If anything, I don’t have any issues with the update, I have issues with what developers are selling on their own.
First of all, huge thank you to all the support and feedback on this new feature! As Roblox, we appreciate any and all feedback we get as we work towards supporting our developer community in the best ways we can.
Secondly, I wanted to address some of the common questions and comments on this thread.
Consumer safety is one of our top priorities as we expand the Marketplace. We completely understand that in the current state, there are many plugins and models that are either scams or contain malicious code in them with backdoors and such. We are continuously working to figure out different solutions to help address these issues. In order to help alleviate some concerns in the near term, in our initial release of the Plugin Marketplace, we hand selected a group of well-known developers to provide trusted plugins that can be accessed first-class from the Toolbox.
Copying and Re-Uploading Plugins
This is another huge issue that we are aware of and are taking active strides towards addressing (we are trying to avoid another shirts and pants situation!). One of the biggest issues with copied plugins is the malicious obfuscated code as mentioned above. Therefore, we highly suggest that devs only utilize plugins by creators they can trust! That being said, we are investigating different ways to potentially solve the copying problem while still maintaining an open and inclusive platform.
When can I be in the program?
We will be adding more creators to our plugin program and working on opening it up to the entire community in 2020. We want to make sure that we are fostering the healthiest ecosystem which is why we are focused on safety and security initiatives prior to opening up this program to more creators and asset types.
Why do plugins cost money now?
We completely understand that it may seem unfair that plugins that used to be free are now available at a cost. However, it is our mission as Roblox to enable more and more creators on our platform to thrive and we want to enable our hard-working plugin devs to be compensated fairly for their work! Some of these devs previously did not share their tools with the rest of the community because there was no incentive to do so but by allowing them to sell them, they are now more likely to make even better tools for the rest of you to use. Additionally, the cost of plugins is completely up to the discretion of the developer which means some of them may even offer it for free. Regardless, whatever they choose to do, please be supportive of our awesome group of community creators
This is on our radar and we are working towards building this functionality in!
Great idea, we are looking into it!
Thanks again for all of the support everyone and please keep letting us know your thoughts and concerns.
I have some questions now that this has been brought up.
How do you guys plan on protecting plugin source code? Are you going to do some sort of obfuscation to the rbxm files of those plugins?
Plugins are in the library of the website. Right now, anyone can modify and copy other models and decals, but with plans to allow selling models in the future, how much should developers be allowed to copy and modify the creations of others? Are you guys going to change it to a Unity Asset Store licensing model, rather than the anyone-can-copy-anything licensing model we have now?
Seriously, we still have this on the Model configuration screen. I could imagine it becoming an on-sale button like other assets that can have a price tag.
I think that they should not do this until there is some kind of security permission mechanism for plugins. If we stop being able to review plugin source normally, and there are no granular permissions for what a plugin is allowed to do, then there is no way to confirm or regulate the behavior of a plugin for a regular plugin user, which is really bad.
Let’s hope these things ship in the right order, if either/both of them are actually happening.
I’m on the fence about this feature, but I hope that this will bring about some really cool plugins that we haven’t seen yet.
One thing I think could help developers decide on the right plugins is a system similar to Steam’s curators. Allowing people to quickly find plugins, and assets in the future, through the use of a “reviewers” page would be really cool. Imagine seeing different pages for interests (i.e. RPG game assets, useful plugins for city development, Best Model Imports, etc) that you could follow and get updates from. This wouldn’t necessarily solve issues of malicious plugins or scams, but it can at least give potential buyers a more in-depth look at an item without having to buy it.
Hearing lots of people who are concerned about this update. As someone who has made their fair share of plugins, I’d like to weigh in on this update, and where I see paid plugins going in the future.
I’m totally with you that some of these plugins are completely overpriced. Some of them egregiously so. It’s a bad look for the initial release of the plugin marketplace, and does indeed price many newer creators out of tools that’d otherwise be a huge help to them.
One assurance I have for those of you unwilling or unable to buy plugins is that we’re not all looking to do this! There’s been a small movement of ‘free forever’ plugins as a result of this, from some of us lesser known plugin developers. One of my good friends @UndecidedFactor just recently released an Interface Designer plugin with this commitment, and I’ve even adopted this model myself for my Reclass plugin in response to Quenty pricing his (functionally identical) plugin ludicrously high;
I plan to stick to this ‘free forever’ model for many of these small, ‘essential’ plugins, and I’m confident that many of us plugin developers are looking to do the same.
In my mind, these ‘free forever’ plugins are indicative of the way the plugin marketplace is going. I don’t see a future in paid plugins at this low level; they’re too simple to defend themselves against free alternatives that do the same thing. Instead, I think the future of paid plugins is going to be specialist plugins with lite alternatives.
For more serious and dedicated creators, I imagine paid specialist plugins would contain lots of domain-specific tools built specifically for power users. These features would be more complex than most plugin features, as the plugin developers would have incentives to build better features when they can earn money off the back of them. This would also make these specialist plugins much more defensible, as free alternatives would have to recreate a lot more complex functionality before they can effectively compete. This provides experienced creators with much more professional tooling, and provides a new incentive for plugin developers to make these kinds of plugins that we don’t currently have, save for a few building tools and animation editors.
While free alternatives wouldn’t be able to effectively compete with these larger plugins, they would be able to provide simplified tooling that’d be much more accessible and easy to use. These plugins would be designed for the mass market; while they’d lack the power tools of their paid counterparts, they’d provide the basic functionality at no extra cost. It’s a win for all parties involved; the ‘lite’ plugin marketplace would be highly competitive, newer developers can access the tooling they need to bolster their basic workflows, specialist plugin developers can earn money for their hard work and experienced developers can enjoy new and improved professional quality plugins.
I don’t think it’s entirely unattainable. In fact, I’m already starting to see some plugins in the marketplace offering paid and lite versions, so I think this is a direction many people are looking to head in already. It’s certainly the plugin model I’m looking to adopt once paid plugins roll out to more of us plugin developers.
So I actually think this update could end up being one of the best things to happen to plugins on Roblox, but right now, it’s not off to the best of starts.
Why not make a marketplace function to see if a player owns a plugin. And obfuscate the scripts, it will result with it not being able to be stolen. Or that could be a terrible idea.
Ooh, now people can pay to get their game infected with a backdoor!
In all seriousness, I’m not sure this change is a good thing.
Make sure that you are downloading plugins from a legitimate developer, do research and look at the likes versus dislikes ratio. As long as you know what you’re getting into you should be capable of installing plugins safely.
Regardless of whether a plugin is free or not, there is still the same or less likelihood that the plugin contains a backdoor. If a plugin developer wanted to infect their users, they would usually sell their plugin as free due to its easier availability.
While this is great for the people whose plugins were chosen for the initial release of the marketplace, as someone who isn’t a part of that group it appears that I am out of luck as the toolbox now filters out plugins I made.
As a developer it’s borderline insulting to have my work literally inaccessible to people via the built-in toolbox. While I recognize the current selection is whitelisted, without a deadline for when that whitelist will end (the only comparable thing, UGC, has had a whitelist since August – 5 months now) this is effectively killing the ability of developers not in the program to publish plugins. They can be searched for on the site or linked directly, but that’s it. The most convenient and easily visible option is gone.
While I recognize I’m not the best person to complain given I only have one meaningful plugin published, this is still unbelievable. I have 10 plugins installed. Of them only 2 are available in the toolbox. I don’t know how else to make this point, so if it isn’t already made, I’ll leave you with this.
Only one of these plugins is available in the toolbox. You’ll be disappointed when you learn which one is.
Intentional or not, Quenty has the plugin open source on his GitHub. You could compile it from there.
EDIT: Didn’t realise how old this topic was, oops
I absolutely agree with and will support the idea of a donation model. Instead of forcing the consumer to pay for a product that, which would inherently limit their freedom of choice and their ability to explore different options/solutions, donations could be implemented as a powerful medium for developers to earn a reasonable income while simultaneously granting the user more freedom to donate to and explore different applications.
tl;dr - I reiterated a bunch of the points brought by other developers about the problems with the monetization of assets on Roblox (this paragraph)
Earning donation based income through the DevEx program is quite often incredibly difficult, especially when one is dedicating a large portion of their time to developing monetizable plugins and applications that aren’t specified for an individual studio, group, or person. For one, you can’t really advertise assets (other than UGC), as it’s very challenging to appeal to an audience of programmers and developers who’d much rather hire an individual to produce something that both applies more adequately and is more compatible to and with their game. Secondly, piracy is a major problem for digital products, especially on the Roblox platform. Moreso, Roblox’s ability to recognize and act on copyright infringement is currently very limited.
