It has been 11 years since the release of Roblox, the massively multiplayer online game and creative platform with over 30 million active monthly users. The internet gaming heavyweight has achieved a success that all developers dream of, but many never see – think Minecraft or Runescape for comparative examples – but a lot of people still haven’t heard of it.
So, what exactly is Roblox, and what has made it so extraordinarily popular among a worldwide audience of children, teenagers, and even adults? Let’s take a look.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a player-generated social gaming platform. It’s available on Windows and Mac as well as some consoles and mobile devices, and it gives players access to thousands upon thousands of free-to-play games created and developed by other Roblox players.
Unlike many other games, Roblox remains the same regardless of which platform on which you play. Players use the same account and can access all the same content and games, and switching between devices is seamless since the platform is cloud-based.
When you fire up the Roblox client, a vast gaming experience appears before you. It is difficult to absorb the full spectrum of games available to play, as there are enough gaming experiences on the platform to fill several lifetimes of endless play.
Testing out and playing the multitude of games available on the Roblox platform is only half of the story. In addition to being able to access a seemingly endless catalog of games, players can also start building their own Roblox creations; there is no application process or experience required here!
The player-created games can range from extremely simple worlds, which consist of nothing more than colorful bricks, to elaborately programmed quests, obstacle courses, and roleplaying games.
Roblox’s unique ecosystem sets it apart from competitors and other massively multiplayer online games. For both players and content creators, Roblox provides a seamless environment in which you can let your imagination run wild.
Getting started with Roblox
The entire Roblox platform is accessible from a web browser or through its downloadable client. Download Roblox for Windows.
Once you register an account, the entire Roblox world is there to explore. You can find games where you can shoot zombies, live in and explore a pretend Roblox city, fight each other with swords, and even run a restaurant. Roleplaying, adventure, shooting, driving and even political games, among others, are all there and ready to play.
Creating games for Roblox
For those of you who want to create games, Roblox Studio is where all the magic happens. Roblox Studio gives developers a comprehensive set of tools which can be used to produce some astonishing creations: turning a block into a functional engine, developing NPCs with dialog, and creating object models are just a few of the possibilities within their powerful, all-in-one design studio.
It’s important to note that Roblox is not a platform on which you can produce games by connecting pre-existing components together. You – the player – create the components within your own games.
Creating games on Roblox requires an understanding of Lua 5.1, the programming language behind the player-created games on the platform. To manipulate gameplay, the content creator writes scripts that control and define the in-game behaviors of objects and models, which is why the platform’s games are each so unique. For example, an oil drum that explodes in one author’s game may do something entirely different in another author’s game. So a game author will need to learn some basic programming skills, such as if statements, variables, and functions.
Though there is a learning curve, the benefit of creating Roblox games is clear: There is a huge pre-existing audience which is constantly on the lookout for the next big Roblox game. How many platforms can boast having millions of potential players ready and waiting? Couple that with the ability to earn cold, hard cash through the Roblox platform – more on that later – and you have quite an attractive reason to focus your efforts on learning to program in Lua and get started with Roblox Studio.
Buying stuff on Roblox
Given Roblox’s enormous audience, you might be surprised that the entire platform is free-to-play – it is no cheap undertaking to operate a community of 30 million plus monthly players. However, while the basic Roblox experience is entirely free, microtransactions and the enormous catalog of items keep money flowing in for Roblox and its content creators.
If all this sounds exciting, why don’t you give it a try? You can start by downloading the Roblox client. A new world awaits!