A new ROBLOX release went out late last night. It contained a lot of important performance improvements, but it also included a secret feature that some ROBLOXians have already discovered… atmospheric fog!
How to Add Fog to Your Place
Currently our default is that fog is turned off in your place until you turn it on. Luckily, enabling fog in your place is super easy.
- Open you place in ROBLOX Studio (ROBLOX Studio Help)
- Select the Lighting service in the Explorer Panel
- Adjust the fog properties (there are 3 – to see something all you need to do is set FogEnd to 100. Now you have a ton of fog.)
What the properties do:
FogColor – This is the color of the fog. For best results, use light grey or the background color of your skybox.
FogEnd – This is the distance at which the scene is 100% fogged.
FogStart – This is the distance at which the fog begins. Inside this distance you will not see fog.
Fog Settings: Getting Technical
A lot of ROBLOXians out there are programmers, so for those of you who are curious, let’s get technical for a second. To remain compatible with older graphics cards that use a fixed-function rendering pipeline, ROBLOX’s fog uses linear interpolation between FogStart and FogEnd. Other fog falloff functions are possible if you are using shaders; some of these are show in the graph below. ROBLOX is using GL_LINEAR – the red line. FogStart on this graph is 10 and FogEnd is 20. At a distance of 15, fog is at 50%. This means that a pixel in your scene that is 15 distance from the camera will be 50% it’s normal color blended with 50% of the fog color.
Fog Settings: Getting Artistic
Builderman, the ROBLOX client team, and I decided to expose the lowest level fog properties to users, allowing them maximum customizability in their places. We hope place builders will get really creative. Here’s one effect you can achieve if you make it night time in your place and set the fog color to black..
Dark levels can be really fun. I whipped up a quick demo based on the original Sword Fight on the Heights – check it out!
ROBLOX Cards have gone international! ROBLOX are pleased to announce that ROBLOX Cards are now available in the UK, Ireland, and additional Canadian locations. In the UK the cards are available at Sainsbury’s. In Ireland, they are available at Gamestop. In Canada, ROBLOX Cards are now available at Walmart in addition to Best Buy, Toys R Us, and 7-Eleven. For those of you not familiar with prepaid ROBLOX Cards – here’s how they work:
You purchase a ROBLOX Card at Sainsbury’s, Gamestop, or one of ROBLOX’s other retail partners. Once you have your card, you login to ROBLOX and go to www.roblox.com/gamecard. Scratch off the section on the back of the card that hides the secret code needed to activate your card. The code on the back of the card can only be used once so be sure not to purchase a card if the back is already scratched off. Enter the code and click redeem. BAM! You’re ready to enjoy your Robux or Builder’s Club.
ROBLOX has released version 1.0 of our hotly anticipated terrain feature! Since the time it was first announced at the ROBLOX RALLY on August 1st, the ROBLOX team has been focused on driving terrain across the finish line. There are a ton more features ROBOX want to add, and you guys will see terrain improvements rolling out over the next several releases. Enough talk. What’s in version 1.0?
What is Terrain?
ROBLOX terrain is a super scalable voxel-based grid. Currently, it can be up to 2048 x 512 x 2048 studs large, containing up to 16 million 4x4x4 terrain cells. Anything built using terrain cells is extremely high-performance. You can uses all 16 million cells to build with no graphics slow down. Even better, terrain integrates seamlessly with the normal ROBLOX building parts.
Play With Terrain Right Now
To show off some of the new gameplay possibilities afforded by terrain, they’ve uploaded a simple demonstration level that I wasable to ge access to. All players start with overpowered weapons that cut through terrain like a hot knife through butter. At the same time, floating bots are launching rockets at the players. The level is uncopylocked – grab a copy and check out the scripts!
Make Your Own Terrain
You can very easily get started building your own terrains in ROBLOX Studio. ROBLOX have added a slew of tools to help you create and sculpt your own terrains (warning: this is very fun). The first tool you’ll want to try is the Terrain Generator. It’s got some sliders that you can play with to generate different types of terrains. Here’s one that I made in 30 seconds:
All the other new tools help you modify an existing terrain that you have generated. The best way to learn what they do is by messing around with them. ROBLOX team members Gemlocker and bjdeck gave a presentation at the ROBLOX RALLY that showed off some of these tools.
ROBLOX Studio pros know that there’s a lot of ways to move parts around with ROBLOX Studio. ROBLOX recommends that you use these tools for manipulating parts that you want to connect with terrain. For example, if you are inserting a large building, use the arrow tool shown above to weld this object to the terrain. If you use the old arrow cursor tool, the building will not create welds with terrain. This will cause two bad things to happen: 1) the building could be moved if something heavy hits it in-game and 2) your game may run slowly because you have a large object making many many surface contacts with the terrain. ROLOX will be cleaning up the ROBLOX Studio and making this less confusing in the near future.
