Introduction to AMA #9
HairyManLegs: Oh! Ow! That was uncalled for! How's it going guys? Welcome to the latest AMA. I'm here with Mr. Gribbly. He's back again. I'm HairyManLegs, and we'll be answering the latest AMA. Are you ready for this?
Gribbly: Oh, I'm ready. Are you ready?
HairyManLegs: I am. Hopefully ... I wasn't ready for that.
HairyManLegs: First question comes from DudeYouSuckTbh: "Are there any plans to fix studdering or freezing on almost every platform? And the dev team quite literally never addressed it. Playing paintball isn't fun when you freeze during almost half the shootouts you get into. It's basically an old-school lag switch but the game is doing it for you."
Gribbly: All right; thanks for the question, DudeYouSuckTbh. Yeah, like, so first let me say: I'm sorry when you hit perf issues. I know it's super annoying. You know, you're on a hot streak in paintball; maybe you get like a frame glitch or whatever. Pretty annoying and I'm sorry. You know, we do try and make it better. I think, you know, we've talked about this in previous AMAs, and there's not a huge update yet. What I've said in the past is still true: we have a pending upgrade to the Unity engine. That will ... might help just in and of itself, but more importantly unlock some new avenues for optimization that we can take - and will certainly get rid of things like the - if you're on PC - "Rec Room requires focus" message that, I know, is annoying. So, there is some progress on that. You know, we've actually got the game building with the new version. We ran into some problems with it when we put it into tests; so, we haven't been able to, kind of, ship it out yet, but we are working on it - I promise. And so I apologize in the short term. It's obviously a little different per platform. So, you didn't mention which platform you're on. So, but, yeah, yeah, we know it's an issue; it's definitely something we want to get better at. Two other things I want to talk about in the context of this question is ... one is: we actually have a kind of a planned update to our testing procedures, which is going to allow us to be a little bit more thorough, and we're going to kind of include performance testing in each one of those updates. So, at the very least, we're going to pay closer attention to make sure we're not degrading performance over time. So, it is something we take seriously. I know it sometimes takes us a long time to get around to fixing things. So, appreciate your patience and apologize for any glitching. Last thing I want to say about this is - just while we're on the subject of updates and planned updates - something we've been talking a lot internally is: in this new year, we're thinking of going to bi-weekly updates. So, right now, we update every week, and if you remember last year, 2019, we kind of started off slow - we were very busy porting the game to the [Oculus] Quest, and so we weren't updating very frequently at all. And then in the back half of that year, we were, like, we want to make sure we still got our fastball; we want to, like, you know, update as quickly as we can. So, we moved to weekly updates, which has been great. And, you know, I'm super proud of the team for being able to update the game that quickly, but, you know, as we move into 2020, we're like, huh, you know, maybe bi-weekly is a better rhythm. That'll allow us to kind of pack more into each update. So, when you do get an update, there's more exciting new stuff in it. You're not downloading a, you know, multi-gigabyte thing every week. And it also gives us a little bit more cook time - test time that we can pay attention to things like: hey, are we making sure perf is good? So, yeah, just be on the lookout for that. We haven't made a final-final-final decision, but we're very actively looking at it, and I think it's pretty likely that - starting around March - we'll move to bi-weekly updates instead of our current weekly updates
HairyManLegs: Yeah, that's amazing ... Oh!
Player Level Cap?
HairyManLegs: TealcLOL ask: "The previously stated reason for maintaining the current player level cap was due to needing lots of more outfits and rewards when you level up. However, cosmetics no longer have such level requirements. With a player level cap increase being the all-time most upvoted post on Canny, will this change again be seriously considered? If not, what are the hurdles currently preventing such an increase?"
Gribbly: Yeah, okay. So, good question. Thank you for the question. I went to BeeBoz, who is the keeper of all such things, and asked him what the deal was with the level cap. He said: definitely planned. He imagines that we will be increasing the level cap. He did not want to give me a time frame for when it's gonna happen; but I think it's fair to say that is definitely something that's coming in the future, but I defer to BeeBoz on the timing of that. So, pile on him on discord if you want more information.
More Saved Outfit Slots?
HairyManLegs: xShmoopz asks: "Any chance of more outfit slots in the future? Love making new ones but I'm all filled out."
Gribbly: Yes, yeah, for sure. I spoke to BeeBoz about this because this is also in his wheelhouse. So, he said: yes. And actually it's a good opportunity to talk about something that we're working on internally, which is something we've had kind of on the backburner for many months now ... is an upgrade to the UI system that powers things like the watch and the maker pen menu and stuff like that. So, we've been building out a new UI system that is ... mainly it kind of, you know, is ... it has a more sleek and modern kind of look to it. It has a little more information density, so you can see more on each screen, and most importantly - and this has really been the primary thing - it's much, much easier for us to work with, and quick for us to update and iterate on. And so, basically, what BeeBoz was saying is: hey, we're going back and touching a lot of the existing UI in the game and updating it to the new system. So, when he does that, he'll make sure he includes more outfit slots as part of that. So, yeah, just a heads up to everyone: over the next couple of months, you'll start to see more and more new UI coming out. We'll probably go through some weird stages where you get half old UI, half new UI; so bear with us, you know, we're like ... we're pretty willing to, kind of, make changes on the fly. So, but, yeah, just heads up that there will be some UI updates coming soon. Hope you love them. Give us feedback as always; but, yeah, that's, uh, there'll be more oufit slots when we do that.
