Please add a UGC application process

Hi, this is a request and also some rambling and ranting too, sorry about that.

The UGC catalog is an awesome way to let users customize their avatars using community-made assets and it allows developers to earn more on the platform and that’s brilliant, however, it’s currently locked down to certain users with no clear way for interested parties to get involved.

I understand that when adding something like this it opens up the possibility for bad actors to upload content that isn’t theirs or upload inappropriate content that doesn’t align with Roblox’s target audience and, therefore, you need to be very careful who is given permission. However, it’s been 10 months since the original UGC introduction thread and people are starting to feel aggravated and defeated that they can’t get involved and start earning revenue that could potentially be life-changing.

I was hopeful that we would have had some clearer method of getting our work seen by the relevant parties but sadly that hasn’t happened. We still, as far as I’m aware, have to post our work to twitter, a third party site, in hopes that those in charge see it and like the work that we do. But even then, I’m not sure if that’s the case because there is no information regarding the topic anywhere. I have even reached out to staff members and asked for some clarity on the topic and they either don’t know or just didn’t respond.

I also understand that NDA’s are likely in place and that the people that I’ve reached out to are working on various projects and tasks at Roblox, but it doesn’t feel great when you have skills that could allow you to go full-time but you can’t do anything with them because… Well? I don’t know because there’s no clear process for getting involved, and that’s the problem.

I realize this is starting to get a little bit rambly and that I am going off on ranting tangents but I’m frustrated. I hope not to sound entitled when saying this but when half of my assets were moderated for no reason back in the day when all I ever upload is my own work and now a bad actor who stole other people’s work is given access to the catalog - it makes me feel bitter and resentful. Being told “no” would have made me strive to do better, and try again in the future but right now there’s not even a response, you’ve just got to make stuff and have blind faith that the work you do is seen by someone, somewhere, sometime and that their taste in art style matches yours. It feels like a lucky dip.

There are amazingly talented artists in this community who have been users on Roblox for a long time who offer support, criticisms, and give valuable feedback who still don’t have access and it’s upsetting to see them working hard to get noticed and being left in the dark.

TLDR: Please focus on improving the onboarding of creators so that they know their work has actually been seen by someone and so that they aren’t left feeling ignored by a platform that they’re passionate about contributing to. Please also add them more frequently, if they’re valued members of the community who have not had a history of moderation and/or DMCA requests against them then you’d only be strengthening the quality of the market.

I totally understand that the catalog is still in beta and when working on projects like this there are various hurdles when it comes to copyright, the stealing of assets, and engineering the entire system. I just ask that there is some clarity and communication with the community about what is going on with the catalog.

Thanks.

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A UGC application, info on how users are accepted in, anything would be nice. I’ve been waiting since the initial announcement of February 2016 for UGC to release, back when it was a quickly mentioned detail in an overall larger thread regarding the future of Roblox’s avatars, back when R15 was in beta testing. Over the years Roblox had brought it up again and again, and by the time it did end up launching in August 2019, I had picked up an alright amount of 3D modeling knowledge, and decided it’d be good to make some hats in hopes of someday being picked.

Within these past ten months, I’ve made over a hundred items of my own, and collabed on another few dozen. The items I’ve collabed on have all together gained well over a million sales, a few of which even ending up in the top 100 bestselling/most favorited UGC items of all time. I’ve had some amazing devs tweet out wondering why I’m not in UGC, such as Polyhex, zKevin, and asimo3089.

I’ve had dozens upon dozens of times where someone would bring up something like “Why aren’t you in UGC?” or “When is this releasing?”, and it’s a bit crushing that the best I can say is “I don’t know.” every time. I don’t know how long it’ll take before I’m allowed to release the accessories I’ve worked hard on making. I don’t know if I still need to improve my skills. I don’t know if I’m even being considered.

Still out here making accessories from time to time, in case the day comes where I’m in that “lucky dip” as you put it, but it’s tiring at this point. At least a no response would let me move on, but even after considering quitting multiple times, a small part of me still says “Keep going! They’ve gotta let you in soon enough… Right?”

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There are some UGC creators making hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s absolutely ridiculous to only have a few handfuls of UGC creators for such a large platform.

This income needs to be split over more creators as soon as possible. This being a beta is no longer an excuse – it’s been going this way for months on end and it is a waste not to use all of this potential to give more creators a living income.

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It only took you 5 lines and you put it more eloquently than I ever could. Thank you.

