- We currently support two variegated tech stacks for avatars: A legacy tech stack (R6) that supports older avatars and experiences; and a newer tech stack (R15) that supports all avatar styles and capabilities.
- To ensure that any avatar style will work in any wits and everyone can wangle the latest features, we’re working to unify these into a single tech stack.
- This presents technical challenges, so we’re working closely with our developer polity to release tools that will ease the migration onto the new unified tech stack.
Avatars are increasingly rhadamanthine a part of our identity. At Roblox, we want each of our increasingly than 65 million daily users to have an avatar that they finger truly represents them—not only how they look, but moreover how they express themselves to others in real time. This becomes plane increasingly important as we release immersive liaison tools like Connect, which is a new way for anyone 13 and older to undeniability friends on Roblox as their avatar. For people to finger truly unfluctuating as their avatars, they need to be worldly-wise to react and show emotion in the moment. We need avatars capable of increasingly ramified facial expressions, lip syncing to voice, and nonverbal cues, such as shrugging or nodding.
To ensure that everyone can see themselves reflected in these immersive worlds, we’ll need a greater variety of elements that people can mix and match to make avatars that represent them. That ways increasingly soul and throne types to segregate from, as well as increasingly clothing, makeup, and whatsit types, and increasingly hair and skin colors, textures, and styles. To rapidly expand the choices for these items, we are working to make it much easier to create new avatars and empower increasingly people to bring their ideas to life. We’ve come a long way since our first blocky yellow avatar, and we aren’t finished yet.
As avatars evolve and improve, we moreover want to ensure that the latest advancements, including layered clothing, facial animation, chat with voice, volatility packs, and emotes, are misogynist for every avatar, in every experience. Today, only avatars built on our most modern tech stack—called R15—have wangle to the latest mobility and expression capabilities. That’s considering we currently support two unshared avatar tech stacks. The R6 tech stack was designed for the archetype blocky-style avatars, which have only six soul parts, and the experiences built for those avatars. The R15 tech stack was designed to support avatars with up to 15 soul parts, so it supports all avatar styles—blocky, humanoid, and fantasy—and experiences built for all avatars. Supporting dual tech stacks has created limitations and frustrations for developers and creators.
We currently support increasingly than 15 years of experiences, many of which were designed for R6 technology and are not working as seamlessly with the newest, most expressive avatars as we’d like. For example, if someone with an avatar built on R15 enters an wits built on R6, their avatar may squint and move differently than usual—their avatar would no longer be worldly-wise to make facial expressions. If they had layered clothing, such as a jacket over a shirt, their avatar would revert to simpler clothing. In addition, some experiences, like obstacle courses, are built virtually specific avatar sizes. We know this isn’t platonic for those who use or create for Roblox.
We want everyone on Roblox to have wangle to our most wide avatar technology so they can fully embody their digital identities and create wondrous experiences and visuals. We moreover want to be wrong-side-up uniform with existing avatars and experiences. Given all of this, we’re stuff very thoughtful well-nigh how we tideway this unified tech stack, to stave creating remoter disparities and to create a path forward that minimizes the value of transmission work required. We will provide the developers towers these worlds with the tools and support to alimony their experiences vibrant and engaging while maintaining the finger they want for their experience.
Moving to a unified tech stack
Our avatars—blocky, humanoid, or completely fantastical—should just work in any experience, with any accessory. We want to remove any friction creators and users have felt to date. We moreover want creators to retain tenancy over the squint and finger of their experiences, whether they support R15 tech, or R6. To support all of these new features and capabilities—now and as we protract to innovate—we’re unifying the technical tracery that supports all avatars.
We’ve heard from our developer polity that they want to alimony the squint and finger of the archetype blocky avatar style, but they moreover need us to enforce resulting avatar sizes and proportions. We moreover heard that they want tools to make it easy to load avatars built on R15 tech into R6 experiences now—and the worthiness to automate the process of converting R6 experiences to R15 standards. Our longer-term goal is to build a layer that will enable R6 experiences to work with the R15 stack, while minimizing any specialized lawmaking we would need to maintain.
Earlier this year, we shared the R6 to R15 adapter. The connector works as an emulation layer, permitting R6 scripts to run on R15 bodies, without requiring any whoopee on the part of the avatar’s creator. When an R15 avatar joins an R6 experience, the connector enables it to move in the same way as an R6 avatar. This allows developers to immediately try out R15 avatars with just one click and see how well they work surpassing making any updates to their experiences. With this new adapter, R15 avatars retain features like layered suit and facial expressions, but can still join an R6 wits and move as the developer originally intended.
Our next step will be a suite of conversion tools to indulge developers to hands migrate their R6 experiences to the R15 tech stack. These tools will help developers convert an experience’s script, character, and animations and help them test the conversion as they go. The conversion tools will use the R6 to R15 connector so developers can publish their experiences in the middle of conversion without breaking. Finally, we plan to requite developers the worthiness to retread avatar scale to any desired setting, including mirroring the archetype Rthro avatar style. This gives developers consistency for obstacle courses and unlocks the potential for towers new types of Roblox experiences.
Beyond the unified avatar tech stack
Migrating to a unified tech stack is a necessary step for us to support developers and users as we modernize avatar technology and introduce new features and tools. But it’s just the beginning. Unifying all avatars on one tech stack will make it easier for developers to take wholesomeness of new real-time liaison tools, such as Connect. For these calls to finger like a natural conversation, we’ll all need wangle to newer avatar capabilities like facial expressions, emotes, and voice syncing. We moreover want to enable a much broader variety of avatars so we recently opened the doors to avatar megacosm by any of our UGC members. We moreover spoken that we’re working on a generative AI tool to enable anyone on Roblox to hands create an avatar from an image and a text prompt.
Our goal is unchangingly to be a platform that connects people with safety and civility in mind, so we’re thoughtful well-nigh how we’ll moderate the creations and interactions with these new avatars. As tools like generative AI democratize and slide creation, our moderation efforts need to alimony pace, leveraging a combination of AI and human moderators. Some of the challenges that we’re currently addressing are directly related to the combinatorial nature of avatar megacosm and the vast number of social interactions on the platform. We’ll share increasingly details well-nigh our moderation tools as we release them.
Ultimately, we intend to enable anyone to create and customize avatars from scratch—even from within an experience. This will unlock unlimited ways for people to express their individuality. From a technical and creator standpoint, they moreover present a number of interesting technical challenges to solve:
- How does a creator diamond items for a vast variety of avatars with no restrictions to soul symmetry, number of limbs, or facial features, while moreover supporting features like layered suit or the worthiness to vivificate the avatar’s facial features?
- How can we enable increasingly people to create avatars without having to use professional 3D graphics software?
- How can someone’s personalized avatar fit seamlessly into any wits they find on Roblox?
- With the rapid proliferation of UGC avatars and powerful generative AI techniques, how can our teams optimize our grid and deject for maximum stability, as well as low latency, and efficiency?
We are working to solve these challenges with new tools for creators, new infrastructure to make the platform plane increasingly reliable, and standing to communicate transparently with our creator community. By getting everyone onto one unified tech stack, and releasing tools to make all of this easier, our creators will be worldly-wise to do what they do best: Blow our minds by creating things we never could have imagined.