HairyManLegs: Oh, absolutely; stay tuned guys for that.
Gribbly: Oh, I blocked that one ... yes!
Crescendo Items in Palette?
HairyManLegs: ComedyBarnWherewolf asked: "What is the status of Crescendo items being added to the maker pen? It's been a few years since the quest has been added, so you would expect them to be added by now."
Gribbly: ComedyBarnWherewolf, yes, you're right, we have been talking about this on and off for years, and we keep sort of half doing it and then finding some issue. When I spoke to the games folks and said: hey, ComedyBarnWherewolf is demanding the Crescendo items. And they said: yes, we're gonna try and put them in for the next game update that's coming - and we'll talk more about that - I saw there was a question coming on that - but they were careful to say: Gribbly, no promises! Don't make any promises! So, sorry, ComedyBarnWherewolf, I can't promise you that they'll be in an update. I can promise you that they're gonna try.
HairyManLegs: Okay, that's the keyword, guys!
Gribbly: Best I can do for you all. I'm sorry. Thank you for your patience. We'll get there eventually.
HairyManLegs: Thank you for the question, by the way.
Vehicles in #Community Rooms?
HairyManLegs: The next question comes from FrankyXop437: "Will you add vehicles or stuff to create vehicles somewhere in the future?"
Gribbly: Sorry, I'm dealing with this donut. Here, can you hold that? The question was: "Will we ever do vehicles?" So, yeah, look, so, I think the answer is pretty much: yes. I think we all want to get to vehicles. It's definitely on the list, you know. I don't want to make any promises - that everyone will get mad at me about - in terms of timing or exactly the nature of what it's going to be; but, yeah, I think vehicles is something that's definitely on the list - definitely something that we want to get to. So, yeah, can't give you a time frame, but, yes, we want to do it.
Mini Golf or Real Golf?
HairyManLegs: Next question comes from Dogloopy: "Any chance of a mini golf or regular golf mode?"
Gribbly: Thank you for the question. So, probably not, to be honest. I don't think we will build a golf mode, you know, when ... we've never really loved how in VR - especially, like, for golf, like you kind of got to look down, and you're kind of mainly looking at the floor, and headsets are not super comfortable. That's actually a big part of a reason why when we made disc golf, our initial thought was: oh, maybe we'll do, like, a mini golf kind of thing; and then we're like: oh, we don't love the feeling of looking down; so, we actually went with more of a throwing mechanic. So, we did disc golf instead. So, I think that's kind of the golf that we decided to do. And, so, yeah, I mean, you know, our goal is always to make the creation tools good enough that you can make anything you can think of. So, it's, you know, maybe if someone wants to try making a golf game and give us feedback about what additional, like, maybe physics things they need or other things they may need, you know, maybe it'll happen that way; but, yeah, in terms of us actually making a golf game: not gonna happen, Dogloopy, I'm sorry.
HairyManLegs: All right. Here's a traditional AMA question. ashtag19 asked: "Will go-karts ever make a return?"
Gribbly: Go-karts, well, um, okay. Well, A) I'm glad we got this question because it's an AMA tradition that we have to get this question. So, I mean, like we were just talking about vehicles in the previous question, I think. So, I think probably that's the way go-karts return to Rec Room, you know - I don't know that we will bring back the prototype that we made back in 2016 that made Emilywaffles really sick, you know, we won't probably bring it back in exactly that form, but, you know, like I just talked about, I think vehicles is definitely something we want to see made in the creation tools; and I think, you know, probably, like, the way that would happen is, you know, we will build some kind of example thing, you know, with the vehicles. I don't know exactly what form that will take, but, yeah, I'll be surprised ... I will eat my virtual black baseball cap here if we don't eventually see go-karts in some form in Rec Room. It may come from the kind of more community creation into things and, like, providing the vehicle tools, but, you know, it's something that I want as a lifelong Mario Kart fan. It's something that I would love to see, and, you know, and I think the reason the question keeps coming up, coming up, coming up is that I think everyone would really love it. So, yeah, eventually in some form: yes; but I wouldn't exactly hold your breath. I know, the games and creation folks have some other things on their agenda that I think we're going to talk about in an upcoming question.
HairyManLegs: Sounds great.
HairyManLegs: 2Profound asked: "What is Rec Room stance on PvP as of currently, and will they ever make balance changes towards the current state of #RRO PvP?"
