Annotated Platform Roadmap

Overview

This topic is an on-going attempt to document useful information concerning the features listed on the High-Level Platform Roadmap for 2020 and the features deferred in 2019.

The official Roadmap can be found on the Developer Hub: https://developer.roblox.com/resources/Roblox-Platform-Roadmap.



Aims & Scope

The official Roadmap has very little detail. There is also no guarantee that the status of any feature will be updated on the Roadmap: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//509046/236.

As such, this topic aims to:

  1. Offer accurate, up-to-date statuses of each feature;
  2. Provide relevant additional information about the features on the Roadmap, which may include:
    • Release announcements
    • Likely dates of release / progress information
    • Technical / implementation details
    • Known limitations
    • Other useful information that may otherwise be difficult to find

This topic does not cover other features that have been released or mentioned in places other than the official Roadmap. Bear in mind that the Roadmap is β€œDeveloper Facing” and only covers a subset of projects being worked on: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//509046/190.



Contributing

This is a living document. Community contribution will ideally keep this topic complete and up-to-date as features go through releases or more information becomes available. Forum users can contribute by editing any of the posts following the Table of Contents.

Contributions should:

  1. Contain useful and relevant information, especially where it is not otherwise easy to find;
  2. Be based on good authority, for example a public statement by a Roblox staff member;
  3. Be clearly referenced, for example by providing a link to the source of the information;
  4. Be in keeping with the style of the rest of the document, in terms of formatting and general written style.

Concurrent wiki editing is not well supported on Discourse. Attempting to edit a post that another user is already editing will most likely prevent your changes from being saved, and their changes will not appear on the version of the post that you are currently editing.

For this reason, it is encouraged to minimize the time spent editing a post. The recommended approach is to write up an edit in a separate editor and then simply merge it in when it is ready. This should make edit collisions very unlikely.

Replying to this topic is discouraged. Suggestions, issues, or general queries should be communicated via DM.



Feature Statuses

Each feature listed in the body of the document is preceded by an icon indicating its status. Statuses build upon the naming conventions used on the official Roadmap, but note that the statuses found in this document may not reflect the official statuses since those are not kept up-to-date.

Icon Status Meaning
:white_check_mark: Live The feature is released. Generally this means it was announced on the DevForum.
:hammer_and_wrench: Beta The feature is undergoing beta testing, which includes open beta, closed beta, and internal beta.
:chart_with_upwards_trend: On Track The feature is on track for completion in the targeted time period.
:timer_clock: Delayed The feature is still being worked on but will not be released in the targeted time period.
:warning: Deferred The feature is postponed.
:arrow_right_hook: Superseded This feature was superseded by another feature.
:question: Unknown No information is available except that the feature is planned.
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Table of Contents

2019

View items
  1. Developer Analytics
  2. Typed Lua
  3. Custom Materials
  4. Streaming On By Default
  5. Fast Game Testing for Large Worlds
  6. Level-of-Detail for Models
  7. Ephemeral DataStores
  8. Phased Game Updates
  9. Universe Script & Game Services

Q1 2020

View items
  1. Quick Open
  2. Plugin HTTP Permissions
  3. Collaborative Editing
  4. Packages
  5. Game Access Permissions
  6. Premium Payouts

Q2 2020

View items
  1. Enhanced Audio Search
  2. Atmospheric Fog
  3. Pre-Streaming API
  4. Lua Draggers
  5. Asset Manager
  6. Debugger for Plugins
  7. Expressive Output Window

Q3 2020

View items
  1. Place Version History in Studio
  2. Automatic Translation for Games
  3. Custom Materials
  4. Large Object Stores
  5. Improved Terrain Level-of-Detail & Blending
  6. MaterialsService
  7. Dynamic Texture Resolution
  8. Model Level-of-Detail
  9. Wireframe Mode
  10. Typed Lua
  11. Layered 3D Clothing
  12. Skinned Meshes & Bone Instances
  13. MeshParts for Heads & Accessories
  14. Shared Memory
  15. Align Tool
  16. Script Version History
  17. Audio Importing in Studio
  18. Plugin Script Permissions
  19. Studio Asset Organization
  20. Creator Dashboard
  21. Custom Pivots
  22. Terrain Material Search & Replace

Q4 2020

View items
  1. Full Script Editor Upgrade
  2. Procedural Skies
  3. Future is Bright v3
  4. Enhanced Terrain Vegetation
  5. Mesh Level-of-Detail for Avatars
  6. Facial Animation v1
  7. Faster Streaming
  8. Faster CSG
  9. Game Content Ratings
  10. Improved Audio Tooling
  11. Script Review Workflow
  12. Asset Iteration
  13. Cloud Scripts
  14. Creator Talent Hub
  15. Transactions
  16. Backup & Restore
  17. Parallel Lua
  18. Developer Analytics
  19. Developer Hub – Additional Locales
  20. Terrain Heightmap Workflow
  21. Dragger Precision Improvements
  22. Screenshots & Video Trailers for Assets
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2019

The following features are marked as β€œdeferred” on the 2019 Roadmap.



