Introduction to AMA #6
Gribbly: Hey everyone! This is Gribbly here. We're back for AMA #6. Thank you for all the questions (reddit thread). A lot of good stuff in there. We're gonna do the top 20. And this time I've got HairyManLegs helping me out with videoing and asking me questions. So let's get into it.
Future Ink Costs
HairyManLegs: JayOnRR asked: What are the plans regarding ink cost in custom rooms? Will it ever be increased or will the circuits cost less someday?
Gribbly: JayOnRR, thank you for the question. So, will the ink costs be increased? Well, we can make it more expensive if that's what you want. However, I think what you're actually asking is, you know, will you get more ink space in a room, so you can have more stuff. We definitely want to do that; it's definitely on our radar. I think where you'll see the first improvement is in circuits; so, you know, chips and gizmos and stuff like that are more expensive than we want them to be. We're looking into that now. So, I think the first place you'll see an improvement in ink cost is in the circuit system. So, stay tuned for that.
HairyManLegs: Oh, that took a lot of health. Second question is from JayOnRR again. Rec Royale Season 2: when?
Gribbly: Okay, Rec Royale Season 2: when? All right, Jay. So, honestly, we've kind of been changing our thinking on this, you know. I think when we first shipped Rec Royale, you know, our intent was, like, hey, maybe we'll do like a Fortnite-style seasons system. I think it's pretty clear, we haven't kept up with that; it's been a little while since season 1; many seasons have passed since season 1. And I think we're kind of changing our thinking because, like, we've shipped on the Quest; we're shipping on iOS; we've kind of expanded to a bunch of new platforms, and we didn't design the original Rec Royale for that. It's like actually really hard to port it to Quest. So I think rather than Rec Royale Season 2, what we're gonna do is Rec Royale 2 - so I think we'll revisit that game-type, but we're gonna build a new map kind of from the ground up that's designed to run on all of our platforms much better. So, that means everyone should get better performance; everyone can play; it'll be cross-platform in the way we want it to be. But that's kind of a little kind of a shift in strategy from instead of going Season 1 - Season 2 will go Rec Royale – Rec Royale 2. As for timing, I don't want to say anything; it'll just be completely made up. So, yeah, just know that's kind of our plan when - hey I climbed over the wall; I'm coming to get you, Harry – yeah, yeah, I think we'll skip season 2 and just go straight to Rec Royale #2 I think. So, yeah. Thank you for the question.
Upgrading Unity Game Engine
HairyManLegs: All right, next question we got is from IKillPigeons: I'm sure upgrading Unity isn't exactly a quick process, but do you have any plans to take a step soon. The version we've been on is a bit of a pain. In some areas, there are stutters and focus required Rec Room’s desktop window.
Gribbly: Yeah, right. Okay. IKillPigeons, thank you for the question. Yes so upgrading Unity is definitely something we want to do. We know we've been on this version for a while and, yeah, the “Rec Room requires focus” on the PC version is a huge pain in the butt. We don't like it any more than you do, so, yeah, we definitely want to upgrade. We've looked into it. We see that there are a bunch of good improvements that are available in the newer versions of Unity. One thing that we got to figure out is, you know, it requires us to do some work on our basic lighting system. We kind of wrote it with the previous version of Unity we need to - it's not a crazy amount of work but we do need to do some kind of upgrading and changing to the way lighting works. So, it's gonna take a little bit of time and we've been really busy with other stuff. So, yeah, we're gonna get on that soon and we're hoping that that will come with a lot of like long-standing bugs that have been, you know, with us for a while. Maybe some performance upgrades. But, yeah, we've got to spend probably a few weeks upgrading the lighting system to be compatible with the new Unity. So, that's why there's been a delay there. But we'll be on that soon.
Plans for 2020
HairyManLegs: Dragon Rat Tiger asks: moving forward into 2020 what’s your guys main plans of attack: More activities? More porting? More tools? More optimizing? What can both players and creators possibly expect to see next year?
