RDC2018 Recap: Looking Back on the US Conference

While Roblox is still calming down from the excitement of #RDC2018, we wanted to provide a recap of all of the amazing lessons and games that came out of RDC US this year. For video recaps, be sure to check out twitch.tv/roblox.

The weekend was kicked off with a Friday night party for all of the attending developers. At the party, developers were able to mingle with other developers from the platform, play games (Pong, Dance Dance Revolution, Pac Man, Connect 4 and Jenga were amongst the games available to play), grab food and dance! Developers were also provided with an icebreaker that was hosted on the RDC mobile application, which could win them tickets for the raffle while also getting to know other developers at the conference. The raffle prizes included a VR headset and a drone!

Attendees got an early start to the day on Saturday, kicking off with a keynote presentation from the one and only Dave Baszucki, aka Builderman. He announced some big news: we’ve hit 4 million developers and are on track to pay out $70 million to our developers this year! Dave also discussed some of his broader visions for Roblox, Roblox Studio, localization and highly requested features.

Up next after Dave Baszucki, Grace Francisco presented the health of the Developer community, and gave attendees and viewers a peek behind the curtain into some of the ongoing community programs. Grace reviewed new features offered by the Developer Relations team, such as the Developer Hub, the Roblox Champions, Sorcus’s roadmap and more! Grace also revealed an upcoming content module that we are rolling out on the Roblox Developer Forum and Medium: How to Build Your Business on Roblox.

Following Grace, Roblox welcomed guest speaker Kristian Segrestrale, CEO of Super Evil Mega Corp, a gaming company in San Mateo currently known for Vainglory. Kristian gave a fantastic presentation on what it takes to build a game company, and provided viewers with six core takeaways: build a company with a good team in culture, focus on engagement, build lasting value, make things that you love, translate your games, and get to know each other.

Adam Miller took the stage after Kristian to take a quick look back at the updates and features that he reviewed at RDC 2017, but also included features that shipped that weren’t in RDC 2017 presentations, as well as some upcoming features expected to ship in the coming year. Adam covers topics such as larger Roblox servers, detail systems for CSG and Meshes, new physics, the shield effect, and more.

The last of our keynote speakers, Chris Misner, Head of International at Roblox, discussed where Roblox is headed- internationally! Developers might’ve seen games and threads being translated to Spanish on Roblox- specifically, the First Mover program was focused on the localization of top games on the platform. Chris discussed the program, and outlined what Roblox intends to do to help internationalize efforts. We’re already in French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish, with plans to expand into more languages soon!

You can watch the full stream of keynote presentations here.

After being treated to a preview of the years to come for the Roblox Corporation, developers made their way to their Breakout sessions of choice: Design, Developer, and Business.

Breakout Tracks:

Design:
This year’s Design track focused on demonstrating how to improve your Studio experience, and design games with other aspects in mind, such as reach and performance across multiple platforms. Roblox employees from across the company presented different design themes to consider when creating your game. Stephen Jobe began with a discussion on “Creating the Worlds You Envision Within Studio”, followed by Kelly Mayes’s talk on how to make your game more social and thus grow your player base. Grace Lin came on before the break and gave attendees on some tips to keep in mind when designing games that will ensure that your game works across the platforms that support Roblox.

Following the break, Arseny chatted with attendees about how to design your game for performance- which is key to in-game experience. Adam Miller then walked attendees through the process of making changes on the Roblox platform, and woot3 wrapped up by providing some tips on how to customize Studio to optimize your time and skills. Following woot3’s presentation, developers headed back into the ballroom for engineering and developer panels (see below).

You can watch the full Design track here.

Running Your Business on Roblox:
The business track is a new one to RDC this year, but it appeared to be a huge hit among attending developers! This track covered everything from monetizing your game, to building a company and advertising your brand. The Business track opened with a monetization panel, which included Jeff Maher (Head of Analytics at Roblox), AlexNewtron and Berezaa. During this panel, the three discussed some key ways they have monetized their games and incentivized in-game spending from their players. The topic then turned to the importance of moderation, and attendees got a peek behind the curtain of moderation. Sorcus wrapped up the segment before the break with a conversation about the game ratings coming to Roblox, and a few other features on the horizon.

Attendees filed back in after the break to watch RickytheFishy, Blockfacebob and Blockfacesteve discuss marketing tactics they used to spread the word about their games! Panelists discussed ways to best leverage Youtube, Twitter and some paid advertising options to grow their player base. The marketing panel was then replaced by a panel tasked with outlining the ways that the panelists- Sharksie, Simbuilder and AlexNewtron- built a company from their Roblox games. They had some great insight into ways to set yourself up for success when transferring learnings from game development into the real world! Finally, cowbear16 took the stage to tell attendees his story of how he took his Roblox skills to the real world and built a name for himself: he discussed how learning Studio led him to write and publish two books, while also funding some international travel!

Developer Track:
Over on the Developer track, Val kicked off the panel and discussed effective combat design and mechanics. Claus Moberg then took the stage with a presentation about developing games for reach, and how to develop with an expanded player base in mind. Finally, Mahesh wrapped up the session with a lightning round of Summer feature previews!

Returning from the break, Lucien discussed ways to leverage Roact and Rodux to build amazing GUIs! Developers then learned how to customize Studio from Doug, who discussed spoke about how to develop good dock widget plugins! Finally, Jovanni spoke more about how to actually localize your game and design your game to be localization-friendly.

