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Feedback Loop: This Month’s Big Features

October 30, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Feedback Loop

99% of the content available on ROBLOX is created by our passionate community of builders. In Feedback Loop – the spiritual successor to the long-running Responding to User Feedback series – we respond to builders’ grand ideas for ROBLOX and questions about the past, present and future.

Since we’ve had an abundance of features ship in the last 30 days and have received thousands of heartfelt comments across the various announcements, we decided to source the feedback in this issue from blog comments. We called on a plethora of ROBLOX employees to address your questions, concerns and feedback. Check out their responses below.

New Movements Set the Stage for Keyframe Animation System


Though the amount of responses was large, most of the feedback we received in this article boiled down to these points:

Robotnik64: Here’s an idea: let people bring their own animations into a game. Like an Outfits tab, there should be a “Movement” or “Animation” tab, so you can choose how you want to move.

BlackshotTialdo: Make it so that you can “wear” the animations. Similar to hats and t-shirts–this would allow you to override all the default animations with animations that you make yourself. Or you could put an “animation starter pack” in ROBLOX Studio, and animations could be implemented the same way models are.

mipie12: I saw someone post something about walking styles. That would be a nice way to express yourself. Like a sad walk, or a skipping walk, or a creepy walk. What do you think?

Gameplay Engineer Vince D’amelio responds:

We are currently taking an in-depth look at how players will be able to customize their animations in the future. This is a big feature that would allow players to express themselves not just by how they dress, but how they move. We’re still determining how to build a system that would be intuitive and easy to use, while also allowing you to select which animations to use in which instance. We’re hoping to release this sometime in the near future and can’t wait to see how users customize their characters! Stay tuned.

Introducing Developer Central and the Developer Exchange


Terratronic: I think the rates for this are very generous, though I don’t fully understand why they’re doing this.

VP of Marketing and Brand Experience Brad Justus (aka chiefjustus) responds:

There are some pretty terrific games on ROBLOX, and their creators worked extremely hard to make them that way. We believe that our builders should be rewarded for creating something unique and innovative (and that people love to play). We’ll soon be introducing new features to complement things like Paid Access and Game Passes to allow developers to monetize their games better.

Big picture, we think Developer Exchange gives our builders and developers incentive to do two things:

1. Continue to to create stellar games and places on ROBLOX

2. Begin to see ROBLOX game development for what it can be: a well-paying enterprise.

InfernoPhantom: I think this is great, but what about people who make great games and don’t have OBC? Or what about people who have trouble scripting? How will they be able to earn money if they can’t script? ROBLOX Studio should have scripting tutorials so people can at least learn a little bit of scripting without having to consult some random website.

Most-Played-GameOur long-term goal is to transition OBC to a developer-oriented membership program. You won’t have to be a developer to attain that level, it will be available to anyone who wants to join. We will, however, be tailoring the features of that program to suit those who like to build, script and develop great games. DevEx is a key feature of that membership. If you qualify to use DevEx, you’re going to be able to afford OBC (which won’t be its name when we finish upgrading it, by the way). In fact, it’s entirely likely that successful developers will use DevEx to pay for their membership and have plenty of cash left over. Additional features of the new program will include special access to ROBLOX engineers through dedicated forums and chat, possibly a developer programmer-only testing environment, and more.

For those whose development skills aren’t yet entirely, well, developed, that’s what the new Developer Central section of is all about. We’re also working on adding better documentation to the ROBLOX Wiki, developing tutorials for new features, and shifting our focus to guiding those new to scripting and building. We want to provide metrics and information about how your games perform, and give you all the tools and analytics you can get to make them better. Our Games Team has already developed some great tutorials on YouTube, and are continuing to dream up new ideas for more. We want to significantly expand the amount of ROBLOX developers by continuing to give you the means to create the most outstanding games you can imagine. Keep an eye on the “Develop” link in the navigation bar to see new content as it rolls out in the coming months.

The Implementation and Effect of New Water

BattleBoats! new water screenshot

froufrou21: ROBLOX should add more options to waves (like colors, transparency, etc.). I would have so much more to do as a game creator. Also, add an option where you can require oxygen in any given body of water, and let us set how much. That would open a whole new array of ROBLOX building options.

