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History and development
Roblox was created by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in Silicon Valley, California and is based in Redwood City, California. The name is a portmanteau of the words robots and blocks.
In mid-2007, Roblox considered the concept of a Megablocks-style character to avoid infringements on any copyrights held by Lego Group and allow for more complex clothing such as hairpieces to blend with the character. This was however rejected later for the mini-figure design which was already in use. In 2010, Roblox gave a second shot at publishing different body shapes which players could buy using virtual currency.
Roblox has helped with a number of considerable disaster and research funds over the years.
2010 Haiti earthquake relief efforts
On 21 January 2010, Roblox donated $5472 to relief efforts for the Haiti earthquake, allowing players to buy one of two virtual items: the Red Hat for Haiti, which contributed 65 cents for every person who bought it, or the Blue Hat for Haiti that contributed 10 cents for every person who bought it.
2011 Japan relief efforts
On 11 March 2011, Roblox did a similar relief effort for the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, selling two types of caps, a Japanese Baseball cap, and a Rising Sun cap, donating $0.10 or $1.00 respectively for each cap bought.
The ROBLOX Corp has succeeded, ROBLOX users have bought the Fundraiser hats 23,395 times, raising a total of $10,445.80. ROBLOX has donated it to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.
2012 Donations to Cancer research
On February 12, 2012, one of the founding members of Roblox and its CEO, Erik Cassel, passed away due to cancer. In respect to this event, his trademark hat Erik.Cassel's hat (Before the event, known as Well Worn Hat) was put on a limited timer and all the purchases in Robux would be converted to money and paid to cancer research.
In 2007 Roblox added a currency and items to be bought for its characters, known as "ROBLOXians". In the beginning, only Models, Decals, and Tshirts could be bought. Now there are over 30 different types of items for sale, including varying gear types, pants, hats, and audio.
Also in 2007, a new brick update was added called "Bevels". These made bricks look smoother and more curved; however, they were abolished in 2013 to increase performance.
In mid-2008, Roblox added a feature to allow non-registered users to enter places with restricted functionality by playing as a guest. The username of a guest is shown as "Guest x", where x is a number between 0 and 9999.
Guests originally could only use the chat menu full of pre-written answers and words, however that feature has been mainly abolished and Guests no longer talk.
In 2009 Roblox added Limited, Limited U (of a certain quantity) and Gear to its catalog. This has since seen a notable increase in activity for users who collect hats.
Also in 2009, an updated Lua platform came to Roblox. This upset many old scripters who used certain functions, as now they no longer worked. Roblox has since fixed this and added backwards compatibility for old scripts.
In 2010 Roblox made a sizable cosmetic update to its game GUI, as well as to its site, introducing a smoother in-game experience, and a menu to hold built in build tools (In edit mode). The website also received a sizable facelift - introducing a new theme selection for the users (Roblox 2.0).
At the end of 2010, Roblox decided to retract the privilege of mesh and sound uploading from its users.
At the beginning of 2011, Roblox introduced a new feature that allowed users with any type of Builders Club to make places that could only be played/entered by users who also have a Builders Club subscription. Termed "BC Only Games", many users voiced their complaints about this feature, siting the website's motto "Free online building games" and saying that it was not truthful if you had to pay to play some of the games. In response, Roblox changed its motto to "Free online and building games."
In 2012, Roblox added a new package to its games called "Robloxian 3.0". The package was met with much retaliation citing it as "Too realistic", "An obvious copy of LEGO", and various other accusations. However, in the time since, Roblox has only increase compatibility with the new package, making it free, and giving every new user a copy and certain other items based on gender.
Also in 2012, Roblox added a trading system for limited and limited U items. Since each item was given a stock value (each user spends a certain amount of money, raising or lowering its price) the trade system bases its values off of that. This has seen a dramatic increase in the activity of the "Let's Make a Deal" section of the Roblox forums.
In 2013, Roblox introduced "Featherweight parts", which massively increase performance times and reduced lag. With this came the destruction of bevels, a feature active for six years.
Also in 2013, Roblox introduced "Dynamic Lighting" and "Outlines", the first of which being a voxel-based lighting system. Most recent games on the front page, including 2014 hits The Mad Murderer, Murder Mystery, and Darkness include this feature for atmosphere. Outlines were generally less well received, eventually leading to Roblox making outlines an optional feature.
In 2014 Solid modeling was added to the game. As a somewhat-effective replacement of meshes, it allowed players to create their own mesh-like creations out of bricks. It has been generally well received. Sound was also added back into the game.
Players customize their characters with items in the Catalog. The Catalog contains Roblox and user created items such as clothing, images, models, gear, sets, heads, faces, and packages, which include body types, legs and arms. A user can also create one of these items (excluding the gear, heads, faces, hats and packages) and upload it onto the Catalog.
