At Roblox, we envision a future where anyone can create anything, anywhere. With 32 million experiences already on the platform and more than 60,000 new experiences published daily, the group of creators is well on its way to bringing this to life.
“We work to simplify creation, to democratize creation,” said Nick Tornow, Vice President of Engineering for the Creator Group. “By exposing increasingly flexible and powerful creation interfaces – in the studio, in the experience and via the cloud – and in partnership with our community of creators – we will make creating in Roblox as natural as it is in the real world, turning all Roblox users into creators.
It takes a team committed to a long-term vision to make that vision a reality, so we spoke with Nick, along with three members of his team: studio head Stefano Corazza, software engineer Jenna Bousellam and lead architect Michael Kryzhanovsky. Through these conversations, we learned about the top technical challenges they’re tackling today, the culture they aim to create, and how they’re working towards the future of creation on Roblox.
Empowering Everyone to Create on Roblox with AI and Automation
Before Roblox, it would have taken a whole team of specialists, trained in tools that take years to master, to build an immersive 3D experience. As dedicated development studios continue to expand the boundaries of what’s possible on the platform, Roblox continues to be the most inviting place for newbies to take their first steps as digital creators.
Today, most experience creation is done in our free build tool, Roblox studio. As Stef explains, “Studio is uniquely positioned to deliver powerful creative capabilities to every user – it’s the best way to get amazing content on our platform. With Roblox Studio, anyone can create and publish an end-to-end experience with multi-user environments, regular updates, network analytics, matchmaking, monetization, and more. transparent and faster. Most people with even modest technical skills can create experiences that host millions of users in less than an hour. It’s all backed by our fully managed software and cloud infrastructure, delivering worldwide scalability and performance across iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and consoles.
Building on this, we’re working to further reduce friction, make creation even easier, and allow our creators to focus on their ideas.
With advances in natural language processing and machine learning, we have identified techniques that we could implement in the future. For example, in the same way that AI-powered art tools like Dall-E and Midjourney can take a prompt written in natural language and realize it as visual art, we’re looking at ways to make Studio builds interactive objects and scenes without requiring complex processes. creator modeling or coding.
According to Nick, “We want to enable creators to use natural language or other intuitive expressions of intent to get closer to their creative vision. As Stef says: “How many photographers were there ten years ago? Now that everyone has an amazing camera on their phone, we have billions of photographers.
Improving the skills of our community of creators through learning
While we already have a global community of talented creators, every day a new generation of Roblox users take that leap to become creators. How can we help these new creators fully realize their creative vision and succeed financially on the platform?
In addition to better tools, we also invest in learning. Nick shares that “we welcome people to the platform who are exposed to 3D coding and modeling for the very first time. So we have a huge opportunity to help them learn the skills they need to succeed.
While we provide plenty of learning resources, including documentation, tutorials, and creator forums, we’re also adding enhanced learning materials in Studio to make it easier to find help and implement solutions.
“If people come to Studio and don’t know where to start or what to do, that’s a problem we have to solve,” says Michael. “The studio is designed to everybody to succeed. When we think about the big picture, it actually helps us provide more tools to help people express themselves creatively and produce even more impressive content.
And in addition to helping creators learn, our educational initiatives have a positive impact on the community as a whole. As Jenna explained, “Making our learning materials – and Studio in general – more accessible and available to everyone should mean more diversity among our creators. And that’s going to enable immersive experiences that truly represent and uplift the larger set of communities around us.
Manage data scale to deliver a great experience for creators anywhere
As we lower the barrier to entry and give creators powerful tools to create out-of-the-box, high-fidelity 3D experiences, we need to ensure that the scale and detail in their creations can be enjoyed by users. of the whole world. This means ensuring a great experience on both high-end PCs and mobile devices, some of which may not be equipped with consistent connection speeds or the latest hardware.
“Every day, thousands of creators create millions of pieces of content. This means that there is a lot of complex information produced. We use our global cloud to distribute creatives so people around the world can best engage on the device of their choice. Jhe Roblox engine evaluates the basic constraints on a user’s device and gracefully delivers the right experience,” says Nick. “This allows users to achieve the greatest possible immersion without adjusting any settings or being excluded from any content. »
Foster innovation through our culture of open communication and collaboration
We innovate around a new and evolving category of human co-experience. No one has all the answers, and we benefit from diverse voices and perspectives. The Creator Group fosters an environment where different opinions are encouraged, and not knowing the solution (and asking for help) is always okay. The nature of our product and our mission also means that we don’t just listen to our own voices, but maintain a strong direct line of communication with the creator community, collecting their feedback and iterating in real time. .
“Engineers [at other companies] can often feel very distant from the people using their products,” says Stef. “Here, as soon as a feature is released, you can see direct feedback on the forums and you can talk to the creators and developers who use it. »
Our open line of communication, with our team and our community, is the reason we are able to maintain alignment and move forward, even as we navigate uncharted territory. Nothing can replace this kind of tight feedback loop to create and modify your product. As Stef says, “iteration is the foundation of building great software.”
Make your own impact
Our leaders ensure that open communication and collaboration are practiced daily within the Creator Group. This fosters an environment that empowers everyone to have a lasting impact right from the start. In fact, Jenna was able to make an impact even before she joined the team full time.
“During my last week as an intern, I was able to ship the code to production. About a week after joining the team full time, I walked into Studio and saw the change firsthand. It was really exciting. I liked knowing I was working on high-impact projects from day one,” Jenna said.
With a bold vision for the millions of users and creators on our platform, there’s never been a better time to join the Creator Pool at Roblox. If you’re looking for a culture that values collaboration, innovation, finding great ideas from anywhere, and creating products of exceptional scale and complexity, this is the place for you. you.
“We are building technology that allows everyone in the world to express their imagination through creation, without having to think about how it all works,” says Michael.
Stef says it more bluntly. “We are on the verge of a massive wave of democratization of content creation. »
Team Behind the Tech is a series that explores our approaches to solving Roblox’s toughest technical challenges and shines a light on the people, culture, and values behind our innovative technologies. If this sounds like the challenges and opportunities you want to take on, check out our available Creator Group roles and learn more about careers.roblox.com.