explore, you’ll pick up badges; once you have them all, you get a Rotorcycle, letting you ride with the ghosts. (You’ll see.)

Sea Breeze Home by yenyang4

Sea Breeze Home is one of the coolest homes I’ve discovered on ROBLOX. When you first spawn in game, you find yourself on a rocky coastline in front of a row of trees (which, by the way, look very cool). What at first seems like a nice vista becomes much more with a little exploration — eventually, you’ll find a door tucked into the seaside cliff and probably the nicest cave-home you’ve ever seen. Outlines look particularly striking in this build, and there’s great, tasteful detail in the furnishings.


This week’s game review covers a fan favorite:

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And this one is actually quite hilarious:

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