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 different types of games created by other users. Before the game became open to the public, it was originally named Dynablocks up until early 2005 that David Baszucki and Eric Cassel (the founders of Roblox) decided to rename Dynablocks to Roblox because of complications with the name of Dynablocks.
Although the current version of the game is still up and playable, the clients from 2005 and 2006 have been lost in the sands of time. The only builds (from pre-2010) that have been uncovered so far are from 2007, 2008, and 2009. While there has been only a handful of pictures and information from 2005 that have been discovered by the community, there has been no gameplay footage featured from this time period (nor an archive from the Roblox servers).
In 2004, programmers and developers David Baszucki and Erik Cassel created a game called Dynablocks. Dynablocks was an online building toy that was meant for the sole purpose of allowing users to create and design their own game. In 2005, David and Erik decided to rename Dynablocks to Roblox – a portmanteau of the words "robots" and "blocks", and the launched a beta version that same year. In 2006, Roblox was officially released to the public.
2005 Google Patent
On May of 2017, a user named WIiPlay123 uncovered a Google patent abstract titled "Online building toy" that was released in 2005 by David Baszucki and Eric Cassel. The patent contains information detailing the thought process behind the creation of Roblox. It also included screenshots that were taken from the game itself and flowcharts and diagrams detailing the functionality of certain methods.
"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
The patent abstract is still being updated to this day, but the information still remains the same as it was back when the patent was first published. Also, if one was to look closely at the client's icon, it matches the R from the old logo used from mid-2004 till mid-2005.
Brief History of the Discovery of Older Builds
In 2012, a 2008 client installer was uncovered within Roblox's servers on "c5.roblox.com". The discovery of this installer started to spread on Roblox's forums like Roblox Talk and Off Topic. Thanks to this, many users began to speculate whether older clients could be found using the same method that was used to uncover the 2008 installer.
In 2013, all old Roblox builds were removed from the c5.roblox.com link. Despite this unfortunate inconvenience, a mid-2010 client build was uncovered.
In 2015, user CloneTrooper1019 released a Github repository that contains a late-2009 client build.
Discovery of Previously Lost Builds
On September of 2017, an installer from February 2nd, 2007 was uncovered. Although it isn't possible to download the client anymore (as the original 2007 files have since been deleted from the Roblox servers).</ref>An archive of the Roblox site where the 2007 file can be downloaded. Retrieved Sept '17</ref>
On October 25th, 2017, user ReDZ found an anonymous user who played Roblox back in 2007 and was able to find a handful of clients on their hard drive with builds dating from mid-2007 to mid-2008. User Kallus later contacted the unnamed user for the August 31st, 2007 client and leaked it upon getting given it. Hours after the build got 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 the February 8th, 2008 build).
As of October 25th, 2017, there is absolutely no security within this particular build in its vanilla state. It is advised by CloneTrooper1019 himself that people should be safe when using this build. Finobe did however on October 29th, 2017 release their version of the client onto their site that has the security issues patched and has Finobe branding for the purpose of competition.
- Official Wikipeida page for Roblox. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- A Roblox Wikia page on Dynablocks. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- Online building toy abstract. Retrieved 10 May '17
- A Github link to a 2009 Roblox build. Retrieved 26 Oct 17
- History of the clientsearch blog. Retrieved Sept '17
- A forum post detailing information on the clients that were found. Includes an almost complete list of what was found apart from January 2008 actually being February 8th, 2008. Retrieved 26 Oct '17
- Github link to the vanilla build. Retrieved 26 Oct '17