β†ͺ️ Developer Analytics

Custom metrics and events for top developers.

Superseded by Developer Analytics (Q4).



β†ͺ️ Typed Lua

Type-checking and annotations for Lua in Studio.

Superseded by Typed Lua (Q3).



β†ͺ️ Custom Materials

Custom materials with custom specular reflectance properties and normal-map textures.

Superseded by Custom Materials (Q3).

See also:



⚠️ Streaming on by Default

Streaming will be on by default for all newly created games.

It is likely that other streaming improvements on the Roadmap will roll out before streaming is turned on by default, namely:



⚠️ Fast Game Testing for Large Worlds

Enable highly performant game testing for large worlds.



β†ͺ️ Level-of-Detail for Models

Automatic level-of-detail adjustment for models based on device performance.

Superseded by Model Level-of-Detail (Q3).



β†ͺ️ Ephemeral DataStores

Store temporary data with high read/write speeds for things like matchmaking.

Superseded (probably) by Shared Memory (Q3).



βœ… Phased Game Updates

Provide developers with a way to roll out new versions of their game at scale.

Addressed by the β€œMigrate to Latest Update” feature, released Q2 2020 and announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//535590.



β†ͺ️ Universe Script & Game Services

New type of scripts that can run at a universe level to allow for matchmaking, leaderboards, etc.

Universe Scripts were superseded by Cloud Scripts (Q4).

Game Services were superseded by Shared Memory (Q3).



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Q1 2020



βœ… Quick Open

Quickly find and navigate to any instance in the Explorer.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//440101.



βœ… Plugin HTTP Permissions

Control which domains plugins can make HTTP requests to.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//493269.



βœ… Collaborative Editing

Work on the same script simultaneously with others, review conflicts, and merge. Commit multiple scripts at the same time.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//401676 .



βœ… Packages

Share packages with users and add collaborators, plus package version history and auto-updating.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//455778.



βœ… Game Access Permissions

Granular control over who can access a game.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//428956.



βœ… Premium Payouts

Earn recurring revenue for playtime and engaging content.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//455347.
Tripling of payouts: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//505920.



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Q2 2020



βœ… Enhanced Audio Search

Find audio in the marketplace by specified time length.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//523495



βœ… Atmospheric Fog

Creatively blends objects into the background instead of using a solid color.

This was implemented by the Atmosphere instance.

No release announcement but confirmed as β€œLive” by a staff member here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//572891/12

Developer Hub reference: https://developer.roblox.com/articles/atmosphere



βœ… Pre-Streaming API

API used to β€œhint” where the client will go to next.

This was implemented as RequestStreamAroundAsync, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//651626.



βœ… Lua Draggers

Draggers that work significantly better β€” from scaling handles to smoother freeform dragging β€” implemented in a framework that developers can customize and extend.

Initial release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//683129.

Re-released for everyone: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//683129/177.



πŸ› οΈ Asset Manager

Replaces the Game Explorer with a new widget that provides a refreshed design, deterministic sorting, and local filtering for assets.

Released but put back in beta: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//517475/195.



⏲️ Debugger for Plugins

Studio debugger works for plugin development.

Open Beta, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//623350.

Temporarily disabled: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//623350/36.



πŸ› οΈ Expressive Output Window

Output gets an upgrade β€” expressive UI, filter/search, and copy/paste becomes easier.

Open Beta, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//642684.

Some noted issues:



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Q3 2020



βœ… Place Version History in Studio

See detailed version history for places. Manage your place (publish, revert) right from Studio.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//607597



πŸ“ˆ Automatic Translation for Games

Top games are automatically translated to all supported languages, including gameplay and game listing.

Notice of platform-wide test: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//610581.

Follow-up from staff with more information: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//610581/106.

Information from RDC talk 24 July 2020:

  • Machine translation by default - in the next few weeks, automatic machine translation will start to roll out for the top 1.2k games
  • Impact on growth - tests have shown significant positive impact for new players:
    • 6.3% lift in playtime
    • 6.7% lift in D1 retention


πŸ› οΈ Custom Materials

Adds SurfaceAppearance object that enables PBR textures for mesh parts.

Open Beta, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//663449.



πŸ› οΈ Large Object Stores

Store in-game player creations and other large objects with ease.

Closed Beta. Should be available some time in the next few months as of RDC 2020.

This may be implemented as part of general DataStore improvements instead of being its own thing: https://youtu.be/Mn5JlwwS81k?t=1477.

However, the DataStore data limit increase alone does not replace this feature: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//752185/75.



πŸ“ˆ Improved Terrain Level-of-Detail & Blending

Smoother level-of-detail progression and improved material layer blending for terrain.

Level-of-detail progression improvements are pending as of Release 439: https://developer.roblox.com/resources/release-note/Release-Notes-for-439.



πŸ“ˆ MaterialsService

Ability to extend built-in materials with custom textures.



πŸ“ˆ Dynamic Texture Resolution

Dynamic texture resolution based on device memory usage.