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, yes, a great question; thank you for that question. Um, that's something we actually talked about recently internally. And, yeah, I think specifically I know there's some work being done on the paintball shotgun. So, the paint shotgun, you know, I think there's a strong perception that it's, you know, a bit OP [overpowered] in some of the PvP games. And, so, I spoke to the games folks, and they were like: yeah, we're monitoring this; we're thinking about what to do about it. And they said: you know, very likely that you'll see an update to the tuning of some of the PvP mechanics coming out with the next game update that comes out. And we'll talk about that in a bit as well; but, yes, we're aware that there are some potential issues there. The game team are looking at it. They have some things on the boil that are going to address that, and I would guess you'd see that rolling out around March.
Locomotion Balance Adjustment?
HairyManLegs: 2Profound also asked: "Recently, Rec Room added auto-sprint as an option for walking players. Enabling this presents a specific buff to walking in PvP activities as they could now sprint forward at full speed and shoot simultaneously. This widens the gap between walkers and teleporters, the latter of which seem to be underpowered. Will any additional balance changes be made towards Rec Room locomotion in the future? Especially towards teleporters to offset the addition of auto-sprint?"
Gribbly: Okay, I guess that's why they're called 2Profound - it's because they got two questions.
HairyManLegs: Uh, there you go.
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, yeah, good question, and kind of similar answer, like, yeah, so, what 2Profound is asking about is: in a recent update, we added for VR players the ability to auto-sprint, meaning that, you know, rather than having to click the thumbstick on Oculus or hold down various buttons, you know, depending which platform you're on - double tap on PSVR - we would just automatically press the sprint button for you, so you would sprint, you know, just when you're like giving us full stick input, and that, you know, I think made a lot of VR players happy because it was sometimes, you know, uncomfortable or awkward or their controller was a bit flaky, and so, you know, I think that's good. Our thinking at the time was, like, auto-sprint doesn't actually give you any new capabilities. It doesn't actually make you any faster; it just kind of is a convenience feature; but we do accept, you know, as we kind of talked about - and we listen to the feedback - it does make sense that, you know, it changes the balance a little bit because it makes it easier to, for example, sprint and aim and shoot all at the same time because you're not having to press an additional button. So, yeah, we hear that feedback. That's something that the game team are looking at - kind of in conjunction with the paintball shotgun and things like that. So, yes. So, let me just buck it all up and say: yes and PvP balance issues you can definitely see us rolling out some changes over the next few weeks.
Main Focus of Updates?
HairyManLegs: leokao960811 asked: "What is the main focus of updates right now?"
Gribbly: What is the main focus of updates right now? Well, okay, so, as always, we have a lot of different focuses going on. So, a big one is: we are making a new game update. I think there's a question about that that I'll go into a little more detail; but, yeah, chunk of the team's working on a new game update. You've seen the teasers that we're releasing for that; so, everyone's kind of figured out that it's paintball related. So, we got the team working on that. That is gonna come with - you know, there's a new map coming - a bunch of new fun stuff to play with, and then there's also some companion creation tools. So, similar to the way Stunt Runner came out, and, you know, it came with features like climbing and sliding and moving platforms and stuff like that - like, you can see a lot in this crazy room - this new update will come with some companion features as well that have some pretty exciting stuff that are going to, you know, let people create some really interesting new experiences, as well as provide a new activity. So, that's one big focus. And then another big focus is: what we'd been noticing actually is - now that we shipped on iOS and we have a bunch of players playing on the phone - we've been seeing people starting to create rooms on the phone. So, we actually have some really interesting creation starting to happen on the iPad, on the iPhone, and so that's really exciting. So, we have some people working on, like, figuring out how we can make creation better on the phone specifically. So, you know, people are already doing cool stuff, but we know we can make that a ton better. So, kind of bring it up a little closer to some of the things you can do in VR. That's a focus, you know, when we shipped on iOS, we did the dancing and waving stuff to kind of make the screen players who are on a phone a little bit more expressive and a little bit easier to talk to. We want to bring that over to, like, the PlayStation and the other screens platforms. So, that's a focus. And then, you know, just on an ongoing basis, the creation tools are always a focus. And, so, you know, separate to the new game we're doing, we've got a couple of pretty big initiatives on the boil for, like, really major updates to the creation tools. I'm not gonna say anything specific about that today - just know that there's some really, really cool stuff in the pipeline. You know, as always, you know, we got our moderation crew rolling, and we got our ... well, there's always, always stuff going on. Yeah, but I think that in terms of, like, what's probably the number one focus - and certainly what you'll see in terms of upcoming updates coming real soon - is an update to paintball.
HairyManLegs: There's a big update for you all, guys, we're really excited for the next huge ...
Gribbly: Oh, yeah, I should say: we'd been doing play testing at the office and, man, it is super fun. So, I'm hopeful ... hopefully everyone will really enjoy that when it comes out. We're really, really excited to share that with you.