Gribbly: DragonRatTiger. Okay. Yeah, thanks for the question. So, first of all, I cannot believe it's 2020, like, oh my goodness, like, how did that happen? So, that's crazy that it's already 2020, but I think the answer to your question is more of the above - all of the above I should say. So, yeah, we're definitely gonna build more activities; we got a bunch of cool stuff planned that we want to bring out. And definitely more tools for creators. And really the way we're thinking about it increasingly, we're kind of trying to, like, work on those two things simultaneously. So if you think about the way we shipped Stunt Runner a couple of months back. That was a kind of the first time that we really tried to do a game that was like a really fun game first and foremost that worked on all the platforms that we’re on, you know, worked on Quest; it worked on Vive; it worked on Oculus; it works on PC, PlayStation; it works on the phone, you know, we really want to make sure everything works everywhere. But then it also generated a whole bunch of new UGC tools and new capabilities like climbing and wall running and sliding and, you know, the animation tool, a whole bunch of stuff. So, increasingly, what you can expect us to do is kind of build games that simultaneously are kind of pushing forward the creation tools and, so, I think 2020, you'll see us do a lot of that like shipping a new game that's a new thing to play; that's, you know, we want to make it really, really fun, and really, really cool, but that also, you know, expands the capability of what creators can build, because I think that's the kind of way we kind of really build this thing out because, like, we can make so much cool stuff, but when we hand it off to, you know, you all, you can make even more amazing stuff and just an endless amount of it. So, I think, you'll see us do both of those things next year. So, yeah, definitely more activities, definitely more tools, well, you know, we're gonna try and optimize things as best we can. We kind of talked about, you know, I think upgrading Unity will be a big piece of that. But, yeah, I think that's what 2020 looks like.
AI/Enemies in Custom Rooms
HairyManLegs: All right, another question from IKillPigeons. I know you guys don't have a long-term plan for this kind of things, but is there any news you can give us for AI in custom rooms, something towards the top of the priority list or perhaps even being worked on?
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, IKP, thank you for the question. So, yeah, AI in custom rooms. I know that's something we talked about a bunch earlier in the year, and then, you know, kind of we didn't actually ship it or anything like that. But, yeah, definitely still on the radar. So, I think the way that's going to show up first is, you know, I think the simple version is, you can place our quest enemies in your rooms, and kind of configure them a little bit, and have them work; so, you know, the goblins and the flying robots from Jumbotron. And obviously we want to get towards, you, know, fully customizable AI that you can decorate the way you want. Definitely on the roadmap, you know, it's, you know, a huge piece of like the next evolution of custom games in Rec Room. What I can say is: it's not going to be in the very next thing we ship; it could possibly be in the one after that, but it's not going to be the next one. So, definitely on the roadmap. I feel pretty comfortable saying, you know, 2020 for sure, but won't be the very next thing we do. There's a bunch of other cool stuff we're gonna do first. All right, thank you for the question.
HairyManLegs: All right, so this is gonna be a five-part question. It comes from Funky_Sandwich.
Gribbly: Five-part question!
HairyManLegs: Yeah, that's quite a bit.
Gribbly: That's kind of cheating but all right.
HairyManLegs: The first question is: Can there please be a big update targeting performance issues. The stutters are very annoying.
Gribbly: Okay, yeah, all right, so, yeah, update regarding performance. So, yes, sorry about that. We know it sucks when the game chugs and stuff like that. Yeah, that's like, you know, we kind of talked about it a couple of questions ago, we hope to upgrade Unity soon. We expect to get some performance benefit out of that, and we're always trying to optimize things. I think, you know, one thing is, like, we probably won't be able to optimize everything because a bunch of Rec Room was built, you know, before the Quest shipped. It was built, you know, before we really knew what kind of hardware we were going to need to run on, and so it might not be possible to get everything completely optimized because it just wasn't built for it, but our goal is everything we build moving forward is going to run smoothly on on all the platforms. So, yeah, I think the next tick of that clock is upgrading Unity and seeing how much of a performance boost we get out of that, and then we'll kind of, like, see where we are and see if we need to do more.
Future #RRO Activities
HairyManLegs: The second question is: Will 2020 have more official activities and quests. I want more enemies to smack around.
Gribbly: I mean, so, yeah, I think we covered that a little bit in the previous question or a couple of questions ago. Yeah, 2020 we'll definitely be doing new activities. You'll definitely get new enemies to smack around. Don't worry about it, Funky_Sandwich.
Surprise-Me Button for Random Outfits
HairyManLegs: The third question is: Can you bring back the surprise-me button? It was so much fun to randomize outfits. Why'd you take it out?
Gribbly: Hang on ... let me answer this question this way. [Gribbly changes outfit.] So, the surprise-me button. Can you have random outfits? Maybe. Yeah, I mean, so, honestly, like, that was actually an interesting one to read because it's, like, I guess we figured, no one really used the surprise-me button. So, thank you for that feedback. I'll pass that on to the team that works on the avatar and store stuff and let them know that people actually do want to be surprised and we'll see how we go.
HairyManLegs: Gribbly with a beard? That's a "yes" from me.
Gribbly: All right, I’m back!
HairyManLegs: Oh, there you go.
Upgrading Unity Game Engine
HairyManLegs: Question four: Will you update the Unity soon? Unity 2019 performs way better.
