Roblox (stylized as RŌBLOX) is a MMOG created and marketed toward children and teenagers aged 8–18. In the game, players are able to create their own virtual world and design their own games. Previously, Roblox has been compared to the popular game Minecraft, however while the initial building block concept remains to an extent, it no longer bears any resemblance, and design capabilities far exceed anything possible with Minecraft. Games on Roblox can be scripted using a sandboxed edition of Lua 5.1 to affect events that occur in-game and create different scenarios. The company's main source of revenue comes from players buying Robux, the main virtual currency in the game, and from players buying "Builders Club" access, a status which gives virtual benefits to users. Players who have created an account might purchase either Builders Club, Turbo Builders Club, or Outrageous Builders Club, otherwise known by users as BC, TBC, and OBC, respectively.

History and development

Roblox was created by founder and co-founder David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and officially launched into its beta version, titled "Dynablocks" in 2004. Soon, "Dynablocks" was renamed to ROBLOX in 2005 and the website was officially launched in 2006. It was named after a portmanteau of the words robots and blocks. Roblox is still in the beta stages today.

Development and beta (2004–2006)

David Baszucki and Erik Cassel founded Roblox, then known as Dynablocks, in 2004. After a year of development, Dynablocks was renamed ROBLOX and was launched into beta in 2005. In 2005, people could gain the currency at that time, Roblox Points, by completing single-player mini games developed by Roblox admins. As the game was released publicly in 2006, people came to the game slowly, but eventually the game started growing exponentially to its noticeably large 6 million account base.

Early history (2006–2009)

In early 2006, Roblox had one currency, known as Roblox Points, first used like the Player Points, then as an upgrade to one's avatar, which was subsequently discontinued and replaced with "Robux". In mid-2007, Roblox added more customization to user characters to allow items such as caps to be worn. Roblox badges were first introduced on 22 December 2006. Meshes were added, and so were the abilities of sending friend requests to additional players, and sending messages. Other things accomplished in 2006 were searching through players, places, and items, multiplayer places, stats, and inventories.

In 2007, character customization became possible. In late January, the abuse report queue was introduced, with the ability for any user to report content as inappropriate through the "Report Abuse" buttons disseminated throughout the site. In March 2007, Roblox became compliant with COPPA, with the addition of safe chat, a change which made users who indicated to be under the age of 13 at registration only able to communicate by selecting predefined messages from a menu. In August 2007, Roblox added Builders Club, a premium membership, and applied server improvements.

Exclusive features and game features (2010–2012)

In 2010, Roblox began creating body shapes which Builders Club members could purchase using virtual currency. These body shapes were available in the catalogue as packages, which included a large number of items that were all obtained when the package was bought. These packages varied in size and price and occasionally went on sale.

In the year 2011, more than 5.4 million games were created by users.

At the Roblox Game Conference, Roblox released a system that allowed members with a premium membership to trade collectible items with additional users who have Builders Club. Over time, additional features have been added to the system such as increasing the value of a trade, adding Robux to a trade, and owning and trading multiple copies of the same collectible item.

On 13 January 2012, Roblox announced on the blog that their first Hack Week had been held. The post announcing it described it as a week where developers worked on projects they chose that they then had to present to the company and that, if considered interesting, can be put further work on. Projects worked on by developers were later described by blog posts throughout the rest of the year. They included the implementation of the possibility for user interface elements to rotate, which was later added to the game engine, the exploration of a system for crafting items, the suggestion of a system that would allow game developers to connect a large number of games together, which was additionally later added to the engine and the creation of a mobile website to replace the normal website for tablets and cell phones.

On 5 June 2012, Roblox announced that a new water material was released to add to the existing collection of "high scalability" terrain cell materials.