Optimization for each Platform?
HairyManLegs: Dogloopy asked: "How successful do you feel your teams have been optimizing the game for each platform? What can you share about your strategies and goals and concerning optimization going forward?"
Gribbly: Okay, so, good question, Dogloopy. So, I'm not a hundred percent sure if you mean optimization in terms of performance, like, framerate, or if you mean optimization in terms of, you know, just the general experience of playing on the different platforms. So, I guess I'll answer both questions. Performance: we talked a little bit about, you know, in the first question. You know, it really is bound up for us with getting through a Unity update. We know there's definitely work to do on the various platforms. So, I think we kind of covered that one. In terms of optimizing for the various platforms. Yeah, I mean, I think, like, things that we're doing is kind of what I talked about in the previous question, which is, like, you know, hey, we see people trying to build stuff on the phone and, you know, doing really well with the limited set of tools that they have. We want to make that better. So, kind of, like, basically, like, our goal is that everyone - on whatever device they're on, whether they're at a VR headset like the Index I've got right now or a [Oculus] Quest or whether they're on a phone or a PlayStation or a mouse and keyboard on a PC - we want all the players to have the same basic set of capabilities. So, everyone needs to be able to do the same basic set of stuff although the way you might do that on a given device might be different; like, the way I wave in VR is: I wave my hand. The way I wave on a phone is: I've got like a little thumbstick that I can kind of wave like this, and on PlayStation I can't yet do that conveniently, I've kind of got a canned animation that I can play, but we want to make that a little more fluid - more like the phone. So, that's an example of, like, the way we want to kind of bring each platform into alignment, and, kind of, have it be a true cross-platform experience in that way.
Ultimate Goal of Rec Room?
HairyManLegs: Ironman12 asked: "What is the ultimate goal of Rec Room? And where are you guys trying to bring the game?"
Gribbly: Okay, interesting question; so, thank you, Ironman12. Yeah, and, so, I, you know, honestly, like, it probably is a continuation of what I just touched on in the previous question, which is, like, what we want is that everyone is playing Rec Room - you know, no matter what device you might have, whether it's a VR headset or whether it's a phone or a console or whatever - we want to make sure that Rec Room's available to you, and we can keep building, you know, a really, really huge community who are interested in hanging out and playing games together, creating games together, just creating, you know, wonderful friendships from all around the world. That's really the goal; and, like, you know, honestly, like, we hope that, you know, basically having a Rec Room account is as common as having a phone number or an email. That's really the goal, you know. We want to be everywhere and on everything, and just, kind of, really just bringing the Rec Room spirit of community and a fun and welcoming environment for people from all walks of life just to everyone on every device; and that's gonna take time, and, you know, we slowly, slowly expand, you know, while kind of continuing to make improvements across the board; but that's ultimately where we want to get to. We want it to be, like, very unusual for someone not to have a Rec Room account.
HairyManLegs: Okay, all right.
Gribbly: Just a small ambition.
HairyManLegs: Just a really small ambition. The whole goal is just to have everyone in Rec Room, guys.
Gribbly: Yeah, it's just ... it's just world domination. That's all we ask. Is that so much to ask? I mean, come on!
HairyManLegs: I think your viewers will agree with you there. I think they would agree with that.
Gribbly: Yeah, I think it's on you, Harry. I think you are the difference maker here. Yeah, make or break - it's all you, baby.
HairyManLegs: All right, guys. We can do this then. You guys got this!
HairyManLegs: ben-123 asked: "How close are you to being cash-flow positive? If not anywhere close, how many years do you expect your latest funding to last?"
Gribbly: Okay, thanks for the question, ben-123. It's an interesting kind of businessy question. So, we have positive operating cash flow. So, what that means is, you know, the revenue that we make as a company is enough to run the game, you know, runs the game servers and all the money we put into moderation and all that kind of stuff. So, we can kind of operate the game. What it doesn't cover yet is, you know, basically all the investments we're making in coming to new platforms and building out new features, you know. That's, you know, there's a long lead time in all that kind of stuff. So, we got to invest upfront pretty heavily, and, so, you know, that takes time, and it takes money; but luckily we have a bunch of cash in the bank to allow us to keep investing in that. So, we got several years worth of money to kind of allow us to keep building out onto new platforms, building out the creation tools, building out the features of the game, adding new content to the game. So, yeah, we're in good shape; but thank you for the interesting question
HairyManLegs: All right. I think you can see my hat, but that's alright. I think that's funny. Oh, Gribbly, you touched my hat! What? Exquise me? Okay.
Gribbly: No, I didn't!
Roblox for VR?
HairyManLegs: forbym asked: "Rec Room started as a Wii Sports for VR. Is the current ambition to become Roblox for VR? If not, in which way should it be different?"