Guess what scripters? All of the new terrain tools we have provided in ROBLOX Studio are actually plugins scripted in Lua – 100% modifiable by you! Make your own terrain generators! Make your own tools! Show off your 1337 creations in the scripters forum!
What’s Next for Terrain
Currently the ROBLOX terrain object only supports two types of materials: grass and sand. There will be many more coming in future releases. ROBLOX will also continue to improve the quality of terrain plugins provided in ROBLOX Studio. Plus a bunch of other stuff that’s still under wraps!
ROBLOX has updated the free iPhone app! Now you can make purchases on ROBLOX.com using your iTunes credits from anywhere in the world!
- Builders Club (6 & 12 Months)
- Turbo Builders Club (6 & 12 Months)
- Outrageous Builders Club (6 & 12 Months)
How to Purchase
Select “Builders Club” icon on the home screen
Choose the plan you would like to purchase
Wait for confirmation screen to appear
Enjoy your new Builders Club!
Don’t have an iPhone?
No iPhone? No worries! The ROBLOX team is hard at work bringing a mobile experience to other hardware. In the meantime, the most convenient way to purchase Builders Club online is with a credit card. Purchasing on ROBLOX is safe and easy. ROBLOX maintain an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau and are Trustee certified.
I am pleased to announce that ROBLOX Cards are now available at participating 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Future Shop, and Toys R Us stores in Canada. ROBLOX have plans to sell ROBLOX Cards at other retail locations in Canada soon, and will keep you updated on new retail partners as they launch. For those of you not familiar with prepaid ROBLOX Cards – here’s how they work:
You purchase a $10 or $25 ROBLOX Card at 7-Eleven, Best Buy, or one of our other retail partners. Once you have your card, you login to ROBLOX and go to http://www.roblox.com/gamecard. Scratch off the section on the back of the card that hides the secret code needed to activate your card. The code on the back of the card can only be used once so be sure not to purchase a card if the back is already scratched off. Enter the code and click redeem. POW! You’re ready to spend your ROBLOX credits on Robux or Builder’s Club.
Hail ROBLOXians! Today has been an exciting week at ROBLOX HQ. The new terrain feature is 98% done; ROBLOX did their first public test of terrain on gametest.roblox.com yesterday.
What is terrain? I could tell you, but maybe you’d rather hear from the developers themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce Simon Kozlov (aka Gemlocker) and Ben Deckinga (bjdeck), direct from the ROBLOX RALLY:
Key points about ROBLOX terrain:
- Live on gametest.roblox.com (not up 100% of the time)
- Vast voxel-based grid of boxes and wedges
- Integrated with the ROBLOX physics engine
- It is fully scriptable in Lua (but API will change before release)
- Editable with ROBLOX and user-made Studio plugins
- First version out in September
- Additional terrain types out soon after
ROBLOX have got some other huge user features coming down the pike for September release as well, but I’ll talk about those another time…
Last night, ROBLOX released an exciting new feature for scripters… My friends, ROBLOX offer you nothing less than total control of your ROBLOX building experience!
It’s my pleasure to introduce the ROBLOX plugin architecture: it allows scripters, in Lua, to write their own building tools. These tools will appear in a series of toolbars in ROBLOX Studio, like this:
The best community-developed tools may be rolled back into future versions of ROBLOX Studio, and they can be shared between players.
How to Install a Plugin
Currently, one plugin ships standard with ROBLOX, the Time Of Day plugin produced by ROBLOX super-intern Cyrion. Here are two other plugins for you to experiment with:
Demo Plugin – This is one of the simplest plugins possible. Take a look at the source to see how to make your own.
To install these plugins, follow these steps:
- Download the files
- Unzip them
- Open ROBLOX Studio
- Tools –> Open Plugin Folder
- Copy the treegen and demo folders into this folder
- These tools will be loaded next time you open a place in Studio
If you ever want to remove a plugin, just delete the plugin’s folder. In the future, ROBLOX would like to make installing plugins easier. For now it’s a power-user feature.
How to Make a Plugin
Flurite and Trappingnoobs have written an article in the wiki outlining what you need to know to produce your own plugins. ROBLOX will be updating this article as they continue to improve their plugin architecture.
What Can I Do With This
Most of the official ROBLOX tools are also built in Lua, so really, you can do anything you want! The basic idea is you can make a tool to do anything that’s hard to do in ROBLOX Studio right now. Telamon thought about it for 30 seconds and he already has more ideas than will fit:
- CFraming tools for putting parts inside each other
- More tree-generation tools with more parameters
- Weather tool
- Character designer – dressing NPCs in ROBLOX Studio is very hard right now
- NPC dialog creator – a nice interface for creating dialogs
- Team configurator – create teams, and create rules for them (red gets weapons X, Y, Z & blue gets only Z)
- Regenerator – click on a model to make it regen every X seconds.