Gribbly: Okay, yeah, we hope so. We kind of talked about that a couple of questions ago; definitely on the roadmap to upgrade Unity. I don't have an exact timeframe. I keep kind of, like, staring intently at the engineers so that they'll tell me, but they just ignore me like they always do. So, yeah, we're with you. We know, we need to upgrade Unity. We hope, we get a bunch of nice bug fixes and perf out of that. But, yeah, we'll see.
HairyManLegs: And the last question from Funky_Sandwich: what is Gramps' backstory?
Gribbly: What's Gramps' backstory? Okay, well, like, Gramps is the original stunt runner, you know, so, I think it's fair to say, Gramps is a stunt running legend. I think he really pioneered the sport, you know. I actually went and talked to him and see if he had any comment for this question. And what he said was, he was, like: I was stunt running before you were walking. And I think what he meant was that he was stunt running when Rec Room was teleport-only, which was quite an innovation. So, uh, yeah, that's Gramps: stunt running legend.
HairyManLegs: Okay, freshclover asks: How is the clubhouse 2.0 update progress?
Gribbly: Okay, all right, freshclover, thank you for the question. So, honestly, pretty slowly. You know, we've been focused on getting the game running on iOS. So, we haven't been, you know, too focused on clubhouses for the last couple of months. That said, we have made some progress. So, clubhouses - for anyone who hasn't heard me talk about this before - is, you know, as the Rec Room community grows, we've, you know, been finding that, you know, we get people who kind of mainly want to play PvP games or people who mainly want to build stuff, or people who mainly want to just hang out in spaces. So, we want to make it easy for people to find like-minded groups of people that they can hang out with, which is like a club, right? Right, so we want you to be able to create your own club houses, invite people, have members, do all that kind of crazy stuff, and we've been working on that for a while. So, you might, you may have noticed that we earlier in the year, we shipped some moderation tools for, like, the Rec Center. So, there's now mods in the Rec Center. We shipped our room bans. So, if you're a room owner, you can have your own ban list that's specific to your room. We did things like the instance browser, a bunch of other moderation tools; the mod permission level. It may not look like it, but those are all kind of like foundational pieces of the clubhouses system. So, we're slowly but surely kind of working towards that, and we hope that in the new year, we'll actually ship the "hey, you can have a physical clubhouse"; you can have a kind of list, and we'll kind of actually roll out the feature for real. But we are slowly but surely working towards it. We still believe very much that that's a important part of building out the Rec Room community. So, thank you for the question.
Copying and Customizing Quests
HairyManLegs: StevieJayDee asks: Is there a chance we will be given permissions to use maker pens in copied versions of quests?
Gribbly: Okay, StevieJayDee, good question. So, I think the short answer is: I wouldn't hold your breath. The quests were kind of built in a somewhat funky way compared to some of the other rooms in Rec Room and we sort of built them before we knew that we wanted to do, like, base rooms and share them with people. So, they don't quite work right to be shared as base rooms. That's kind of why you haven't been able to just like take one of the rooms out of quests and, like, build a custom room in it. So, you probably won't be able to customize quests with your maker pen anytime soon. It's not impossible for us to do so - "Never Say Never". It's just a little bit inconvenient, and we probably want to work on some other things first. That said, I kind of want to just sort of, like, make it clear that, like, getting to the point where players can build quests that are the equivalent to ours in terms of visual quality, in terms of gameplay quality. That's a really, really important goal for us as we build out the creation tools, so, you know, when we're talking internally about, you know, how are we designing the tools? What kind of features are we going to work on? We often think how can we make it so that, you know, a talented creative player out there can build something like Crescendo? Can build something like Isle of Lost Skulls? Build something like Jumbotron? You know, that's our goal and, you know, we've already seen some absolutely amazing player-created quest-like experiences. In fact, we're kind of standing in one right now: ^BattleCruiserDown; amazing if you haven't tried it. But, you know, there's certain things that as a Rec Room creator ... there's certain things that we can do internally that you can't do yet. So, we're kind of actively working on reducing the gap between what we can do and what you can do; but, yeah, that probably doesn't include customizing our quests in the near future. I think we're going to go straight to: you can just build your own quests from scratch.
HairyManLegs: rebel_infusionyt asked: will there ever be a 2x token weekends? That would be great.
Gribbly: Okay, rebel_infusionyt, thank you for the question. The answer is: no, probably not. What we have kind of talked about doing - I talked to BeeBoz about this - and what he said was, what we'll look at in the new year is probably things like maybe supporting sales in the stores. So, you can, like, get things when they're on special. Or maybe things like discounts for, like, if you want to buy a whole outfit at once, you can get a token discount on that. So, I think we would probably go in that direction of, like, making things kind of cheaper or discounted or on sale as opposed to doing a 2x token weekend or something like that. Yeah, thanks for the question.