On 11 December 2012, Roblox released the ability to play games on iOS. The current iOS devices compatible with running Roblox games are the iPad 2 and newer devices including mini, iPhone 4 or newer, and the iPod touch fifth generation. The mobile Roblox application gives users the ability to customise their character, shop in the virtual catalog, play games, view their profile, and respond to messages. Previous to the release of the mobile Roblox application, the company created 20 virtual Roblox tablets. Players who purchased one received a brand new iPad 3.

On 21 December 2012, featherweight parts were introduced. This feature enhanced game performance greatly by decreasing the usage of file space for each part in a place.

April first 2012 hacks

On April 1, 2012, Roblox suffered site issues that caused players to get incorrect amounts of Robux. Some assets were uploaded without being reviewed by the moderators. There was a mysterious face uploaded to the catalogue named c:. The only person who has it is user stickmasterluke. The hackers were able to access a few moderators accounts and make them say quite graphic and inappropriate things. Soon after, users Pheedy and are17, both accounts under the control of DracoSwordMaster, became moderators, and used their elevated powers to unban Minish, who's a well known hacker on ROBLOX. The prices of hats in the catalogue went down tremendously, and players on the site were stuck in two possible situations; one being undeservedly earning ROBUX spontaneously, and the later having their ROBUX lost. The warning banner for the top of the site would flutter in chaos, changing colours and bestowing objectionable content, examples being "thank you minish for messing up the economy. nub." and "always share your passwords with strangers, kids!" Items in the catalogue had prices changed and renamed. The entire website was soon shut down. After the hack attack was over, people were pointing the finger at users Minish and DracoSwordMaster, who're additionally well known hackers on the website for the hacks. After all this activity had occurred, ROBLOX staff brought the site offline, reporting they were still attempting to patch up the currency system. Administrators John Shedletsky and Matt Dusek had discovered a way to regress the everything that happened, and once the entire system was restored to its previous form, all the accounts that were tampered with were permanently banned, including DracoSwordMaster, and the "c:" face was pulled from the catalog.

Contemporary history (2012–present)

The co-founder of Roblox, Erik Cassel, died on the morning of 11 February 2013 after a three-year battle with cancer at his home located in Silicon Valley, California.

The safe chat feature was removed and was replaced by a system based on a whitelist for users under 13 years old and on a blacklist for additional users. This new system allows users under the age of 13 to create content on the website, which they weren't able to do previously. Any words that aren't pre-approved will be replaced with a series of pound signs (#). This has been subject to criticism, because words not deemed inappropriate can be censored.

The lighting system was improved with the addition of dynamic lights implemented in a voxel-based fashion. Dynamic lights were later added to the mobile version of Roblox. On 2 October 2013, animations made a debut in Roblox, with an overhaul of the default Roblox character animations along with user made animations allowed.

In December 2013, an animation plugin was made available to be used. Users additionally became able to insert basic humanoids through the interface of the studio.

Around August 2013, the minimum price for catalogue items increased from 1 ticket or 1 Robux to 300 tickets and 25 Robux for shirts or pants and 120 tickets and 10 robux for T-shirts. This was met by criticism from the community and it was reduced to 100 tickets and 10 Robux for shirts and pants and 20 tickets and 2 robux for T-shirts.

On 1 October 2013, Roblox released a feature called Developer's Exchange. The feature allows users to exchange their Robux into USD. The requirements to use the programme are a minimum threshold of 100,000 Robux, Outrageous Builders Club, and a valid Paypal account. The current trade ratio is 500 to 1.

On 11 October 2013, body packages became available to all members of Roblox, including those who didn't have a premium membership.

On 22 October 2013, players became able to change their usernames to an unused one for 1000 Robux. The feature additionally allows the player's original name to be saved in case a user wishes to change back. On 14 October 2014, one badge was retired and all additional badges were redesigned.

On 31 May 2015, a feature named Smooth Terrain was added, increasing the graphical fidelity and changing the physics engine from a blocky style to a smoother, more photorealistic, style

In Summer 2015, all combat-related badges were discontinued.

