Hi Reddit - David Baszucki, AKA Builderman, here to talk to you about this year’s Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) and the exciting new updates we had to share.

We have been building Roblox for over 15 years as a platform where people can be and do anything they imagine - a place for people to have shared experiences, be it entertainment and play or fashion, music, work, learning. We are ushering in the Metaverse and this new category of human co-experience - our recent advancements shared at RDC are a testament to our progress.

See here for a full summary of what we announced: https://blog.roblox.com/2021/10/rdc-2021-updates-robloxs-vision-path-forward/

The day included: Cloud (the future for developers on Roblox is the freedom to do everything on the cloud via APIs that you can currently do in the Roblox Studio), Dynamic Heads (which allow players to express the breadth and depth of their emotions and identities), and limited-edition UGC items (which allow creators to earn Robux off of the initial sale and subsequent resale of these time-bound or limited-in- number items).

I’m here to answer any questions you may have about our announcement and what it’s like to be a developer on the Roblox platform.

Proof: Here's my proof!

EDIT:Hey - to the Roblox and Reddit Community - thank you for having me today! Gotta run.

Comments: 2997 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

magistrate1012523 karma

How do you feel about the fact that your company targets and monetizes children? Shouldn't a game targeted towards children be completely free of any purchases (beyond actually purchasing said game)?

DaveFromRoblox524 karma

Hi great question. From the beginning we recognized that with a young player community we would have to do several things at the same time. First, from the start we realized we needed to prioritize safety and civility. Erik and I built the first Roblox moderation system right around when we launched Roblox, and 15+ years ago at the start, Erik, John, Matt and I all were the people working the moderation queues. We also from the start knew that we needed to balance openness and freemium, with the ability in some way to support the growth of the company and ultimately the growth of our developer base as more and more of them wanted to make a living and build studios on Roblox. This is why we arrived at our current virtual economy and civility systems. The vast majority of players can enjoy Roblox without spending any money on the platform.

MundanePixeIs586 karma

Do you ever play ROBLOX in your free time?

DaveFromRoblox919 karma

Ha! I happen to play Roblox in both my free time and my work time :-).

Chris12902_470 karma

Hey David, thanks for doing this! I've been playing Roblox for about 10 years now, and I think it's safe to say that it's had a significant impact on my personal and professional interests.

During RDC 2020, you expressed interest in making old event experiences (i.e. The Witching Hour 2013, Egg Hunt 2014) open source for other users to look through and potentially refurbish/reuse these experiences for their own places. Some time after the event, tarabyte spoke on the behalf of Sorcus saying that he would consider uncopylocking these experiences, but would have to look through them first before deciding whether they would become open source or not. Would you be able to provide any updates on the progress of these experiences becoming open source?

DaveFromRoblox324 karma

Hey this is a great idea. I’m interested in it for a couple of reasons. First as you mention I love the idea of sharing this code to help future creators. I will follow up on this. In addition, one of the things we work very hard on at Roblox is maintaining API consistency even as we innovate quickly and move forward. So it would be fun to check out these places and see how well we have done. I’ll reach out to Sorcus on this. Thanks!

Real_Kreek295 karma

BUILDERMAN! Hello there! <3 <3

I have one simple question. RDC is amazing, but it's only for developers. Is it possible to get something similar to Minecraft LIVE in the future? A Roblox Con or yearly livestream in a similar fashion that showcases all aspects of Roblox? The community, content creators, devs, etc?

DaveFromRoblox185 karma

Great question, and for some of you out there, you might remember our first few years of conferences were user conferences, the first of which was at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. We have imagined a conference where the Developer Segment is embedded within a larger community conference, and we think that the Game Jam would be an exceptional experience for everyone to be able to watch. We will continue to think about this and keep you posted.

drputtalot181 karma

Hi David! The 10 year old in my house has learned coding and a love a computers and design by playing Roblox. As a result, working at Roblox is his dream job. What advice would you give to somebody his age to accomplish that goal?

DaveFromRoblox150 karma

Hi - this is great to hear. In my case, Roblox ended up being something I both loved and also something that aligned with my strengths. My general advice for people would be - if you can find something that you love and that is strength-aligned then you should go for it.