- Teleport creator – type in a destination and click.
- Moving platform designer – draw a path for a floating platform to follow
- AI platform for Bots – create bots and tell them what to do
- NavMesh generator – draw paths and nodes in levels to create a NavMesh that AI bots can use A* to navigate.
- Random treasure placer – click on a spot to create 5-25 coins and 1-3 gems there.
- Head explosion from ideas!
I Made and Awesome Plugin!
Great! Share it with ROBLOX on the Scripters forum – they’re very interested to see what kinds of tools you build for ROBLOX Studio!
First announced at the ROBLOX RALLY, MEGA places have gone live on ROBLOX.com!
What is a MEGA Place?
MEGA places support a lot more simultaneous players than classical ROBLOX places do. They are still highly experimental. ROBLOX have done tests of MEGA places with up to 100 players, but for this first release MEGA places will support 30 players.
MEGA Place Facts
- MEGA places currently support 30 players per instance.
- This number will increase over time.
- MEGA places get roughly 2-3x the compute power per game – so they can handle more moving parts, scripts, and players without lagging.
- All players can play MEGA places
- Creating a MEGA place is a BC Beta feature – something ROBLOX are testing at the moment with their Builders Club members. This is largely because the beefier computers they use to host MEGA places have higher cost for ROBLOX Corp.
How to Make a Mega Place
It is now possible to control the number of players that your place supports from the Place Configuration page. Classic places can have between 6-20 players each. MEGA places get what ever the current MEGA place player limit is (always at least 30, but in the future it could be 50 or 100).
The ROBLOX Team, especially RoboYZ, is continuing to optimize both our server and client code to support more players in MEGA places. Here’s a sneak peek at what is coming…
The ROBLOX Rally is today! Players are lining up outside the Exploratorium as ROBLOX get ready to open the doors. It’s going to be intense!
For all our players who can’t attend ROBLOX will be tweeting, posting photos and blogging during the ROBLOX Rally 2011. The tweets and photos will be on their official account @ROBLOXRally2011.
There is not live streaming of the event, to protect privacy of the attendees. However, ROBLOX are recording high quality videos at the event that they will share with everyone in a couple weeks!
It has been a long journey, people. A long journey.
In the beginning, there was no notion of space (or spaces) in ROBLOX. When Telamon joined the company in June 2006, the only playable place there was, was Crossroads. Then ROBLOX allowed the users to host their own multiplayer instances: independent worlds of their own design; shards of a larger reality. This momentous decision lead to the creation of universe that is, in a very real way, infinite. New games are being uploaded to ROBLOX.com faster than you can load them. You will never see them all.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Teleportation: an ethereal link between two distant locales, ignorant of the base substrate of the ROBLOX website. The fractured infinity of the ROBLOX universe will be made whole again. The space between our worlds has been annihilated.
Teleportation for Beginners
- First, grab a copy of theTeleporter model.
- This will make it appear in the “My Models” section of the Insert Panel in ROBLOX Studio
- Insert a teleporter wherever you want in your level
- By default, this teleporter goes nowhere. You need to configure it so it knows where to send people! See directions for this step below…
- Congratulations! You have a teleporter that will send people from level A to level B.
- For best results, place a second teleporter in level B that allows your players to return to level A. Without bidirectional teleporters, ROBLOXians can easily get lost!
Configuring the Teleporters
There are three settings inside the teleporter model for you to play around with. These allow you to modify the behavior of your teleporter with no scripting knowledge!
PlaceId – This is the ID of the ROBLOX place you want the teleporter to send people to. This is the only setting you must change to make it work. You can find the ID for a place in the URL for that place’s page. For instance, Crossroads is PlaceId 1818.
DestinationSpawnName – You can program your teleporter to send a player is a specific spawn location in the destination level. For instance, the teleporter pad in Crossroads has a spawnpoint in it named “CrossRoadsSpawn”. If you set PlaceId to 1818 and DestinationSpawnName to “CrossRoadsSpawn”, players traveling through your teleporter will spawn on top of the teleporter Sorcus placed in Crossroads (instead of at a random spawn point).
ThisSpawnName – This is basically the address of the teleporter. You can set this to something like “TeleporterInSecretBase” and then teleport people there from another level by using this as your DestinationSpawnName.
Teleportation for Scripters
If you are a scripter, you don’t have to use our teleporter models. You can build your own! Here are the two function calls that you can make:
Important: these calls will only work from inside a LocalScript. Take a look at the code in our teleporter to see how it’s done!
It has been my extreme pleasure to present this particular feature to you guys today. Back when there were only 4 of staff working at ROBLOX, sometimes Dave and Erik (the guys in charge) would leave Matt and John alone for the day and they would secretly work on teleportation! John is psyched that it is now part of ROBLOX! Have fun experimenting!