Gribbly: Okay, interesting question. Alright, thanks for the question, forbym. So, yeah, so, I mean, you're right, when we started Rec Room in 2016, definitely one of our kind of go-to, you know, one-sentence explanations - well, like, what the hell is this thing? - is, we would kind of be like: hey, we're kind of like the Wii Sports of VR. You know, we were VR-only at the time and we were focused on making, like, mini games for people to play. I think we quickly outgrew that description, and, you know, we focused a lot more on social stuff and getting people to kind of hang out together. And then, you know, in 2017, we really started taking seriously the creation tools and stuff like that. By the way, it's hilarious when you nod at me and all I can see is your hat.
HairyManLegs: Oh, is it?
Gribbly: Yeah, it's so funny. Yes, so, you know, I think we outgrew the Wii Sports of VR pretty quickly. And then, in terms of, like, you know, are we trying to be the Roblox of VR? I don't think that quite captures it, you know. So, A) obviously, you know, we've moved to be cross-platform; so, you know, "of VR" is not quite right. We definitely want to be, you know, on VR and be a champion of VR, and, you know, we think VR is awesome, but I think it's fair to say Rec Room is cross-platform. So, that's one thing that would make that a little bit inaccurate. And then in terms of Roblox - like, you know - so, first of all, like no shade to Roblox. Roblox is an amazing, amazing platform. They have a ton of users; they have a ton of really satisfied users who love playing on Roblox. So, yeah, like a lot of respect to Roblox and what they're doing. And, honestly, it's flattering to even be, you know, kind of compared to something that is so gargantuan, you know. So, we'll take the flattering comparison; yeah, but I think we see Rec Room is different to Roblox in some important respects; like, I think the most important one is probably the emphasis we put on social, and kind of bringing people together for really kind of much richer human interactions. And, so, I think that's something you'll see us keep investing in a lot - that's going to be ... it's gonna feel pretty different to Roblox, I think. And then, of course, another big difference is that social approach extends to the way you create in Rec Room. So, all of our creation tools obviously happen right in the app - no matter which device you're on, and you can kind of do it with your friends and so it becomes a little bit more of a kind of a casual social building experience. So, I think that those are a couple of places where we feel pretty different to Roblox. I think, you know, probably ultimately our vision for what kind of content and stuff you can get in Rec Room is a bit broader, I would think. Yeah, but look, hey, you know there are worse things to be compared to than the gargantuan success that is Roblox. So, you know, we'll take a flattering comparison, but thank you for the question, forbym.
HairyManLegs: Yeah, thank you so much for the question, by the way.
Rec Center Redesign?
HairyManLegs: SonitoShori asked: "Will you ever redesigned the Rec Center again?"
Gribbly: Whoa, okay, thanks for the question. Will we ever redesign the Rec Center again? I mean, we don't have any active plans; we're not sort of working on that right now, but probably, I mean, probably; we've done it a couple of times in the past. I bet we would do it again. Not sure when; but, yeah, let us know, if we do get around to redesigning it - which I'm sure we will one day - let us know what kind of changes you'd like to see.
Oculus Quest Rendering of Shapes?
HairyManLegs: delfloria asked: "Are you guys working on upgrading the rendering and coloring of the basic geometry of shapes on the Oculus Quest? Right now it's not very consistent. Two grey cubes next together can look completely different shades."
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, thanks for the question. So, yeah, I think I probably know what's going on there. So, the answer is: probably not; but let me add some nuance to that. So, something that we needed to do on the [Oculus] Quest to get it to kind of run and be able to, like, you know, go to any room and basically have it work was we use a technique called vertex lighting instead of the more usual pixel lighting. And, so, vertex lighting is just inherently less accurate than pixel lighting, and it kind of depends on the way the objects are constructed, and it's kind of just a bit of a low-quality lighting solution that, you know, for the [Oculus] Quest hardware just enables it to run a bunch faster. So, there's only so much we can do about that. The vertex lighting is going to have artifacts from time to time unfortunately. That said, there is also the LOD [level-of-detail] system that runs and that kind of, like, you know, translates what geometry looks like on-the-fly - especially on the [Oculus] Quest. And, so, that can sometimes ... you know, we can tune that in different ways. It can sometimes create some artifacts that we don't like. So, I think that aspect of it we can take a look at, and kind of continue to improve; but the basic technique of vertex lighting and the kind of artifacts that you get from that, I think, are just unfortunately going to be part of the reality on the [Oculus] Quest hardware for the foreseeable future.
RRO Puzzle Game?
HairyManLegs: SonitoShori asked: "When will you make a puzzle-based #RecRoomOriginal? The puzzles tab in the play menu is very lonely."