Slow Stunt Runner Bug
HairyManLegs: All right, and a question from VoltZ_Quantum, he asked: How close are we to a Unity patch and when will the bugs be fixed in Stunt Runner, like the error that makes your character kind of stutter move so you start walking super slow.
Gribbly: Yeah, yeah, yeah, all right, VoltZ_Quantum, thank you, for the question. Unity, I think we covered a couple of questions ago. You know, we know, we need to get to that. We've got to do some work on our lighting. So, it'll be a little bit. On the slowdown thing. So, yes, so, we've been hearing about the slowdown thing since we shipped Stunt Runner. Sorry about that. We know, it's a nasty bug when it happens. So, yes, some players experience, you kind of, like, feel like you're trying to run through molasses and everything's kind of jerky and slow and it totally sucks. Yeah, it took us a while; we weren't able to kind of actually reproduce that bug for a while, but we finally got it to happen. So we're able to see it. What we've learned is: it only affects some PC players. So, you know, people on PlayStation and stuff or on Quest are not seeing it. But, yes, and we've been able to reproduce it, we've actually figured out what's going on. We now know how to fix it. It is kind of a somewhat complicated fix. It actually means we've got to go in and make a few tweaks to the low-level physics. Totally something we can do; totally something we're gonna do, and it actually has some nice other side benefits. It was just a little bit risky to do right now when we're trying to ship on a new platform. So, we kind of just delayed it a little bit, but a fix is coming for that, and I will tell you it is coming soon(TM).
HairyManLegs: Next question comes from RRSarahLynn. She asks: Will we ever see a schedule or a map of development plans?
Gribbly: Oh, okay, okay, RRSarahLynn, good question, thank you. So, yes, yeah, this is, like, a question for, like, you know, a development roadmap. I think we got a couple of these in the AMA thread. So, probably not. I think that's for the simple reason that we're a very kind of ready-fire-aim team, you know. We're very kind of, like, flexible and we go off to opportunities when we see them, and we change our plans a lot. So, I worry that if we published a road map that is "here is what the next six months will look like", it would be almost completely false, you know, within like three weeks. So, I don't know how useful it would really be. So, instead we've been thinking about, like, how can we communicate a little better about what we're doing and what we're going to be working on and what's coming soon. So, I think things we want to do are, like, get back to doing more of these AMAs, you know, I know, it's been a while since I've done one of these; I got kind of busy, so I'm sorry about that. I actually really enjoy doing these, and now that I got Harry helping me, it's gonna be much easier. So, we'll do these more regularly. We're gonna do one of these at least once a month. We're gonna do an AMA and so we can kind of cover, like, hey, here's what we're thinking about next, here's what we think is coming, here's what we're not going to do, etc. etc. That's one thing. We're also going to do more town halls. We did a creative town hall not so long ago. So, we're kind of doing more of those just meeting up in Rec Room, talking to people directly. We've also been looking at maybe doing, like, some times on the discord, we're just, like, we'll be sure that there's some devs on discord to, like, handle questions, and things like that. So, we'll just be jumping on in there, and then the last is we've got recroom.canny.io . I think Harry will show us the link somewhere around here, and that's a great place; like, we know that we haven't always been on top of updating that we recently talked about it. We're gonna, like, really try and redouble our efforts to make sure that the canny is kept up-to-date and is a good reflection of what we're actually working on and what's coming next. So, yeah, make sure you check out the canny and give us feedback. Let us know how we're doing and we'll be on top of keeping that up-to-date. So, that'll be a much better place to know what's happening. Okay, so a great question. So, we probably won't publish a static road map, but we will kind of redouble our efforts to make sure that we're talking to you all on a regular basis.
Cosmetics Covering Faces
HairyManLegs: Hyperhexjoe asked: Can we ever get cosmetics that entirely cover our face, like mouth bandanas, masks, gas masks, etc.
Gribbly: All right, Hyperhexjoe, thank you for the question. So, I talked to Cloud about this, you know, he kind of does all about avatar design and kind of makes sure everything's looking cool, and he said: probably not. You know, we really value being sure everyone can see each other's face because we think it, like, really helps things be social, and it helps kind of keep people, like, you know, feeling connected with the other players. So, I don't think in the avatar items that we sell in the stores or that you can get from playing the game, I don't think, we'll give you fully face covering things there. That said, we are very interested in continuing to expand and make and enhance the costume system, so that when you go to a room and the room has custom costumes, we want you to be able to do increasingly crazy things, and make them look really cool and for them we would let you, like, you know, completely cover the face or turn you into a giant scorpion or whatever you want there. But for the default Rec-Room avatar, we want to make sure, you can always see the face so that you can do stuff like this. [Gribbly shows face expression.]
