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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Remembering Erik Cassel, the Co-Founder of ROBLOX

Erik CasselToday is a tragic day for the ROBLOX community. The site lost an amazing individual who left behind a legacy of innovation, creativity, and achievement. Erik Cassel passed away Monday morning (11th February 2012) after losing his three year battle with cancer. His greatest work was of course with ROBLOX where he co-founded along with David Bascuzchi; the largest online sandbox in the world.

Erik held the title of Chief Scientist meaning he did a lot of work with the distributed physics engine and was a learned guru in the arts of Lua - as displayed in this previous blog post. Although much of what Erik did occurred behind the scenes, he was most well known for writing the framework to make ROBLOX scriptable and putting a huge amount of effort into binding the Lua scripting language to all game elements. He believed that doing this well was "critical" to having a good game engine. You can read his full interview conducted by ReeseMcBlox, here.

"Erik was the original author of much of ROBLOX, and he and David Baszucki founded the company together. For all of us at ROBLOX, Erik was not just a founder, he was our friend and a continual inspiration." - Keith Lucas, Vice President, Engineering &Operations. Erik's friend since 1997

While devastating for the ROBLOX staff who had known Erik personally for countless years, it also had a significant impact on the community. Many ROBLOX users had met Erik Cassel in person at the 2011 ROBLOX Rally held in the Exploratorium in San Francsico, CA, and at the 2012 ROBLOX Game Conference held in the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

"I met him a couple years ago and he was a funny guy and cool, one of my favorite admins" - ttredix1, All Things ROBLOX Forumer

"Erik. We all love your game and we hope you enjoyed your life, you gave so much of us joy by creating the awesome game that is ROBLOX. We hope you rest in peace. May god rest your soul." - zackerih, All Things ROBLOX Forumer

I remember meeting Erik for the first time at RGC 2012. What a cheerful and helpful man, he greeted everyone outside the lobby with a firm handshake and a warm smile. You couldn't even tell he had cancer. He was a true lifter." - DarkGenex, Lets Make A Deal Forumer

"R.I.P Erik Cassel. May his legacy leave him immortalised" - bman7720, RN Fan

"Erik was amazing, ROBLOX wouldn't be where it is now if Erik hadn't been involved. R.I.P Erik Cassel, you will be missed " - Darkfish900, RN Staff

erik.casselMany users have been adorning Erik Cassel's signature attire in respect for the former Chief Scientist. Which consists of dark blue legs, orange torso, white arms and head, default face, Erik.Cassel t-shirt and the ever popular Well Worn Hat.

User's have also been creating all sorts of tribute content. Here is an Erik Tribute created by SharpTH in which users pay respects to their idol.

Erik's Memorial 

A memorial game was also created by Erik Cassel's children. It features several houses and a golden statue representing Erik.

A gathering of dozens of Erik's. Everyone showing their support
The community loved it, and thousands of viewers have visited and paid their respects. The sheer popularity of the place alone, shows just how well loved Erik was among ROBLOX players. Hundreds of users dressed as Erik and shared memories of him with one another. If you'd like to support Erik, his family and what he brought to ROBLOX, don't hesitate to pay the memorial a visit.

Final words

The Roblox News staff and I offer our sincere condolences to Erik's family, friends, and all that knew him. He still holds a special place in all our hearts, knowing that he helped create the site that we all love today. He was an inspiration to us all and showed to us that anything can be achieved if you are passionate enough.

Thank you for reading.

Editor of Roblox News.