As Roblox continues to grow to support larger teams, so too does the need for stability not only in the game engine itself but also in the tools developers use to build games. However, recent updates made to studio harm developer trust in new features, and are very clearly rushed out the door without taking the time to fix bugs discovered during the feature’s beta period.
The most recent, and in my opinion, the most egregious example was the recent addition of the asset manager. The feature did go through a beta period, but many of the bugs or UX issues discovered during the beta period weren’t addressed before it was released and the game explorer was removed. Some notable issues include
- Random errors in the output console, independent of whether or not the user actually interacts with the asset manager, reported back in April, still not fixed (Asset Manager errors in Output)
- Packages displaying inconsistently or not at all, reported back in April, still not fixed (https://devforum.roblox.com/t/asset-manager-is-here-live/517475/23)
- There is now no way to view Developer Products in Studio anymore (Asset Manager is Here (LIVE))
- No way to delete items, reported back in May, still not fixed (Asset Manager is Here (LIVE))
- No documentation ready upon release
There was no pressing need from developers for this feature, and the game explorer was holding up just fine for the time being. Additionally, the quick removal of the game explorer is especially harmful since some features (DevProducts, Badges) are not viewable anywhere in studio at the moment. From staff responses in the asset manager thread, it was clear that there was no plan to fix many of these bugs before release, it appeared as that the release date was set and nothing would change it.
As another example, last year, a new feature was released to configure assets in studio. However, it also broke uploading to assets for many users (See: Unable to upload to certain models using the new configure asset window). An issue that went unfixed until April of this year. A bug like this could have been caught through more extensive beta testing. Additionally, when this bug was reported, the feature wasn’t rolled back even though there was direct evidence it was harming workflows without providing any service that was absolutely necessary. Again, we can wait for configuring assets in studio in order to keep other features working smoothly.
Also, while not a broken feature explicitly, the new Drafts feature was quickly rolled out without any prior explanation to developers about the feature. This caused mass confusion and disrupted many workflows as developers kind of just had to figure it out. There was no official heads up given on when the feature would go live, so it just appeared for many developers.
Given that many of the bugs and headaches created by these features could have been caught with more thorough internal testing and user-testing as well as better communication about planned timelines for features, it’s very frustrating as a developer that these seem to be rushed out the door in the name of meeting deadlines rather than providing useful and sufficiently stable features to developers. While new features being constantly shipped is amazing, what’s even better is being able to rely on Roblox as a stable platform to build amazing experiences. However, features being shipped with glaring bugs and UX issues make it very difficult to feel confident in the platform.