Players can also visit other users' 3-D virtual places, represented by their characters (for example, a player named "CoolGuy" would start with "CoolGuy's place", which his other ROBLOXian friends can go and visit), and move around with the spacebar and arrow keys, or optionally, the WSAD keys.. With the "/" key users 13 and older can also chat with each other. Users can optionally allow their places to be visited in solo mode, but this also allows other players to copy the user's content. This feature is known as Copylocking. Players receive a small amount of in-game currency (tix) when their place is visited by other players.
Users have a choice of thousands of games to play, varying in design from what the game developers wanted to create. Types of places vary by the feature where the creator of the game can choose a genre. Players in Roblox have the ability to construct up to 100 places (depending on membership type), using an unlimited supply of virtual building blocks. Players can add as many bricks as they want. They can insert their own scripts to add functionality, or can use other player's scripts, if that player has allowed it onto the public market. People can build statues in blockheads (WarPerson1993 only).
Optionally, users can utilize a Sandbox version of Lua to add extra interactivity to their games. This allows them to create multiplayer games, board games, obstacle courses, warfare games, adventure games, and thousands more. There are also several tools provided, such as Graphical User Interface items, and a Hierarchical Object system to represent the blocks and other items in-game, which help users create content.
Roblox Studio is a program similar to Microsoft Visual Studio and is used to construct places. There is a "Models" section, which allows publicly-accessible models (often referred to as "Free Models") to be placed in one's game. You can also find decals there. Certain preset blocks provided by Roblox can also be placed in, such as spheres, cylinders, your regular block and stamper tools (stamper tools are very blocky, cubical pieces of terrain, almost like a 'Disney Universe' building block mechanic.) You can also script your places within Roblox Studio using the built-in Lua programming language.
Roblox has its own virtual economy, based on Tickets and Robux. Tickets are earned when other users visit a person's virtual places, the first time a player logs in each day, and when other users buy the player's virtual items. These items include shirts, pants, and t-shirts. They can be sold for either a set price in Tickets, or in Robux, allowing the buyer to choose which currency they pay with. Robux are earned daily by paid members, in varying amounts, depending on the user's level of membership. Robux can be earned through sale of virtual goods, and can also be purchased with real money.
On November 21, 2008 the Roblox currency exchange was introduced. Tickets can be exchanged for Robux and vice versa. Some people take advantage of the RoblEX and make money off of it from trading schemes.
Although Roblox is a free game, Roblox lets players pay for premium upgrades such as Builders Club. There are three versions of Builders Club: Builders Club (referred to as "BC"), Turbo Builders Club (referred to as "TBC"), and Outrageous Builders Club (referred to as "OBC"). Builders Club allows players to have more places and get exclusive items. If players purchase TBC or OBC, they will receive more benefits then standard Builder's Club. The specific benefits are listed below.
|Benefits||Free Account (NBC)||Builders Club (BC)||Turbo Builders Club (TBC)||Outrageous Builders Club (OBC)|
|Daily ROBUX||None||15 R$||35R$||60 R$|
|Cost Monthly ($)||$0.00||$5.95||$11.95||$19.95|
|See Off-site Ads||Yes||No||No||No|
|Virtual Hat||None||BC Hat||TBC Hat||OBC Hat|
|Bonus Gear Item||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Signing Bonus||None||100 R$||100 R$||100 R$|
|Create Groups||No||Yes (10)||Yes (20)||Yes (100)|
|Join Groups||Yes (5)||Yes (10)||Yes (20)||Yes (100)|
|BC Beta Features||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|BC Only Games||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Roblox gives people the option to pay via PayPal, Rixty, Wallie, Paymo, and also sells Roblox cards at Toys R Us, 7-Eleven, GameStop, Best Buy, and various other locations which can be purchased for $10, $25 or $40 and be used for upgrades such as Builders Club or Robux.
Builders Club Only Games
A recent addition to Roblox has been to give the functionality of going to games specifically made and/or specialized for those who have purchased BC. This feature was added in 2011 and is generally considered as an unnecessary update.
Roblox offers a chat feature to its players over the age of 13. With the chat system, players can type anything they wish into the chat box. Children under the age of 13 do not have access to this feature entirely, as a considerable amount of words (including other Robloxian usernames) are censored with hashtags. Over the age of thirteen, only certain vulgarities are censored.
Historically, Roblox has been only compatible with Microsoft Windows. But, recent updates as early as 2011 have allowed Roblox to be compatible with Mac computers.
In 2013, Roblox started to cater to the mobile user market and released an iPhone app in 2013. In 2014 Roblox released a Google Play version of the game for use with Android devices.