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!

The Review

First off, you can find water in the “High Scalability” set of the stamper tool, as shown here:

Water can be found here, as shown (click for full-size image)

Water works best on terrain, but can be used on normal blocks too. You can change the amount of force and where the force will go.

Force controls for water you place, including where you want to force items to

Here’s an example of a small lake with surrounding terrain:

A lake created with the water feature (click for full-size image)

With the material painter, lake creation can be made a whole lot easier as shown in the video by the Roblox development team.

In terms of realism, all it really is is just a texture moving, which detracts from the rating a bit.

The Verdict

Overall, I think water is a great feature (and one that was asked for for a while), but with the lack of real functions like small waves instead of just a standard texture, it doesn’t look realistic, but the buoyancy and flow is, which is the part that matters most. If Roblox were to take advantage of GPUs instead of CPUs (or a mix), then the room for realistic-looking water is open.

The Roblox Command Score: 8/10

Your Opinion

Now for what you think! Do you think water is a good feature? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below.

What Others Have Created

John Shedletsky (Roblox creative director) put up some additional plugins that aren’t ready to ship with the live release up for download.

You can download them (with instructions) here: http://ironnoob.com/forums/index.php/topic,18160.0.html

um3k made a place called BattleBoats! You can play on it with friends and others here: http://www.roblox.com/BattleBoats-place?id=465645

crazyman32 made a simple demonstration boat test:

Hopefully the rest of the community will make creative things with the water feature as it gets refined.

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