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I’ve made one item which got uploaded to UGC catalog (and that’s my hair).
I also was close to co-operate with a Star Creator, but sadly never worked together.

I made a game to show my portfolio too.

I don’t know how to get enough attention.

I didn’t really work with Roblox in past, but I believe my accomplishment should give me some hope.
Ialso do commissions, but IIRC contract workers aren’t noticed.
I did contribute to the big games, but I need some love to be honest.

I heard there was a contest in international category… but I don’t belong to any of those countries.
I felt disappointed because of this.

Application would make it easy. For me and many independent creators.

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The program remaining exclusive after all this time is truly unacceptable. There is still a gross lack of information and progress communication provided to us about what’s going on with the UGC accessory creators program: for all we know, there could be no progress at all on rolling the program out on a larger scale and this is disheartening.

I’m not a creator myself, but I definitely follow and support a number of creators and their designs and have seen a lot of other creators who are excited to join the program. They have been creating countless designs, hoping to release them some day and that these would gain them recognition. Creators cannot afford to be swept under any longer and I mean it both literally and figuratively when I say “afford”.

Getting policies ready and rolling to a bigger crowd NEEDS to be a PRIORITY. Not a want, a want was several months ago, we’re far past that point.

An application process would greatly help recognise creators without waiting to be selected by some obscure criteria. No waiting, no anxiety, no obscurity. You gun for it when you feel you’re ready and you’re recognised for your talents, not your name.

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I couldn’t agree more! It’s been almost a year since the initial release of the UGC program, and we have yet to see a new selection process for creators. The current selection process is very confusing and vague, and feels like it’s just a matter of a staff member recognizing your constant efforts at creating UGC on Twitter.

UGC is such a powerful tool given to developers that can be life-changing, and I feel like after almost a year, the selection process should be made more clear to developers who are interested in joining the program. As buildthomas said, it’s disappointing that it’s only given to such a small window of developers who end up creating content for millions and millions of players.

There are many 3D modelers out there that I’ve seen (including myself) that are interested in the UGC program but there doesn’t seem to be a very clear way of receiving an invitation. I would love to see this process change and get an influx of new faces into the program.

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as someone who has previously worked on a roblox event and contributed to various front page games, i thought i had a good chance of being picked very early on. this was what i thought to myself in august 2019…

it is now june 2020.

what infuriates me is not the fact i was never hand picked for the program, it’s the sheer amount of effort and work people put into their own concepts without getting anything in return. i refused to push myself to work hard for UGC access because after seeing people upload HUNDREDS OF CONCEPTS without being prompted access, there wasn’t a reason to push myself so hard. yeah, i’ll upload the occasional concept here and there, but theres people out there who go above and beyond without being prompted access.

working for ugc access feels like running into a void at the moment. it’s never clear whos getting in. it feels like a waste of time. i have never seen my UGC concepts since the day i made them. they sit in a folder and rot after receiving hundreds of twitter likes. i’ve been mistaken as a UGC creator multiple times, and people keep asking me when my items will go on sale, which i respond with “i dont know.”

i agree that implementing an application process would most definitely take away from this frustration and give us a reason to keep modeling concepts. :slight_smile:

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Been around a week since my initial post, and since then I’ve been gathering my thoughts, double checking a few things and getting new information. Do feel I need to add some more to this thread, so here I go.

Firstly comes the topic of the methods possible to actually get on the track to being able to upload UGC. For us, our chances would be boiled down to two things. Roblox checks the #RobloxUGC hashtag on Twitter, and listens to nominations from users currently in the UGC program. This has been confirmed by multiple people who are within the UGC program on Twitter. It feels odd that we have to wait for the chance of being accepted to come to us, rather than directly showing our potential via an official application…


That is as far as it goes for many anyways, but if you’ve been keeping an eye open you’ll notice there has been a different method for getting in. Roblox has had official contests to expand the UGC program to different languages. I’ve managed to find posts regarding this in Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese.

https://twitter.com/robloxdevreles/status/1219381884167380992
https://twitter.com/robloxdevrelfr/status/1219717394865762304
https://twitter.com/robloxdevrelde/status/1219351666664841217
https://twitter.com/robloxdevrelptb/status/1218965214189645825

These January contests aren’t the only ones though. There was also one in China back in April.

https://roblox.qq.com/designer/index.html
https://forum.robloxdev.cn/t/topic/95

From here, we’d see that although it isn’t a constant application process, putting the page through Google Translate does show that this is a much clearer process than what we’re going through. Create your 3D model, provide some clear images along with an attachment of your model, and make sure that what you’ve made fits within the format Roblox has set for UGC hats (256x256 TX, no transparancy, etc.)

