This week’s spotlight is on a developer with a passion for cars and driving: @TwentyTwoPilots! We got the chance to talk with him about how he got into Roblox development and how he took his experience to the next level by applying his skills as a Roblox developer to his civil engineering internship. Without further ado, here it is directly from the developer behind the front page favorite, Ultimate Driving: Westover Islands!
The Westover Islands aren’t the only installment in the Ultimate Driving Universe. What other games are there?
Right now I’m also working on two huge map expansions for the Ultimate Driving Universe: one in a large mountainous city, the other in a coastal resort community surrounded by wide-open farmland. On top of those, I’m also working hard on giving an old fan favorite map a huge face lift; streaming this project’s progress on Twitch for Ultimate Driving’s passionate community to watch has been a lot of fun!
What prompted the beginning of your career as a Roblox developer and the creation of this entire universe of Ultimate Driving games?
All through middle school, I spent a lot of time in class sketching these huge, elaborate maps to pass the time. I had always had a big interest in roads and infrastructure growing up, so this was a great creative outlet for me. Then, one a summer afternoon over 10 years ago, a friend of mine showed me this cool new physics simulator that he had found called ROBLOX! Early on, I spent a lot of time playing the rudimentary games that were on the front page at the time - Tiger370’s Demolition Derby comes to mind as one of the first games I played on the platform. Between my interest in creating large worlds and my desire to replicate a game like Demolition Derby, I eventually found myself learning how to put together games on Roblox. All the right pieces came together when the very first iteration of Ultimate Driving hit the front page for a brief week back in 2010, and this initial success is what made me realize just how well Roblox could help me cultivate my passion that began with hand-drawn doodles. I started seriously developing games on Roblox because the platform is a fantastic creative medium that allows people to turn their ideas or doodles into full-fledged experiences for massive audiences.
What impact has Roblox had on your life, aside from the creative outlet it provided?
Being with Roblox for so long has given me the opportunity to form friendships and lifelong relationships with so many awesome people I never would have even met otherwise. With the advent of DevEx, working on Roblox went from being just a hobby to being a hobby AND a job, and having a good job that you wake up excited to do each morning is fantastic! On top of all this, I was able to take the 3D modelling experience I have with Roblox and apply it to my civil engineering internship. Using Roblox and Blender, I was able to provide 3D models of roadway props to real life specifications for public outreach campaigns for large local transportation projects!
What are your hopes for the future of the Ultimate Driving Universe and your career as a Roblox developer?
I’d love to see my work on the Ultimate Driving Universe continue making it grow into the largest driving experience on Roblox, reach more and more players, and continually press the limits of what Roblox can do. Pushing the envelope is how Roblox is going to continue to grow!
What is your favorite aspect of the Roblox developer community?
I love how much the community has grown and come together in the last 10 years. Back in 2008 there were few helpful resources for newcomers on the platform looking to try their hand at building their wildest dreams. Nowadays though, the development community is massive, always ready to help, and always working together to create amazing new experiences. People in this community achieve so much and often at such young ages, it’s staggering to see how far we’ve all come. Roblox is a blank canvas with immeasurable opportunity for creative expression, friendships, and success!
How would you advise anyone who is just starting to get into Roblox development?
There’s a vast wealth of knowledge here for everyone looking to improve their skills in building, scripting, or what have you. Use it! Find free models in the Library to take apart, reverse engineer, and tinker with. Use the wiki! There are innumerable experienced developers on the Developer Forum, talk to them! Find good building plugins that will allow you to cultivate your own building style! The Roblox platform is a blank canvas for your creativity!
To me, being a developer means always wanting to take the experiences you create to the next level.