Wave-Based #RRO Game
HairyManLegs: All right, I hope I'm pronouncing this right, CrungusMungo asked: Any update on the wave-based PvE or whatever the next PvE activity will be? Will it be at all related to AI for custom rooms?
Gribbly: Okay, so that was from CrungusMungo?
HairyManLegs: I believe so, yes.
Gribbly: CrungusMungo, all right, that's a heck of a name, CrungusMungo. I love it. So, yeah, so, we talked early in the year about a kind of, you know, PvE wave-based game that was going to do AI stuff. That one is definitely still our roadmap. We're definitely being actively thinking about that and, like I talked about earlier, making it so that you can put AI in custom rooms is high priority. Definitely something that's coming; but here's what I can say: I have to be a little bit vague because I talked to the team working on it, and I'm not allowed to, like, give any spoilers. So, what I can say is that's not the next thing we're doing. The next thing we're doing is something a little different. So, don't think it's the next thing you'll see. Maybe it's the thing after that; we're not sure. But, yeah, great question. It's definitely still something that's on our plans, but we're gonna do something else first - he said vaguely.
Lyrics of Theme Song
HairyManLegs: Okay, FrankyXop437 asked: What are the lyrics to the Rec Room theme song? I think someone has asked this before.
Gribbly: Franky, all right. Yeah, I've never had this question before. So, the exact lyrics are: Some body once told me the world is gonna ... the lyrics ... I'm not telling what the lyrics ... we've covered this question before. Franky, come on, watch the old AMAs. You'll get it. In the meantime I'm gonna drink some mead.
AFK Farming in Laser Tag
HairyManLegs: So, this four-part question comes from 2Profound. All right, so the first question is: Is there any work being done to mitigate AFK farming in Laser Tag?
Gribbly: Okay, okay, well, like, first of all, these multi-part questions: totally cheating, and we're gonna ban them next AMA. So, you're getting away with it - was it 2Profound? - 2Profound, you're getting away with this time, but don't get used to it. All right, question one was: Are we gonna do anything to mitigate AFK farming in Laser Tag? So, I talked to the Laser Tag folks, to see what was up with this issue; and it sounds like, yeah, we have a bug that is kind of making it easier to farm tickets than it should be. So, we're gonna take a look at it, and and we'll make that better. So, yeah, thank you for the heads-up on that one.
Moderation in All Rooms
HairyManLegs: The second question is: Will there ever be a moderation system for individual activities such as the aforementioned Laser Tag similar to Rec Center hall monitors?
Gribbly: Got it. Oh, yeah. So, yes, the question is: Do we ever have a similar moderation system in Laser Tag that we, you know, we put in the Rec Center. So, yeah, I mean ultimately the idea is that all rooms can have a moderation structure, and it's up to the owner of the room to decide if they want to have mods, how many mods they want to have, what kind of powers they want the mods to have, like, maybe they got instant kick, maybe they don't, you know, or whatever, maybe they can create other mods, maybe they can't. So, the idea is that, you know, like each room can have its own sort of mod structure and its own kind of, like, moderation tone and strictness level. So, yeah, ultimately we do want every room to have the moderation structure. So, yeah, that would in the fullness of time include Laser Tag. So, yeah, great question.
New Content in 2020
HairyManLegs: All right; third question is gonna be: What new content can we expect for 2020?
Gribbly: Oh, what new content. I also feel like we kind of covered this one earlier. You know, so, the answer is, you know, I don't give away too many specifics because I'll get punched in the back of the neck by the game team. They want it to be a surprise when they roll out there next thing. But I will say, they're working on something super, super cool, that I'm very, very excited about. So, you can expect us to see making more things like Stunt Runner, you know, they won't all be exactly Stunt Runner but different types of games that do three things: They are really fun games to play; that, you know, kind of give you new fun cool stuff to do in Rec Room. 2) They're cross-platform; they work on every device that we're on. So, Quest players, you know, you'll be able to play everything, VR players, phone players, PlayStation players, everybody's welcome. And then the 3rd thing is: they create new creative tools. So, just like Stunt Runner did with climbing and wall running and animation tools and a whole bunch of other stuff, bouncepads ... Each new thing we do will come with the ability to use some of those new features that are in that game or that content that we do to use in your own rooms. So, that's what 2020 is gonna look like: new games, cross-platform, that come with new creative tools.