Donations would solve these issues. By open sourcing plugins (and possibly assets), there would be no reason for people to pirate and either repost on roblox or illegally distribute it through other means. Also the consumer would be more inclined to thank the creator and donate to them. As a side note, donations also serve as a good indicator for the quality of a plugin and if people value it enough to justify further updates or other similar plugins. Yes, a proper review process should nonetheless be instituted, however, a comment could be attached to a donation and shared publicly (or privately), thereby eliminating spam and irrelevant comments.
I know that Game Jolt has a Name Your Own Price mechanic, which works well for the platform. Tiered donations wouldn’t fit well with the Roblox platform though, as I can’t imagine their being any feasible incentives that would enhance or extend an asset.
tl;dr - A donation model (possibly 3rd party network) may not be compatible with the current monetary system and could be tough to implement (this paragraph)
From a technical standpoint, there are many challenges associated with a donation system . The most obvious being that Roblox would likely want to restrict circulation of currency to that of the Robux system. In other words, they may be hesitant in publicly endorsing 3rd party outlets for developer donations, as it could be abused (or at least seen as an abuse) as a method for developers to exchange funds in USD rather than Robux (roblox doesn’t get a cut). However, I can see how a 3rd party model could be implemented with a small (but reasonable) cut system that would be negotiated by the community. I just don’t know if the time and effort that comes with putting together such an endeavour would cause staff to look past the concept. I guess we’ll see!
Nonetheless, I believe that the donation system would be one of the best options for developers to earn a sizeable, fair income. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it would be the end - all solution to the asset piracy issue and partially to copyright infringement (at least for plugins right now – unless they expand this to all public assets wink wink).
woohoo! alright going to head to buy robux before the apocalpyse happens
I also have a decently popular plugin, and as such have been inspired to create more tools for the community. I also already issued my concerns with the hand-picked creator model, but as I have decided to make more plugins, I would like more information.
First and foremost, getting into this program is presumably impossible right now. That’s a shame, because I really want my plugins to be visible to all users, not just those using an obscure section of the library on the website. What makes Roblox choose one creator over another? Will they consider us relatively unknown developers’ work in any way?
Secondly, how long are we going to have handpicked developers for this program? “Some time in 2020” is unsatisfactory; the program could go on from one day to twelve months, which is a big deal to us plugin developers. The longer this program is limited to select creators, the more popular their plugins get and the less likely users are to use alternative plugins.
Everyone outside this program loses visibility, money, and most importantly, integrity. The small group of creators might work fine for UGC, but plugins are completely different.
Can we please have more information on when all developers might be able to use this feature?
Really Disagree Because Of The Several Reasons
Scams About Plugins They Will also make them overpriced and inject viruses and Steal your game like kids abuse the selling feature
Why would there be pricing in developing could there be a reason about these [no]
Youtubers will clickbait and get more views on there videos
More people will quit developing especially new developers
This has broken literally all my plugins. The plugins don’t even load, and I can’t even reinstall them. Tried reinstalling Studio, turned off all Beta features, logging out and in, and removing every plugin and adding it again. Even local plugins don’t load.
Still waiting for public access to sell, I’m working on a plugin that will add an advanced TPS and FPS gun system!
This is neat. Far better than it was before.
I see a lot of comments about “trust issues” and such. While those concerns are warranted, they’re not exactly realistic as one might expect. In fact, the platform you use (Roblox) is not open source yet, you download it.
For plugins, the same concept applies. Research before you download. If you absolutely need it, bite the bullet and see what happens.
Amazing, this shall definitely help me out while I am working on games.
Looking forward to this being opened to other devs.
I am an ex back end web dev (career/actual job) and looking to release some cool stuff I have been making in roblox.