The Future of Filtering Enabled: Experimental Mode

Hello Developers,

Today, we have some news to share as part of our continuing commitment to build a better, safer platform for all players. Starting in August, we will be rolling out new updates to enhance the discoverability of Filtering Enabled games.

First, we’d like to announce a name change. Filtering Enabled is a reasonable name for a developer feature, but as we make it a larger part of our platform strategy, the name will need to be understandable by users and parents in addition to developers.

Moving forward, Filtering Enabled games will simply be called “games.” From a user perspective, the default status of a Roblox game is that it is secure and that it has Filtering Enabled. Games that do not have Filtering Enabled, on the other hand, will be called “Experimental Mode games.” The thought here is that new developers are experimenting with the Roblox platform and, as such, their games are in “Experimental Mode.” Experienced developers, however, will make games that are secure and stable – thus, not in experimental mode.

What does the new name mean for you? Nothing. In a couple of weeks, there will be a name change in Studio. If you had Filtering Enabled, you will have experimental mode disabled. If you did not have Filtering Enabled, your game will have experimental mode enabled. No changes are required on your end; this will happen automatically. All new projects will now start in experimental mode. Developers will need to disable the experimental mode flag to make new projects discoverable.

We want to encourage everyone who hasn’t already turned on Filtering Enabled to do so now. The majority of our top games have already done this.This provides a much better and more consistent experience for your users and has always been a Roblox game development best practice. To incentivize this change, experimental mode games will only be visible to users over 13 on the front games page, while all other games will be visible to all ages on the games page. We want to give you as much time as possible to update your game so we will roll this change out slowly by age group. The earliest we could see this roll out for our youngest group of users (6 and under) is August 10. This is not a hard date and may be later than August 10, but we can promise it will not be before then. We will alert developers of an exact date before the change is made.

Shortly after this, we will be prioritizing non-experimental mode games (f.k.a. Filtering Enabled games) in search results to users under 13. We want users on Roblox to find consistent and secure content on our platform. This change will ensure that younger users are finding content best suited for them. As before, we will roll this out by age group and give notice of when this will happen. This will not happen before August 12.

We have recently provided you with information so that you know what percentage of your games’ visitors are under 13. You can use this information to estimate the loss of visits and profits if you choose to leave your game in experimental mode. As under 13 users make up a large portion of our audience, we highly encourage you to make sure your game is secure.

We know this is a big change and we want to make it as easy as possible to update your game. In order to help developers better understand these requirements and assist them in implementing it in their games, we have released new wiki articles explaining the technology. This includes information on Developing with FE, Converting existing places to FE, and an explanation of Remote Events and Functions. If you still have questions, please reach out to other members of the developer community.

We believe these changes will positively influence the Roblox ecosystem. Games with proper security settings will have more opportunities to thrive on the top sorts, and developers working on major projects with Filtering Enabled will also have an easier time reaching the front page. As we continue to evolve our community safety standards, we appreciate your help in making Roblox a fun, safe, and creative community for everyone.

Thank you,
Developer Relations Team

211 Likes

Will users who are 13 years or older be able to see which games on the front page are in experimental mode and which aren’t?

27 Likes

Good stuff. I’m happy to see that we’ll be able to access safer games more easily through search, too!

16 Likes

Thanks for the heads up, I’ll finish converting my game by the 10th for sure

12 Likes

This should go public.

Edit: This is now public thank.

7 Likes

Is this a property name change? I’m really confused by what “name change in studio” means. I have scripts that query the property FilteringEnabled, will these break or will the property be duplicated and deprecated under the previous name?

This needs clarification!

11 Likes

Will gear that is not compatible with filtering enabled/ are deemed ‘experimental mode’ become identifiable on the website as experimental and restricted to users 13 or older?

20 Likes

Disabling Experimental Mode will go through a slightly different workflow through the Studio UI. It will not be a property. I’ll check if the FE property will still be updated after the change (to respect the place’s Experimental Mode setting).

6 Likes

Experimental games should be off the games page period.

29 Likes

Great news. Been waiting for this for a while.

4 Likes

Some of my endorsed assets (like the cars) have slightly different behaviors depending on if Filtering Enabled Experimental Mode is enabled: in Games both the client and server apply the same updates to several properties because the NetworkOwnership API did not exist and therefore there was no way to apply updates specifically on the owner of the vehicle - in Experimental Mode only the client changes the properties because even if the owner isn’t the client, the client’s changes replicate to all peers so it doesn’t matter.

What I’m trying to say is, I hope that the FilteringEnabled property of Workspace doesn’t get modified (outside of being a reflection of Experimental Mode).

11 Likes

alright that all sounds fair. It might complicate talk about filtering enabled games/practices. Should we be expected to call filtering enabled Non Experimental Mode? or Games furthering the complication of games being unvirses vs places and now experimental mode games and or places? I’m confusing myself here.

4 Likes

Not sure if this was already considered, but it would be convenient to have some sort of indication on a website that a game is experimental mode or not.

This could allow streamers to be ensured they’re playing secure games.

24 Likes

I am not sure that “Experimental Mode” is the best term for this system. To me, that implies a system would be non-FE and converted later, compared to being built from FE to start.

9 Likes

I assume places in studio will soon start with Experimental Mode disabled.

1 Like

will be like normal still, default fe off

2 Likes

“Experimental mode” tends to refer to upcoming features which players should be hyped about. Moreover, “experimental modes” are usually the more unstable versions of software, and are not turned on by default.

I don’t like this change. It sounds very disingenuous, and may have a backfiring effect since it sounds like “wow, we get early access to new features,” when it really means “this game is not very secure and uses old coding practices.”

The real solution would be to enable filtering by default, and eventually phase it out. This “experimental mode” thing just makes it more confusing, and doesn’t really solve the issue.

36 Likes

How does this whole phasing out from the game page thing work with game universes? What if my lobby place was FE (non experimental) and my actual game within the universe was using experimental mode?

15 Likes

That’s a good point, it could be abused if you could just throw in a non-experimental lobby before your game to make it appear for <13.

6 Likes