Roblox Updating Its Potato Graphics To Look Mildly More Realistic

Roblox Updating Its Potato Graphics To Look Mildly More Realistic
Image: The Roblox Company

Roblox is one of the most popular games in the world, and now it’s getting a graphical overhaul to bring its fidelity slightly more in line with its reach. It’s not quite gaming in ray-traced 4K, but it will no doubt go a long way toward helping the surprisingly shady, social “not-a game” platform insinuate itself into the lives of yet more minors.

“With this release, we’ve enhanced the visual quality of our entire existing library of materials, which includes brick, glass, metal, and many other common materials, to make them look and feel even more realistic than before,” the Roblox Company wrote on its blog this week. The material upgrades will be the new defaults going forward, and while creators can upgrade their existing games to use them, they’ll also have the option to stick with the older stuff.

Notably, Roblox’s building materials combine aesthetics with physical properties. Rubber has high friction. Combine it with a piece of concrete and you’ll create the kind of effect you’d expect from a car trying to grip the road. It’s supposed to be simple and intuitive. Now it’ll also default to being a little prettier. Roblox used the following comparison shot to show improvements in detail and shading:

Image: The Roblox CompanyImage: The Roblox Company

The modest graphical upgrade is part of the company’s long-term plan to make itself a more appealing platform to create and play on. It summed up its broader philosophy on amateur game design at the end of the blog:

An object made out of wood should catch on fire when it’s exposed to a flame. Rainfall should pool on the ground and gradually seep into porous materials like dirt. Sounds should be muffled when passing through walls. These are the types of things we will enable by default so creators can focus on building engaging experiences rather than worrying about the nitty-gritty technical complexities.

Despite these rosy ambitions, the company’s revenue and stock value have dropped by double digits this year. The platform’s image also continues to take hits. Recent reports have pointed to lapses in content moderation and allegations of an exploitative business model. Earlier this week a chat moderation exploit led to the accidental banning of a bunch of accounts. Meanwhile, one user’s data was reportedly leaked online after a failed extortion attempt.

Still, Roblox marches on. It recently reached nearly 55 million daily active users, and a year after its $US45 ($62) billion initial public offering, CEO David Baszucki hit a then-$US233 ($323) million jackpot in long-term stock bonuses.

Comments

  • One of the platform’s selling points and strengths is that even computers and budget smartphones in third-world nations can run it. Wonder if this’ll affect its total active users, if it raises the minimum requirements.

    There’s a reason long-running 2000’s children’s MMO’s that were ‘cutting edge’ in the 2000’s and 2010’s haven’t updated their graphics, even after a decade of operation and advances in hardware.

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    Gach seems to be dropping the ball here.

    “Meanwhile, one user’s data was reportedly leaked online after a failed extortion attempt.”

    Did he even read the article he linked? It wasn’t just ‘one user’s data’, it was multiple, and pretty substantial info to boot. Spreadsheets on revenue earned by partnered YouTube channels, roblox currency earned by its top-performing games. Even the Janny code of conduct on what to ban.

    Somewhat hearteningly, Roblox is aware of the anti-christian and anti-white propaganda being peddled in the West and define that as not acceptable on their platform.

    “The leak of four gigabytes of documents apparently from the gaming company includes emails and spreadsheets on several games on the platform, as well as personal data of individual users.” – Techmonitor.ai

    This seems like something that would warrant more than just a passing mention and a hyperlink in an article gushing over ‘muh new graphics!!’.

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