Feature Review: Water (and other user creations!)

On Tuesday, the Roblox development team pushed water out to the live release. It was being beta tested on the gametest.roblox.com site for a while, and now the general Robloxia population can now use it. The Roblox blog post documenting it can be found here: http://blog.roblox.com/2012/06/the-water-is-running-in-roblox/

If you’ve been through science classes about water and fluids, you should know about Archimedes’ principle (in a nutshell: the upward force of an object in a fluid is equal to the weight of the amount of fluid it displaces). This will particularly be important if you want to build boats and other things that will float. The development team posted an article about buoyancy here (advanced science/math warning!): http://blog.roblox.com/2012/04/buoyancy/

Click through for the review!

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Roblox Studio 2.0 Beta: What’s New and What’s Broken

The Roblox development team launched the new Roblox Studio 2.0 beta late Monday, which introduces numerous changes. The official blog post and download link from the Roblox team can be found here: http://blog.roblox.com/2012/06/roblox-studio-2-0-beta-out-now/

Click through to see what we and the general Roblox community noticed!

What’s New

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Roblox Studio icon has changed:

The Roblox Studio 2.0 load screen, with the new icon shown

After the installer has finished installing the beta, you’ll be greeted with a re-designed UI:

The re-designed UI of the Studio beta (click for full-size image)

Once you launch the beta for the first time, you’ll be taken to the gametest.roblox.com site. Moving on into the in-game aspect, there are new cursors:

An example of one of the new cursors in the beta (click for full-size image)

As some of you may have noticed by now, the explorer and properties sidebar won’t show up until you open a place, unlike the current, stable release of Roblox Studio where it’ll be shown from when you open Studio.

Here are some other things that we noticed:

  • The beta appears to have dropped Internet Explorer
  • The beta seems to take a closed-in approach in terms of the UI, with very little separate windows
  • Some top toolbar control icons have been changed, with the odd new control being added for quicker access
  • Water came a bit early in the new beta before it was rolled out to the live release of Roblox yesterday morning
  • Saving things as new places will let you still edit them in the live release of Roblox Studio
  • When you’re moving a brick independent of a group, a grid will be drawn. You can control this by clicking on the magnet icons to not only disable grid rendering, but also snapping to a point
  • The bottom part of a brick will be highlighted as a darker shade of blue
  • You’re able to move parts of the screen around to your liking

Here’s what other things the community noticed:

  • Roblox community manager reesemcblox says that this version of Studio is the one that Mac users have had for quite a bit of time now
  • You can delete items with the backspace key. This might be helpful for laptop users that don’t have a dedicated delete key.

What’s Broken

Here’s what we noticed broken:

  • Loading a place from the website will not open a separate save/don’t save window (it appears the team wants to bake it into the game instead of a new window), but if you load a game from elsewhere on your hard drive/solid state drive (if applicable), it’ll open a new window instead of prompting within the game.
  • If your network connection is killed, testing by playing Solo will just open another Studio window with the same place but won’t spawn a player.
  • The grid feature we talked about earlier won’t move along with where the brick actually is, causing some minor confusion
  • With the grid feature, dragging blocks around with a larger amount of other blocks around may lag the game, even on some higher-end computers
  • With the feature enabling you to drag parts around the screen, if you drag something back to where it was, it will not retain its original size or the size you made it elsewhere on the screen

Here’s what the community also noticed broken:

  • Some users are reporting that they are getting runtime errors when they attempt to start up the beta. reesemcblox wants reports of people with these errors, so she created a thread where you can put your two cents in here: http://www.roblox.com/Forum/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=69258282
  • Some users reported that when they click the edit button, their copy will display a bunch of warnings in the output  before crashing. On our testbed (an Acer Aspire 5570 with RAM buffed to 2 GB), we didn’t experience these issues.
  • In the confusion department, at first glance, it may appear that the resize tool has been moved or entirely stripped out. However, like with most of the other functions, its icon has changed and is not removed.
  • The feature to delete items with the backspace key is a nuisance as the community has noted, especially when using tools like Anaminus’ CmdUtl if you make an error.

The Verdict

Overall, I think that the new Studio will bring an enhanced building and scripting experience. However, with some bugs, things will need to be ironed out before I can fully say that it’s ready for the rest of the userbase. Hopefully, the development team will continue to create refinements to the program so the community can show their talent by making even more advanced things than before.

I encourage everyone to at least give it a test run as this will be implemented eventually.

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