So, you (or your child) want to build your own Roblox games? Maybe you want to create games for others to play? For that you will need to learn Roblox scripting.
Now you ask, what is Roblox scripting? How does it work? More importantly you may want to know how long it takes to learn. Roblox scripting is not as hard to learn as other programming languages might be. But you will need to commit time and effort.
How long it takes to learn Roblox scripting is not an easy question to answer, because it all boils down to how much effort and time you put into it.
Roblox uses Lua and learning the basics of Lua can take anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the time you put into it. The more you practice, the faster you will learn.
To get started and to become effective in Lua programming, there are some basics you should learn and know. Here’s a very quick overview of what you should know at first, with some links into our online Roblox classes if you need any help.
What is Roblox scripting?
One thing that makes Roblox special, apart from that it’s free of course, is that users can create their own games. They can build these games for themselves or build games to share with others.
Building these games is a fun way to learn about computer programming and game design. In fact, we believe that kids who learn how to build games in Roblox learn about much more than just how to code – here’s what we think Roblox teaches kids.
But to just build games in Roblox, players use scripts. More specifically, players use Lua scripts to create their games. What is Lua? Let’s explain.
What is Lua?
Lua is a popular scripting and programming language (find out more). It’s lightweight and easy to learn nature means it’s embedded for use in many programs; Roblox being one example.
It’s not just Roblox where you will find Lua being used. Popular gaming titles such as World of Warcraft have Lua embedded in them.
Most of the features you see in Roblox are actually coded in Lua. To be more accurate, Roblox actually uses a modified version of Lua called Roblox Lua, but the basics remain the same.
Is Lua hard to learn?
Luckily, if you want to learn Lua, you’ll be happy to hear that Lua is not hard to learn.
The best way to learn Lua, or any other programming language, is to actually do some programming. You can do this by building small programs or even start making a game and learn the basics as you go.
In order to learn Lua, you will need a text editor. This is a program in which you write your code. There are a variety of text editors available. If you want to get stuck in quickly, Roblox offers its own text editor, Roblox Studio, which you can use to learn.
There is a wealth of online tutorials and videos where you can learn. Roblox even offers tutorials on how to learn scripting. Lua also has a very friendly community where you can ask for advice when you get stuck. The Roblox wiki is also an excellent source of information on Roblox scripting.
Of course, you can also sign up to summer camps or term-time learning with companies such as ourselves, where we run regular Roblox coding courses for kids.
Learning the basics of Lua
In order to learn Lua, and by implication Roblox scripting, you should first learn the basics.
For example, one of the first steps will be to understand how to declare variables and how to use them. A variable is simply a container that contains data. This data can be of many different types. For instance, you could declare a variable called name with your name in it, or maybe a variable number which contains a number.
Next up is data types. In Lua, different values can be of different types. These include number, string, boolean, function, table and so on.
You should also know operators. Operators are symbols which allow you to perform specific mathematical or logical manipulations in your program or game. These include, for instance, +, -, * or /.
Loops are important, especially in game creation where it may be necessary to execute a block of code several times. In Lua we have while loops, for loops, repeat…until loops and nested loops.
Decision making is just as important in game design. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects. With decision making you decide what will happen if some or other condition is true. Conversely, you also decide what will happen if it is false.
Functions allow you to group some logic together to perform a task. They are an important part of programming and makes code reuse easier.
You should also know how to import and use various modules. Modules are libraries already written which you can use in your programs.
Lastly, you should know how to handle errors in your programs. More often than not, errors will occur in your programs. If you don’t know how to handle the errors, your programs will not work correctly.
You should also learn how to use Roblox Studio as it is the editor you will be using to create your games.
Keep in mind that these basics are not the only things you need to learn, but it will give you a good start. You will learn more features of Lua programming as you build more programs.
How long does it take to make a Roblox game?
This is maybe the most difficult question to answer. This is because there are several ways to get started.
You can learn the basics of Lua by building small programs and then move on to building Roblox games. You can also get started with Roblox games immediately and learn as you go.
How long it takes to build a game will also depend on how big the game is. You could build a small game in as little as a month or less, but bigger more complex games can take several months or longer.
The best way to find out is to get stuck in and build your first game.
What we would say though, is that every kid who completes the FunTech Roblox Game Developer classes, will have a project published at the end of the course to share with their friends.
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