Repeat Weekly Challenges
HairyManLegs: And the last question from 2Profound: Can we please, please get any sort of compensation for completing the repeat weekly? As of now, the game essentially punishes you for being an active long-term player.
Gribbly: Okay, yeah, so, I went and talked to BeeBoz about this question because that's his department, you know, the tokens and and stores and all that kind of stuff. And, what he said was, he was, like, yeah, we've got some ideas, you know, we know that, like, players who are repeating weeklies, you know, should probably get something. He does have some ideas how to do it. What he said was, he said, ask people what ideas we could have to kind of make the weekly system a little more appealing, because he said, actually, if you look at the numbers, not that many people complete the weeklies. It's actually a fairly small population overall that go through all of the weeklies. So, if we saw more people engaging with the system, it's kind of easier for us to justify, kind of, going and doing, you know, more work to upgrade it. So, we'd love to hear ideas there. So, hit us up in the reddit, hit us up in the discord. We do have some ideas for how to address that, but, yeah, we kind of like to think through ways that we could get people more interested in using that system.
HairyManLegs: MagesticLlama1 asked: Any paintball updates in the future? Maps, weapons, and game modes etc.
HairyManLegs: So, this will be a three-part question from SoulFoxGaming. The first question will be: Will we see the Rec Royale Season 2 anytime soon?
Gribbly: Okay, yeah, I think Rec Royale Season 2, I think we talked about in an earlier question. So, no, I don't think, we're gonna do the season model. We did originally plan to do that, but clearly, we have not kept up with that. So, what you will see is an update of Rec Royale - probably be Rec Royale 2 - that's a new island or a new experience that's going to be made to work on the Quest and all of our platforms, you know, much better, because I doubt we can ever get the current Rec Royal working well on the Quest. So, yeah, I think you'll see Rec Royale 2, as opposed to Rec Royal Season 2.
Box of Tacos
HairyManLegs: Will we ever see a box of tacos become a food item for us to enjoy?
Gribbly: Will we ever see a box of tacos? Um, yes, probably. I gotta say, though, it would have to be corn tortillas because I was talking to the team, and they said they have some - hey - they said they have some corn-themed things planned. So, I'm assuming that's probably corn tortillas. I don't know.
Favorite Thing About Rec Room
HairyManLegs: Lastly, what has been your favorite thing about Rec Room this year?
Gribbly: Okay, that's a great question. So, I thought about, man, there's been so many fun things this year, like, you know, it's always crazy building out Rec Room and, you know, meeting people in the community and seeing the crazy things that people build. So, it's really hard to pick, you know, one thing. So, I came up with three things that I think are my three favorite things that happened this year. So, one was, you know, we shipped Stunt Runner, you know, and I got to take a moment to say, you know, the team did such an incredible job, I think, with that game, you know, we asked them to do, hey, make a new game, make it cross-platform, and make it so that you can use a bunch of the functionality to, you know, so that people can use that in their own rooms, and they just knocked it out of the park in my opinion. So, huge props to the Rec Room team - just best in the game; love working with this crew. So, that said, yeah, we shipped Stunt Runner and so I was really excited. It was really fun to see people, you know, playing it and being excited, and, so, I went home and I put on my quest, and I was like, oh, I want to check out what people built with the new mechanics. And, so, it was like maybe 48 hours later, there was all these, like, climbing rooms and, like, you know, rock climbing things, so, yes, it was, like, you know, within 48 hours of shipping Stunt Runner, there was all these like rock climbing rooms and they're all like, you know, fantasy things that are like two kilometers tall, and so it's like, you know, in my living room with the Quest just like climbing all these crazy rooms and I was just like, man, this is so fun that people are already building this incredible stuff, and I was, like, falling off and freaking out because I'm, like, falling down like hundreds of meters and, like, it's really scary. And when I got to like a summit, I met these, like, really cool people from Europe who were just hanging out, and they were just like, you know, I just got chatting with them. And, man, to me that's what Rec Room is really all about, you know. It's, like, we try and ship the coolest things that we can, so that everyone gets to play it. Then people get to remix that stuff and build their own stuff with it. And then on top of that, you just kind of get to hang out with cool people from all around the world, like, that is honestly the dream of Rec Room. So, like, in that moment I was, like, this is what we're trying to do, you know, like, it was just an incredible moment that I was so proud of the team and so excited about what was going on. And looking forward to 2020, I think that's just what it's going to be over and over and over again; certainly, I hope. That was one.
