Roblox is a virtual platform that makes many possibilities available to users, from creating new games to playing other users’ productions.
According to a report published by Roblox Corporation this year in August, the platform has reached the mark of having 48 million active users playing daily. This number is expressive not only in terms of the quantity of players, but also in the hours that players spend connected to the platform: more than 4 billion hours were spent playing during the analyzed period.
This universe of possibilities has attracted many kids – as well as parents’ attention. We have already written a complete guide for parents to help them pay attention to certain aspects of Roblox when their kids are playing it.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to make your kid’s experience safer and understand a little more about how the platform works.
How parental control is done on Roblox
Roblox offers some parental control possibilities, such as limiting chat functions, account restrictions (so that the user can access only Roblox’s curated content) and age visibility, which determines the settings for kids.
Activating account restrictions:
Click on the security option within settings. Next to account restrictions, switch the button position to activate the restrictions. The button will turn green and the following message will appear on the screen: “Account restrictions are currently enabled”. This means you have successfully enabled account restrictions.
By doing so, no other user can send you messages, either in the Roblox app or in the game, in addition to preventing the account from being found by its phone number. All these settings can be adjusted individually, as soon as the restrictions are activated.
Blocking users is very simple: you must simply open the profile of the user you wish to block and click on the three dots on the top right corner where there is the username and friends information. A menu of options will appear on screen and among them there will be the option to “block user”. By selecting it, you block the user.
How to block users within a game:
There is also the option of blocking users inside the games. In the list in the top right corner of the game screen there is a list of players, select the profile you wish to block and a menu will be displayed on the screen. After that, choose the option: block user. It is also possible to report abuse directly in the same menu, by clicking on report abuse.
It’s necessary to report abuse through this button when some user uses inappropriate language or addresses other players in a threatening or intimidating way.
Activate settings through account PIN:
Roblox offers kids parents another safety possibility: the creation of a PIN number associated with the guardian’s email address to block user settings. To activate it, you need to click on the gear icon on Roblox’s home page and then choose settings.
After doing so, type the guardian’s email address and the kid’s account password in the corresponding fields. Then, click on add email. A confirmation email will be sent to the given email address. After the confirmation process is complete, you need to refresh the settings page to activate the PIN number. Then, to activate it, click on account PIN. Once it’s activated, every setup in the future will be activated only after the password is typed in. The settings are now blocked by the PIN number.
How Roblox works
Now that you already know how to keep your kids safe on Roblox, we are going to explain how the game works, so that you can talk to your kids and be a part of their online life as well.
How does game creation happen on Roblox?
Before anything else you need to create an account on Roblox’s main page. After that, you will already have access to your main profile, where you can change your personal information, send and receive messages, change your profile picture and create your own games.
Install Roblox Studio:
To start creating games, you need to download the program Roblox Studio. This program is what makes it possible to create games with the available objects and map models, which later can be published in your profile within Roblox.
Once Roblox Studio is downloaded, in the creation start menu there are the map options, where it is also possible to choose a theme or gameplay map. Players who are new to the platform can choose the gameplay option, since the game’s visuals and rules will already be established. The gameplay mode offers seven available models: Racing, Obby, Line Runner, Infinite Runner, Capture The Flag, Team/FFA Arena and Combat. Some edits are allowed, such as changing objects, switching the background between day and night and customizing the avatar. In the lateral tab, located in the left part of the screen, there are buttons to create a new map or visualize already existing ones.
How to change elements within the game:
After selecting the game option, it is possible to change elements within the game, such as objects and the avatar, by clicking on the “toolbox”. At this stage, it’s possible to style the game according to how the player had pictured it. To do so, the user must enable the toolbox on the left part of the screen. With it, the player can add objects and choose where to place them. If you want to alter the object surface or add effects, you must simply click on “model”.
Create games with an existing terrain:
In the theme option, the user can create a game from already existing terrains, with the following available themes: Baseplate, Flat Terrain, Village, Castle, Suburban and Racing.
By selecting this option, the elements of each terrain are filled automatically according to their own traits. Despite that, the elements can also be altered.
Create a game from scratch:
To those who have previous knowledge of game creation, Roblox Studio also offers the option to create a game from scratch. To do so, you should choose the base plate map, which is a blank map mode. After selecting this mode, the user can choose a terrain and, then, select the game’s objects, characters, visual and sound effects, and rules. This mode also allows the player to create gameplay mechanics with programming, especially HTML. There is the plugins tab, which offers a system to those familiar with programming and makes a more autonomous creation possible.
Kids who have learnt or are learning programming and coding can benefit a lot from this Roblox mode.
Test the created game:
Testing the game created on Roblox Studio is an extremely important part of the creation process. In order to do that, click on the top of the Roblox Studio window and open the toolbar called testing and then play. Now it’s possible to walk with your character through the map, observing the game from a wider point of view. To leave player mode you need to simply click on stop. By doing so, the user will go back to editing mode.
Evaluate the in-game experience, seek errors:
Putting objects in non-strategic places – which hinder movement within the game – is one of the most frequent errors. That is why testing the game is extremely important, since that is the only way such errors can be fixed.
Don’t forget to save the game:
After following these steps, it’s time to save the game. And, similarly to other types of work that use programs, saving a copy is key. To do that, you need to click on file and then save.
Publish the game you created on Roblox:
Now that a copy has been saved, it’s time to publish the game. On the top menu, on the file tab, the user must click on the option “publish to Roblox”. The next screen will ask you to choose a genre for the game, whether it will be private or public, and other details such as the name and the devices it will be available to play. After that, you can simply click on create for the game to go online!
Written by Débora Nazário
Translated by Mariana Gruber
Roblox is an amazing tool and it can be very beneficial for kids. We can start by considering it’s an active activity in which kids can create new things instead of only consuming content passively (of which watching a video is a good example).
With Roblox, kids have access to games created by other users, which is an incentive for them to create their own games. The game creation process involves much more than programming. You need to think about the goal of the game, its format, characters, rules, all of its visuals, and, of course, in the technical aspects of it, which is programming in itself. All of this requires organization and focus.
By building a simple game, kids develop many skills like planning, organization, and storytelling skills; and the ability to see a project from a broader point of view and, right afterward, move on to an activity in which they need to focus in only one aspect (we call this global and focal attention) – in addition to a lot of creativity.
However, it’s a platform to which many people have simultaneous online access – and there’s a chat feature. All the games and platforms that have chats and kids using them must trigger a warning light on a parent’s mind. This is because ill-intentioned people can make contact with kids and try to take advantage of them somehow.
Therefore, read about Roblox (and all the games and apps your kids have), understand how it works and keep yourself informed about parental controls in order to activate whatever is necessary to protect them within the platform.