Roblox is a human co-experience platform. We want our users to be worldly-wise to wits the full spectrum of social interactions in our immersive 3D experiences, with liaison on Roblox mirroring all the ways we communicate in the real world. One of the cross-functional teams towers this technology on Roblox is the User Group.

“We believe that expressive and immersive liaison is the future,” said Garima Sinha, Senior Director of Product. “We are at that juncture where the technologies that we’ve been working on for years are coming together. When you are in a virtual experience, you can see expressions. Soon, you’ll be worldly-wise to finger the soul language, the vibe of people stuff in the same room.”

The User Group’s vision is to enable one billion people to communicate, play, learn, and work together in high-quality immersive 3D experiences. “[Our vision] has stayed pretty resulting over the past three years,” said Philippe Clavel, Senior Director of Engineering. “We want to build a platform that empowers people to connect and engage together.”

But as Philippe explains, towers it in the right way is just as important as getting the technology overdue it working. “Roblox is inherently a social product. There’s still so much potential for what it can do. But we moreover have to make sure that we are towers our products in a unscratched and starchy way.”

Together, Garima and Philippe lead teams within the broader User Group at Roblox that are tackling some of Roblox’s toughest technical challenges to bring this vision to life. To learn increasingly well-nigh what they are up to, we spoke with them and two other members of the User Group: Principal Product Manager Effie Goenawan and Engineering Manager Irene Nguyen.

The Technical Challenges Overdue Virtual Liaison and Connection

Philippe reminisced on a moment from his Roblox job interview. “During my interview, CEO and Co-Founder Dave Baszucki explained to me that in the 3D world, you can be and interact with anyone. But surpassing you can do that, you must be worldly-wise to communicate effectively. Our vision is to enable and mimic real-world communication.”

By subtracting voice liaison to our Chat feature, we are getting closer to this vision. This new functionality allows users 13 and older to communicate using their voice in Roblox experiences. The technology is proximity-based and simulates realistic communication.

The User Group, including cross-functional efforts from the Safety and Engine Groups, has tackled several technical challenges to bring Chat with voice to life – one of the toughest stuff towers the architecture. “Building the technology overdue Chat with voice is inherently complex. To make it finger immersive and mirror real-world communication, we enable sound so that it is tied to your avatar’s location within a 3D space. You want others who are near you to hear you – not those far away,” said Philippe.

“On top of that, when we deploy new features, it’s to millions of users wideness the globe. We made sure to deploy this new service at the whet to guarantee that our voice servers are tropical to our users. We want you to have a good discussion wherever you are.”

Ensuring that we built this full-length with safety and civility in mind is moreover a hair-trigger technical challenge. “Our top priority is making sure that we roll out Chat with voice safely and responsibly. While we’ve once implemented robust safety features (e.g. moderation tools), we are moreover looking at technology solutions to ensure safety and civility on our platform,” said Effie.

Culture of Innovation in the User Group

While our visitor values act as a guide anyone can use to solve our technical challenges, each team brings its own collaborative and creative tideway to developing innovative solutions. Here are some of the ways that the User Group comes together to momentum a culture of innovation for Roblox.

Solving tough technical challenges is what motivates them.

Finding the right solution to technical challenges is rarely well-spoken or straightforward. Effie encourages her team to leave no stone unturned when trying to find solutions.

When it involves solving for safety and civility, “One easy solution would be to spend lots of time and resources on transmission moderation, but we are responsible for making the right decisions for our team and the business. That’s why we are starting to squint at ways that we can tackle this problem with the weightier technology solutions to support our moderation efforts.” One of those technical challenges is moderating the Chat with voice feature.

Garima and Effie discuss a recent project

Garima Sinha with colleague Effie Goenawan reservation up outside of our offices

“We need to be worldly-wise to snift and take whoopee in real time to ensure the safety of our community,” said Garima. “These are nonflexible technical problems that no one in the industry has solved yet. What makes the culture of our team unique is that we all have the momentum to make it happen. We are solving some of the hardest problems in the world. And our people take a lot of pride in solving these nonflexible problems.”

Iteration is what helps them develop unconfined solutions.

Even when facing blockers, the User Group has kept its eye on the ball. For Irene Nguyen, developing MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) and proofs of concept is part of the process. As an Engineering Manager on the Connections Team within the User Group, Irene supports users’ skills to connect, experience, and create memories with friends. One technical rencontre her team is helping to solve is enabling video capture functionality within the Roblox platform. Her team’s goal is to enable users to quickly and hands share unconfined moments from Roblox with their friends.

“What are our current limitations in video quality? What does this midpoint wideness devices? Performance? We want to build it right and build it for all.” Identifying where to uncork can be overwhelming, but maintaining an iterative mindset helps Irene and her team wastefulness priorities and forward momentum.

“We need to identify our starting point, be well-spoken well-nigh our vision, and then lay out the steps needed to build an MVP that will get us there. By pursuit that process, the team is worldly-wise to see and get really pumped well-nigh what’s possible.” She recalls, “some people equate an MVP with a hack or workaround solution. Instead, I think of it as a way for us to prove the viability of whatever we’re working on. Iteration is how we end up with a unconfined solution.”

Open liaison and collaboration enable anyone to share new ideas and problem solve.

What is the secret to sparking innovation wideness the team? Philippe thinks that it’s fostering a bottom-up minutiae culture, encouraging unshut communication, and asking the right questions.

“You don’t rent smart people to tell them what to do. You rent smart people, so they tell you. As a manager, my job is to help our team by asking constructive questions,” said Philippe. “This style has helped our team seek largest solutions and unzip results. Asking questions allows our team members to think well-nigh things differently. I find that they speak up well-nigh their perspectives. And most importantly, they openly share when they disagree.”

Recently, Philippe’s team debated how they should render spatial audio (the technology powering Chat with voice). “Say that you’re in the wits with your avatar. Should we render the audio as if it is coming to your avatar’s ears or to the game camera? There was a very strong treatise for both ways, so we solved for both and voted on what felt best. And, in true Roblox fashion, we moreover indulge developers to customize it and transpiration the default setting.

Philippe Clavel & Irene Nguyen discussing a recent project

The User Group has moreover started to host internal tech talks to foster liaison and collaboration. In Irene’s words, “We take pride in knowledge-sharing wideness the various teams in the User Group. They [tech talks] are a way that we all stay unfluctuating and share what’s happening wideness our team. Doing this has led us to tackling other big questions.”

These tech talks have had other benefits, expressly for junior members. Anyone is worldly-wise to practice their public speaking skills, show off what they’ve been building, and plane get real-time feedback.

“There can never be too many forums for people to showcase what they’re building,” says Irene. “We’re hoping to expand the tech talks and make them plane worthier in 2023.”

Join the Team Helping to Shape the Future of Human Connection and Communication.

The User Group has would-be plans for 2023. So what are some of the reasons that you’d want to join the team? For Effie, it’s the opportunity to make an impact. “The problem space that you have the potential to impact is huge. Whether it’s technical, machine learning, optimization, user experience, or plane policy, we’re leaders in an industry where there is such a greenfield of problems that have never been solved.”

Want to learn increasingly well-nigh what the User Group is working on? Tune in to the latest Roblox Tech Talks Podcast to listen to a conversation between Garima and CEO Dave Baszucki on the future of liaison on Roblox.

Team Overdue the Tech is a behind-the-scenes squint at how our teams tackle their toughest technical challenges and what it reveals well-nigh the culture, people, and values overdue our innovative technologies. If these sound like the challenges and opportunities you want to take on, trammels out our misogynist roles for the User Group and learn increasingly at

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