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Thursday, January 17, 2013

ROBLOX Contests: Making a Comeback!

The ROBLOX staff stated at the beginning of the month that this year they wish to bring about more community involvement and discussion to the site. They said they will listen to users more and will play a significantly larger role on the ROBLOX Forums.

ROBLOX Community Staff and Forum UsersThe ROBLOX team now have a growing community team dedicated to discussing ideas and suggestions with users within the ROBLOX Community Staff and Forum Users group. The group is host to a friendly environment in which users and staff can chat casually, but also home to a number of Personal Build Servers built for the community enjoyment. These servers are owned and managed by users within the group and are open to all with building privileges given to member's of the 'forumer' rank or above. 

Visiting one of the many Personal Build Servers 

Now, this an excellent step forward for the ROBLOX corporation. But how will some of the less aware users become more community involved once again? 

The answer to that is simple: contests. 

Back in 2010, ROBLOX unveiled the first official Contest System. It had it's own page, leader-boards  prizes and even sponsors. Contests were hosted regularly, each with a different theme and aim. 

Originally, there was talk of ROBLOX Contests being based around several different areas of the ROBLOX site; Places, Shirts, T-Shirts and models, but this most of these ideals were dropped in favour of the classic building contests. These contests ran until early 2012, then suddenly were abandoned.

Why was it abandoned?

The contest system, while being enjoyable for some users, was heavily exploited by a large majority. This exploitation took shape in the form of the notorious 'Free Model'. If you were to take a peak at the leaders of each contest you would notice a sinister pattern emerging; every single place looked the same. 

You may ask: how? Surely users did not share their work with others and make their creations available to the public domain? And you would be correct. The problem is that early on in after the contest's launch, one user would find an old model that matched the theme of the place. Often this model would be an entire place  uploaded by a user (perhaps stolen). The user would then upload this to their contest entry and voilĂ ; a quality place that would surely win votes that required no effort. 

What made matters worse was the fact that these games were purely voted for based on their aesthetics. A large percentage of contest entries had no gameplay elements, no tools and no objectives. You would simply enter the place and have absolutely nothing to do. Entrants would also use the infamous '+2/3/4/5 voting accuracy' tagline on their game, trying to persuade users to vote for their game.

Both of these habits had a very negative effect on the contest ethic and with each subsequent contest, less and less effort was put into entries. 

ROBLOX Contests 2013

Everything is set to change however as contests are returning. We are only 3 weeks into January and and a ROBLOX Contest has been launched already. The ROBLOX Studio 2.0 Splashscreen contest was launched on the 10th January 2013 and asks users to create a splashcreen (loading graphic) for the new ROBLOX Studio (2.0). For more details on how to enter the contest, click HERE

However, the more exciting news is that a revamped Contest System is being developed by the ROBLOX Team. This was confirmed by the two following pieces of evidence:

Tweet from BeckyLee - ReeseMcBlox (Community Manager) stated contests were in the works

Forum post by the VP of Marketing stating that a new contest system was coming

This will likely include a rebuilt voting system, tighter controls on the way contest entries are presented and marketed and perhaps even pre-selected models which they are allowed to do - this could be implemented with a special version of the ROBLOX Studio tailored to contests. 

A new year, with lots to look forward to! I can't wait to start entering contests again!

Thanks for reading!

Editor of Roblox News