The front page. The main goal of all Robloxains who build and script. Making it here means your game has been popular enough to fight past all the other games trying to get there, showing your place is the one to be visited. Being there means being the popular kid in school.
But what if it was some other way? Let’s throw out some hypotheticals here.
First off, I have no clue how the Relevance tab sorts game. I don’t have the equation. You can make a few educated guesses, and I’m sure you could go about it scientifically with controlled variables to find out what affects the sort, but it’s something for another day. Most of my theories assume the idea becomes the major weight in the Relevance tab.
Theory 1: What if there was a ranking system?
The most simple of ideas. Players can rate places on a scale. Five stars, 10/10, or whatever it may be. Higher ranked games are put higher up.
There’s a major problem with this, but let me put it this way: The front page is already the sort of the most popular games at that moment. To be popular, a lot of people have to already like and enjoy your place to stick around and keep you in that slot. If people already like your game, they’re probably also going to give it a good ranking as well. Soon the ranking system becomes a copy of the same front page.
Don’t believe me? Let’s think of an example. What’s one current sort that’s not based on visits, rather than a user’s actions to show appreciation for the place? That’s right, the Favoriting system. Yes, one could argue that people favorite to make a quicklist on their userpage, but that’s less likely of a possibility now that the favorites list is a bit more hidden.
Creating a working ranking system means taking more into account for the ranking. Perhaps only give the option to rank for more experienced users, or weight ranks? Weighting ranks becomes a whole issue of it’s own, requiring its own equation to determine weight based on the user’s reputation… in which a system to determine doesn’t exist yet.
Perhaps the ability to rank should be something more hidden, perhaps in a place not too obvious, or even on another site. Putting it in a place for the more clever people to find may lead to more unbiased reviews. However, that has been partially tested.
Theory 2: Admin/Moderator Picks
This is another simple and common idea. A Roblox staff member picks a favorite game, and it gets highlighted for the week.
The idea was actually in practice for a while. Games favorited by the Roblox account was added to a showcase on the Roblox.com page, but it was meant more as a showcase of great places for the uninitiated rather than a “staff pick,” and at the time of writing this, only three places are on that list (two of which are staff made)
There are loads of problems with this one, all boiling down to “we’re only human.” There’s the first major issue of most players, even admins, play what’s on the front page, already making it very hard to find the hidden gems that a small time player might make.
Alright, so what if a staff member doesn’t play the front page? Well, they aren’t going to play the millions of games that are on Roblox currently. Let’s take a middle ground. Let’s say this staff member will only play games that he/she finds on the forums, through (interesting looking) ads, or through PMs or other forms of personal recommendation Even then, that’s still a nightmare to get through. Even more so, once word gets out that this specific staff member MIGHT even POSSIBLY select your place, the PMs will skyrocket.
Plus, to keep it fair, the cycle of picks has to be constant, if even for a short while like “every week for a few months” so for a few months, this one person might have to slew through thousands of places to find a pick.
Theory 3: “Noob vs Pro” Player Based Sort
This was a very interesting one from my friend. Basically, there’s a private score kept somewhere. When a new account/player joins the place, the score goes up slightly(+1). When a pro/veteran player joins it, the score goes up massively(+100) This score is used to weight the rank of the place. This secret score will naturally go down over time to keep places from sticking. (Score might go down faster based on how highly ranked it is)
This is a very interesting one I haven’t heard before. The most striking issue is the see-saw effect of said ranking system. When enough pros join, the place will shoot up the ranks for more newbs to see. From there, newbs will be joining more often than pros, which will eventually not be able to keep up with the natural score decrease. From there the place will drop, and not be visible anymore until more pros join.
But this seems to do exactly what it needs to do – show more people the awesome places out there. It’ll go up, new players will see it, find more awesome places, then either visit the awesome place more, or have a new higher standard of places. Perhaps from there, visiting these places after they’ve fallen off the front page will cause the user’s point power to go up. Visiting places pros picked = making you more knowledgeable about good places = your ranking power goes up.
One other issue I have with it is playing the system. Currently it’s very challenging to game the system because of the sheer number of players you need in your game to pull front page. It’s up in the thousands during peak hours. However, if pros pull more power on the ranking system, how many do you need to push a place up? A handful? A hundred? It’s worrying that giving one set of users power over the ranks compared to the rest will mean they’ll game the system. Perhaps they get a power check since the number of low-power noobs will vastly outnumber the number of high-power pros any day.
This is a very interesting idea. One I like much more than the standard stuff.
Theory 4: Don’t use a front page
Ah.. erm…. what?
This is from out of nowhere. Last time I ask friends for ideas. But it does get you thinking, which is what this post is about. What if there wasn’t a front page.
First off, it would nearly completely crash the economy. The main money source for many players is the flow of Tix from place visits. It’s the main way to make money. Without it, it’s all item sales and trading – stuff you can only do with Builder’s Club.
To combat this, all the power for place visits relies on advertising. Ads will become the main way to get place visits, and the forums would most likely be slammed if it was removed today (on top of being slammed with everyone complaining)
This would also cause a lot of off-site lists to be made, which means they’ll need to figure out a way to sort places, which means they’ll eventually have to read this. Hello, theoretical universe!