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 2005 and 2006 have completely disappeared with no archive in the site. The only builds predating 2010 that have been uncovered by various communities are the 2007 build, 2008 build, and a 2009 build.
In 1984, 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 Eric 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 Eric 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. By December 2003, the pair bought the domains for GoBlocks.com and soon after Dynablocks.com.
In 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 2004, David Baszucki and Eric Cassel released the beta version of a game entitled Roblox. It was an online building toy that allowed users to create and design their own 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 to speculate 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.
2007 Build Discovered
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 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 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.
2005 Google Patent
On May of 2017, a user named "WIiPlay123" uncovered a Google patent abstract titled "Online building toy" that was released during 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.
Despite the patent being consistently updated 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
- "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
- Google Patent page on "Online building toy abstract". Retrieved 13 May '17