Changes to Roblox Product Development Process

It’s great to know that Roblox will be here listening for our input now Nick and Tian. Listening to the community and what they have to say will surely benefit the Roblox Platform In a positive manner. Thanks’ for informing us about this wonderful change we’ve all been waiting for.

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I don’t see it happening any time soon but an opening up of the binary format would be really useful for external tooling, even if it’s not the sourcecode itself, a documentation of it would be extremely useful.

Rojo lacks several features that are in the actual spec, 0x1D (lol), the Font type and zstd are to name a few, I dont believe zstd is really a problem, since it looks like its only used by Roblox for packing their source code.

Regardless, even though I heavily doubt it, open source binary spec?

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Really crossing my fingers and holding my breath, we’ve been deprived of communication on this front for an extremely long time, leading to community uproar after uproar with bizarre unexpected changes with no justification given, or else complete silence on impactful issues. Absolutely love Roblox extending an open hand here, and praying positive change comes as a result. :pray:

Thank you especially for putting to rest the fears that Roblox was planning to move to an always-cloud model and/or shove local development into the back seat. Local development is critical to many people and it’s great that Roblox also sees and acknowledges this.

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As someone who has been fighting and advocating for change for a while now, this is a step in the right direction. Reliable two-way communication is paramount for Roblox and its developers, it is a part of the symbiotic relationship that has made the platform what it is today. I look forward to and hope that this announcement will become more than just words on a devforum post.

With that being said:

What about major issues brought up in the past by the developer community that were never addressed or responded to? To list off a few recent major ones:

  • Revenue % problems in plugin marketplace and UGC marketplace, creators not earning fair income from their work. @Elttob has had many discussions with folks internally about this, and it’s never really gone anywhere meaningful. This post covers the issue with current UGC %s.
  • Various discovery issues, surfaced across many devforum posts. E.g. this post only received a response from a PM due to internal pinging on slack. Not a lot of change has been seen or felt since that response, and in some cases things have actually gotten worse.
  • Various developer-facing programs that positively serve the community, have been shut down. When they are shut down, there is often with no rational explanation why other than some pre-canned PR quote, that explicitly avoids answering real developer questions. Some examples include things like the developer awards program, which was silently halted about a year ago with no notice, or the developer stars program being shut down, which many developers protested against, the accelerator program being shut down, etc. While some shutdowns have been explained and are being handled promptly (e.g. playfab program), most of them are just seemingly ignored by Roblox, with no response or dialogue being given, developers being told what they would like to hear, etc without problems actually being fixed.

The list goes on here… how do you folks plan to handle these? How will major issues that have been brought up in the past that were ignored / remain unfixed, be addressed? The reason behind the developer community’s backlash is not because of one team create feature, it is much larger than that. It is a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario, which was caused by large issues being hot potato’d internally until things exploded.

I truly hope this is the beginning of positive change, but unless the above and more are actually addressed in good-faith, I do not see this leading anywhere long-term.

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At the moment, support for Font is pending (the author of the PR had a vacation so it stalled for a week). We intentionally omitted type 0x1D from the spec a long time ago because it wasn’t useful to end-users because they couldn’t at the time generate Luau bytecode. Opinions have changed however and we’re trying to move towards documenting everything regardless of use. We probably still won’t support it in Rojo, but it’ll definitely get added to the spec file in the future.

Wrt zstd support, it’ll come when it’s important but it’s a low priority right now because Roblox doesn’t generate models with it outside of their own internal models.

I don’t think an open sourcing of the binary format itself is even possible, but an open source spec file with an RFC process for major changes would be my dream come true.

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Great update. I’m very happy to hear we’ll be getting more transparency for updates from now on.

Personally, I would suggest hosting polls for updates, or prioritizing community opinion more-so over corporate when it comes to the development side of things. The last thing we want is another “dramatic” update, like with the new materials, the animations, or the audio update.

This is an excellent first step and I really hope we can go beyond this in the near future.

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Welcome Nick and Tian! We are super excited about the attention that the development community is going to receive thank you for hearing our concerns and before making changes asking the community on feedback

We are all looking forward to working with you!

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Yup, we’ll be sharing roadmap. Maybe not this exact form factor, but something equally good or better for sharing plan.

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While I am super excited about the promise of better communication, I’m skeptical about Roblox corporate actually going through with the promise. While it is great that it’s being offered, it’s not the first time this has been promised and tossed out the window as soon as the pitchforks were laid down.

Time will tell what you will do and I do hope that something like this will actually happen going forward.

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I think the best place to start with this line is going through updates that were announced 6+ months ago but were never followed up on such as

  • what is being done about allowing developers to make audio public to the marketplace, whats our timeframe, how long should we expect audios to be private, when it does go public are you going to allow us to make all the audios we’ve uploaded in the past year public to the marketplace in bulk or are we going to have to do it one-by-one?

