Jovanni is the Technical Director of the Core Simulation Team at Roblox. He and his team focus on keeping the physics engine alive so developers can build experiences based on dynamic physics.
Describe your team’s role at Roblox here.
Roblox has its own physics engine, which my team and the Solver Tech team share responsibility for maintaining. The first version of the engine was written by CEO Dave Baszucki in the early days of Roblox, but now that’s our job. Our primary goal is to increase developer confidence in physics, making it even easier to build experiences based on dynamic physics. The more they can rely on us to save time and focus on the most unique parts of their game, the better. We focus on simplicity, honesty and performance. Our team is responsible for things like collision detection, the internal architecture of the physics engine, the interface to the physics engine used by internal users and teams, and some specific features. of Roblox in our tool.
What is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working on your team at Roblox?
Roblox is a true platform company, so everything we build here is a foundation for experiences built by others. Also, having a younger developer demographic makes this even more difficult as they have high expectations of what is technically possible. Tell people, “sorry our engine isn’t ready to expand to those levels” to be a cop. “Good enough” is never good enough for our developer community. Everything just needs to work, and turning the hard stuff “just works” takes creative design and thoughtful engineering. But we’re incredibly inspired by the challenges our developers push us to solve – there’s no shortage of interesting or rewarding problems.
We regularly work with developers on various issues, so we can see how our work directly benefits them and its impact on the platform. For example, we’ve invested a lot of time and resources into improving performance speed by a large margin, which has increased the need for physical content in the experience, and we’ve seen many developers develop more simulation-based features over time. The more we get out of their way and the more capabilities we add, the more innovative we see developers.
How has your experience on the team at Roblox different from other roles you’ve had?
A lot of my work before Roblox was in game studios. In that environment, good is good enough, and once it works most of the time, you need to move on to the next thing. You don’t have time to really get the job done, and you often don’t get the satisfaction you need from a job well done. Also, at Roblox, the company that values your coffee really matters: we really care about our users and developers, which is surprisingly not the norm in other countries. another company I worked for.
What are the most interesting projects you’ve worked on and what have you learned while working at Roblox?
I have had the opportunity to contribute to many different projects on many different teams. As an engineer, I helped write the original automated game localization system, inverse kinematic drag tools for Studio, and also worked on our molting system. As managers, we continue to make engines faster. I used to be more skeptical of what was possible. There have been several times during my tenure here when, at the beginning of a project, I would think, “This is crazy. This will never work.” Then we figured it out and built it and it was awesome. It turned me into a cautious optimist.
What is one thing you love about the culture at Roblox?
Roblox is a professional and collaborative environment. I work with many extremely knowledgeable people who are happy to share and I feel free to ask anything I want to know. I have learned a lot from my colleagues here. I am grateful for their time and patience.
Want to join the Game Engine team at Roblox? We’re always on the lookout for new talent, so check us out at corp.roblox.com/careers/ and see if a role is right for you.