As a Roblox developer, RDC is important to me because of the value I derive from it. Meeting new people, discussing things with engineers and product folk, bonding with the community, and more are critical parts of the foundation for a professional career or hobby work on this platform.
The RDC gamejams, which have been a tradition for 7+ years now, play an important part in providing value at RDC. Participants of the gamejam get to work with a small team of people in an exciting, competitive & stressful environment. This type of environment is a great opportunity for developers to test their skills, knowledge and workflows while also forming meaningful connections with peers that they may not have otherwise made. While the backdrop is a competition, it is a friendly one and was largely done in good-spirit by a majority of the community. The creations and memories that the developer community formed from these gamejams were significant. Teams such as “titanic in a bottle”, who won an innovation award and attracted news outlet attention for their gamejam game in 2022, were formed because of the gamejam. Without the gamejam, these types of conference experiences, connections, and teams would arguably not exist today. Competition drives innovation!
Decompilation discombobulation, by the team “The Rising Phoenix”
However, as of today (June 14th 2023), Roblox has stated that RDC gamejams are no longer occuring. If you look at this year’s RDC schedule, you will note that there is no mention of a gamejam anywhere. When I spoke to developer relations, they confirmed that there is no game jam. This is problematic! As demonstrated above, and below by developer testimony, the gamejam was a valuable part of RDC and was liked and looked forward to by many. Creating amazing new things in a pressured competitive environment, in an officially backed Roblox activity was one of RDC’s staples. Then, after 24 hours of jamming, having the winning games shown off at the end of RDC with awards and accolades was an achievement many strived for. With the introduction of COVID-19 in 2020, the “jam” part of the RDC gamejams were switched to remote. This allowed more people to participate, which made the gamejam creations even more innovative.
As such, the tradition of the RDC gamejams should not be broken. While one could argue that developers can host their own gamejams, they aren’t nearly as large and aren’t quite the same in terms of value derived from them. Furthermore, this is yet another instance in a long-running trend of Roblox taking opportunities away & distancing themselves from the very developer community that makes the platform as big as it is today. The “soul” of this platform & RDC has been shrinking. RDC has been becoming more “marketing” focused and less “developer” focused, decreasing its overall value to developers.
Please restore the RDC gamejams. They were liked by many, and provided a lot of value to many.
I’m firmly behind the idea of restoring the GameJams to RDC, while having been fortunate to partake in two of them, the value they brought to my first RDC experience, was invaluable and I learned so much about teamwork and formed closer bonds with friends, built memes, and innovated with was beyond measure in comparison to regular work.
Community drives innovation, but communities have to be empowered to innovate, the GameJam is a yearly empowerment for developers to push what they think is possible in a short time.
Yeah not sure what the call was for game jam to be taken away but with no explanation it null and voids their attempt at being more transparent with the community.
With the company’s focus being more centered around connecting it’s weird that they decide to take away something that many people found connections and new friendships over. Without them ever explaining to us up front about why things are taken away they leave the community no choice but to guess.
Similar to only making RDC 18+, no official reasoning so many have to guess and that’s how PR problems form.
While I’ve never participated in a Roblox game jam, I’ve been a part of a game jam before (i.e. make a game in x amount of time) and honestly it was a load of (mildly stressful) fun!
It is a real shame to hear that RDC gamejams are getting axed; not only are they loved by the community, they also show Roblox’s talented developers as well as the potential for the Roblox game engine as a whole.
The gamejams seem like both a great tool for marketing as well as a great tool to improve developer relations and promote collaboration within Roblox.
I really hope Roblox decide against this decision and decide to implement a gamejam, because I find them hugely important to the platform. They’re well loved, look good to investors, increase community relations, and can be used to show the possibilities with Roblox’s engine as well as their collaboration tools within studio (which have, by the way, received a recent update).
I hope we can help to change Roblox’s mind! (althought I am doubtful )
GameJam was definitely one of my favorite parts of RDC, the connections and opportunities that could come about were endless. Especially after the announcement about sunsetting the accelerator program, this news hurts.
I made a long twitter thread a few minutes before posting this comment, addressing a lot of the fundamental issues, many of which @Noble_Draconian has made devforum threads about.
One of my biggest complaints on the thread is RDC, because like Noble said on twitter as well, this seems to be becoming an investors conference. Roblox has been destroying their community aspect, and with each decision getting made, its driving more and more future creators away from the platform. Decisions like this are terrible, and no matter how many empty promises Roblox makes about “focusing on making creators more money” and “bringing more community oriented programs to the platform,” everyone always sees right through it. I know that I can’t be the only one who has lost trust in this platform to do the right thing for it’s creators.
Of all the moves done for RDC, this surprises me. If Roblox decides the game jam is fine to cut, I think that proves my point of how much our opinions on RDC don’t matter. A lot of the last RDC felt more appealing to investors than developers: catering more to avatars and “”“metaverse”“” over games. Developers applying to present topics has been replaced by Roblox picking the topics without asking the people attending. The game jam would not have been removed due to our feedback. When making the decision, they should have known this was going to be a very unpopular move. RDC costs hundreds to thousands of dollars for us to attend. Why are we not being the ones catered to? Is our >80% cut we give to Roblox not enough?
Just want to mention that this staff reply came up recently. It looks like we’re trading the game jam for more networking time with staff and such, which is a fair trade-off IMO. Unfortunate, but it seems like it will open more opportunities for people invested in the platform to have their feedback heard, which is arguably more important for an event like RDC.
They’ve reduced RDC to 2 days instead of 3 days, and then have stripped the gamejam. It’s a reoccurring trend and isn’t really a fair tradeoff when we could easily have the best of both worlds. The conference was 3 days for many years and it was able to accomplish both.