Gribbly: Okay, yes, I think, yeah, the question is: will we make a #RecRoomOriginal puzzle? I think not anytime soon. I mean, in all honesty, I went and talked to Jon you know, who is kind of our leader of game design and stuff like that; and he basically he copped to he's, like, you know, I'm a pretty terrible puzzle designer; so, I don't think it's a good idea for me to make a puzzle game. You know, Jon is great for the quests and the paintballs and some stuff like that, but, yeah, he's a self-described terrible puzzle designer. That's a direct quote from him. So, you probably don't want him to make a puzzle game, but, you know, like I said, you know - I know I say this a lot, but I think there's a lot of truth to it - you know, there are some great escape rooms and other kind of puzzle games; I was playing one the other day - what was it called? ^Chronom? C - H - R - O - N - O - M. Can we put the room name up? Because that's a great room. If you like puzzle games, that's a really cool escape room that someone just made. I was playing that the other day - super fantastic. So, there are some great puzzle games out there. Here's my guess - and don't quote me on this because I haven't done any actual work to validate it - but I suspect that our room tagging is not super duper accurate. I know that's something that I've talked about with Mamamonkey and others in the past. Like, we can probably improve the fidelity of the room tagging a little bit; so, I bet there's a lot of great puzzle rooms out there that aren't flagged as #puzzle; but, yeah, so, yeah, thanks for the feedback. Glad to know there's interest out there for the puzzle category. I like that as well. I'm a terrible puzzle game player. I have to have audzilla on the team to take me through all the puzzles or BeeBoz. BeeBoz is really great at escape rooms, too. I'm terrible at them, I'm too stupid.
HairyManLegs: Me too; I'm so terrible at them. So, I probably have someone else doing it for me.
Gribbly: Team stupid, yeah! Hey, but, you know, at least I'm consistently terrible at all of the games. I got that going for me.
HairyManLegs: What? That's not true!
Gribbly: Except pool! I'm amazing at pool. That's true!
HairyManLegs: Oh, and boxing.
Gribbly: Boxing is lifestyle. That's the streets, Harry.
18+ Match Making?
HairyManLegs: ChurchTheHusky asked: "Could there ever be a possibility of an 18+ matchmaking option?"
Gribbly: Okay, yes, so, good question. So, first of all, like, I saw the question come in, and I knew this was going to be a problem. It's really hard to talk about anything kind of 18+ matchmaking without it sounding like really inappropriate. So, just be aware that it's probably gonna sound like I'm saying things I don't mean; but, yeah, in terms of something like that, I think really the way we're gonna tackle that is through the clubs feature. And I think I mentioned in an earlier question - if I didn't let me say it now - we've actively started working on building clubs, you know, we talked about it - I remember talking about it, you know, last year, and, you know, people ask me: Hey, when is clubs coming? When is clubs coming? We've actually started working on it. We have a design we like. So, the community team is starting to build out the actual features, and we expect that to ship - I always get in trouble when I make predictions, but: soon, and, so, I think that the intent of the clubs feature is, you know, as the community has gotten bigger and bigger, we want to start to allow sub-communities to form, so that, you know, people who are like: Hey, you know what? We're all about playing pool, that's the main thing we want to do. Great; make a pool club, you know, attract new members, and we'll let you kind of have a hangout space that you can have, and, so, it'll be really easy to form groups of like-minded players. So, if you want to have - and this is where it gets hard to say something but: if you are, like, "adults-only club night", which sounds really inappropriate, or "mature quest night", which also sounds really inappropriate, you know, what I mean is, like, you know, if you wanted to say: Hey, you know what? We want to set up a club and it's for 21 and over to get together and play quests, you know, because that's the vibe we're after, the clubs is what's gonna let you do that. So, I don't think it'll be an 18+ matchmaking option; it'll be much more about we're gonna give you the tools to create clubs; manage the membership; moderate those clubs; set up a perim[?] if you want; make them private; make them public; make them, you know, small; make them whatever you want; but, yeah, thank you for the question.
HairyManLegs: forbym asked: "In a recent interview Shawn said he's preparing a posting with some statistics of 2019. How's that going? Can you share any numbers already?"
Gribbly: Oh, okay, yeah, okay, good question, forbym. So, yeah, I went and asked Shawn about this and I was like: Hey, you know, we got someone, we got forbym asking, you know, what about this stats video you promised? And there was a very, very long pause where he looked like he regretted the choices he had made. Hey, let's act it out. So, Harry, you're gonna be me. I'm gonna be Shawn. Come to me and ask me if I'm gonna make 2019 wrap-up vid.
HairyManLegs: Hey, are we be making a 2019 wrap-up vid?
Gribbly: Yeah, it was kinda like that. So, but he said: Oh, yeah, I'm busy, I got stuff to do. And I was like: You know, we got people asking. And so, what he did is he gave me ... he said: Here's the numbers that I would put in the video, and maybe he'll still do the video, but he did authorize me to, like, he gave me some of the snapshot numbers that he's planning to put on the video so that we can just share them. We make some news right here, right now in the AMA, Harry. Are you ready for this?
HairyManLegs: Yes, yeah!
