Being an outright official “genre” on Roblox, Horror is obviously endorsed by the platform to some extent. However I’m interested in whether there are any further guidelines that would restrict game design so that we don’t break any terms of service or community guidelines.
I only ask this because Roblox’s target audience is obviously younger children with games like Adopt Me and Meep City doing very well - and that one of the restrictions for publishing your games to the console platform is that, quote “the game does not include any pictures or sounds which incite intense fear in children” which obviously rules out a lot of the genre as most games involve jump scares.
Anything that could seem gore-ish or the like probably shouldn’t be added and anything else is probably fine. It really depends on who the target market for your game is. If its 13+, then you could add more extreme jumpscares unlike if your target market is the general population of Roblox.
For some elements you might be not too sure with, it’s better to ask someone with a high rank in the forums for your account’s safety and they as generally approachable.
Distorted audio, including excessively slowing down or speeding up the audio content to make it indiscernible, and audio that is excessively loud including screaming, high-pitched or excessive noises are not permitted.
You need to be careful when making a horror game no loud sounds, no heavily realistic blood or gore, no medical instruments (Syringes, Needles, or Drugs), murder is a piece you need to be careful about, symbols referencing Nazism, Marxism, KKK, Extreme cults, etc are not allowed, pentagons need to be defined as unrelated to extreme cults, KKK, etc. Suicide, crimes against a child, any sort of event pointing to a real massacre such as the purple triangle, holocaust, etc. Extreme devices of torture brazen bull, blood eagle, etc are not allowed.
What I pulled from the TOS.
- Overly violent content and/or content related to tragic current events or circumstances. We do not allow such content, including:
- Atrocities, massacres, and other shocking real (or pseudo-real) world events; and
- Extreme violence, physical or psychological abuse.
- Dangerous, unethical and illegal activities. Not only do we not allow these activities, we do not allow anyone discussing them or encouraging others to discuss (or take) such actions, including:
- Hacking, phishing, flaming, exploits, cheating, spam, deceptive practices, scams;
- Misleading, sexual or racy thumbnails or other images, videos or text;
- Gambling with Robux or real money;
- Terrorism, Nazism or Neo Nazism, organized criminal activity, gangs and gang violence;
- Instructions for engaging in violent activities, including bomb- or weapon-making
- Criminal activity;
- Illegal drugs or prescription drugs without a prescription;
- The use or sale of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco by minors; and
- Blackmail or extortion.
Keep in mind the highlighted things are the things you need to be careful about when making a horror game. So simply said keep it PG-13 you could make a game inspired from an R rated movie like SAW but you have to clean up parts of it to make it PG-13 it’s as simple as that. Just make your game make sure it complies with these guidelines and you will be fine.
Let me know if you have further questions.
There is one thing not to do DO NOT PUT STROBE LIGHTS that is dangerous for people with epilepsy
There isn’t anything too wrong with including strobe lights, they can simply put a warning/disclaimer before they can play, like many games do.
Still if a person with epilepsy did not read it they can get really hurt
Thanks for the in-depth reply, it’s very helpful indeed!
I’ll take a look extensively at ESRB-13 guidelines and work from there.
You make a good point that’s why warnings should include a visual and audio warning. But the thing is most strobe lights that cause seizures are very frequent and bright. Most roblox lights cannot achieve that type of strength and most games with strobe lights are not to frequent or bright enough to trigger a seizure.
That’s a great thing to reference just make sure your game is also compliant with the community guidelines.
Good luck with your game.
And that’s why I made this thread
If you feel like some people might get scared of your game and your 100% sure of it, I recommend that you make some sort of application in order for people to join )if your scared of people reporting your game or disliking it).
Avoid gore, put warnings and no extreme blood.
Like @TheRealGamingZone said,
Strobe lights are fine, and you should include a warning if you are going to use them. People who have photosensitive epilepsy play roblox at their own discretion, it says this somewhere in TOS that roblox isn’t responsible for any medical issues caused by having a seizure.
Yeah ok well if I was making a horror game I would not put to many strobe light I dont like it when people get hurt or even have to go to the hospital because of a mistake in my game.
I wouldn’t class it as a mistake in your game, especially if you’ve given a warning when the game loads up. That’s like making a sharp knife and getting really sad when someone gets a cut, it’s not your fault they were the ones who put themselves at their risk.
Of course this all needs a “WARNING: This game contains flashing lights” at the beginning and make it obvious that all players read it.