On August 4, 2015, Roblox discontinued purchases for lifetime and 6 months Builders Club, Turbo Builders Club, and Outrageous Builders Club.

On October 15, 2015, there was a new chat system that replaced the old one. Also fixed a large number of issues with the old chat and party systems.

On November 10, 2015 Roblox announced a new Physics Material Properties that allows blocks to be pushed around easier, another object being pushed more easier, and blocks being pushed depending on the terrain type. As of February 10, 2016, this was effective and is default for all games, but it can be switched to the older physics standard.

On November 24, 2015, Roblox introduced a new shadows for Humanoids that made players' shadow look realistic.

In February 2016, Roblox allows users to create usernames with underscores again.

On 12 March 2016, Roblox announced on their blog a new R15 avatar was in the works. This would be a new body part package that would have 15 body parts instead of the regular package's 6. After R15 is released, players can still choose to use R6 if they don't like the new package.

On March 15, 2016, Roblox announced that the currency called "Tickets" is planned to be removed after 30 days of the announcement because ROBLOX deemed the said currency useless. During the 30 days, Roblox released hats that can only be bought with Tickets as exclusive, commemorative items. Additionally, the Trade Currency system will be removed.

Also, on March 15, 2016, Roblox announced they'll lower the ROBUX price floors to 5 ROBUX minimum as in means of currency. They will additionally allow users to upload their hats, gear, and more, similar to how players can do Models.

On April 14, 2016, the Tickets currency was removed from Roblox's internal payment system, and was removed from all subdomains of the website.

Gameplay

Players can customise their virtual characters with hundreds of different hats, head shapes, body shapes, clothing, and gear. Players might create their own articles of clothing, which allows for a more personalised in-game experience. Notwithstanding selling player-created articles of clothing and collectible items require Builders Club, but non-premium players might still create T-shirts, which are decals attached to the front of a player's torso.

Social interaction

Players can add additional people they meet in the game to their friends list. Since 2011, this can be done inside a game. On 4 February 2015, a new update to replace the Friends and Best Friends system, named Friends and Followers, was introduced. This allows more personal game play if wanted. This update additionally allows 200 Friends and infinite Followers. Players additionally have the option join community groups. After joining, players can then advertise their group, participate in group relations, and set their primary group. On the website and in game, users who're under 13 years old can only use specific words that are part of a whitelist maintained by the Roblox moderators. In contrast, users who're over 13 years old can use any word except words that are part of a blacklist.

ROBLOX Studio

Editing using ROBLOX Studio 2016

ROBLOX Studio is the programme users use to customise their places. It is a free programme that comes with ROBLOX.

Building

Players use ROBLOX Studio's built-in building system to construct places with bricks from varying colours and shapes. Players additionally are able to use user made plugins and tools to build. Players additionally have the ability to scroll through the ROBLOX Library and find free models and scripts. ROBLOX additionally created a "Official Model Maker" system where talented model makers are able to create and make their creations visible on the front page of the ROBLOX Library model section.

Programming

Players can use the programming language Lua to dynamically change the environment of the game. Also, plugins can be developed with Lua to be used in Roblox Studio. The exact version of Lua that's used in ROBLOX Studio is Lua 5.1. It is at times however, referred to as ROBLOX Lua.

Website

The is the home of Roblox. It contains most of the features that Roblox has, including: the catalog, groups, forums, trades, the blog, and more. The only feature the website doesn't have is the game client. Notwithstanding to access the games for the client, one must use the website.

ROBLOX Library

A page similar to the catalogue that displays models, decals, plugins, and audios free to the community. This page was originally in the catalog, but was later moved to the Develop page.

