Tests for the new tools, which can make assets and complete code, will roll out in the ‘coming weeks.’
Roblox (the company) is working on generative AI tools to help developers who build experiences on Roblox more easily create games and assets. The first two tests of the tools will roll out in the coming weeks: a tool to make “generative AI materials from a text prompt” and a tool for generative AI to complete code, according to a blog post from Daniel Sturman, Roblox’s chief technology officer.
You can get an idea of how they’ll work in this short video, which I’ve also embedded at the top of this post. In one example, somebody types in different descriptions of materials for a car, and those patterns are applied right away. In others, you can see how autocompleting code might work for things like turning on the car’s lights and making it rain in the game’s world.
The addition of generative AI tools makes some sense for Roblox. One of the key aspects of Roblox is that it offers a robust development platform that even beginners can pick up, and generative AI tools could make certain areas of game development even more approachable for creators. The more approachable Roblox’s tools are, the more people might use the platform to create hit games — and that all creates more opportunities for Roblox to make money off Robux, the platform’s currency.
Some Roblox developers are already using generative AI tools, Sturman says. “However, these off-the-shelf AI systems are not integrated with our platform and they often do not produce ‘Roblox ready’ output that requires substantial follow on work from a creator,” Sturman wrote. That said, the company is planning to create a way for third-party AI creation services to plug into its own tools, though it doesn’t have a timeline to share on that yet, spokesperson Samantha Spielman tells The Verge.
The company is already thinking about moderation, which is particularly important given Roblox’s popularity with kids. “In all cases we need to keep Roblox safe and civil,” Sturman says. “This means we need to build a fast and scalable moderation flow for all types of creation.”
Roblox also seems to be aware of potential criticisms of AI tools taking away work from humans, as Sturman says that “we need an economic system that encourages” AI creation. “Roblox stands apart as a platform with a robust creator-backed marketplace and economy, and we must extend that to support in-experience user-creators as well as AI algorithm developers,” Sturman writes. Sturman didn’t specify exactly how it will pull that off, but I suspect the company is motivated to do so; it wouldn’t be a great look if Roblox undermined its own Talent Hub with generative AI tools.
Generative AI’s full impact on game creation remains murky — GamesIndustry.biz has a great piece asking developers what they think about it — and while it seems like generative AI could offer some benefits, there are worries about how it could eliminate jobs. Roblox’s support for generative AI could be a big moment for the tech, but since its tools aren’t live yet, we’ll have to wait and see just how useful they’ll be.