The massively multiplayer online game Roblox exists in the spectrum of things not extensively discussed in media. There’s a good reason for this: the platform doesn’t lend itself to traditional software conventions. Think SkyBox Labs and Team Dakota’s Project Spark for the Xbox One, or Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet 3 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Now imagine opening up the possibilities even more by implementing a pre-existing scripting language (Lua), but removing some of their graphical polish. Roblox is now available on the Oculus Rift, and Digital Trends spoke to Roblox Corporation’s Founder and CEO, David Baszucki, on getting the platform to VR.
He says that the game draws over 20 million people every month, all participating by either playing, creating, or doing both. That’s an increase of 5 million since September last year. That community is mostly made up of consumers, but it still has a big creative pool of users, composed of more than 300,000 monthly creators. For a platform as new as VR there’s good value in having an established community before VR users even start participating. “The scale is the most important part of Roblox. We’ll be the biggest VR community in the world,” Baszucki says. Those who opt for VR on the Oculus Rift will enjoy cross-platform compatibility, ensuring a steady stream of content regardless of whether it was specifically created for the platform or not.
Baszucki speaks of the possibilities when bringing Roblox to the VR platform. “When you come to Roblox, the player participates in things that are created by the community. You can hang out in a restaurant and try to survive a tornado. All of this is created by our creative community.” Roblox has previously been available on a multitude of other platforms, including Xbox One, iOS, Android, Amazon devices, as well as PC and Mac.
Regardless of their preferred platform, creators are today limited to creating on the PC, but they’re also able to submit their creations across all platforms. “Imagine someone creating these experiences on PC or Mac and they can make that available on all virtual reality platforms.”
For now, the game will be limited to the use of gamepads compatible with the Oculus Rift, such as the Xbox One controller. But the company is working to implement support for VR intended controllers. “For many places in Roblox where you’re using a tool, rather than using a traditional FPS we’re making sure you can use that with motion controls in VR,” Baszucki said. Changes have also been made to VR gameplay; you can switch between first or third person, and the jump and falling speeds have been reduced.
Roblox is available for download via the Oculus Store today. Baszucki also tells Digital Trends that the company intends to support the HTC Vive and Gear VR, which would make sure it covers the three major VR devices on the market.