Economy and currency

Roblox currently has just one virtual currency: Robux. Robux was originally released alongside with another currency called Tickets until on March 15, 2016, when ROBLOX announced that the currency called "Tickets" was planned to be removed after 30 days of the announcement and the Trade Currency system would additionally be removed. They can be converted from one to the additional with the currency exchange. Tickets were earned for a variety of activities, such as when places are visited, as a daily login bonus, or for item sales including clothing. The announcement of their removal sparked a major campaign against it, both on Roblox forums and social media. In-game items can be sold for either a set price in currently just Robux, it formerly used Tickets as another currency option before its removal. Robux is earned daily by premium members in varying amounts depending on the user's type of membership. Robux can additionally be earned through sale of virtual goods, such as clothing or developer products, or can be purchased directly with money.

DevEx

The developer exchange, widely known in the game as DevEx, is a feature that exchanges the game currency, Robux, to real cash. This option is only available to users that hold Outrageous Builders Club and at least 100,000 Robux. Users of the developer exchange can make from $250 USD (100,000 Robux) to $50,000 USD (20,000,000 Robux) in a month.

Mobile gameplay

Roblox can be played on a large number of Android devices, as well as the iPad 2, the iPhone 4, the iPod touch fifth generation or any successor to one of those Apple devices. This is done with the Roblox application which can be obtained from the application store. The application allows purchasing items from the catalogue that aren't available for users not using the mobile application using the currency system of iTunes. The application can be used to view the user's inventory, friends, groups, and messages. It can additionally be used to purchase upgrades (premium memberships or Robux) with the currency system provided by iTunes and Google Play.

During the alpha period, only selected places such as Crossroads, Paintball!, ROBLOX Snowmobiling, Dodgeball!, etc. can be played from the application. The application is now stable and allows any place to be played. Notwithstanding a large number of places aren't adapted to be played on the mobiles, which can result in games being too slow or a few games being impossible to play because of the controls that aren't available on mobile. Additionally, a few games are simply unable to load due to size and complexity, for example the popular and leading tactical shooter

Holiday traditions

During holidays like Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, Roblox will adapt the website to resemble the season. For example, throughout Halloween, the website theme will be black, orange, and purple, with a pumpkin representing the "o" in Roblox. During Easter, Roblox sets up a game where players can search the map for "eggs" to gather and earn as hats for their character. On Halloween and Christmas, Roblox creates "gifts" that the players can earn or buy. After the gifts are no longer obtainable, they'll open after a set period and give players a specific unique item. Unlike additional holiday traditions, the 2015 egg hunt had featured games made by developers, additional than a Roblox map done the years before though it returned to a privately hired developer creating a game just intended for the 2016 egg hunt. Many of the recent traditions have been sponsored by movies and TV shows, which has been subject to severe criticism from the game's community.

Moderation

As Roblox moderators work to maintain a safe environment for children, a large number of aspects of the site are moderated, such as the game's forum and chat logs. If a player violates the conditions of use, a moderation action might be taken on the account, which might be terminated or prevented from using the website for a determined period. Less severe, or first time offences might attract a warning which requires the player to reconfirm their acceptance to Roblox rules upon their next log in. When a player's account is permanently deactivated, additional users are no longer able to view the user's profile, statistics, or inventory (the profile will be replaced by the generic message "The item you requested doesn't exist"), though they can still play games created by the player if accessed through the search function recently played games or favourites tab. Inappropriate usernames are changed to "[ Content Deleted ]" with the user's ID number afterwards and the usual removal of the ability to view the profile; similarly, the name of content additionally deemed inappropriate is additionally changed to "[ Content Deleted ]".

Users who act in these violations range from minor to major.

TypePeriod
ReminderN/A
WarningN/A
Ban1 day
Ban3 days
Ban7 days
Ban14 days
Termination [account deleted, still able to create new accounts on computer]Permanent
"Poison" Ban [account deleted, will disable ability to make accounts on that computer]Permanent
IP ban1–2 weeks
Unauthorized credentials ban (Permanent IP ban)Permanent

An unauthorised credentials ban permanently removes the ability to access the site.

An IP ban removes the ability to access the site. Notwithstanding IP bans are temporary.

Poison bans prevent the user from creating new accounts on the IP address permanently.

