My home is filled with consoles, phones and computers that host a wide range of AAA and quirky games. Yet, my 8-year old daughter spends most of her time playing Roblox on any screen in front of him. A large portion of her allowance is spent on a Roblox Premium subscription.
She is not the only one. Roblox is the most played game among 5- to 12-year olds in the US according to Rooster Money. It topped the UK’s pocket money spending charts in 2020 ahead Fortnite. The company was recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its value was, a staggering $45 million. It can be played anywhere you want, including an Xbox, a phone or a laptop. There are more than 32.6million active users daily and 8 million creators and developers across 180 countries. You can create a Roblox free account.
My 11-year old son is a gamer and claims he doesn’t really like Roblox. However, the fact that he plays it so often when I’m looking over his shoulder shows that he does. He said it was one of his favorite games that he could play with all his friends.
Let’s be clear. Roblox doesn’t actually exist as a game. It’s a free platform that allows users to explore different virtual worlds and play any of the games within them. You can find a wide range of titles and genres on this platform, as well as user-created content. Graphics are simple, bugs and glitches are abound, and many of the most well-known games are lacking polish. After watching my children play, I was unable to see the appeal of this game. But then I decided to join in.
Dragon Adventures on Roblox.
My daughter asked me to play SharkBite first. My daughter was using her phone and I was using my computer to join in. SharkBite is a game where one player becomes a giant shark, and must eat other players in order to win. The survivors are given weapons to use in their fight against the jaws. It’s not perfect. My daughter’s avatar was left in a floating position after a boat collision. But that didn’t stop us from laughing and screaming as we tried to hide.
The platform’s success lies in the ease at which friends can be invited to join you in various virtual worlds and games. You can click a button to create spawning areas right next to one another. My kids constantly debate which game to play, thanks to open chat channels that they have with their friends via their smartphones. You don’t need to download anything or load any loading screens. Avatars and basic controls work everywhere. Exploration is fun because of the variety and quirky nature.
Callmehbob, also known as @Nightbarbie, sent an email saying that “I made the game I wanted to play but couldn’t find anywhere.” “It turned out that a lot people were also looking for the exact same game, so it exploded unexpectedly.”
Callmehbob began playing Roblox back in 2007. It’s been around since 2007, but it wasn’t until 2017 that she started developing a game for this platform. She had no previous experience but turned her hobby into a full time job: Royale HIGH has been accessed more than 5 Billion times. Replayability is key to success, with ways to make money and making games that you would enjoy.
Callmehbob states that Roblox has so many players, it is easy to find your perfect, unique audience. “I am still stunned to see how many people have the same mindset as me and enjoy the same things.”
Royale High is where I go to English class. It’s in a school that looks like a castle. An interactive spelling test is given to me (10/10). After that, I race to grab the correct book from my bag before I start chemistry. After I’m done, I shower and change into a new outfit for the dance. After dancing and drinking punch, I am touched when I am voted King of the Ball, which comes with 500 diamonds and a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Callmehbob states that “Developing Royale HIGH was a constant balancing act between making games to earn currency, and creating fun shop items to spend currency on (giving players something to work towards).”
There is a wonderful sweetness to High. It also includes a larger magical world that you can explore beyond the school. My daughter and I find a clearing in the forest with a campfire, all the ingredients needed to make smores. There are many mini-games that allow you to earn or find currency which can be used to buy amazing outfits and accessories.
“I believe we contributed to bringing about a whole new wave, by making a feminine game, which is something I often search for and desire to play, but it is quite difficult to find,” she said, speaking of the increase in script executors for users. “Shout out to all the female-oriented games that came before me!”
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This type of gameplay is underrepresented within the wider games industry. Despite half of gamers being female, it is still male-dominated. Many people prefer a slower pace or a different type of gameplay to the violent and competitive games.
Another favorite of my daughter’s is Dancing Off. This is a combination of fashion and dance that forces you to choose an outfit and hairstyle for your performance. To determine the winner, each player ranks the other. Although it’s repetitive, that could be part of its appeal. My daughter has been playing it long enough to be able to claim Popular status. (“Popular”) floats above my head, while “Novice”) floats over mine.
Callmehbob says that he has fond childhood memories of playing video games over and over. Knowing what to expect is a comfort, especially for young people who might be in uncertain and rocky waters.
Roblox was first released in 2006. It has seen steady growth, with around 50 million monthly active users, and 5 million creators. Developers are expected to make approximately $250 million in 2020, an increase of $110 million from 2019. Although most creators are Roblox amateur players, Callmehbob and others have made it a full-time job. The platform is also starting to attract professionals like the Gang , a Swedish game studio.
The Wild West in Roblox.
One teacher from Singapore even used the platform to teach game design classes to students aged 11-18 years old. Roblox still has a lot of unimaginative copies of popular games. However, there is plenty of innovation and invention to be had. All the tutorials and building blocks you need to get started can be found free of charge.
” Roblox is a great place to start for students who are new to game design. It also offers the chance to learn high-level modeling, coding and game design skills,” Philip Williams, Head of Library Services at United World College of South East Asia’s East Campus via email.
Robux is the platform’s in-game currency, which can be bought with real cash. Developers make money through premium payouts. These are based on the time that players spend in their virtual worlds or games. Developers have the option to sell virtual assets and game passes, which are usually clothes and accessories. In some games you can also buy weapons and vehicles. My daughter told me that you can tell “noobs” by their default clothes, so she wanted to subscribe.
Developers can use Robux to promote their games on the platform. With so many virtual worlds available, discoverability is crucial. Roblox uses a somewhat confusing bidding system. The higher your bid, the more often your ads will appear. It is difficult to convert those ad views into profits. My children say that they don’t click on ads much and find most games through word-of-mouth.
Next is Brookhaven which is a role-playing game that takes place in large cities. You can purchase a house and drive different types of vehicles on the streets. You could even get a job. My daughter takes me on a bank robbery and we then escape underground tunnels. After that, I am offered a job as pilot and then we activate an emergency. We parachute back down to the streets below. It’s chaotic, random, but it’s undeniably enjoyable.
The majority of Roblox users are younger than 13. Nearly half of them are female and I get the feeling that the platform wants to appeal to older gamers. Everyone I spoke to said it wasn’t just for children. This is especially true for kids who have grown up playing Roblox, and will continue to do so as adults.
However, there will always be growing pains. Roblox is a family-friendly platform that has built its user base. However, there are now concerns about inappropriate online dating behavior and inappropriate behaviour from some users. My children chat almost exclusively with their real-life friends. They claim they haven’t encountered anything troubling, however, a few of the games I tried had a more adult feel. For younger players, inappropriate language is blocked. There’s human moderation but an enormous platform will always have darker corners.
You can also use Roblox’s settings if you are concerned about your children’s chat behavior. You can also create account restrictions that limit the games your child is allowed, or turn off chat altogether.
Escape the Facility is a popular choice and makes a great finale. One player plays the role of a beast, and attempts to find survivors who can hack computers to unlock escape doors. You can hear the beast emit a red light and they will also play music to alert you when they approach. It is reminiscent of Death by Daylight. The hook has the same addictive hook. However, there is a real sense that violence is implied, rather than graphically. My daughter is the beast, and she doesn’t show mercy as she beats me to death.