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Hack Week 2016: Part II

January 26, 2017

by Roblox

Product & Tech

At the end of 2016, the entire Roblox team jumped into a week of thrilling and innovative experiments known as Hack Week! Today, we’re taking a look at two Hack Week projects that aim to benefit the Roblox social community. These creations could revolutionize streaming and referrals for Roblox. If you haven’t read our previous Hack Week blog post, check out part 1!

Roblox Stream Browser by Caelestene

For my first-ever Hack Week presentation, I created a Roblox Stream Browser to make discovering streams easier and more interesting.

If you’ve never watched or heard of a stream, many of them are live gameplay broadcasts where streamers can showcase games, as well as interact and chat with their viewers. Many people broadcast their streams on Twitch and Youtube, and even Facebook.

Streams are fun to watch, and they’re great ways to engage with the Roblox community! But finding popular streams often requires checking multiple platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, and it takes a good deal of navigation to find them. It’s also difficult to know when certain streamers will be online, which means you have to wait and refresh pages for a while.

I wanted an easier way to check streams. That’s why I created the Roblox Stream Browser, a list with links to all live Roblox streams across YouTube and Twitch. You can view the browser at different times to discover new streams from around the world!

The Roblox Stream Browser is currently live in the Chrome extension webstore, and you can add the extension by clicking here. Once you have added the browser, you can click the Roblox logo in your extensions to see a list of all live streams on YouTube and Twitch. The streams are organized by the number of viewers watching each stream, so you’ll see the most popular streams at the top of the list.

In the future, I hope to improve the Roblox Stream Browser by allowing users to select certain streamers as their favorites. That way, you could receive notifications when your favorite streams come online, and save links from favorite streams that you’ve missed.

Referral Information System by TobotRobot

Developers deserve to know where their players are coming from. When marketing a game, you learn a lot by seeing what kinds of advertising users engage with the most positively. At the moment, there’s no way for developers to gather data on which ads are their most successful. They can only make educated guesses based on when they have more players in their game. I was determined to find a solution for this big knowledge gap.

During Hack Week, I created a system that would allow developers to check out all kinds of information about how players were finding and entering their games. For example, they could see the specific ad each user clicked on; or, if the user found their game through the Roblox search engine, the system would collect keywords that they used. In the future, we can expand this project to include offsite referrals from sites such as Twitch, YouTube, and Twitter.

This system would allow developers to effectively learn where to find the users who like their game, and what about their marketing appeals to them. Developers could rent ads on Roblox and test how effectively they bring in new players, see which of their ads users are more likely to click, and what keywords they type when searching for their games! If we broaden the scope of our project to include social media, developers would also be able to test different accounts to see where their potential players spend the most time and what kinds of material they best respond to. Then, developers could tailor their keywords, ads, and promotions, and ultimately increase traffic to their game. The possibilities for marketing are enormous!

As a reminder, most Hack Week projects are just demonstrations and are not guaranteed to roll out officially as Roblox features. Still, we hope that they do, and we love to hear which creations you want the most! Let us know on the forums or social media. Stay tuned for part three of our four-part Hack Week series!