Termination bans delete the account the action is performed on, but still allows accounts to be created from the computer/IP. Theoretically, this would only serve to inconvenience offenders, as they would be able to create a new account immediately.

Catalog

A place where users can buy virtual items and clothing for their character. This is additionally a place where users can view user-created clothing. This is a major part of Roblox and one of the main uses of in-game currency. Hats, Shirts, T-shirts, Pants and Gear are among the categories of items. Once an item is purchased, it is available in the player's inventory, and wearable items additionally appear on the "Avatar" page, where the user can place them on their character.

Blog

The Roblox Blog is where ROBLOX posts official information and press releases. This is usually where new updates, events and major changes are announced. Players aren't able to post to these blogs, but they're able to post comments on existing blog posts by ROBLOX. Any comment posted on the blog is moderated by ROBLOX moderators.

Forums

The popular ROBLOX Forums are a big part of the site where ROBLOX users can discuss a large number of different things, related to ROBLOX or not. They have been around after 2004, in fact, and one of the eggs for a yearly Egg Hunt event of ROBLOX can be obtained by going to the forums and clicking on a banner that would randomly appear, telling the user they could obtain the egg by clicking on said banner. Many additional notable events and such have taken place on the forums as well.

Despite the popularity of social media, players continue to frequent these forums and serve as a place for players to post rules and information about their games, learn about Roblox and have general conversations. Players under thirteen can view and create posts, allowing them to communicate with additional users, whereas their communication is limited to whitelist words in game.

Builders Club

Roblox is free to play, although members might purchase monthly memberships to enhance their game experience. One membership option, Builders Club, grants players multiple amenities, including a daily virtual currency stipend of 15 Robux per day. Other membership options include Turbo Builders Club and Outrageous Builders Club, with each option getting more expensive than the last. Depending on the tier of Builders Club a player buys, the player can unlock more places to build in, more money to spend, more groups to join, and the ability to create and sell clothing. Recently, ROBLOX has given non-upgraded users a severe disadvantage which has been subject to criticism. In August 2015, ROBLOX discontinues 6 month and lifetime Builders Club, Turbo Builders Club, and Outrageous Builders Club.

Relief funds

In 2010, Roblox published two hats in the virtual catalogue that players could purchase to fund for earthquake relief for the Haiti earthquake. They were named the "Blue Hat for Haiti", and the "Red Hat for Haiti". For every player who bought the blue hat, Roblox had donated 10 cents to the Red Cross Relief Fund to help Haiti recover. For every player who bought the Red Hat, Roblox had donated 65 cents to the Red Cross Roblox donated at least $5479 to the Red Cross Relief Fund because of this, after a week of the hats being on sale. In 2011, Roblox additionally published two hats that players could purchase to raise money for Japan after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The Rising Sun Cap and the Japanese Baseball Cap were put into the catalogue for players to buy. For every Rising Sun Cap that players bought, Roblox had donated $1.00 to the Red Cross. For every Japanese Baseball Cap that players bought, Roblox had donated 10 cents to the Red Cross. After only two days of the hats being on sale, $10,445.80 was raised, from 23935 hats being sold.

In 2013, Roblox published a hat after the death of their co-founder, Erik Cassel. Every time the hat was bought, Roblox had donated money toward cancer research, as cancer was the cause of Cassel's death.

Again in 2013, Roblox published two hats after Typhoon Haiyan. For every hat that a player bought, Roblox had either donated 10 cents or 65 cents depending on the hat. A total of $3,330.30 was raised from players buying the hats.

In Summer of 2014, Roblox released a gear of which it represented a bucket of ice cold water throughout the Ice Bucket Challenge trend to spread awareness of ALS. For each time a player bought the gear, Roblox donated to ALS research garnering up to about $6,200 at the end.

Conventions

Roblox Rally 2011

The 2011 convention was held at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California on 1 August 2011. At the time, the convention was named the Roblox Rally. Attendants received a free poster, a T-shirt, water bottle, and their own lanyard. Each player who attended additionally received a free lunch of their choice.