  • what future plans are in place for the decoration feature (grass on voxel terrain), It has great visuals shown in the RDC preview such as player physics, flowers and a bunch of other great visuals. (Personally, imo procedural generation service would be 10x better)

  • Clouds is another big one as well, we’ve seen the original version of it and it received a lot of hate so you guys took a step back and came back with a better version of clouds and we definitely appreciate that but since then we haven’t really heard many updates on it in terms of Phase 2 or 3

  • Video Frames is another big topic many developers have its been I believe a little over 3 years now and we still have no word on the status of this whether it be the feature is locked to certain creators at this time or if its going to be only selective users allowed to upload like UGC is currently.

Thankfully we heard news on the shorelines revamp we seen that in the last RDC and now its out so thank the team that worked on that update but we still have those few updates listed above that we haven’t heard anything about and receiving any information on it whether it was pushed to the back burner a time of release is unknown at this time or we hit a roadblock while working on it were trying to work out alternative methods to produce what we envision but certain limitations are preventing us from doing so, just any information on those features or just any new features you guys decide to announce to the public just have someone go back to those post and reply to a few people let us as a community know those great features we seen first pop up in our announcements feed are still being worked on (even if its not actively being worked on full time progression is still being made).

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Every few years, this happens. However, this particular one feels very genuine. This has been an ongoing issue on this platform. Roblox releases a feature. People hate it. Roblox says “omg ur gonna love it” and to this day, people don’t. Cycle repeats.

On a lot of the release notes, it’s unclear why things are changed, removed or added. I’ve had questions and @tnavarts is usually, the only vocal person who provides those answers. If this person didn’t, release notes as it stands would be too vague to properly navigate. Most things listed are largely out of context to the average developer and to me if I want to take advantage of anything new.

Outside of that, almost every feature request or bug, even one’s with huge support receive no feedback from staff in terms of a direction. From a developer standpoint, if no one listens, it makes a lot of us feel inconsequential to the platform.

This post doesn’t just represent a noticeable response but, a callback to the beneficial coexistence between Roblox and developers and what truly made this platform what it is today.

I get that not every post warrants a response but, some do. Deafening silence sheds negative light on those who care enough to make said issues known. For example, with all the outages as of late, It should be possible to use Roblox Studio offline.

Furthermore, I think this is a step in the right direction. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Wholesome post.

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This is honestly the best news I have heard in a long time! Over the past few years, we have seen Roblox enter the cycle of introducing controversial changes, while completely ignoring community feedback, remaining silent, and giving no reasoning behind changes. This lack of transparency make it feel like Roblox only cared about money and had turned into a completely soulless corporation.

Hopefully this marks a new era where Roblox is transparent and actually mindful of community feedback, providing reasoning for changes and offering a timeline of what to expect in the future. I am excited for the future of Roblox!

Thanks Nick and Tian! Congrats on the job, excited to see you guys shape the future of Roblox!

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Can we please have offline mode somehow :heart:

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I agree! Many features like breakable welds, RDC grass, rail constraints, procedural skies, physically modelled audio and aerodynamics have had very, very little communication ever since they were announced. The most information we have about the state of those features is pretty much a very small fraction of those having a vague statement about it tucked away in some thread in Development Discussion or something from a year or two ago.

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It would be hard to integrate into Studio, at this point, but would be very beneficial. Honestly, I’m hoping for this feature in the near future.

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I think that the first priority for you guys is to make an offline mode, before adding features to studio make sure devs can use it in the first place. This would literally change peoples lives

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Not at all. Roblox used to run on an off-line environment until like 2018-ish. Since studio has not changed majorly since, it’s more than likely a flag is keeping it always online.

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Thank you guys for this. There’s been a lot of opaqueness and uncertainty about the future of Roblox’s interactions with developers and 3rd party software and I’m happy to see we’ll have more of a hand in guiding what we want out of the product development rather than assuming what’s best for us. I hope to eventually see a fully fleshed out ecosystem of support for 3rd party developers to interop with Roblox’s file formats :smiley:!

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We have several projects going on surrounding improving communication/feedback! The folks working on these (including myself!) are really passionate about these topics. Can assure you we’re not going to slow down working on this just because this announcement was made, and we have been working on this for a while. :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s good to be constructively critical of our workflows because this helps us improve, thank you for this, and also others that have posted about this here and in #forum-help:forum-features! Hoping we will convince you with the steps we’ll be taking that this is more than just words.

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Thank you so much! It’s great to see Roblox listening and acting on community feedback. I hope this is the start of many good solutions to problems from both the community and Roblox!

I’m hyped for the future, cheers Nick and Tian!

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