New Terrain and Parts Materials Preview Build! Oh YES!

Quick question:
Since this practically demonstrates the tiling property for PBR textures, will we be potentially getting tiling SurfaceAppearance objects soon :eyes:?

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Not really because the og materials also used PBR and they tilled. But it might come soon because they know it’s high in demand.

As developers, I feel one of the most important aspects in a platform is stability. This as it stands is the opposite.

I don’t think anyone is rejecting the idea of better looking textures per se. I am fairly sure if roblox made the effort to ensure the new textures had very similar looks/ behaviors to the old textures the complaints would be rather limited, even if it was a mandatory switch over.

That said, the current style is not intended to be particularly realistic and having the tools to make more realistic experiences is valuable. My question is why this is somehow bieng treated as a binary choice.

If it were my call I would separate the textures into two classes, Stylized and Realistic. From there I would update the existing materials such that they would work with the new framework and put them in the “Stylized” branch, and move the new materials into the realistic branch.

This has several advantages that would not be present were we just given both materials.
A: It allows for a cleaner organization of materials, such that we don’t end up with giant lists where it is impossible to find what you are looking for.
B: When custom materials hit the library, it provides a easy® way of sorting them. You want a wood material that is made by user? Just set the material to wood, then select their “channel”.

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  1. We are currently going to automatically upgrade all experiences to these new materials. If you open a place you made 3 years ago, your materials will automatically upgrade with no way to revert to the current ones. Is this acceptable, or would you prefer that new experiences get the new materials and existing ones have to be explicitly upgraded?

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE THESE NEW MATERIALS TO OLD PLACES. Older places were designed with older materials in mind, so unless these new materials were made to resemble the old ones a great deal, it should not happen.

  1. On lower-end devices, Surface Appearance objects scale to a color. You can simulate this by choosing File > Studio Settings > Rendering > Quality Level > Level 01. Is this acceptable?


    No.

  2. Looking at the materials for uses other than their specific type (using wood grain for another purpose) do you feel the new materials give you more or less options for using them in your games?

Much more less of an option. Older materials were much more generalized and ambiguous. Sand could be used for clothes, masts, etc. Slate could be used for bark and other rough surfaces. Sand right now however, has its direction changed as others have pointed out. Slate now resembles cobblestone a great deal more, ruining the rough look and feel.

  1. Do the new materials better blend with other models and assets in your game?


I cannot tell since the wood is too dark.

  1. Are there any visual bugs introduced by these new materials? If so, please provide images and comparisons.


Wood planks (and other materials) have these weird creases. Speaking of wood planks. PLEASE change the plank width back to 1 studs instead of 0.8 studs.

  1. Do these materials increase or decrease the immersion you seek in your game?

As they stand right now, decrease.

Closing notes:
Fix wood planks being 0.8 instead of 1
Fix materials being too damn dark, make the colors resemble their original counterparts so builds aren’t thrown out of wack.
Fix wood for having weird ridges
Fix the terrain materials by removing the colors already on them
Get rid of those tiny grains in sand so they’re usable for cloths (and make their directions straight like before)
Keep backwards comparability
And we could benefit a lot if we were given multiple variations of the same material.

I had high hopes for this, but I’m somewhat disappointed by this early build.

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Might be a case of skybox choice. That or maybe turn up your graphics.

Heres the skybox I use www.roblox.com/library/627338483

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complaints have been made about the coloring problem with terrain and it got a response that it will be “improved” only to see the problem made worse even bringing the problem over to normal parts instead of just terrain therefor destroying most of the usefulness/uniqueness of these materials.

it would be better that they simply keep the original materials and add new ones instead of replacing them at this point.

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I don’t like this update at all, if the materials look better, but what about the games that used the old textures?

These textures do not look quite “realistic” rather it is somewhat cartoony, you can see it on the grass, is my opinion.

Roblox could add this function with the option to turn it on or off, that is, when you deactivate it, your game converts the materials to normal ones.

Something similar to the option to activate Roblox’s realistic grass.

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Please make sure the textures are presentable and carry the same core appearance and detail on the lowest graphics settings! PBR maps don’t render on the lowest settings, so you could end up with some really flat and ugly textures on the lowest graphics!

Like for the sand material, the base diffuse should still have the wave shape imprinted on it.

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Wait are terrain materials or part materials going to get changed

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Both are being changed. Read the original post.

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Oh boy. This is going to take a while, and this post has scared me more than anything.

  1. You NEED to keep the older materials as an option. I don’t care if you’re striving for realism here, it is forcing an artstyle change upon every developer on the platform regardless of their desire. As developers, we should not be responsible to fix everything we’ve made over the past several years simply because Roblox broke them without any regard for the previous experience. This would take literal hours, maybe even weeks to do.

The current materials need to stay as a part of Roblox’s engine because of their massive versatility and ambiguity. It will maintain the original, intended experience and artstyle these no-longer-updated games had. I do not want to have to go to my old games only to see them butchered by a lack of consistency and parity with the current materials. If I had that forced upon me, with no way to keep them the same, I would undoubtedly quit. I update my older things quite frequently, even things that are 4 years old now, so I don’t want to have to leave it untouched for it to maintain the old appearance.

  1. If this is talking about how materials flat out disappear for lots of bricks when graphics are low, no, it is not. I would rather play on minimal graphics with current materials than with the new ones.

  2. FAR, FAR less. The lack of versatility on these new materials is absolutely unacceptable and to be completely honest I’m baffled this was even shipped in the state that it is currently in, no offense to the team. These materials not only have forced color, but also forced brightness. These are so hard to color and use to look correctly that every game is going to have to simulate a nature environment in order to look passable. If you want a cartoony game, everything’s going to have to look like plastic.
    I use wood grain to simulate hair on some of my untextured meshparts. This isn’t possible anymore. I also can’t make white bricks anymore, or blue grass. It is a chore to try and work with.

