Roblox Making Its Graphic Mildly More Realistic
Roblox is one of the most popular games in the world, and now it is undergoing a graphic redesign to bring its fidelity a little more in line with its range. It’s not quite a ray-traced 4K game, but it will undoubtedly go a long way in helping the surprisingly shady and social “not a game” platform to insinuate itself into the lives of even more miners.
“With this release, we have improved the visual quality of our entire existing material library, including brick, glass, metal and many other common materials, so that they look even more realistic than before,” Roblox wrote on his blog this week. Hardware upgrades will advance the new defaults, and while creators can upgrade their existing games to use them, they will also have the option to stick with the old stuff.
Roblox’s building materials combine aesthetics and body properties. Rubber has a high friction. Combine it with a piece of concrete and you create the kind of effect you would expect from a car trying to hold on to the road. It should be simple and intuitive. Now it will also be a little more beautiful. Roblox used the following comparison photo to show improvements in detail and shadow:
The modest graphics upgrade is part of the company’s long-term plan to make itself a more attractive platform to play on. He summarized his broader philosophy on amateur game design at the end of the blog:
A wooden object should catch fire if it is exposed to a flame. Precipitation should accumulate on the ground and gradually seep into porous materials such as dirt. Sounds should be muffled when passing walls. These are the kinds of things we’ll enable by default so that creators can focus on creating engaging experiences instead of worrying about technical complexity.
Despite these optimistic ambitions, sales and the value of the company’s shares have fallen by double digits this year. The image of the platform also continues to take hits. Recent reports have highlighted shortcomings in content moderation and accusations of an exploitative business model. Earlier this week, a chat moderation exploit led to a bunch of accounts being accidentally banned. Meanwhile, a user’s data was allegedly leaked online after a failed extortion attempt.
Roblox is moving on. It recently reached nearly 55 million daily active users, and a year after its billion IPO, CEO David Baszucki hit a million jackpot in long-term stock bonuses.