Panels
Engineering Panel: Developers all met back in the main ballroom to hear from some of the engineering leads of Roblox answer questions and discuss upcoming features. You can watch the full presentation here.
Developer Panel: Following the engineering panel, Roblox developers Biostream, zKevin, HenryDev and SilentSwords joined JParty on stage to field some questions from developers online and in the crowd. Be sure to check out the full presentation here.


Game Jam
After wrapping up presentations for the day, developers turned their focus to the annual Game Jam competition! This year’s theme was “Alternate Physics”, with the intent to create a game that demonstrates a spin on the standard laws of physics. Most developers grabbed other developers to work on their Game Jam creations, while a few solo devs dove in and started working. Developers stayed up all night to produce some amazing creations, and by the end of the night, we counted more than 40 developer teams creating! As we neared game presentations, developers raced to put the finishing touches on a playable game, and to ship them in preparation for presentations. After 15 finalists were selected, judges awarded 3 teams with their Game Jam plaques.

Though only 3 teams were sent home with awards, the games that came out of Game Jam were absolutely stunning. You can find a full list below, along with a link to their place to play them, if available. We loved the amount of inspiration, teamwork and support we saw at the Game Jam this year. Teams pushed each other to be more creative and develop at a higher level.

Team Name: Game Name

First Place Winner:

Second Place Winner:

Third Place Winner:

All Game Jam Games Submitted:

Thank you again to everyone who took part, and to the amazing staff that made the weekend possible. RDC EU is right around the corner, and we’ve got some awesome stuff planned for the EU conference!

What did you think of RDC2018? How do you like these Game Jam games? Comment below and let us know! Don’t forget to check out #RDC2018 on Twitter for tweets and photos from he weekend!

57 Likes

Was a great RDC - can’t wait for next years’

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I saw multiple staff running around with really nice cameras taking tons of pics, will these be released in a larger gallery?

12 Likes

rdc was gangsta

2 Likes

They were government officials watching you.

8 Likes

When will videos of ALL the panels be out?

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We should get an award for most creative name

10 Likes

Really enjoyed this year’s RDC! Was my first. :cherry_blossom:

7 Likes

Excited for next year! Amazing time meeting some amazing people!

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You guys are welcome for the best game on planet earth, “Broken Game: Break Jail 2”. I can tell you that we would’ve definitely won 1st place if we submitted :wink:

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You mean if we finished it :wink:

Still gonna release it tho

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What are you talking about?!?! It is finished

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Updated!

Yes, they will be made available!

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Thanks for the fix. Any knowledge of when ALL panel videos will be up?

Awesome recap!

Slight edit: the people you have listed in the last part of the business track for building your business are incorrect

Best RDC ever…

Thank you for putting on such a fantastic event! Looking forward to what comes next. :smile:

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I am going to re-post the time stamps since this is a public thread.

Creating the Worlds You Envision With Studio: 19:50
Featuring: RBLXImagineer (Stephen Jobe)

  • What makes an immersive world and world types: 22:56
  • Tone: 28:21
  • Perspective: 29:16
  • Cohesion: 31:07
  • Colors: 35:27
  • Textures: 40:49
  • Lighting: 43:13
  • Recommended Roblox Games and GDC talks: 50:54
  • Q&A: 52:36

Making Your Game More Social: 1:14:20
Featuring: sisteralligator (Kelly Mayes)

  • Playing with friends metrics: 1:18:48
  • Party and home page improvements: 1:20:45
  • In-game invites: 1:22:40
  • Playing with friends: 1:23:29
  • Breaking the ice: 1:27:00
  • Social buffs: 1:28:36
  • Future plans for social team: 1:29:44
  • Q&A: 1:31:44

Designing UI Across Platforms: 1:49:17
Featuring: hahamonkey5 (Grace Lin)

  • What is UX: 1:50:22
  • UX on Roblox: 1:51:23
  • Cross platform UX: 1:52:56
  • Layout: 1:55:11
  • Interaction: 1:59:31
  • Visual: 2:02:58
  • Q&A: 2:07:59

Designing for Performance: 2:29:13
Featuring: zeuxcg (Arseny Kapoulkine)

  • Performance measurements: 2:31:13
  • Analysis tools: 2:34:17
  • Roblox-side improvements: 2:40:03
  • Scripting performance: 2:48:10
  • Building performance: 2:53:44
  • Physics performance: 2:58:56
  • Texture performance: 3:00:45
  • Transparency performance: 3:02:16
  • Q&A: 3:04:01

How Changes are Made on the Roblox Platform: 3:26:08
Featuring: rbadam (Adam Miller)

  • Easy example - Portrait Mode: 3:28:47
  • Hard example - Smooth Terrain: 3:34:46
  • Q&A: 3:41:31

Advanced Studio Tips: Organizing Your Code, Plugins, and More: 3:58:56
Featuring: woot3 (Brad Sharp)

  • Settings: 4:03:18
  • Shortcuts: 4:04:19
  • Command bar: 4:06:46
  • Code management: 4:07:43
  • Plugins: 4:09:23
  • Q&A: 4:12:17
17 Likes

So sad I had to leave before the final picture taken with everyone. Dx Next year, and last year, but next year again.