Da_Doughboiii128 karma

Will there ever be any events as big as Egg Hunt 2018 ever again?

DaveFromRoblox129 karma

The very first Egg Hunt, for those of you who remember, was early on in Roblox, and at that time we went all the way to embed some of the gameplay and discovery in every experience on the platform using some adjustments to the dynamic code that launched places. Over time, we have worked more and more with individual developers in partnership. The long term vision is that there will be an event bigger than the 2018 Egg Hunt, but in addition, it will be hosted and operated by a Creator/Developer and not by Roblox. This is consistent with our vision and dream of supporting Creators, and being a platform where we fade as much as possible to the background.
So I believe the answer is Yes :-).

pastabaker1109 karma

Have you ever contemplated releasing the source code for a really old version of Roblox? Like a version from 2006 or 2007. Maybe even something as old as Interactive Physics, but I doubt that one would be legally possible.

DaveFromRoblox131 karma

Hey thank you for noting Interactive Physics, which was a labor of love for Erik and myself. I think copies of this are still floating around. I love that the community recognizes the innovation and fun of the early 2006 Roblox. Technically, we feel it’s easier to make Roblox so powerful and extensive, that the way to share the 2006 experience of Roblox is to make it possible to “simulate” this exactly in the current version of Roblox. My kudos and appreciation to the several developers who are now making “Roblox Classic” simulations of experiences like Crossroads and Chaos Canyon available for new people on the platform.

DaveFromRoblox74 karma

I’m running short of time and will try to answer one or two more before stepping out.

mob5564 karma

What is the future of Roblox in 5 years?

DaveFromRoblox78 karma

Hi - great question, and so glad to be here for my first AMA. We talk a lot about our vision for the metaverse and how ultimately this technology will bring people together through play, learning, work, experiencing entertainment and beyond. As we shared at RDC, you will see our whole avatar system moving to UGC, which is exciting to us as we believe there will be a combinatorial explosion in the ability for people to be who they want to be. We have innovations similar to this up and down our stack, including the scale and immersiveness of the Roblox engine, how we manage search and discovery to help people find friends, the integration of voice and avatar facial animation to convey more emotion and connection, and beyond.
One way to get a glimpse into this future is to watch some of our recent videos from RDC. And of course, we continue to make massive strides in all of our efforts to support a safe and civil community on the platform.

chr1s_rbx61 karma

Do you ever question your sanity?

DaveFromRoblox112 karma

Yes all the time :-).

EcoScratcher33 karma

- The response from events such as Chipotle, EDC, Zara Larsson and the various concerts which were developed by third parties have ranged from mixed to negative. Will other development groups be given the chance to liaison with these corporations and what will the criteria be?

- Given the arrival of the Talent Hub, will Roblox improve the Robux transfer experience?

- Do you anticipate that a Luobu/Roblox China game or game studio will be able to be successful in the global market? What challenges do you think they will face?

- What is the current criteria to be included on the sorts on the home page? Will more games be included on these new sorts in the future?

DaveFromRoblox19 karma

Hey great questions, I’m going to answer the first one about events on our platform. Our long term vision is that there will be a wide range of experiences and events active at all times, and that these will be created completely and autonomously by partnerships between Roblox developers and creative brands. Overall the events on the platform have been extremely well-received, and we are making every effort possible to support direct relationships between brands and our creative developers. The goal is to make this ecosystem completely self-sufficient and hopefully self-sustaining. In a way, this mirrors the evolution of games on our platform, where the very first were created by Roblox, but over time, Roblox has stepped back.

Starcraft8831 karma

Hi David! Bit of a Roblox nerd here, haha. Been following the site and metaverse for quite a few years at this point and am happy that you finally agreed to an AMA, as I'm pretty interested in the site's history and future. I have a couple questions here, you don't have to answer all of them!!

  1. How far did you originally expect Roblox to go, and how does it compare to today? What are your hopes for its growth in the future?

  2. When you and Erik left MSC Software, what did you do in the few years before founding Roblox? How was the first year of development?

  3. Did Morgan McGuire directly help out with Roblox in the beginning, or did he only supply the engine? How did you two know eachother and what led up to his recent hiring?

  4. You've said that in the first version of Roblox, you had no character. Could you expand on this, if you remember specifics?

  5. Do you have any plans on bringing Roblox Studio to mobile devices (or consoles)? If so, how do you think it could work?

I also have some more specific questions, which I don't expect you to recall but would be appreciated.

  1. Was eBlocks an early, scrapped name for Roblox? It was found on your website in 2003 as a "stealth mode video game company".

  2. The first known singleplayer game is Spasmotron2 vs. Wimpotron2 which released in late July 2004 when it was private (as far as I'm aware), are there any you remember from before that?

Apologies for asking so many historical questions, it's quite interesting! Can't wait to see where the site heads in the future :)

DaveFromRoblox26 karma

These are all great questions. Answering #2 - unknown to most Roblox players there was a two+ year period when Erik and I were working out of an office in Menlo Park on the first versions of Roblox. We had hoped to get traction with an early version of Roblox that was more of a “puzzle solver” system rather than the full Roblox we know today, which includes interactive, cloud-based avatars and the ability to interact with friends. As is true with many “shortcuts”, this early puzzle version of Roblox did not get a lot of traction. Erik and I had to make the difficult decision to hunker down for an additional nine months to get to the full first cut of Roblox as we see it today. Those were fun and wonderful times because we were coding and inventing non stop.

DaveFromRoblox18 karma

Hi - following up on question #3. In the very early days of Roblox, back in the puzzle game phase, Erik and I were looking for a better graphics engine and we came across Morgan McGuire and his open source G3D library. It’s an amazing baseline codebase that we leveraged to get Roblox off the ground. Subsequent to that, our rendering team has re-written our core C++ graphics code 2-3 times, and now we have developed our “future is bright” lighting system that pushes the envelope across all of our platforms.
Part of the fun in those early days is that Morgan would work with us in our office in Menlo Park on Chestnut Street while we were putting this all together. Those are fond memories when Morgan, Erik and I were all in the same room writing C++ code. Morgan and I stayed connected over all these years, and now Morgan is back, running Roblox Research, with the goal of driving innovation at Roblox and helping to solve many of the difficult technical challenges ahead in building the metaverse.

Orpheeus22 karma

How do you feel knowing your company's incredible success is built largely on child labor who are essentially paid with scrip?

DaveFromRoblox35 karma

Thanks for the question, although we don’t agree with the overall perspective. The core of the Roblox vision and philosophy is that we support as much creation as possible throughout the community. From the early days of Roblox we realized that our creator community had incredible imagination and ideas that went beyond what any one company could do on their own. Many of our creators have chosen to go beyond learning, and have started to earn money on our platform. For those who do, we do everything we can to make our economy fair, supportive and efficient so that these creators can be compensated for their efforts.

Bitbatgaming20 karma

Are there any plans to port roblox over to the PS4? How will Roblox perform on the steam deck?

DaveFromRoblox27 karma

Hey nice question! We have a vision that what we call “3D immersive physically simulated avatar stuff in the cloud” should run anywhere. This is similar to the innovation that occurred for 2D html content when Apple introduced the iPhone. Up until then, 2D html was primarily relegated to desktop large screen experiences, but all of a sudden with the iPhone and pinch/zoom UI, this exact same content was consumable on a small screen.
Our philosophy is similar, in that with different camera and avatar controls, Roblox runs today on phones, tablets, computers, and consoles (Xbox). We ultimately want Roblox to run on as wide a range of platforms as possible, and PS4 is a great candidate. We can’t share future ship plans, but we can highlight that this is in line with our vision.

asimo308918 karma

Hey Dave! Long time player and developer!

  1. With Roblox becoming more and more social, and Facebook becoming more and more focused on the metaverse, do you see Roblox becoming an alternative to Facebook sometime in the future?

  2. Do you have a Roblox experience you enjoy playing with your kids or you find yourself regularly coming back to?

Appreciate everything you do. Roblox wouldn't be what it is today without you.

DaveFromRoblox17 karma

Hi ASIMO - we see Roblox as a real-time, interactive place where people do things together. This is consistent with our vision of the metaverse.
We appreciate everything you do on the platform as well!