The second one was: I was able to take my family who live in Australia through the game. So, they got a Quest and for the first time, they were really able to experience Rec Room and hang out with me. And, so, it was really, really crazy, like, just real fun time. I took my mom on a guided tour of Rec Room for the first time. And she was just, like, freaking out. She's like: what is going on here? This is the craziest thing, you know, interacting with all you crazy people. Which is, you know, you can imagine. And we just stumbled on this room that was, like, it was like a role-playing doctor's office - I forgot the name of the room unfortunately - but, uh, we just turned up and it was staffed by these, like, really nice people; I think they were, like, Canadian or something. And they were just hanging out, like, being the nurses and the doctors. So, I had to sign in - I had to, like, sign my name on the clipboard, and like they called me to go into the examination room - it's just hilarious to be there with my actual real-life mum because she was, like, I was role-playing, like, they're sticking syringes in me, and they're doing x-rays on me. I'm like yelling and screaming and being an idiot, and my mum's just being like a concerned mother, she's like: Oh, are you okay? Oh, oh, my goodness! It was just the most hilarious and surreal thing. So, I was, like, really glad, I got to share that with her. That was a favorite moment for me.
And then, I think the last thing, you know, the third thing was, you know, recently I've been spending a fair bit of time playing the game on the phone. And we've kind of got the creation tools working on phone now on iOS. And, so, with the touch screen and the touch controls, it's actually really, really fun to build stuff on the phone. And, so, I've been getting absorbed, like, customizing my dorm and just spending like half an hour, just sitting on my phone, like, building stuff. And I'm, like, this is really cool, like, I can come back tomorrow in my Quest and, like, visit the space I built, and I can share it with other people. I can press one button and everyone can kind of come to the things I built. That just felt really exciting to me. I spent about half an hour customizing my dorm while I was having a bath, and I was, like, well, this is crazy.
So, yes, I think those three things: just seeing what people did immediately with the Stunt Runner tools, and then, yeah, hanging out with my family, and just going to, you know, some of the crazy, crazy surreal rooms that people built and sharing that with the family, and then, yeah, customizing my dorm room in the bath. I think those are my top three Rec Room moments this year. But there's, honestly, there's been so many. It's like the Fall Room Festival, the music videos that people are making. There's too much, Harry, how do I pick?
HairyManLegs: I don't know; you tell us.
Gribbly: I just did.
HairyManLegs: Oh god, you're right.
Gribbly: The key thing is: we love you all; we love that people play Rec Room; we can't wait for 2020, and for all the crazy things, we're gonna do together.
Too Many Children, Harassment, and Bugs
HairyManLegs: sissylyne asked: There's been a lot of outcry from long-term players about too many children, harassment, and too many bugs (stuttering, crashes, falling through floors, slowdowns, multiple creative bugs). I know you hope to fix a lot of the social issues with club houses. The players all have specific and different areas they love and everyone is screaming at you to fix specific parts. When you devote a good portion of the team to one task, the other players grow unruly in their preferred area. How do you convince long-term players to not leave through the growing pains of trying to monetize the game and being a small team?
Gribbly: Yeah, good question. So, yeah, okay, so there's a lot in that question. So, let me try and go through it all. So, like, so, first of all, yeah, I mean people do kind of, you know, they yell at us a little bit, you know, when there's bugs or when there's stuff going on that they don't like, and that's totally fair. Look, we got really thick skin, you know. Ultimately, we'd much rather hear the feedback than not. So, even if sometimes, you know, we've got to take our lumps and people are gonna, you know, tell us that we're doing a bad job, you know, fair enough, like, you know, for bugs and things that break. And when things are running slow, yeah, please yell at us, you know, we deserve it. We're always trying to do better. So, we'd much rather hear about it than not, and we know it's frustrating when there's bugs or slowdowns. We do our best, you know, but, yeah, we do try and do a lot. So, yeah, we don't always, like, fix things as quickly as we probably should. So, we apologize for that. We're definitely always gonna try and do better. And I'll talk a little bit about that in a second.
Let me talk a little bit about, you know, the kids and the harassment stuff. So, from my perspective, like, I don't really, you know, I don't think, I would really frame it as there's too many kids in Rec Room. What I think of is, it's kind of, like - what you alluded to with the clubhouses and things - it's not so much that there's too many kids or there's too many of this kind of player, it's more like can you find like-minded people that you want to spend time with? That you want to hang out with, or are you forced to hang out with people that you'd rather not? So, I think that's what clubhouses is intended to address. And I know, I've been talking about it for a while. It's taking a lot to get out there. But, like, I said in the previous answer, you know, that you're starting to see pieces of it coming into place like the Rec Center mods, like the room bans, and like the instance browsers. So, we are definitely headed to a world where you're going to be able to find like-minded players to hang out with. And if you don't want to hang out with kids, go join a club that's, like, adults-only. You'll be fine. So, yeah, I would frame it as - not there's too many kids - I would frame it as, it's too hard to find the group that you want to hang out with. So, that's what we're going to focus on.