While I don’t like to focus on the money aspect of creating UGC items, since I started my own work because I wanted to create some cool looking accessories, I feel the point @buildthomas has mentioned is highlighted by the contest in China. While Google Translate isn’t a decent translation, only giving us a subpar idea of what’s here, we’re able to see that the UGC China contest mentions the potentially large amount of earnings four different times.

It’s fair to say there’d be some differences between earnings from most UGC creators, and those who are restricted to China’s regulations, but it still feels ridiculous that we’re over here concerned about the fact that there’s currently a monopoly going on due to the limited selection of who can upload UGC when there was a contest which used the vast amount of money earned from that monopoly as a reason for why 3D modelers in China should become UGC creators.


Lastly, I want to mention how the limited access of who can upload UGC can, and has, been abused. This comes in the matter of people who do have UGC access shortchanging the people they work with, who agree to their unfair terms in the hopes that it’ll work out for them in the long run by being given access to UGC themselves. This has happened multiple times with items pubished by Video Stars, who have access to upload one item monthly but usually hire those who are skiled in modeling to make their items. I’ve heard of cases where users are underpaid, not paid at all, and in some cases not even credited.

There have also been a handful of items by Joylessly, ArchiRBLX, and Impwick which were all modeled and textured by them, but published by those who have access to the catalog. While I’d imagine the UGC creators who published their work were involved in the design and came to a fair agreement with those aspiring modelers, I do worry that eventually this too could be taken advantage of, where a UGC creator could act as a publisher and profit off the fact that they happened to be chosen by Roblox to upload accessories instead of whoever they work with.


In conclusion, we need a process for letting eager creators in, rather than having us all put our faith in a system which provides absolutely no feedback on what we need to do. Until that happens, the setup that’s currently in places leaves room for many modelers to be taken advantage of in a desperate attempt to get Roblox’s attention.

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I and many other of the current members in the UGC program feel like there should be more people involved.

Obviously due to NDA restrictions, I cannot extrapolate on how the current onboarding works (much of the program is still in its beta stages, and thus subject to change anyways), but I can say that I’d want nothing more than having other devs in the program.


Even as someone lucky enough to get into the UGC program, I want more devs here.

It’s better for the whole community.


Edit, if you’re here from some link on twitter, there’s a lot of misinformation. Just know that the people in the program also want it opened up. Don’t come after us for something Roblox does.

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On top of this, the rollout we heard at RDC vs now creates an entirely new question on where in the world are we.

For those unaware or need a refresher.


Video: https://youtu.be/4W-k9cx4EKQ

The above timeline was shown at RDC 2019 - Aug 2019


This was what we could had reasonable expected from Roblox. If this was not going to happen as intended, do the right thing and announce it. Be clear what has changed and how you want to move forward.

We are currently still in the 2019 rollout of sorts. Pushing 2020 if you want to be kind. But this has not occured, the timescale was not correct and nothing has been updated about it.

We should be getting a moderation overhaul and a curated storefront. This issue would be done and gone if this was kept to pace and we would had the small testing group and then moving into full community roll out. Rather now we’re dealing with different parts of Roblox doing different things to make what was a test club a partition award. This needs to end.

Roblox has improved so much yet fails at the same time. I get worries from staff that if they say a word it’ll be misconstrued into something it isn’t and that does occur from some of the community but it is highly likely people are planning whole businesses around this new UGC item category.


Side note: UGC is the backbone of this platform, don't get confused.

UGC = User Generated Content: Everything Roblox has not made.
UGC catalog/Avatar Store/Other similar terms = UGC in the catalog itself (the issue we’re discussing)

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Hey Onogork, thank you (and everyone who commented below) for sharing your feedback. I understand that the idea of UGC has been floating around for awhile now and everyone is excited, eager, and ready for the program to open up more broadly, we are too!

I know it has been frustrating to watch some creators get accepted into the closed whitelist beta, and it feels like other talented creators go unnoticed. We see the amazing stuff you guys create—that’s why we are building this program :heart:

I’m happy to confirm that we are still targeting a release of the open application program this year! I wish I could share more information or give you a date to look forward to, but that’s just not possible at the moment. Trust me, we’ll make the announcement with more details as soon as we possibly can!

