Roblox pushes toward avatar realism, plans to add NFT-like limited edition items

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At its annual developer conference on Thursday, Roblox painted a picture of what’s next for the fast-growing online multiplayer portal that’s like catnip for kids and teens.

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In his keynote address, Roblox co-founder and CEO David Baszucki laid out plans to develop player avatars, introduce new in-game monetization streams, and streamline the experience for developers who dream up user-generated content outlined, which turned the company into a huge success. The intersection of gaming and social networking.

Roblox is known for its blocky, relatively unsophisticated character models and game graphics, but the genre hasn’t deterred the company’s explosive growth. Still, Roblox is working to make player avatars more lively and customizable, options that fit well with the company’s aspirations, both to keep the platform attractive as its young core user base ages. To enable many forms of self-expression in its endless form and form. The center of the virtual world.

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“I think people are going to realize that Roblox just isn’t a thing,” Manuel Bronstein, Roblox’s chief product officer, told Nerdshala.

On Thursday, Roblox announced some meaningful changes in this direction. The first is layered clothing, a visual update that will make avatar outfits more realistic and dynamic, so your favorite Roblox virtual jean jacket will fit your character model whether you’re a human version of yourself or a dinosaur. The clothes will fall and wrap naturally around the avatars, like it would in a more photorealistic game.

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The newly announced Roblox avatar update aims to inject both more customization and more realism into the blocky Lego-like looks that are now synonymous with the platform. Bronstein described the changes as a “massive evolution” of avatars at the core of the Roblox social experience. “Self-identity is an important pillar of the metaverse, and the ability to precisely adapt your clothing to your unique avatar is paramount in personal expression,” Baszuki said in the keynote.

Given the rapidly growing business of selling in-game items, Roblox has plenty of financial incentives to make its virtual fashion scene more sophisticated and life-like. It also has to keep up with competitors like Epic Games, which sets the bar with both its Fortnite character design and its brand partnerships, which can bring $50 million in one go. Roblox has its own Brand and IP Deals, but more good looking virtual Stuff You’re floating around for sales, the sweeter those deals are.

image credit: roblox

In a vein of building toward more realism, Roblox is also giving developers beta access to what it calls “Dynamic Heads” — facial animations for avatars that allow a character model’s mouth to move along with what it says. Can also be combined with facial tracking. Roblox is tapping into its acquisition of Loom.ai, a digital avatar startup that was bought by the company in late 2020. The company says that developers will start playing around with the new facial animations, starting with a handful of head designs that highlight the platform’s blocky roots. The first iteration of facial animation in Roblox won’t be out to users just yet, but the company wants to get it into the hands of developers as the first step in that process.

With Roblox continuing the larger voice chat rollout that Roblox announced last month, the company is shifting its previously text chat-focused experience toward more natural, immersive interactions. The company also noted on Thursday that all eligible users who are 13 and older can now opt for age verification, a screening process that will give some players early access to new features as they reach the full player base. But make your way. Verified users will begin gaining access to Roblox’s new voice chat capabilities “later this fall.”

In addition to improving the avatar experience, Roblox also announced plans to introduce limited edition items, an interesting new way for people to earn money (in the form of Roblox, which can be traded for real Rs. is) from its bustling in-game economy. Roblox creators can keep the items they design for sale for a certain period of time or for a limited time, creating an element of collectibles in the game’s well-established virtual economies.

Creators can also make money from subsequent sales by enabling royalties – a benefit that some of Roblox’s in-game items will share with NFTs. “The idea is that you [will] Ultimately being able to set the rules for what happens in the resale of an item,” Bronstein told Nerdshala, noting the NFT connection.

Developers will be able to enjoy more flexibility when creating content for the platform through a new system Roblox Open Cloud. Open Cloud will allow developers to create content in third-party tools and then plug into Roblox, rather than being limited to the company’s own developer environment, Roblox Studio.

The company is pushing for the cloud, providing content creators with more data storage on Roblox and generally making the platform an attractive, versatile developer destination. Roblox also announced some graphics improvements that developers can start to play with, such as more realistic collision physics and aerodynamics that can depict a scene like the deployment of a parachute.

In 2021, the company is on track to pay $500 million to developers who create content for its user-generated game worlds — up from 70 million three years ago.

“We believe that the metaverse is going to be entirely user-generated,” Bronstein said. “And we think that by empowering everyone to be a creator, we’re going to have more immersiveness and more diversity.” [experiences] on the platform.”

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