Senior Rendering Engineer Arseny Kapoulkine responds:

These are great suggestions! We were thinking of letting users tweak both colors and still/stormy weather. Transparency is a bigger project since water is currently opaque by design. We’ll keep this in mind when planning further water look improvements.

kkslider007: Are you guys planning on adding actual physics to your water? Like, have water than can interact with bricks to make a flowing waterfall or watermill?

You can set direction per-voxel with our Lua API (see how at:, but there isn’t a solid GUI for achieving this–it’s physics only. As such, it doesn’t affect the way water looks, it affects the way it behaves. This is a huge area for future improvement.

AlphaBlackout: I noticed that the way the waves move in water makes it appear like it’s flowing in one direction, but my current is actually going the other way. It looks weird to have waves go one way and the current of the water go the opposite way.

Per-voxel direction is currently not affecting the way water looks – we had a hard time implementing this so that the transition between voxels with different directions looked good. We might work on this in the future if this turns out to be a feature a lot of users want.

Lightning Fast Loads: Streaming Is Enabled

Netprobe: Won’t this make multiplayer impossible, since some people’s systems are using different parts of the map? Doesn’t that mean that computers have to be perfectly in-sync and showing the same area?

Client Engineer Yunpeng Zhu responds:

On a high level, this feature is very similar to render clipping, where objects far away are not displayed to save processing power for objects are the closer and more important. It will not cause synchronization issues, because every player’s actions are still sent to the server, where the complete information of the whole world is always kept up to date.

BombHunter2000: Did you guys use this technology to make the Witching Hour level?

It was not ready in time to fully integrate into The Witching Hour. The Games Team created their own method to scale a level of that size so that it could be played with minimal loading. I don’t know if they’re comfortable sharing their method–maybe after the game is finished they’ll divulge their secret!

92marcin: Finally! I will add more than 10,000 parts in my ship simulator, improving my game quality with no lag!

Awesome! Let us know once it’s done. Also, John put together a place that’s basically a never-ending version of Crossroads composed of over 380,000 parts! Check it out for inspiration.

That's a lot of crossroads.

That’s a lot of Crossroads.

Tired of Your User Name? Change It!

Brennablue2009: How about 20 tickets to change your name? Then, if you wanted to change it again it would be 1,000 tickets, then 5,000 tickets and so on?

OldUserNameWeb Engineer Chirag Medhora responds:

We did consider incremental price raises per name change, but we settled on keeping things as simple as possible (e.g. one price, one currency). The price was initially going to be R$2,000 and we dropped it to $R1,000 right before releasing the feature because we wanted it to be more broadly accessible. There does need to be a somewhat substantial cost involved, so that name changing is not misused. The price we agreed upon is in line with what other games charge for changing user names.

elitetrooper103: This is a good idea, though friends might forget who you are or others may impersonate you. Is that a risk? Also, can we change group names?

No one can take away your old username from you–it will always be yours, and you will always be able to switch back to it if you’d like. You also keep all of the current friends you have, and they can still find you by searching for your old username. In addition, your profile page will contain a list of all of your previous usernames, so there’s no confusion.

Changing group names is a great idea, and one we’ve been considering for some time now. We’re thinking through some pretty exciting and substantial changes to groups, so keep an eye out.

New Material Textures Are Now Live

jasondee1: Everything looks nicer except the studs and the corroded metal. The studs are way too big and look over-sized. The corroded metal shouldn’t look like diamond plating–a lot of users use the texture for a “rusted” affect, and don’t want it to look like something from a junk yard.

ChadtheCreator: All of the new textures look magnificent and I look forward to using them, however I’ve got to say that the new studs and corroded metal could use some work. Corroded metal blocks lose their color and are suddenly diamond plated.

Corroded Metal w/ CharacterSenior Rendering Engineer Arseny Kapoulkine responds:

We’ve been keeping our ear close to the ground since the release of the new textures–the corroded metal seems to be a highly debated topic. That’s precisely why we ask our users for feedback, and we really appreciate the concern. We plan on reworking corroded metal to make it more versatile. Studs, on the other hand, have generated a plethora of different opinions. Some love them. Some think they look too 3D. Some think they’re too small, while others think they’re too big. We’re going to keep listening, but we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do with them so soon after their release. We’ll be making several announcements in regards to the new material textures in the near future, so stay tuned!

For more entries in this series, see the Feedback Loop tag archive.