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Is this referring to the “open to the community at large” portion of the rollout pictured in railworks’ post, or something which is planned to come a lot sooner than that?

It’s really hard to feel a “Soon™” is a satisfactory answer considering the history UGC has had with that. Four different RDCs where we were told UGC was on the way before it actually was on the way.

We’re in a spot where the problems that have been discussed in this thread are ones which I feel would be a priority to address. Without some clear path forward, users are going to do what they think is the best path to getting accepted, and when that path is working without fair pay or pushing themselves to do excessive amounts of work in hopes that it gets noticed, that’s what they’re going to go for.

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It’s difficult to give definite answers on this as the program is still in the testing phase. The next step will be to broaden the application process and then, after we evaluate how that went and make any necessary adjustments, we’ll start working towards opening the program further.

I agree with the desire to have a clearer path forward and I will bring this up to discuss with the team.

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Thank you for your response, I appreciate the information and am happy to hear that there is an open application in the works.

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I’m going to play devil’s advocate here.

Though it’s frustrating that only a few people have access to creating UGC accessories, it makes sense to thoroughly stress test everything.

The last thing we’d want is a repeat of the mistakes with clothes.

The stream of revenue verses results might be absurd, but we really shouldn’t rush this.

I think it was nice of Roblox to let the beta testers earn these fat stacks while they can. I don’t want to blame them for doing that.

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I think the real problem here is that Roblox hasn’t said anything in regards to the fact that the UGC system will even be publicly released, minus the inital announcement nearly a year ago, and now two recent posts by @Kairomatic.

The foreign tweets @CaptainJadeFlames sourced basically pander to the fact that you can make ‘tens of thousands of dollars off a single item!’, yet they are touting this number from within a closed marketplace. It’s pretty damn easy to make tens of thousands of dollars off something when you can put literately zero effort into an item and release it, and thousands of people will buy it anyways.

I want to be clear that I’m not trying to drag IDontHaveAUse here, but who’s to say that another user didn’t come up with that idea months ago, and had zero opportunity to capitalize off of it because of the closed marketplace?

This whole ‘the UGC system is still in beta, and we can’t violate our NDAs’ argument from the current roster of UGC creators is seriously starting to sound like softcore trolling at this point. The fact that we have gotten more information about the UGC System from creators signed to NDAs than we have Roblox themselves is extremley telling in this situation. It genuinely wouldn’t be that hard for Roblox to release a monthly article pertaining to the development of the UGC system (something I suggested nearly a year ago), yet here we are with dozens of established users essentially demanding answers, and rightfully so.

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I think it’s also worth mentioning that a former contractor hired by Roblox to make hats and 3D assets published to the ‘Roblox’ account has taken to Twitter to condemn the actions of the team in charge of UGC program on a fairly consistent basis.

Imagine being pushed out of the company you work for on the basis that your job will be superseded by an upcoming program, only to not be accepted into said program because of there being no definitive way for even trying to apply for it.

These are real life implications for some people. Roblox basically shafted this guy and he now has no way to make a living doing what he loves, while dozens of other cherry-picked users have been able to cash in on his misfortune. I couldn’t even imagine being in that position, it honestly makes me fume just thinking about it.

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I do not wish to spread drama, but you as creators in the UGC program have more power to open up UGC to the community.

We don’t have direct access to staff like you and the other current creators do, if you truly wish to make the market more open and the joining process more effective you would have done it sooner rather than later.

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In hindsight there should have been an application process shortly after they invited the first initial waves of people into the program. There’s a lot of problems surrounding UGC currently, there’s no application process, QA is questionable, and some creators who were invited into the program uploaded meshes that did not even belong to them. It’s been a numerous amount of months since the program was initially released and from an outsider perspective it seems like none of these problems are being addressed, instead more and more people are just being added to the program. Let’s face the facts here, UGC provides an amazing opportunity to the few SELECT people that actually got into the program, as it stands as long as someone is in the program the UGC catalog has such a low amount of competition due to the number of UGC creators, you’re essentially handing a living wage to these people.

The fact that there is no application process alone makes me question what UGC even is, as of right now it comes off as some VIP club where you have to know the right people to get in. I was so excited about UGC when it was first announced at RDC, I’m saddened to see the direction it has taken though.

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