Roblox Stories, a referral system to Capture and Save in-experience Moments

Roblox Stories

Its Importance for Both Developers and Players

Winter 2021

Author: Ukendio

We don’t talk about game marketing enough. Many starts with a mindset of “if I make a good enough game, it will sell itself”, those who have many years of experience and a list of credentials knows that this is a foolish thought. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of game development.

The most effective method of marketing is word of mouth [^1][^2][^3], and there are several studies and articles to back that up. Word of mouth is essentially an applied form of finding your product/market fit where your player base becomes your sellers, where you can get players for a lower cost than what they are worth to you. Many companies will go to lengths to encourage their user base to double up as sellers, i.e. referrals will award you with considerable credit within their services [^2]. This works because consumers will trust their friends more than they do you.

Currently, we have some lacklustre features to screenshot and/or record videos that write directly to the file system which is only sharable if you send the media on a platform that supports such format, notably Discord that is constantly in a fight with Roblox for various reasons, i.e. censorship.

Therefore, I propose a sharing system that allows the player to capture in-experience moments, otherwise unrecoverable memories, easily with a click of a button. My vision is to be able to directly share them onto the Roblox feed page that is currently unutilized. This would be the story feature found in popular social media such as Snapchat and Instagram [^4]. We are the only creatures on earth to retell our fellow kin our stories, and we have many creative means of telling that narrative. But more importantly for us, this means we can allow players to influence their friends in making similar stories by playing our experiences. The vision for this is if players were to click the story in the background, they see a popup link that takes them to the experience’s front page!

I would benefit a lot from this, and not just for the aforementioned marketing purposes which are very sweet, but also that it unlocks an unexplored world. I have developed many games, and one of them is called Action!. Its gameplay is simple, you and your fellow friends take up respective roles as either director, actor or technician and then create a movie together. A game design issue we discussed for many weeks, was how do we allow players to share their movies with others? We talked about featuring their movies in a centralized area such as a cinema but that had many issues of its own. We settled on the idea that only people who recorded could save the video. In our sequel, we implemented short codes - high collision - that people could copy and download. This was a huge hassle for players, but there was nothing we could do. These immense video clips also took a significant space. If we had these proposed ephemeral stories, we could have avoided all of these issues!

[^1]: Kimberly A. Whitler. (2014) Forbes, viewed 9 November 2021 https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2014/07/17/why-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-the-most-important-social-media/?sh=3b4707ac54a8

[^2]: V. Kumar, J. Andrew Petersen, and Robert P. Leone. (2007) Harvard Business Review, viewed 9 November 2021 https://hbr.org/2007/10/how-valuable-is-word-of-mouth

[^3]: Stefanie L. Boyer, Diane R. Edmondson, Brent L. Baker and Paul Solomon. (2015). Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, viewed 9 November 2021 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276203208_Word-of-Mouth_Traditional_and_Covert_Marketing_Comparative_Studies

[^4]: Marina Amâncio. (2017). “Put it in your Story”: Digital Storytelling in Instagram and Snapchat Stories, viewed 9 November 2021 https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1111663/FULLTEXT01.pdf

108 Likes

For a very long time, we’ve had the Feed feature where we could update our status and our friends and followers would see it on their feed. The feature unfortunately was not utilized a lot and has decreased even more in value when the feed was removed from the home page and put on its own page, accessible via the side navigation menu.

While I personally did not use the feature, I think if executed in a different manner it could have worked out. Though to improve on its capabilities I think changing “Feed” into “Stories”, much like what you can see on Facebook. Where there is a section that lists some of the latest stories my friends created, and I would be able to click on said stories and see what image or video they have uploaded then interact with it by liking or commenting on the story.

Being able to take screenshots from inside experiences, put some sort of caption on it, then share it with my friends and followers would be a huge feature for player engagement and game discoverability.

Scenario:

Joe is playing a new RPG game he found, After defeating a crazy strong boss, Joe takes a screenshot of himself with the defeated boss to celebrate his victory and show his friends.

Alex, one of Joe’s friends loves RPG games when she hopped on Roblox to see what games she’ll play today, she sees that Joe posted a new story, after clicking on it to see what it’s all about, Alex finds out Joe was playing a cool looking RPG game she’s not seen before! As a fan of RPG games, her curiosity was piqued, so after she gives the story a heart, she had to go and check it out for herself, and she can do that because there is a handy button that puts her right into the game from the story!

11 Likes

Feature requests should focus around problems rather than proposed solutions, ref: About the Feature Requests category

3 Likes

I would enjoy being able to post stories from the Roblox app onto a Roblox feed that people actually use (compared to the current compartmentalized feed page). Roblox could knock out two birds with one stone here. Remove a dead page + activate an entirely new aspect of the platform, sharing funny moments. These fun moments are currently being outsourced to 3rd party sites where Roblox loses out on opportunity from advertising money and active engagement on their own site. Players who could be finding new Roblox content from their friends 1 click away from playing and engaging, are instead on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitch, spending time on those sites. Personally I spend time creating game and update content on tiktok. If the infrastructure existed directly on Roblox, I would mostly drop tiktok in an instant.

6 Likes