Developer Spotlight: Den_S
For this spotlight, we will be featuring Den_S, creator of the well-known Theme Park Tycoon 2! This game took Roblox by storm when it was released and has since accumulated more than 200,000,000 visits! We’re going behind the scenes to learn more about the developer behind this fun and unique game on Roblox.
How long have you been a part of Roblox?
Den_S: I’ve been on Roblox since the end of 2008, so over 10 years by now!
What brought you to the platform?
Den_S: Initially the ability to freely build anything drove me to Roblox. Nowadays, Roblox allows me to easily design games without having to worry about handling a lot of backend stuff, such as handling data storage, payments, hosting multiplayer servers, and distributing the game.
What are some of the challenges you have while developing and what resources do you use?
Den_S: Time is one of the main challenges. It is difficult to keep the scope under control in a way that a game can be released in a timely manner. Nowadays I use issue trackers to manage tasks that have to be done (or would be nice to do) and prioritize them, which helps cut non-essential things to some degree.
What skills have you acquired as a Roblox developer?
Den_S: I’ve acquired a lot of programming skills thanks to developing games on Roblox. It helped kickstart programming skills (and other IT-related skills) outside of Roblox as well!
Theme Park Tycoon 2 is one of your most popular games. What do you think made it so popular?
Den_S: The game is basically a combination of a creative game and a social experience, which I believe is a key factor for its success. Any player can build and experience theme parks with their friends, but for advanced players there are also various options to build highly sophisticated creations, which helps widen the reach of the game significantly.
What opportunities have you come across as a result of being a Roblox developer?
Den_S: It allowed me to turn a fun hobby into a job! It all even led to Theme Park Tycoon 2 being part of the Roblox toy collection and various Roblox books, which is something I wouldn’t have ever expected to happen.
What was the process like when localizing your game?
Den_S: It initially took a lot of effort to manually collect all strings in the game and adjust the game UI to use these localized strings, as the game has over 1000 unique strings. Now that’s complete, though, localizing to any new language or adding new localized strings is trivial. The Roblox localization API is pretty robust and supports a lot of great formatting functionalities, which helped a lot with integrating localization.
How has localizing changed your game? Have you noticed a change in your audience?
Den_S: After Ysko’s efforts to translate the game to Spanish, the Spanish audience doubled and their playtime increased significantly. This immediately illustrated the value of localization to me. Thanks to the localization, the game became much more accessible to players that aren’t as proficient in English.
Do you plan on expanding your game’s localization to new countries as they become available?
Do you have any tips for other Roblox developers, new or old?
Den_S: It helps a lot to actually finish and release games. Make sure to keep the scope of your game under control so that you can actually release it, especially if you haven’t released a game before! The experience you’ll get by publishing an entire game is invaluable.
Please give your thanks to Den_S for this awesome spotlight opportunity! If you would like to see more about this developer, check out his Twitter, @DennisRBLX, and follow him on Roblox! Don’t forget to also check out Theme Park Tycoon 2 and experience this wonderful game for yourself!