Jamie_Fristrom will be the first to admit he’s an old dude by Roblox standards; he’s been making games for years and years, including the critically acclaimed Spider-Man 2! And now he thinks Roblox is the place to be.
Why? Well, years ago, when Jamie_Fristrom was 13, he went to a computer camp where Lord British was one of the counselors and a celebrity guest, working on Ultima 2 at the time. Jamie_Fristrom told us, “I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. Later in my career, I thought the days when just one or two people could make a whole game together- and maybe be financially successful- were over, but things have changed lately, and Roblox is one of the places that people can do just that”.
Years later, Jamie_Fristrom has made a game and spent time getting to know the Roblox developer community. He tells us, “It’s fairly close-knit. It seems to me like more people in the dev community are on a first-name basis with each other compared to, say, Unity devs or Unreal devs. And people seem very giving, willing to share code and plugins for free.” Jamie_Fristrom did go on to tell us that he is generally bad at asking for help, so he learned lots of his skills on his own. Jamie_Fristrom references @CloneTrooper1019, @Kampfkarren, @Osyris and, @Evaera as being particularly helpful developers when he was learning more about Roblox in the past few years.
As we wrapped up our interview, we asked Jamie_Fristrom why he chose Roblox as his preferred development platform, and what he would tell other aspiring developers to keep in mind as they grow on the platform. Here’s what he told us:
“Working on other platforms is more lonely. The way Roblox connects creators with players is very cool - communities spring up around my games and I interact with them a lot. And I like how certain hassles like running servers and other ‘boring’ game infrastructure is not something I have to worry about,” he said. With this clarified, Jamie_Fristrom disclosed his advice; “My first piece of advice is that it can’t be about the money: a programmer is going to, on average, earn a lot more working in most other fields than game development. My second piece of advice is to expect it to be frustrating. Be aware that you can spend days accomplishing only tiny things or fixing small bugs, and it’s not because you’re not smart- it’s because game development’s really challenging. My third piece of advice would be to start really small. We all have grandiose dreams about making giant games that will have fighting and driving and fishing and sports and cards and dice and pets and whatever, but if we spread ourselves out too thin we’ll never accomplish anything. So start with a mini-game. And a lot of beginning developers start working on an ‘engine’ or tech that they plan to reuse with a bunch of other games. Make your first game and then figure out how to reuse any cool tech you made for that game.”