Gribbly: So, these are stats as of the end of 2019. So, these numbers have actually grown a little bit since then because it's now February; but as snapshot at the end of 2019, so there were 1.6 million player-created rooms in Rec Room at the end of 2019. Yeah, and that does not include the default dorm room. So, that's if you've customized your dorm room or if you've made another custom room: 1.6 million custom rooms, which is amazing. Then, you're gonna see me do a gesture because I gotta check my notes and make sure I get it right. Oh, yeah, there were 200 million room visits. So, people have gone to those, you know, 1.6 million rooms 200 million times, which is crazy. That's a lot of Rec Rooming, so we love that. And then, by the end of 2019, there were 22 million friendships made. So, people had shaken hands, you know, and/or pressed buttons 22 million times. That's a lot of friends made - all around the world. We love that. And the last one that he gave me was: there had been 30 million photos taken with the in-game camera. 30 million photos. Yeah, so that's a crazy amount of selfies and crazy photos. So, yeah, you know, so, look, I think that to us is, you know, we're making good progress towards the dream of one big happy family coming together from all around the world making friends, having fun, sharing stuff with their friends. So, yeah, you know, 2019 was pretty huge for Rec Room. We are hoping and expecting that 2020 is going to be even bigger. So, I know I always say this at the end but I'll just say it now because we're talking about how, you know, like, this kind of the community and the spirit of Rec Room just want to say as always: we love you all; thank you so much for playing Rec Room; it's the community that really makes Rec Room what it is. And, so, yeah, it was a great 2019. We were, like, super thrilled. We hope you had fun. We sure did, and, like, we just hope 2020 is going to just be even bigger and better.
HairyManLegs: That's amazing news, and thank you so much for that message. I mean that's really, like, so inspiring. Thank you, guys.
HairyManLegs: TarkinTrash asked: "When can we expect a new quest? Thanks!"
Gribbly: Okay, yeah, good question. So, I talked to the games team, and they were very non-committal. They were like: Hey, we are definitely not done making quests. So, you can definitely expect a new quest at some point. We don't know when. You know, I think we've talked about it in public - jon has certainly said this, I think, in a previous AMA, like, the next two - at least - #RecRoomOriginal updates or certainly the next two #RRO updates are going to be focused on pretty major content expansions for existing games. So, they're not gonna be brand new quests or anything like that; instead they're gonna be like expansions of things that already exist; but, yeah, that said, you know, we're not done making quests. You know, we love making them, we love that you love playing them, and, so, we definitely got another one in us at some point; but I don't want to say anything about timeline. Keep the ideas coming! We always love hearing the theories and ideas for what the next quest should be. It's always interesting.
HairyManLegs: What's with samurais and ninjas? That one? Would that be the next quest?
Gribbly: As an example of a suggestion.
HairyManLegs: All right, all right.
Gribbly: Put your thumb on the scale here, Harry?
More Graphics Settings?
HairyManLegs: ThePigMasterYT asked: "Could there ever be more advanced controls over graphics? The current graphic settings are easy to use but don't have much freedom. Maybe you can add an advanced settings menu next to the graphic sliders, so you could change things such as a shadow quality. This would be really helpful for someone like me who has a bad PC, and I could fiddle around with the options until I got a good looking setting that runs smoothly. And also how's your day going?"
Gribbly: Okay, let me answer the last part first. My days going great, thank you. I'm having fun with my friend Harry here; we're making a video; all's good. Then the first part. Yeah, so, the honest answer is: I'm not sure. So, sounds like, yeah, for PCs, you know, sometimes you might want to have more granular control over the graphics settings. I'm actually not sure what the plan is there, but what I will do is: I'll make sure I take that feedback to our player experience team - that's the team that's kind of in charge of making sure that Rec Room shows up as good as it can on all the different platforms. So, I'll talk to them about, hey, you know, I got some PC users who might appreciate some of the smaller fine control and see what they think; but thank you for the feedback.
AI/NPCs/Enemies in Custom Rooms?
HairyManLegs: Cmdr_RedWolf asked: "Whatever happened to room creators being able to use mob AI for quests?"
Gribbly: Cmdr_RedWolf ... okay, so, what Cmdr_RedWolf is referring to is, like, many, many AMAs ago - and in retrospect very prematurely - I talked about, hey, we're going to work on AI, so you're going to be able to put AI in your custom rooms, and then, you know, we've kind of backburner that to focus on some other stuff like Stunt Runner, but we haven't forgotten about that - still planned. And, in fact, that's kind of, like, once we get the current bunch of work we're doing on the new paintbal #RRO work that we're doing, one of the next areas of focus for the creation tools team is AI. So, I think they even went to Canny and they put it to plannned because they're actually starting work on it. So, very, very, very likely that you're gonna see that soon.
HairyManLegs: All right; that's very exciting news, guys.
Future RRO Games?
HairyManLegs: Dogloopy again, as well, from Dogloopy he asked: ...
Gribbly: Oh, Dogloopy's been busy this AMA.
HairyManLegs: Yeah, he's been ready for this, actually.
