Morgan Tucker is Senior Director of Product at Roblox, where he brings cross-functional teams together through a vision for the future of collaborative, expressive, spatial experiences.
With groundbreaking projects like Spatial Voice chat, Roblox's immersive virtual concerts with Twenty One Pilots and Lil Nas X, and The Gucci Garden virtual exhibition, Morgan and his team continue to push the boundaries of social experiences in the Metaverse.
Morgan’s presentation at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8 is titled ‘Designing for the Metaverse’.
It will explore how Roblox is ushering in the Metaverse through groundbreaking immersive and innovative technologies.
He will also discuss some best practices of creating memorable shared experiences and designing interactive virtual environments for the Metaverse.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about what you do?
Morgan Tucker: Roblox’s mission is to build a human co-experience platform that enables shared experiences among billions of users.
Every day, tens of millions of people around the world have fun with friends as they explore millions of immersive digital experiences on the platform. All of these experiences are built by the Roblox community, made up of millions of creators.
There’s something for everyone on Roblox: from building your own amusement park to working at a pizza place, becoming a DJ, or enjoying a fashion show and a music concert.
We don’t see any limitation on what Roblox can be and what people will use it for. Whatever you see in the real world, we can imagine it bigger and better.
Visionaries and futurists call this new, immersive internet the Metaverse.
We believe it’s the future of how people will connect, socialise, create and share experiences together. We also believe in building a safe, civil and diverse community—one that inspires and fosters creativity and positive relationships between people around the world.
The ability to design for the Metaverse lets us tell a story in a visceral, impactful way.Morgan Tucker
What does your role entail?
As a Senior Director of Product at Roblox, I work with the Social Product Group on building hyper-immersive social experiences in the platform.
One recent example is our new Spatial Voice technology and the Roblox Community Space where our developers are currently testing it.
We’ve launched both this September and are already receiving great feedback from the community, who are recognising the massive potential.
This is an entirely new way to communicate (via voice) that allows people to speak with one another as naturally as they would in real life.
My team and I also led the design and development of experiences like the virtual NYSE stock exchange space where we celebrated Roblox going public, concerts like Lil Nas X and Twenty One Pilots, the Gucci Garden fashion exhibition, the In The Heights space and others.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I have pursued various creative endeavours throughout my life, from music to film, products and games. I find that interactive experiences are an amazing amalgam of all my skills and interests.
The ability to design for the Metaverse lets us tell a story in a visceral, impactful way while giving the viewer a sense of agency that they can’t get anywhere else.
Right now, my team and I are building out our collective expertise in this new immersive realm conceiving innovative experiences and utilising our platform’s technology to connect people and create memories they can share – that let them feel strong emotions, feel happy, strong, free, or simply not alone. It’s very fulfilling to be able to work on something this meaningful and creative.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the games industry?
It’s very fulfilling to be able to work on something this meaningful and creative.Morgan Tucker
The things that make you unique are the same things that will give you an advantage when pursuing a career in games. I got my start in the industry by writing music and creating sound effects.
Basically, doing things that I had been passionate about my whole life. I had gone to a school for Audio Production and even worked on music and sound for film, but had spent the early years of my career in software design.
It was only later that I realised I could leverage that knowledge to get into the gaming industry.
And now, I use every bit of my audio, concert production, film and product design background to create experiences in the Metaverse.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
The pandemic has underscored the importance of our mission of connecting people and brought the Metaverse closer, with the industry responding to the needs of their communities by trying to innovate and experiment with new, immersive experiences and technologies.
From high-fidelity virtual concerts to branded experiences like our Gucci Garden, to huge scale virtual events and film launch parties, we’ve seen a plethora of innovative forms of interactive entertainment emerge in recent months.
For example, with Twenty One Pilots, we’ve taken our virtual concert experiences to the next level of interactivity with features like the first-ever dynamic setlist dictated by fans in real-time and teleporting users to other popular Roblox worlds for fun quests.
We design these experiences to be open-ended and driven by the user, and oftentimes they will surprise us with what they discover and how they interact.
I’m excited to see what comes next as the industry continues to embrace a future where people come together in the Metaverse to socialise, connect, learn, play, work and ultimately design their own experiences.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
As technology continues to evolve, the experiences we’ll be able to build in the metaverse will not only replicate reality but will even improve upon it. Take music, for example.
Roblox has already played host to innovative music experiences that have brought millions together from around the globe – something simply not possible in the physical world. Our concerts have allowed fans to engage with their favourite artists in hyper-immersive, interactive environments. In the future, these experiences will only become more immersive and more memorable.
The metaverse also stands to change how we work. From 3D virtual meetings to large company parties, the remote workforce will also transition into virtual spaces as our technology matures.
Creativity will flourish in the Metaverse as it becomes a collaborative hub for the likes of fashion designers and architects. This is something I'm particularly excited about.
We design these experiences to be open-ended and driven by the user, and oftentimes they will surprise us.Morgan Tucker
While today’s shared experiences in Roblox and the Metaverse are more about recreation, in the near future they will involve literally anything people can do together in real life. The potential is enormous.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
For me, the key change is the shift from gaming being purely about entertainment or competition, to being about social experiences and community.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the growth of platforms like Roblox, which is primarily focused on bringing people together and allowing them to share experiences together and express themselves, as well as create their own experiences.
It’s amazing how virtual gaming worlds are transforming into social hubs where people can generate memories and make real, long-lasting connections, or even start creating and turn it into a career.
As a designer myself, it’s inspiring to see how platforms like Roblox are providing an opportunity for creatives of all ages to develop and showcase their talent and ability for a massive global audience. Simply put, the industry nowadays is about much more than just gaming… and that’s fantastic.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
I’m really looking forward to my fireside chat! I can’t wait to dig into how we’re pioneering the Metaverse vision in Roblox.
You can find Morgan at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital 8!
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