Making the most of RDC: Tips for meeting people!

Most of us have some extent of social anxiety that makes it difficult to meet new people, especially if you look up to them. If this sounds like you, maybe this can help a little! If there’s anyone that this could be supportive for and make RDC a better experience, then this thread is worth it. This is a very real problem that doesn’t get much discussion, and I think it would be helpful to open up a conversation about it.

I’m not the most naturally socially fluent. I tend to be unsure how to approach people, how to start a conversation, awkward, etc etc, but for each of the five RDC events I’ve been to I’ve gotten a little bit better each time. It’s a skill you can learn and improve! Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • Everybody in the room is also there to meet people, and 90% of them are as uncomfortable as you are about it. Not only does almost nobody mind being approached, they WANT to be approached so they don’t have to do the work of initiating the interaction themselves.

  • Most groups / circles of people will welcome you if you squeeze in. Don’t assume that it’s a secret club; it’s almost always a mix of people who know each other and don’t, so you won’t be out of place if you join. This is a good strategy because you don’t even need to say anything and you don’t need to worry about being responsible for carrying the conversation yourself. Just find a spot, listen, and jump in if you have something to contribute.

  • There’s never an obligation to stay in a conversation. Things move super quickly, and it’s very acceptable to just dip out if you want to leave for any reason. If you need an excuse, say you want food, gotta pee, want to talk to someone, etc.

  • Cold introduction strategy: tell the person your name, username, and briefly what kind of work you do. Ask the other person for the same. If you don’t recognize their username, don’t worry about it! Don’t try to remember it, you will forget it anyway and will end up wasting 30 seconds awkwardly trying to read it and figuring out how it is pronounced and spelled. If these questions don’t spawn further conversation, that’s ok! This is an acceptable introduction interaction, say “ok cool bye” and move on.

  • If you really want to meet and talk to someone specific, it will help to have a question you want to explore with them. This is how I first met zKevin. I thought he was really cool and I wanted to meet him at the 2017 party. I asked him about his approach to the character design process, and we went and talked about it for like 5 minutes.

  • “Big devs” are just as awkward and eager to meet people as everyone else. Same rules all apply.

Post below if you’ve got any more tips!

Further reading (these are really good and have stuff I would have written except they wrote it much better):

And finally, if you’re still mortified of meeting people, at least come find me! I promise I won’t judge. This post is secretly just my plot to look more approachable and maximize introductions.

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I will approach all of you for a selfie. You’ve been warned.

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I’m glad you actually made this post lol. Another thing I’d say is if you have a good interaction with somebody and want to talk with them more find a way to connect outside of the conference. Whether that’s Twitter or Discord or whatever, don’t let a potential friend or other connection slip through the cracks. From what I’ve heard, some people find friends or groups and then never talk until next year (not applicable to everyone, obv). Talk to people in the space in between conferences. Maybe even make something together.

And @OniiCh_n, not if we get to you first.

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Not if I approach you first! >:)

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Thanks for sharing @Defaultio!

I remember meeting you at an early RDC around 3 years ago and you were super sweet and approachable. I think I was a little hesitant to talk with you at first because you owned the superior and significantly more popular tree game on the platform (treelands vs. lumber tycoon), and I took a lot of inspiration off of your work. But the reality is that there are very few top developers with an ego so large that they wouldn’t be happy to talk with an aspiring developer. I remember you gave me some really helpful tips on how to improve my game, so thank you!

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I know we’re all massive geeks with no manifestable form of social skills, but you didn’t have to point that out…

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Am I the only naturally sociable person here? If so, guess it’s good I’m not coming this year :laughing:

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RDC is a fantastic experience.

One tip I have for starting discussions, especially with Roblox employees, is to ask them what they’re working on. If it’s not covered by NDA, most people absolutely love to talk about what they’re making, how they’re doing it, and what they’re struggling with.

Another really useful tip is to ask people where they’re from. RDC is a great mixing pot of people from around the world. Take advantage of that!

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Great advice. Here are some questions I like to ask people.

  • Do you specialize in something (building, modeling, scripting, audio, design)?
  • What projects have you been working on lately?
  • What are some big problems are you trying to solve? How? (great opportunity to talk about similar common experiences and solutions)
  • Have you/do you work with other people? What is it like?
  • What are you looking forward to at RDC?

If they specialize in something, I like to ask

  • Why do you like X?
  • How did you get good at X?

If you talk to people about things you both care about, your chances of having a good conversation go up.

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Per experience from my previous RDC visit, I appreciate and support this post a lot.

I was just about as shy to meet / talk to anybody, but really nobody has to be. People there are just people, like you, and would be absolutely happy to have a little convo which, even tho preferrable, doesn’t necessarily have to be related to Roblox.

I wasn’t even planning to participate in the gamejam, nor did I know anybody there since at the time I wasn’t well connected with the dev community, but did end up spontaneously forming a team with 3 ‘strangers’ and I am more than happy about how things went.

Don’t miss the chance to engage with those people who share one large enthusiasm with you, else you’ll regret it big time!

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This was me last year. Whenever I met a big front page dev I would ask for a selfie.

(I’m pretty sure I weirded out @berezaa lol)

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Reminder that sometimes while talking with someone, another may come in and want to join the conversation or quickly say “hello”, and you should try and refrain from finding it rude if said person says hi back in the middle of the conversation - again as stated in the OP, things are happening fairly quickly, and there’s a lot of people moving around and wanting to talk to various others; it unfortunately most often is not going to be a good 1 on 1 situation, and you most likely will get interrupted. That’s the reality of con’s in general. Just have fun!

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I have this issue where I usually have too many things (lua code) floating in my mind to have a meaningful conversation. This can hamper my ability to remember little details about the person and think of what to say next.

If you relate, googling stuff like “how to be present”, “the power of now”, “mindfullness”, and using my phone way less has really made a difference for me.

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Just do what I did last year, pop up behind @Defaultio and ask him for a shirt.

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Defaultio brings shirts? I gotta get my hands on one of those :open_mouth:

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You expect him to show up to the conference shirtless? The dude’s gotta wear something…:flushed:

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Idk, could be some kind of new fashion line he’s introducing! :smile:

If you do not approach me and ask for a selfie, Ima be real upset

i’ll see you in less than a week, mk

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Didn’t ready to meet a new friends :relaxed: