Introduction to AMA #7
Gribbly: Alright. Hey, everyone! Welcome back! We're here for Rec Room official AMA #7. I'm here with recroomrules. I'm here with emilywafflesyay. I'm here with RadiantBlur. And we're here in - what's the name of this room, Emily?
Gribbly: ChristmasBackgrounds. In the amazing ChristmasBackgrounds room. Very seasonal AMA this time. So, let's get started.
Quasi-Official Paintball Maps
Emilywafflesyay: Our first question (reddit thread) comes from DuanaAA: "How about a quarterly design contest for a new paintball map with the winning map being added to the official maps for 3 months? It has been way too long since we had a new map and this will give us a steady stream of quasi-official maps."
Gribbly: "Quasi-official". Yeah. Ok. So Duana, thank you for the question. We think this is a great idea, actually. The idea of kind of making playlists of #community rooms and, like, you know, maps for the existing game types we think is really, really exciting and, actually, something that we're working on. So, the way that this is gonna happen is: it's gonna roll out for Stunt Runner first. If you remember, over the last couple of months, we've, you know, done a lot of Stunt Runner tools for building your own Stunt Runner courses. People have been building some really cool maps, and if you go to the Stunt Runner lobby today, there's a "coming soon" door, and, so, very early in the new year, we want to turn on that door and have it be a #community playlist of Stunt Runner maps that you'll be able to just go through - cycle through the latest and greatest maps and that will give you kind of an endless supply of really cool quasi-official Stunt Runner maps, and, hopefully, that idea will work out nicely, and assuming that it does, we think it makes a ton of sense to do that for things like Paintball, for things like Laser Tag. So, we don't exactly have a timeline for when that might happen, but you can expect that to happen on Stunt Runner first and soon. Great idea. Love it.
Gribbly: Yeah, soon(tm).
Emilywafflesyay: Alright. Next question is by JayOnRR: "I know last AMA Gribbly said no to a 6-month road map, but what about a bi-weekly or monthly road map? I feel like things are more in shape in that time period, and it would be awesome to have. The AMAs have also definitely been helping. So, huge thanks to all the team for taking the time with them."
Gribbly:Yeah. Okay. So, thanks Jake. Good question. Um, yeah, I think so, like, over the last month or two, we've really been trying to, you know, step up our game on AMAs and doing town halls and things like that, like you mentioned. And, so, that's kind of been our focus: is get back in the saddle on that. So, that's what we're doing today. It's an interesting idea. Yeah, it is definitely true that we can predict what's happening on, like, you know, a month to six weeks a lot better. So, I think that's something we'll talk about as a team in the new year, and sort of think about, you know. Really, the only reason we wouldn't want to do something like that is, we don't want to be constantly saying things that aren't true, you know, and, like, getting your hopes up for something, and then dashing them. So, yeah, we kind of want to do the same thing, but it is something we'll have to think about the right way to do it in the new year. In the short term, we're gonna really focus on making sure we're in a groove with AMAs and townhall's, but, um, yeah, good idea.
Emilywafflesyay: So,the next question is by Boethiah555: “Egyptian quest, when?”
Gribbly: “Egyptian quest, when?” Hmm. Okay. Well, we're currently working on our next #RRO. It is not a quest; so, the real answer to “Egyptian quest, when?” is: no idea, but we do love getting ideas and kind of, you know, signs of enthusiasm for different themes so that when we do get around to making the next quest, we can kind of have that on the list of potential ideas. I know I personally I kind of like the idea of an Egyptian quest. I think that could look really cool; so thanks for the suggestion. But, ya, wouldn't hold your breath for Egyptian quest; we got plenty of other things to do first.
Publishing 2D Art
Emilywafflesyay: This next question is by Noctauto. "I’ve been asking this for a while on the candy, but when do you think we'll be able to get use-only whiteboard/canvases etc. not only for grief protection but for publishing as well. I don't want to publish my 2d art because I fear as if someone will just erase my name and claim it as their own. Plus a personal whiteboard if that is a possibility when applying use-only."
Gribbly: Yes. Okay. So, yeah, we've seen that on the canny. It's a great suggestion and something we definitely want to support; like, we think, you know, the quality of the 2d art that we see created in Rec Room blows us away just as much as the 3d art that we see created in Rec Room. So, we value it a lot. I think the way we want to approach this is probably by upgrading the invention system kind of generally, so that it's able to kind of give you that kind of fine-grained publishing control that you want over everything - including the whiteboards. So, don't have a specific timeline on this. It's definitely something we care about a lot because we want people to keep creating 2d art. We want people to be able to share it in the way that they want. So, yeah, we see it; it's definitely on our radar. Can't say exactly when we'll get to it, but it's definitely something we want to do.
Snow in Rec Center
Emilywafflesyay: All right; next question is by FrankieXop437: “When is the snow coming to the Rec Center this year?”
Gribbly: Okay. Well, well, look: I think unfortunately the Rec Center had its hottest year on record this year. It's been a scorcher in the Rec Center; so, we haven't seen any snow there. You know, I guess A) winter’s not quite over yet; so, who knows? And B) there is plenty of snow in other parts of Rec Room; so, go and explore; you'll find plenty of snow. With that said; you’re ready for a race?
Gribbly: Alright, here we go!
Maker Pen in Quests
Emilywafflesyay: Next question is from IKillPigeons: "I understand because of how #RRO quests were created that you cannot let us copy their rooms like other #RROs. However, would you let us use a very limited version of the maker pen in a private quest room with quest rewards disabled that could only spawn in weapons. This would breathe new life to the quests for a lot of us. For example, we could play Jumbotron with Paintball weapons or Golden Trophy with whips assuming the Crescendo [of the Blood Moon] items get added as props any time soon."
Gribbly: Thank you for the question. I hate to say it, but I think the answer is no on this one. Yeah, the quests are just not structured in a way that makes that easy to do. May be it is, you know, probably possible, but it's just that we got a lot of other things we kind of want to prioritize ahead of that. So, I'm gonna give you a "no" on that one. Sorry to say. Merry Christmas!
Emilywafflesyay: Next question is also by JayOnRR: "The next #RRO ... Could we get a teaser in-game from when the time comes soon similarly to the CJC magazine in Rec Royale, that was a great teaser."
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, yeah, that's a really fun idea. Thank you for the suggestion. Yeah, we really enjoyed doing those teasers, and I think I mentioned a couple of questions ago, we have started work on the next #RRO. So, we don't have anything really to tease just yet. Um, I will say, I have been able to play an early version of it. It's super, super fun. So, I think you're gonna be very excited by what it is, but, yeah, we always enjoy teasing stuff. So, I don't know exactly what form it will take, but I'm sure the team will find ways to tease you with some as it gets closer to launch, but, yeah, thanks for the idea. It's nice to know that people enjoy that stuff because we love making it. A lot of chicken petting in this video.
Rec Royale Season 2
Emilywafflesyay: Next question is by justin0434: "Any information you can drop about Rec Royale Season 2? Heard it'll be [Oculus] Quest compatible. Will it have a similar map? What does the player count look like?"
Gribbly: Yeah, well, I think we talked about this a little bit in the previous AMA. So, I think the way this is gonna happen is: it's not gonna be Rec Royale Season 2. You know, we just kind of realized that the original Rec Royale was built, you know, just in a way that's not compatible with some of the new platforms or on, like, the [Oculus] Quest, and so our original intent was to do the kind of season model. We no longer think that's realistic. So, really what we're going to do is Rec Royale 2. And, you know, this is probably a little bit down the road. We've got some other #RROs we want to do first, but when we do do it, we'll be building it in a way that, you know, allows us to do a large map in a way that performs well on the lower power platforms, and I think we'd want to keep the player count at least the same if not higher, but, yeah, I don't wanna give you the impression that it's gonna come soon. It is just kind of on the roadmap for down the road a bit, but, yeah, Rec Royale 2 is much more likely than Rec Royale Season 2 - and, yeah, I think it's unlikely that we'll get the existing Rec Royale onto the [Oculus] Quest - unfortunately, as much as we would love to.
Changing Skybox in Dorm Room
Emilywafflesyay: This next question is by Kinnychi: "Will we be able to change the skybox in our dorms?"
Gribbly: Ah, thank you for the question. Eventually: yes. You know, kind of, like a couple of other things we've talked about, I don't want to give you an exact timeline, but expanding the capabilities of the room mood system is, kind of, something that we're being thinking about. And, yeah, being able to change out skyboxes in any room - not just the maker room - is on the roadmap. So, eventually: for sure. Can't tell you exactly when, but, yeah, we want that as well.
More Props in Palette
Emilywafflesyay: Okay, the next question is by King_Feanor: "There are a lot of items that have yet to make it into the maker pen efficiently; things like the whip, whippable ledges, the zero-g ball, etc come to mind. Will these be officially supported?"
Gribbly: Yes, yeah, they will. So, the thing that's going on with this stuff is, so, you know, everything that you can spawn from the maker pen, like, if I want to spawn a basketball I gotta select it in this palette, as you know, right. So, the problem we're running into is that we're kind of out of space in the palette; it's kind of just overstuffed with things; it's not very browsable; it's getting to be a real pain in the butt to find things, I should say. And, so, yes, so, what we want to do is: we've got a plan for making it easier to browse the palette so that we can fit more stuff in. We're planning to ship that early in the new year, and then, once we've got that kind of more browsable palette happening, we'll go ahead and add those objects that we know you've all been waiting on for a long time. So, sorry for the delay, but we really want to make sure you can actually browse and find the things you want, so that then you can spawn a bunch of basketballs on Emily.
More Emitter Effects
Emilywafflesyay: This next question is by 3PrettyPrincess3: "Will you add more emitter effects like rain and snow etc.?"
Gribbly: Yeah, yeah. I think over time we'll always be adding more and more emitter effects. I guess we're a bit late for adding snow for this winter. I guess we'll probably get it in just in time for summer - would be my guess; but yeah, no real timeline on that. We will definitely be adding more effects to the emitter over time. Yeah. Thank you for letting us know what you would value that helps us kind of plan. All right. You're ready for this? I'm gonna hit the camera with the snowball.
Gribbly: Okay, ready? Just first try.
Emilywafflesyay: Uh. I saw that coming.
Emilywafflesyay: Okay, this next question is by Fiyover: "Is the development of clubhouses near completion? I feel clubhouses is the next big step in Rec Room and I can't wait for it! Also, when is the Rec Center opening for winter?"
Gribbly: Well, we talked about the Rec Center a couple of questions ago. So, let's talk about clubhouses. So, yeah, thanks for the question. We agree; we think clubhouses are a really big deal and clubs in general are a really, really big deal. So, as a reminder, in case this is the first AMA you're watching, clubs is something that we're planning on as a way of, kind of, getting like-minded players together in Rec Room. So, whether your interest is in playing games together or creating games together or just hanging out or whatever it may be, we want to provide really good tools for you to, kind of, create clubs, join clubs, find clubs, and just generally do everything that you would do with a club. And, also, the ability to have clubhouses that you can use as like a shared dorm room, kind of, space. So, to go to the question, I wouldn't say it's exactly close to shipping. We've definitely made progress towards that. Some of which we've shipped in the form of the moderation tools for the Rec Center and stuff like that; and some of which is still internal. We've made some really good progress on the design recently. So, we - I think we're getting a pretty clear picture of what we want to do. It is a very high priority for us. So, it's something that we'll be working on in the first part of this year - or continue to work on in the first part of this year; but I would be exaggerating if I said it was about to ship; but, yeah, rest assured, it's a high priority for us. We think of it as a really important next step in Rec Room; so stay tuned for more updates.
Emilywafflesyay: We look fantastic.
Gribbly: These costumes are great.
Emilywafflesyay: Next question is by kittengamer06: "ETA on the slowness bug fix? With that we can't stop sprinting anymore and regain that sprint, ruining some Stunt Runner skips. Was that intentional or a bug?"
Gribbly: That was a bug, and I'm happy to say that a fix for it went out in today's update. So, hopefully it shouldn't be happening anymore. If it is, let me know, and we'll go and see what's happening; but it should be fixed. I believe it's fixed. Hopefully, it's fixed.
Emilywafflesyay: All right. So, next question is again by Noctauto: "Will the new canvases be fixed so that when you rescale them the marker doesn't go off its pinpoint when drawing? It gets so annoying when you're trying to put detail into art and you need a thinner line, but the marker keeps drawing two inches from where it is on the board. P.S. you can scale the board to get thinner and thicker lines."
Gribbly: So, good question. So, I'm actually not aware of this bug personally. I'll check with the team and see if someone knows about what's going on. And we'll have to figure it out ... it sounds like it's to do with scaling the canvases up and down. So, um, you know, one thing I want to mention is: we do have plans, like, longer term, we kind of want to make more advanced whiteboard markers. So, instead of having to scale the canvases up and down, you can get thinner and thicker lines and multiple colors and other things, kind of, built into the marker that you're holding. So, longer term that'll also help; but in the short term, yeah, we'll have to go, have a look at that bug. I'm not actually familiar with that one, but thanks for raising it, and we can go take a look.
Colored Maker Pens and Skins
Emilywafflesyay: All right, so the next question is by ZoMeOnRecRoom: "Will we ever get the ability to buy a different color for the maker pen? Not a skin but like a flat color, for example, green yellow purple etc. Will you guys be planning on doing a maker pen skin as a weekly challenge as a reward and perhaps Isle of Lost Skulls and Crescendo [of the Blood Moon] weapons as weekly challenge skins?
Gribbly: I think, you know, I talked to BeeBoz about that first part, you know, he's the keeper of store items, and he said: yeah, that's something we might do. So, I would say, you know, keep pestering BeeBoz if you really want to see that, and that will increase the likelihood of that happening. Certainly something we could do. In terms of, you know, skins for, like, ILS - Isle of Lost Skulls and Crescendo items: that one's trickier. I'd say, that one's unlikely because those are breakable items and the technology behind them is a little different, so our existing kind of skin system won't just immediately work. So, I'd say, that one's pretty unlikely. Not impossible, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. Thank you for the question.
Rewarding Creators with Actual Money
Emilywafflesyay: The next question is by TheBetterIsaac: "Are there ever plans to start rewarding creators with real currency, similar to Roblox?"
Gribbly: Yeah, that is something we're actually really interested in doing. You know, there's a lot to that. It's quite a complicated thing to try and do, but it's something we're very interested in the kind of long-term future of Rec Room: it's getting to a point where we can reward creators, yeah, with actual money. Kind of nearer term than that, what we want to do is start experiment for creators to accept tokens in their rooms for various things. So, we're very interested in hearing from anyone who's creating stuff in Rec Room: what would you like to be able to do, you know, that you could charge tokens for? And, I think, you'll see us experimenting with some stuff like that in the near future; but, yeah, to answer your question: definitely in the long term; but there's a lot of hurdles and complexities and, you know, legal stuff that we got to think about before that can be a reality; but, um, yeah, definitely something we're interested in. Thank you for the question.
Transfering Purchases between Platforms
Emilywafflesyay: All right. This next question is by Ziiella: "Recently Minecraft Bedrock edition on the PS4 was released, and I noticed that while the in-game currency you paid for is not transferable between PS4 and other consoles, content that is purchased with those tokens are transferable. However, on Rec Room, neither the tokens or purchased clothing items are transferable. What is the difference here? Is it Minecraft breaking the Sony Terms of Service, or is there a way for Rec Room to have purchased items be cross-platform between PS4 and others in the future? Or is Rec Room and the Minecraft Marketplace a different case?"
Gribbly: So, I think, you know, it's really up to what a platform like Sony allow you to do. And, so, definitely something we want to get to is that, you know, currencies and items and everything is completely cross-platform. So, just like everything else is cross-platform, we want the items and the currencies to be cross-platform. It's just a matter of negotiating, you know, with Sony and other partners to get them comfortable with that, you know, so that's ... you know; we've been talking to lawyers, we've been talking to technical folks; we hope that we'll be able to get that done. That's definitely the place we want to get to. You know, we're not quite Minecraft size yet so maybe Sony's like, you know, prioritizing them a little bit over us - I wouldn't know why you would do that - but, yeah, that's definitely something we want to get to. Hopefully, we're not fundamentally different. I think it's just a matter of time and negotiation before we can get there.
Plans for 2020
Emilywafflesyay: All right. This next question is by budderbro3000: "Can you go into more detail about your plans for 2020, example: new #RRO's/big updates?"
Gribbly: Big 2020 for us ... well, a bunch of stuff we want to do. So, I think I mentioned in an earlier question, we're at work on a new #RRO. Yeah, I think I also mentioned, you know, I've been able to play it already. It's super fun. I hope everyone's gonna really enjoy it. So, definitely we'll be doing more #RROs this year. And like I mentioned in the AMA, our kind of plan for #RROs is always to do a fun new thing, you know, that's something that everyone can play in Rec Room that brings with it new creation options. So, just like Stunt Runner brought climbing and a bunch of other stuff, you know, movable platforms, all that kind of thing, you can expect every #RRO will come with a bunch of new creation features with it. So, that's a big, big part of what 2020 will look like is new #RRO content with new creation features associated with it. In addition to that, like, early in the year, so, we just were able to open up a few more rooms for our [Oculus] Quest players, which is really exciting, and you can expect several more of those early in the new year. We're are hard at work on that. Um, what else is coming? So, and we talked a little bit about clubhouses. That's really high priority. So, part of the team is going to be working on community creation tools. So, you can build your own clubs and build your own communities inside of Rec Room. I think I mentioned, you know, we want people to be able to start experimenting with charging tokens in their rooms, so that creators can kind of, like, start experimenting with that kind of thing. Um, I think that's basically it. We got to upgrade Unity. So, you know, we want to kind of get on to the later version of Unity, so we can unlock a few upgrade paths. There's a whole bunch of stuff, but, um, yeah, I think, you know, probably the kind of headline features are the clubhouses, the kind of Rec Room and creation tools, and we'll just be continually, like, even separately from the #RecRoomOriginals, we will always be updating the creation tools and making them better on all of our platforms. So, we're gonna have a busy 2020. And, like I said in the last AMA, if you think you can help with any of that, please take a look at recroom.com/jobs. Come talk to us. I'm better close this door. Back to work on my go-kart! So, we're gonna go do a bunch of questions(?). This is lightning round. OK?
Gribbly: Okay. Alright. Woah, I accidentally took a picture.
Emilywafflesyay: Next question is by Spookkatz: "When would quest enemies be added into custom rooms? Like, do you have a guess as when they might be added?"
Gribbly: Yes, so, it won't be part of the next #RRO and creation features. It may well be part of the next one. As I mentioned a few times, it's a pretty big feature. We've kind of, you know, teased around and played around with it a few times. We want to do it right, so that when we ship it, you'll be able to do more than just kind of put our enemies in your rooms - although that's probably one of the first things you'll be able to do, but we also want you to be able to create your own AI and NPC characters. So, not the next #RRO. Potentially, the next one. Right, next one, let's go!
Park on Oculus Quest
Emilywafflesyay: Alright, next one is by 24ngettys: "I know that [Oculus] Quest development has been taking a big dip over the recent months, but can you guys please add the Park? It was my favorite place to go and hang out in the Rec Room until my PSVR broke. I do understand that it probably won't come soon and I won't get an answer I'm looking for. So, I'm going to also ask: How is your day going?"
Gribbly: Okay, so, my day is going great. Thank you for asking. To answer your question, I think the answer you want is: yes, and it's coming soon. So, you're right, we definitely had slowed down on [Oculus] Quest stuff, you know, while we were focusing on getting iOS shipped, we've had a bit of time to go back, and kind of get some of our other rooms that didn't initially ship on the [Oculus] Quest out; we just did three, I think we did Bowling, [Disc Golf:] Propulsion, and the Lounge. Coming soon in the new year is some more - including the Park. So, yeah, stay tuned for that. That will come soon. So, Merry Christmas!
Push for More Platforms
Emilywafflesyay: Alright, next is by ben-123: "Are the investors the ones who are pushing you guys to adopt every platform including mobile?"
Gribbly: No, um, so, you know, the investors are very supportive of what we're trying to do with Rec Room, which is, you know, kind of get it to be as big and as strong as we can get. You know, with my creative-director hat on, I personally love Rec Room on mobile devices. I think it's a fantastic way to play Rec Room, you know, ultimately we think of Rec Room as a way to hang out with people. VR is obviously a wonderful way to hang out with people - just like we're doing now. We think we can do a really good job of getting you to hang out with people both in VR and, you know, on other screens devices, on touch devices. If you're able to try out Rec Room on the iPhone right now, I recommend: go try it. It's really, really fun. And, yeah, ultimately our dream is that Rec Room is everywhere and on everything and everyone uses it. And investors or not, that's what we're trying to do. All right, next question!
Performance Boost on Oculus Quest
Emilywafflesyay: Next one is by kinsarc: "Since this is the official AMA, I'll ask my most asked question: what is the timeline or roadmap for a performance patch on [Oculus] Quest? It's not limited to anything specific and it barely hits 72 [frames per second] even solo in the dorm room. I know many have experienced this. I'm asking. I genuinely love the game. Thanks."
Gribbly: Thank you for the kind words. And thank you for the question. Yeah, I hear you, you know, there's definitely places where we'd love to improve the performance on [Oculus] Quest. So, I think the next tick of that clock is gonna be: we're currently looking at upgrading the Unity engine, and we might get a little performance boost out of that. It'll certainly fix some bugs that we've had for a while; but it kind of just puts us on the next tech foundation where we can investigate and see if there's places where we can optimize the game a little bit better. I want to say, you know, like, the truth is that Rec Room is not fully designed for [Oculus] Quest. We didn't, you know, when we released Rec Room in 2016, we didn't know what [Oculus] Quest was going to be like, what kind of silicon CPU it would have in it. So, you know, I think probably the truth is, we'll never get Rec Room as optimized as we wish it could be. Like, for example, we'll probably never get Rec Royale on there but we'll do the absolute best we can. We know, it's not fun when it gets too slow. So, we'll do our best; but thank you for enduring Rec Room, and thank you for playing it on the [Oculus] Quest. All right, what else we got?
Expanding Rec Center
Emilywafflesyay: One of our last question is by EvKem: "Any ideas for maybe expanding the Rec Center? It's nice now, but a renovation would be pretty welcome. Maybe an outside area?"
Gribbly: Fun idea. Probably not any time in the near future. I think we want to probably revise some of the interior and some of the things you can do in the Rec Center before we kind of make it any bigger. And I think probably higher on the list is, kind of, opening up the world of dorm customization a little more, so that you can get options for going beyond just the standard dorm room that you have right now. I think that would be higher on the list than a new Rec Center; but thanks for the suggestion. And I'm sure we'll get there at some point. Everyone loves it when we change the Rec Center. Right, Emily?
Emilywafflesyay: Oh, yeah.
Gribbly: Everyone enjoys that so much. We've got one more?
Event for New Year's
Emilywafflesyay: Our last question comes from ExodeRecRoom: "Will y'all be doing anything fun for New Year's in Rec Room?"
Gribbly: Um, maybe. Maybe we will. Yeah, yes, we got a couple of fun things. There'll be some celebratory items available. Something I recommend is that if you're in the mood to celebrate New Year's, come to the Rec Center on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day and maybe you'll get a fun surprise. Maybe. Was that mysterious enough?
Emilywafflesyay: Yeah. It'll do. It'll do.
Gribbly: OK. It'll do. All right.
Gribbly: All right. So I think we're out of time. Emily, thank you for helping out today - for taking us on a guided tour of the wonderful winter rooms and being questionnaire extraordinaire. So, yeah, we'll see you next AMA. That's gonna be in the next decade. So, basically that's just a fancy way of saying next month. So, we'll talk to you soon. Thanks everyone for playing Rec Room. Have a great holiday season! We love you all, and we'll talk to you next time.
Emilywafflesyay: Yeah. Bye, guys!