Roblox Game Conference 2012

In 2012, the convention was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, on 14 July 2012. The convention was again renamed, this time as the Roblox Game Conference. Attendees each received a poster.

Bloxcon 2013

For the first time in its history, the Roblox convention was held outside of its home state. There were three different conventions, each hosted on a separate date.

  • The first one was held on 13 July 2013, at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago, Illinois.
  • The second Bloxcon was held on 27 July 2013, at the Royal Air Force Museum in London, England, just a mere two weeks after the first one.
  • The third Bloxcon was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, New York on 10 August 2013.
  • The final Bloxcon was announced in June. The final convention was the Virtual Bloxcon and was held on 21 September 2013.

2013 Roblox Film Festival

There was a Roblox Film Festival in 2013 which had been previously announced on the blog and which started in late April and ended at midnight on 3 June 2013. Players were allowed to choose from a variety of categories, a few applying to the Bloxcon events and create a short video of varying time lengths. For example, a user might enter a video showing what London is like. The winning video picked from each category relating to a Bloxcon was shown at the actual event. The prize is an award under the moniker "BLOXY", mocking the Oscars.

2014 Tour

On 8 March 2014, Roblox announced that they had partnered with the Maker Faire organisation to hold their conventions in the form of a tour. Beginning in April, Roblox booths would be staffed by the players in their specified city's Maker Faire. A minimum of eight people are needed to run a booth, and if twenty five people commit to staffing the booth, a Roblox staff member will attend the event. The tour runs through the end of 2014.

Virtual Bloxcon 2014

Bloxcon 2014 started on 21 June. Unlike Bloxcon 2013, the entire convention was held online. It was being livestreamed through twitch.tv and was full of challenges, question and answer sessions, hall of fame inductions, giveaways and new content in the catalogue and game. In the end, over 125,000 people tuned in to watch Bloxcon 2014. Throughout the day, three "Mysterious ROBLOX Virtual BLOXcon Gifts" were being sold. They could only be gained for a limited time and when they were opened, the users who obtained those gifts got: Classy ROBLOX Bowtie (from the first gift), ROBLOX R Bowler (from the second gift), and 2104 Space Vision Glasses (named because at the beginning of the stream, the stream had it say 2104 instead of 2014; from gift three). Users could additionally get the Virtual BLOXcon Top Hat 2014, earned by buying Robux or Builders Club that day.

That 22 June, at midnight (PST), new items were released on the catalogue late at night. It was called the "Midnight Sale" and items such as limited faces, hats, and a new variant of a well known collectible item within the game, the dominus.

Roblox Developers Conference

Roblox Developer Conference is a conference where ROBLOX developers and administrators for a showcase and to share ideas. In 2016, the conference was held in the Bay Area of California, close to Roblox headquarters. Attendees are additionally able to test new features before they're released. The event was streamed on the ROBLOX Twitch channel.

Twitch.tv

ROBLOX staff and developers host a Twitch.tv broadcast every week. They usually play user-created ROBLOX games. Additionally, they at times reveal giveaway codes for virtual items (hats, gears, etc.) on special occasions.

Monthly Bloxcasts

On 23 November 2013, it was announced on the blog that beginning 7 December 2013, a livestream titled Bloxcast would take place every month lasting about one hour and a half. The Bloxcasts will feature live gameplay from the staff, Q&A sessions, and announcements involving the game and updates.

October 2014 incident

On 24 October 2014, three Roblox employees were fired after an incident that occurred at the end of the 24-hour Twitch.tv live stream. They thought the live stream had finished, however it was still recording the audio which thousands of children were listening to. For over two minutes, the three administrators started chatting about the website in a quite negative way. They were heard swearing numerous times throughout the two minutes and disrespecting the site and additional players. After 20 minutes, the administrators quickly pulled down the live stream.