If you attended or watched RDC 2018, you saw David “Builderman” Baszucki’s presentation on some of the exciting features and updates coming to Roblox in the coming months. With great delight, we are happy to announce a major update to the look, feel and customization options on Roblox: introducing Rthro for avatars!
Avatars are central to the Roblox experience, as they provide an avenue for players and developers alike to express and represent themselves in a personalized manner. Now players can bring their avatars to new heights with all new scaling and sizing options! Rthro character scaling options maintain joint placement and will allow most previously created animations to work seamlessly with new avatars. But it doesn’t stop there! Roblox took it one step further: imagine being able to mix and match all different avatar styles in one universe, so that the classic R6, R15 and fully Rthro avatars all interact seamlessly in the same game. Alternatively, you could have a game where all avatars take on a consistent look, regardless of the variety of styles these avatars might have entered the game with. You can use this new technology for this and more: the combinations are endless, and this new suite of choices will allow avatars of all generations to refresh their look!
As of today, we have released this feature to developers exclusively in order to give you the chance to explore the new scaling options and experiment with them in game. For now, this feature is not available for players to apply to their avatars to give developers a chance to check things out. We will soon be unlocking full scaling options for players to experiment with their avatars and releasing a series of avatar bundles that were designed with Rthro in mind. These bundles will scale gracefully in both directions; from Classic to Rthro and back. Alternatively, classic avatars now have the ability to scale up to 100% and can interact in the same universe as the coming bundles.
We will be offering an opportunity for developers to showcase their games with full Rthro enabled on a dedicated events page. To submit your game for consideration, please complete this short survey: https://survey.roblox.com/s3/Roblox-R-Thro-Game-Spotlight-Sign-Up
What does this mean for developers?
We have previously unlocked scaling to allow enhanced avatar customization options which we announced in this Developer Forum post: https://devforum.roblox.com/t/roblox-enhanced-avatar-scaling-options/130776). In the next few days, the full capabilities of the custom avatar engine will be unlocked and players will be able to scale all the way to 100%.
Developers will have control over the scaling abilities in their games using the new Morph Panel in Studio. This panel will control the percent of scale developers allow players to exhibit in their game. For example, developers can restrict players to scale to a certain percent range, completely disable this new scaling feature, or allow players to choose what they’d like to see in-game. Presets are provided for common cases such as “Classic Roblox” (including enforcing a classic head), “Full Rthro”, and “Full Player Choice”. You can see a screenshot of what this panel will look like below:
In addition to this morph panel, we are going to release “artist intent” assets which will leverage the custom rig feature that was recently enabled and allow developers to program custom joints. This is currently referred to as “costume based” joint positions in game settings, and should address the previous restriction where developers were unable to edit joints which constrained avatar movements to the pre-determined joint placements by Roblox.
We’re excited to see how you continue to push the bounds of creativity and to see the Roblox offerings grow and expand into new, exciting looks. As you start to use these new features, we’d love to hear your feedback. Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic.
Are the developer-determined avatar settings for games moving away from the website and into Studio settings instead?
Yes. With the release of the new “morpher” settings panel in Studio under game settings, the avatar settings will be removed from the web. The new panel gives developers more precise control than the “disable scaling” control that they already have while still providing all of the relevant settings that are currently on the web.
Is Rthro going to be compatible with current gears/packages on the platform?
Yes. You can mix and match existing R15-compatible content with new Rthro content because Rthro content uses the same joints and attach points as existing R15 content. Everything should scale up and down in accordance with the avatar scaling.
Will these changes affect my game if I don’t change anything to enable the new functionality?
We do not anticipate these changes to impact your game if you choose not to enable the new functionality. We are doing everything we can to minimize any disruption to existing games. However, if you were already scaling characters using the BodyType property, the look of scaled characters may change slightly - particularly if you are also using other scaling properties on top of BodyType to further shape the character. This is due to changes in the specific manner in which parts are scaled when BodyType is greater than zero. In order to correct it in your game, simply choose new scaling values to restore the look you were trying to achieve.
All of these have pre-applied clothing. Will Rthro packages ever support custom user clothing, and if so, what’s the timeline (far after Rthro releases, soon after, etc)?
The current plan is to support custom user clothing on any Rthro parts that make sense from a player’s perspective. For example; if a torso has a jacket over a shirt, the underlying shirt would allow applied user clothing to show through. We’re expecting to support this shortly after the full Rthro release to players. Custom user clothing may have slightly different uses on these new models as they’re not “naked”, meaning that clothing that feels natural on a shirt or slacks will work nicely, but UGC that’s attempting to remap the entire body might not be as compatible. We are continuing to review and address this.
What is the timeline for new animations that better fit Rthro? The current run/etc animations look bad on tall avatars.
We’re releasing a new free animation bundle along with the new avatar bundles so that players can choose animations that are better suited to scaled avatars.
Some of these look like they have their faces built-in (especially low-poly characters). Will we not be able to customize our face for them? If not, why?
Although the style makes it look this way, the “blocky” characters actually don’t have 3D faces built into them. There are a few truly 3D faces which won’t accept current 2D face customization, but nearly all characters that look like they have a visible face will accept the faces already in the catalog. The coming Rthro-native avatars almost all come with additional faces that can be used with them or anywhere you want.
Is Roblox going to remove R6 and/or non-Rthro R15? Is R6 still supported?
We are not removing R6 or current R15 avatars. It’s a core tenet of Roblox to maintain backward compatibility to align our interests with the community’s interests.
But this ruins the blocky aesthetic that Roblox has had for years!
We are committed to giving players and developers as much creative freedom and ability to express themselves as we can. This is an effort to add options, not to remove anything that players currently love. We are dedicated to ensuring that these new avatars fit seamlessly into the platform that Roblox players know and love.
What Rthro options will be available to free users? Roblox’s vision is to move to these types of avatars instead of toy figurines, but if free users don’t have access to Rthro packages intended for full scale, most of the platform will still use non-Rthro packages.
We will be offering free “Rthro native” bundles.
How affordable will these be in order to encourage more users to use Rthro?
There will be the usual mix of free, regularly priced, and limited edition bundles. We would like to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy access to these bundles.