πŸ› οΈ Model Level-of-Detail

Make simplified, automatic geometry for models based on device memory usage.

Studio Beta, announced and explained here in detail: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//662464



πŸ“ˆ Wireframe Mode

Toggle a standard wireframe mode on/off inside of Studio.

Silently enabled in Studio on October 21.



πŸ› οΈ Typed Lua

Type checking and annotations for Lua in Studio.

Open Beta, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//435382.

This is an on-going project. Detailed information can be found:



πŸ“ˆ Layered 3D Clothing

First launch of 3D clothing that can be layered on body or other 3D clothing items.

Demonstration from RDC: https://youtu.be/gIaqrWbC5P8?t=4727



βœ… Skinned Meshes & Bones

Enables mesh deformation through skinned meshes and bone instances.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//831011



πŸ“ˆ MeshParts for Heads and Accessories

Migrate (and provide backwards compatibility) for Heads and Accessories to use MeshParts instead of SpecialMeshes.

Happening soon, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//684043.



πŸ“ˆ Shared Memory

Store temporary data with high read/write speeds for items such as matchmaking.

This is the replacement for Game Services (and probably Ephemeral DataStores), which were deferred in 2019.



πŸ› οΈ Align Tool

Easily align parts and objects to a specific axis and to each other.

This is in β€œPreview Release”, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//683106.



πŸ› οΈ Script Version History

See detailed version history for scripts. Diff against older versions and roll back individual scripts or batches of scripts, if necessary.

This is in Internal Beta testing.



πŸ“ˆ Audio Importing in Studio

Ability to bulk import audio in Studio to improve overall efficiency.



πŸ“ˆ Plugin Script Permissions

Control which plugins can access and edit the game data model in order to prevent malicious script injections.



⚠️ Studio Asset Organization

Provides an efficient way to organize assets at scale within the Asset Manager.

Deferred as of July 2020.



πŸ“ˆ Creator Dashboard

Access DevEx, Developer Stats, and additional critical workflow functionality within a new portal.



πŸ“ˆ Custom Pivots

Adjust the pivot point of models and parts for easier modeling.



βœ… Terrain Material Search & Replace

Quickly replace one terrain material with another.

Release announcement: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//683397.



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Q4 2020



❓ Script Editor Upgrade

Transition to new script editor based on Language Server Protocol β€” faster, better syntax highlighting, better auto-complete, native Luau support.

Work has begun:



❓ Procedural Skies

Performant procedural clouds.



πŸ› οΈ Future is Bright v3

Extends PBR calculations to other light objects.

This is in Studio Beta, announced here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//639903.



❓ Enhanced Terrain Vegetation

Enables Custom Materials for terrain vegetation.

Procedural terrain decoration integrated with existing terrain system.

It will be customizable and configurable, supporting β€œsmall” objects such as grass (already implemented), rocks, flowers, and bushes. Level-of-detail will be built in.

Demonstration and explanation from RDC: https://youtu.be/gIaqrWbC5P8?t=4607



❓ Mesh Level-of-Detail for Avatars

Mesh level-of-detail that respects UV boundaries and skinning information.

Not to be confused with general Level-of-Detail for MeshParts, which is already released.



❓ Facial Animation v1

First version of the facial animation system.



❓ Faster Streaming

Various streaming improvements to enable 200 player experiences.



❓ Faster CSG

Improves the performance of CSG by not redoing the entire tree during operations.



❓ Game Content Ratings

Take a questionnaire that generates a rating for your game.



❓ Improved Audio Tooling

Real-time parameter curves and complex sound events.



❓ Script Review Workflow

Review your scripts with your team members before committing.



❓ Asset Iteration

Iterate on assets such as meshes, no longer requiring re-uploading for changes.



❓ Cloud Scripts

Write and deploy code outside the context of any game server.

This is the replacement for Universe Scripts, which were deferred in 2019.



❓ Creator Talent Hub

Showcase your creations and find other creators to form teams and collaborate on bigger and better games.



❓ Transactions

Reliable in-game player-to-player trading and transactions.



❓ Backup & Restore

Backup data stored across all data stores with the ability to restore on demand.



❓ Parallel Lua

Enables Lua scripts to run on separate hardware threads.

The goal is to allow Lua to use ~100% CPU: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//386376/19.

Use cases requested here: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//450106/3.



πŸ› οΈ Developer Analytics

Insight into user behavior and game performance through analytics.

This uses Microsoft PlayFab, and was released as an application-only program: https://devforum.roblox.com/t//653420.

This is described as a beta program so the feature has been marked as Beta. It is not known whether there will be a wider release in the future.



❓ Developer Hub - Additional Locales

Access the DevHub with the addition of more locales.



❓ Terrain Heightmap Workflow

Provide high-res and immediate terrain generation from height and colormaps.



❓ Dragger Precision Improvements

Improvements to new draggers to enable more precise modeling, faster.



❓ Screenshots & Video Trailers for Marketplace Assets

Supply additional images and videos for plugins and models in the marketplace.



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