  3. NO, not at all. The amount of inconsistency and loss of fidelity, as well as the general atmosphere, is detrimental. If this was forced on me with no way to opt out, I would quit. The amount of work you are asking me to do to accommodate a non-consensual change on my (and other developers’) end’s is outrageous, considering how many things I continue to use that were designed around the old materials. You are asking me to practically remake the past 4 years of my life on this platform, as well as destroying any way to enjoy things as they were.

  4. Plenty, but to be completely honest, I don’t have the energy to list them all, as others have done a far better job. Unless you can get these materials to have far less distinguishability from the current materials, I probably will not be satisfied.

The problems at hand are too many to count. Materials have forced color and brightness. Slate doesn’t even look close to what it was. Concrete looks like rough plastic. Sand looks awful in dark colors, and also cannot be used to simulate fabric or other soft things like blankets.

I could go on and on about my complaints with the new materials, but I won’t, because I don’t expect my critique to go anywhere if realism is all Roblox cares about with these new materials. This is like taking Minecraft and forcing you to use a hyper-realistic texture pack and raytracing shaders with no way to go back to how the game was designed and intended to look.

Please understand me when I say most developers on this platform do not strive for realism. Realistic options would be nice, but the last thing I want is EVERY game on this website to appear realistic. It needs to be up to the developer to decide their artstyle, not Roblox.

  1. They decrease the immersion by a long-shot. All of my previous hangout games where I’ve spent years having memories with my friends now look dark and drab. Everything is the wrong color and all of my CSG builds look inconsistent and cluttered now. My withered and decaying builds I made with slate now look like cracked plastic, and the environments themselves are like shadows of their former selves. I’ve never felt so aliennated on this platform.

So no, they do not increase the immersion at all, and decrease it by a lot.

This is why the current materials need to remain accessible, regardless of circumstance. If you want to make new materials, go ahead, I’m completely fine with that idea. I just don’t like the idea of having to rework my content around what Roblox wants. The current materials are very user-friendly and accessible to newcomers and hobbyists thanks to their ambiguity and versatility, unlike the new ones.

As long as we can somehow toggle the material changes, or have them both at the same time (permanently), I am fine with the new ones. Just don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken.

I’d like to close this off by saying that while I know I seem very extreme in this post, I say it constructively and out of passionate frustration. As a passionate developer, I say this out of desire for this update to be something to celebrate, and not to dread.

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I feel like the materials are way too dark and doesn’t work with eachother

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I don’t like the grass texture, doesn’t even look like grass it looks like strands of grass piled together. The decoration grass doesn’t look great on it, the colors don’t even blend together it feels… wrong…

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This. Everything you just said here is perfect. I actually could not have said this better myself, even in my essay of a response to this.

Especially this part. This is absolutely what I’ve been trying to put into words.

Let developers do their own thing and give them more options instead of less. They know their games better than Roblox does.

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This wording also really concerns me. It makes me think that if I ever update an older game, it’ll be forced into the newer materials, or if I update an old model, etc, etc. Absolutely scary wording because of how ambiguous it is.

As someone who relies on admin scripts for games, I’ve had times where it’ll break and I’ll have to update the game or asset to make it even usable again. If I have to update to fix this, it’d force me to use the new materials, something I am vehemently against having to do.

I’d also really like to be able to make new files with the old materials instead of being forced to use the new ones just because “it’s a new place”.

Another good example.

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Will there be a performance issue? And if yes will there be performance settings or quality settings?

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I don’t understand why this wasn’t the goal of the project from the beginning. I have no problem with them updating the existing materials to be different with PBR like the new ones, but replacing them outright is completely unacceptable, no exceptions by any stretch of the imagination.

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Words can’t explain how excited I am for this, I like the direction that Roblox is going. Can’t wait to jump in and test it out in my latest project. When I build I like realism, I like non Roblox games that look realistic.

However with something another users addressed I feel the current materials should stay and maybe have these in say another sub category. Because by no means is there anything wrong with the current one’s, old builds are made with them in mind, there are multiple factors, ie. Lighting, colour, style, feel.

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I’d like to stop you right there and ask you to please consider:

How will this negatively impact games no longer receiving updates?

How will this impact the visual fidelity and consistency of existing models and games?

Is it really the developer’s responsibility to fix something Roblox broke?

Why do the materials need to be inherently realistic? Do cartoony and custom artstyles which aren’t realistic simply not matter?

Does destroying those cartoonish and custom styles actually move the platform forward, or does it actually inhibit the developer’s ability to make their own experience with the versatility the current materials have?

These are the questions I have for you.

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Yeah, this is not great. @PeZsmistic explained it more thoroughly than I ever could but these new materials are drastically different, overly realistic, and will ruin old builds. The textures by themselves are not the problem, the fact that you’re replacing the old materials with these makes it an issue. Why not expand the material library to accommodate for both the old and new materials? It doesn’t make any sense to replace these materials with an entirely different style when your whole intention is to add more flexibility to the platform.

If you want to refine the old materials for PBR, then simply stay true to the design. Period.

Since custom materials and custom vegetation are the next steps, then drop the one size fits all method and focus on making the current library more flexible! Add additional materials in smaller batches! Make material packs! Don’t try revamping the style of an already made material and make a new one! Give players more control over the material colors and sizes!

And while you’re at it, give devs control over the current vegetation! The new grass material doesn’t fit the grass vegetation nearly at all compared to the current material. We should be able to set the grass on whatever material we want, change the density, position the grass, and change the colors and sizes.

Optimally, we should replace the full revamp announcements with gradual additions to the library, and focus big updates on more granular controls and new features.

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