Roblox has big ambitions to “makeover the real world”. Game-making apps are probably best recognized by their block-shaped cartoon-like avatars, as well as their relatively simple environment and virtual assets.
That’s why Roblox is so popular with kids that it’s accessible on less powerful smartphones.
Roblox is undergoing a graphical overhaul
However, preconceptions about how challenging the look and feel of Roblox games may be beginning to change. Last week, the company announced significant advances in its graphics fidelity work with updates to the resources developers can use to build virtual worlds.
The protocol caught up with product lead Josh Anon, who leads the development of Roblox’s custom game engine. Talked about updates, what it means to developers, and how it fits into Roblox’s ambition to create a metaverse.
The Roblox world is made up of realistic building blocks. When creating a game world using Roblox’s engine, players can choose from materials such as wood, brick, glass, metal, or custom materials developed by other developers and licensed on the Roblox Marketplace. increase. These materials now look more realistic and also reflect real-world behavior.
- According to Roblox, the default material now interacts with other objects in the way you would expect in the real world. Cars driving on wet asphalt can slip and flame-exposed wood will ignite. Dirt becomes more porous and water can sink into it.
- “Roblox is actually the physics engine on which the game engine is built,” Anon told me. “This eliminates the need for developers to code a lot of behavior. When you lift an object into the air and release it, you don’t have to code gravity. It works by default.”
- Material updates allow developers to expect more complex emergency actions. This is a game design term when a complex system has unexpected and sometimes unplanned results.
- “We can open up the experience of 10 years ago, but it will actually be better today than it was 10 years ago because it shows new behavior,” he said.
- Anon used a novel blend of physics, thermodynamics, weather, and other systems to create a highly flexible game world. The players will continue to experiment for years after the release, of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- He added that Roblox’s goal is to reduce the tools that make the game indistinguishable from real life and to increase the tools that make it feel like real life. “If you get photorealism that looks good and doesn’t support it, that would be disappointing,” Anon said.
Roblox to create the real world
Roblox wants to create the real world. The platform boasts more than 50 million active players daily and more than 200 million users log in each month. Roblox, alongside Epic Games’ Fortnite and Microsoft’s Minecraft, is the future Metaverse market. Often cited as a clear candidate for a leader.
Roblox has an opinion on the Metaverse. Few web3 boosters and tech futurists (with the exception of VC Matthew Ball) can concisely identify what the Metaverse is and what it actually looks like. But Roblox has been talking about it for a long time, and its platform updates are inseparable from the vision of the future of entertainment and digital life.
Roblox’s vision for the Metaverse is a bit different from its competitors. For example, Epic hasn’t yet allowed Fortnite creators to monetize their work as Roblox does. Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 is also a professional software suite. This is aimed at helping experienced studios create photo-realistic visuals that run on advanced hardware. (In that sense, Meta states that it is in a “very deep philosophical competition” with Apple in terms of Metaverse’s direction, and more specifically, Mixed Reality hardware.)
Roblox hasn’t joined a new industry group called the Metaverse Standards Forum. When asked if interoperability and increased Roblox fidelity help build a shared metaverse, Anon said, “We’re focusing on what [creators] need to succeed.” Said. There aren’t many others.
For now, the Metaverse is still very under construction, but Roblox wants to make its platform an outstanding target for its own brand of so-called collaborative experiences. And what the Metaverse takes can depend heavily on which platform gets there first.