As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to give my voice to many of the critical decisions which affect me and the millions of developers on this platform.
As great as some of the stuff the community feedback program offers, it’s just not reaching enough teams and this means that sometimes we find out changes which deeply affect us negatively and we’re forced to make a massive fuss to get things back.
If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve my development experience because it makes the lives of everyone easier. This doesn’t make our relationship any better because it forces employees to consider how big the backlash and the negative emotions attached to it. This could all be resolved when developers are part of these decision making processes throughout the lifecycle of areas of Roblox that do affect Roblox developers in non trivial ways.
If Roblox wants to follow their core values of respecting the community and taking the long view, Roblox is going to need a part of the community there to guide them. There needs to be a level of transparency from Roblox on what’s going on with the critical groups.
I’m sure there are plenty of employees who would love to chat with developers who care about these sorts of things but we’re forced to wait for everything to go public and then go badger them hopefully finding a channel to speak or badger DevRel again and again to get them to speak to them.
You have a developer council but absolutely no one knows what they do, are they part of your decision making process? Is it okay for the stuff that the community is going to cause a massive riot over? None of this is disclosed so developers can’t be reassured that their needs are being covered so you get developers big and small doing massive storms to try to flash this massive sign of “Stop, return back” every time it goes past their level of tolerance.
If you’re finding after reading all thing that you think things need to change. Allow me to introduce some ideas to be a starting point.
- Actually disclose what the Roblox Developer Council is doing
- As part of major decisions affecting devs, there should be outreach to DevRel for feedback to all relevant programs
- Major departments at Roblox should have dedicated Roblox developers who are in that area of focus as employees to be a place to let developers be developers and provide their feedback. Maybe be the point of contact for more localised support groups.
- Actually disclose moderation effectiveness, you can’t give developer confidence that Roblox is doing well at this if you never say anything.
The Developer Council really does seem like some sort of secretive club that only a few top people are in. What is actually happening because of that program?
There’s a developer council? First I’ve heard of it.
Maybe that illustrated part of the problem…
I think Community Feedback Program is a good first step. I think there needs to be some level of exclusivity to who Roblox can go to to elicit feedback. The Devforum used to serve that purpose, but when it was made public, so many conflicting voices made it so Roblox staff hardly view it anymore. I think the real issue is transparency. How are decisions being made, and who is at the table?
It’s been over a year and I don’t think Roblox is still dealing with our feedback in the right way. While there are tons of amazing staff at Roblox doing the right thing, there are systematic issues at play and I want to reaffirm that this is still an issue and that systematic change on how Roblox is not listening to feedback in the best way possible is required for survival.
You have repeatedly said that developers are core to Roblox and losing them would a major setback to the platform, you know the risks but continue to flount them as if they are not severe. You must remember, death by a thousand paper cuts is a real thing that affects you.
These lines from my original post from back in June still ring very true today, people are quietly making moves to move away for the day they suffer too many papercuts, you may see their final statement and wonder why that specific change did this to them? But maybe stepping back and seeing their repeatedly good in faith pushbacks time after time after time resulting in little change was what caused it.
There needs to be a word from the CEO himself about this, DevRel is doing their best with a system that is not designed for them to thrive at what they need to and that’s not okay. There is immense value in saying, we hear you and we want to change, accepting responsibility as an organisation that you have failed us and are working towards change. But that is only a first step, we need actual change. A first step is a first step so starting there is not a bad place.
You can be bold with new ideas that you think can change the world, but don’t be rektless to the core values that the organisation holds. If you want some help with that, let me know.
Part of the reason I’ve shifted away from the devforum over the years is largely because it feels like everything goes largely unheard. Sooner or later I feel like going the extra mile and shifting away from Roblox overall would be better.
I still feel like my career is constantly jeopardized by changes on this platform that do not factor in how it impacts developers. Often times changes that happen behind closed doors or are ultimately unannounced can have a huge impact and we’re often never told about them.
Given the state of things, working on this platform is highly volatile to all but the top developers, and to stake my livelihood on that is a tough ask.
Today’s disaster has made it abundantly clear that some teams at Roblox need to step it up. There are a large number of teams that have made a demonstrably major turn around in their communication and even actively engage creators in updates and around the forum now. The major decision-driving teams though, and conveniently the ones we seem to have the most grievances with, are not talking though, and the result is that nearly everything put out by them has been poorly received. I have never seen poorer reception on an update in all my time on Roblox.
Creating problems for your creators that threaten their livelihoods without providing ample solutions or safeguards is abhorrent, and I continue to have nothing but the strongest words for the teams that have not made the equivalent effort to step it up. It is clear that feedback, deeper research and better creator support are still a necessity for several teams at Roblox to avoid massive backlash and to make sure creators are prepared for such major transitions in culture and policy.
Since joining Roblox in 2010, I have never been so immensely attacked as a creator, and felt that my options had thinned out entirely despite facing tough times on my end. I stood too much to lose from that policy change, including my entire revenue source (why Roblox ended up being my only revenue source at present is a private reason, so don’t ask about it).
Roblox needs to bounce back better with a guarantee on creator tooling and support, not “we won’t commit to anything” and leave developers in the dark yet solidify this as policy including opening the gateway for fraudulent moderation action by way of the community policing experiences that they have no right or permission to get involved in, as licensing concerns aren’t any of their business.