Dynablocks/Roblox (partially found beta builds of online game; 2005-2007)
Roblox is a massive online multiplayer platform that allows users to create and design their own games and play a wide variety of other user-generated games. Back before Roblox became readily available to the public, its name was originally GoBlocks. It was also changed to DynaBlocks for unverifiable reasons but it was ultimately changed to Roblox afterwards because of the name being too hard to remember.
Although Roblox is still up and playable, older clients from 2004 to 2006 have completely disappeared with no archive in the site. The earliest build currently uncovered by communities is the late March 2007 client.
In 1989, David Baszucki founded the company "Knowledge Revolution". Around this time, he developed general-purpose software for physics and mechanical simulation, which were intended for educational purposes. According to an interview with David, he recalls creating three pieces of software that were all physics-based, these being Interactive Physics, Working Model, and The Incredible Machine. He also met Erik Cassel and Keith Lucas around this time.
Around 1998, he stepped down as the CEO and became the Vice President. Later on, Knowledge Revolution was acquired by MSC Software for 20 million dollars followed by both David and Erik leaving the company. They were soon joined by other employees as well. Soon after, development for a brand new game began, though the year development began is not specified or known. In late September 2003, an entry named eBlocks with the description "Stealth mode video game company." is added to David Baszuckis website but it is unknown what it was about. By December 2003, the pair bought the domains for GoBlocks.com and soon after Dynablocks.com.
In January 2004, they renamed Dynablocks to Roblox – a portmanteau of the words "robots" and "blocks". It was changed due to Dynablocks being a hard name to recognize.
By mid 2004, David Baszucki and Erik Cassel opened the public beta version of the game. It was an online building toy that allowed users to create and design their own games with genres like minigames and puzzle games, driving games. In 2005 Roblox was officially released to the public.
Despite being released around the time when the internet became a bigger household staple, many builds predating the 2010s are lost. The cause being Roblox moving their servers or removing old content from the main servers, with many not trying much to archive these clients.
According to the Tumblr blog "clientsearch", an installer for the 2008 build of Roblox was discovered around 2012. This began with people on the now-defunct Roblox forums speculating if there were any older builds on the site's servers. Sadly in the following year, Roblox removed all older versions from c5.roblox.com.
In 2015, there were more discoveries of older clients. Roblox developer "CloneTrooper1019" released a Github repository from a late 2009 client build. In 2016, a broken installer for the 2007 build of Roblox was discovered. The year after that, a broken installer was discovered alongside with screenshots from 2006.
2005-2006 Games and Models
Between 2021 and early 2022, various assets, including games and models, were uncovered. These assets include a January 2006 default place environment which has XML elements that are remnants of 2005 versions, May 2005 default models with the original XML material intact, and January 2006 humanoid player models. Some of these assets were found via thumbnail hashes, while others were found via a sitetest leak. Other findings include miscellaneous games from 2006 to 2007/2008 being found via the hash method.
On October 25th, 2017, Finobe user ReDZ found an anonymous user who played Roblox back in 2007 and held onto a hard drive containing a handful of clients on their hard drive. Later on, user Kallus later contacted the unnamed user for the August 31st, 2007 client and leaked it upon getting it.
Hours after the build was leaked, user "CloneTrooper1019" published the leaked vanilla build with permission from Finobe onto a Github repository. The repository contains all the files necessary for the build to run properly since some of it was originally missing (such as fonts, textures, sounds, music, and animations which were borrowed from a 2008 build).
Later that year, it was advised by "CloneTrooper1019" and many others that people should be safe while using this multiplayer functionality of the 2007 build due to major security flaws. Finobe however released their version of the client containing the necessary patches to fix the major security issues.
On March 14th, 2021, another early build of Roblox was discovered and released by an anonymous player from the time period. This build dates back to March 2007, making it the earliest discovered build of Roblox in a playable state. This build is also notable as it has various supported debug tools in it, such as ThumbnailGenerator, the function used to generate Roblox avatars and game thumbnails.
2005 Google Patent
On November 9th, 2015, a Reddit user named "Wiiplay123" uncovered a Google patent abstract titled "Online building toy" that was filed in 2005 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel. The patent contains information detailing the thought process behind the creation of Roblox. It also included screenshots of the game itself, flowcharts, and diagrams detailing the functionality of certain methods. In April 2021, the original quality, color version of the patent was discovered which elaborates more information about the gameplay and website in early 2005. The found patent reveals in better quality what some model and game assets looked like, and a better more legible website.
The present invention pertains to a method and apparatus for building online games. In one embodiment, the method may include providing a user interface that facilitates user selection of parts and placing a set of parts selected by a user in a three-dimensional (3D) world. The method may also include joining parts within the set based on their proximity to each other in the 3D world to form one or more models for a game, and sending a model file for each of these models to a server via a network for use by various users. - David Baszucki, 2005.
Despite the patent being consistently renewed by David Baszucki, the older versions of the patent abstract still exist. Even early renditions from 2010 and onward can be viewed.
- Official Wikipedia page for Roblox. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- A Roblox Wikia page on Dynablocks. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- ↑ Roblox Blog page on a brief history of physics in video games. Retrieved 17 Sept '19
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "CloneTrooper1019"'s Github page which has the Roblox Client Repository from 2009. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- ↑ Clientsearch's Tumblr post on the history of the account. Retrieved 17 Oct '17
- ↑ A forum post detailing information on the clients that were found, which includes an almost complete list of what was found apart from January 2008 actually being February 8th, 2008). Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- ↑ Github download page for the March 2007 build of Roblox. Retrieved 15 Mar '21
- ↑ Twitter post by MaximumADHD ("CloneTrooper1019") about the ThumbnailGenerator service. Retrieved 15 Mar '21
- ↑ Reddit post by Wiiplay123 showing the 2005 Roblox patent. Retrieved 23 May '22
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Google Patent page on "Online building toy abstract". Retrieved 13 May '17