Then, in terms of harassment. Yeah, like, there's always more work to do there, you know. We, you know, we always hate to hear of anyone having a negative experience in Rec Room. We really want it to be a fun and welcoming environment for people from all walks of life. That is always our goal. So, yeah, you know, you've seen us make some investments again, like with things, like, we wanted to focus on the Rec Center because that was - when we looked at the numbers - the highest number of reports of any room in the game was in the Rec Center. So, we wanted to focus on getting that kind of improved; especially because it's, like, often the first place that people go. We wanted that to be improved. So, we think, we're improving with the Rec Center mods. I'm sure there's more we can do. We're always going to focus on that. And I just want to take a moment to say thank you to people who use the reporting feature. So, if you encounter someone who's violating the code of conduct, please, take a moment to report them. We do act on those reports. We have the community team active at all times. We're always taking action against accounts that break the rules. So, we take that stuff really, really seriously. It will never be perfect, you know, like, we like to see: humans going to human; you know, when you bring people together from all around the world, there's going to be a certain amount of friction, a certain amount of behavior that goes on that not everyone's going to love. But we want to make sure that it's fun and welcoming for everybody. So, we will always strive to do our best. And we always appreciate feedback - even if it's harsh, you know, never hesitate. Just give us both barrels. We'll do our best to address it.
On the last part. Yeah, it's definitely true, you know, this year, we've felt the squeeze a little bit, you know, when we were, like, focusing on shipping on the Quest earlier in the year, you know, we didn't really ship any new games, I think during that time in the, you know, many months that we were focused on porting the game to the Quest, you know. And then recently, as we've been focused on getting the game working on iOS, you know, we haven't put much time into, you know, bringing some of the older content onto the Quest, you know. Although, as an aside, we probably will never be able to bring all the content onto the Quest. There's just some stuff that's just too heavy - that just was not designed for such a low-power platform, but, you know, it's definitely true that we focus on one thing, that means, we're putting less emphasis on something else. And a lot of that is a function of we've been a pretty small team. And that's the part where I can mention: we're hiring, you know, we've been growing the team as a result of, you know, thankfully people seem to really enjoy playing Rec Room. We're always seeing more players come on, which is fantastic, but it does mean that, you know, there's a lot of stuff to do. So, we've been fortunate to bring on some really talented new people over the last couple of months. So, the team's grown a bit, and, so, I should say, we're hiring. Please check out recroom.com/jobs. Come work with us if you're a talented developer - you know Unity, you love rec room, you love social games, you love creative games - come talk to us. We definitely need people. We definitely need talented folks who can help us build this crazy thing. But, yeah, thanks for the question, and, yeah, never hesitate to give us feedback - positive, negative, anything in between that's how we get better.
HairyManLegs: All right, the last question we have is from Pan Knight. He asked: Any plans for finger tracking?
Gribbly: Oh, okay, good question, Pan. I would say: no, not in the short term. You know, our kind of goal with Rec Room is to get to the maximum number of players possible. You know, so, we're kind of, like, going across platform or on every device we can try and be on. So, that means we're, like, kind of not going to be the first to adopt anything that's only available to a small subset of users. So, I think what we'll do with things like finger tracking, which is a very cool feature, I think, we'll let Valve really lead the charge on that one. You know, with things like, you know, just today was announced Half-Life: Alyx, which looks absolutely amazing. I think that's going to make really good use of the finger tracking on the Index. So, I think we really want to see a lot of excitement around that. And when a few more of them are out there and we see more players have that hardware, so we could be confident, like, hey, a lot of people are going to get to experience this, I think that's when you'll see us experiment with things like finger tracking. In the short term, I think we want to focus on things that all of our players can enjoy - whether or not they have, like, Index controllers or something like that. So, yeah, no, not in the short term. When we see a lot of Index controllers or something similar like that out there - maybe the Quest hand tracking - we'll reevaluate for sure. And, yeah, I did actually - on the reddit - I read Exode's response to this post, who had some interesting ideas about how to implement finger tracking in Rec Room. There was some really cool ideas in there. So, just want to acknowledge that; kind of saw that and thought that was interesting. But, yeah, in the short term, we won't be implementing it. But, yeah, good question.
HairyManLegs: All right; that wraps up our AMA today.
Gribbly: Harry, thanks for helping me with the video! Thanks for watching, everyone! And, as always, give us your feedback, and we'll be back next month with another AMA.
HairyManLegs: All right, see you guys then! Let's make this a fair race. You're ready? All right. Three, two, go!