Gribbly: He's earning his tokens.
HairyManLegs: Yeah, he is. "What does the process look like for choosing and focusing on #RecRoomOriginals? Are there any ideas you've dropped that you might talk about?"
Gribbly: Yeah, okay, so, yeah, good question. So, so, how do we choose what #RROs to do? Well, it's kind of ... it's changed over the past few years, you know. Like, definitely a big goal is always, like, create something that's gonna be fun, and people are going to enjoy. Obviously, we always want to do that, and we've had a big focus around creating social experiences, you know, so especially for things like quests, you know, we really wanted to do something that was challenging, that you could play with a few friends, and you could, like, you know, really commit yourself and spend an evening going: we are going to beat this thing and like have that challenge. I think it's really fun, you know, and then, as we've kind of focused more and more on the creation tools, like, we kind of realized that a really good way to work was to, kind of, try and, kind of, blend: All right, what are the creation tools we really want to make better? And how can we make a #RecRoomOriginal game that kind of really exercises and demonstrates those tools? And, so, Stunt Runner was really the very first time we did that on a major scale; and so we simultaneously, like, built a bunch of tools, and then used those tools to substantially build the game; and, you know, and really tried to make sure it was like a #RecRoomOriginal-quality game. And, so, that's become a ... you know, one of the considerations now is, like, how we're advancing the creation tools while building a fun new game. So, as we do this new paintball map - like I've mentioned a few times - it's going to come with a bunch of new tools that we're using in part to create the paintball game. So, that's kind of like the process as it's working right now. We're always adapting and changing the way we think about things. "Ready, Fire, Aim" is one of our company mottos, you know, so, we're always iterating and changing. So, that's the kind of current thinking. And, yeah, I mean, there's been a ton ... we have way more #RecRoomOriginal ideas - both internally and both in terms of what gets suggested in the community - you know, we can't make a hundred #RecRoomOriginals a month. So, we definitely have to leave a few ideas on the cutting room floor, you know - go-karts is the famous one - but, like I said, you know, go-karts ... like, something you need to know about me, Harry, is, you know, I've been making video games a long time. That's been ... I'm very old, and I have done that for a long time, and something I've learned is to be very patient. And I never let a good idea go; even if it takes me many years to get there. And, so, yeah, something like go-karts, I'm like: hey, you know, I would never say it's dead. I would say it's coming soon.
Capture Point Paintball Mode?
HairyManLegs: All right. Dogloopy asked: "Have you considered adding a Capture Point game style as gameplay option in Paintball alongside Capture the Flag and Deathmatch? Might be fun to play around with those maps."
Gribbly: Yeah, we've thought about it. Not something we're working on right now. We're doing some other upgrades to Paintball; but, yeah, interesting idea. And, so, I know that that's something that the game team has thought about, but I don't think they're actively working on it right now. Yeah, that could be fun.
HairyManLegs: It can be really fun, yeah, definitely in consideration.
HairyManLegs: All right; our last question comes from GAB3TH33PICBOSS: "Is the new teaser map going to be a paintball quest?"
Gribbly: Oh. Okay. No. It's not gonna be a paintball quest. It is going to be a paintball map. So, you've definitely, you know, you've seen the teasers. So, yeah. So, what the team were working on is a brand new paintball map: It's got new weapons with it. It's got some really, really fun new mechanics. And, so, yeah. I think it's - like I was saying before - we've been play testing this internally; it is a super, super, super fun map, but, yeah, that's the next thing that's coming out for paintball is a brand new map with couple of new weapons to try; but, yeah, it's gonna be the same game mode - so it'll be capture the flag, it'll be deathmatch, it's not gonna be a new game mode for paintball. It's a new game map and some new weapons. Yeah, but that is actually getting pretty close to done; and, so, we should, you know, I'm not sure exactly when they're going to ship it, but it is for real soon - not the trademarked gribbly "soon" which can mean anything from three weeks to three years. Yeah, but, yeah, so no, it won't be a paintball quest; will be a new paintball map; and it's a pretty sick one. I'm excited for it.
HairyManLegs: Yeah; there you have it, folks. It will be a new paintball map; so check out - very soon it will be out officially, right?
HairyManLegs: All right. Well, I want to say thank you so much, Gribbly, for taking your time to answer these question from the community.
Gribbly: Of course! Happy to do it. I love it.
HairyManLegs: I'm very happy and also just ask you a question: can you shoot that basketball all the way down there without looking?
Gribbly: Uh? To that far one? Easy. Okay. Yeah, here, just let me - let me just get into my Zen state. Okay, okay ... here it goes ...
HairyManLegs: Oh my ... how did you? ... No way! No way! ... Yes, yes, all right.
Gribbly: Big finish; we have big finish.
HairyManLegs: Well, thank you again so much Mr. Gribbly for taking your time out of your day to answer these questions and we'll see you guys in the next AMA. All right; bye, guys!