This article is a list of all the not-designed-for uses that we have definitely deemed as the risky stuff. Using any of the exploits on this list is strongly discouraged, and if you do use them, it should be with the understanding that sooner or later what you built is going to stop working.
Importantly: if something is not on this list, that does not guarantee it's safe--it might just mean that we don't know about it yet (please tell us). We strongly encourage you to use your judgment. If you're using tools, props, gadgets, chips, etc. in a way that seems really "janky" or "roundabout," then please consider it to be "risky." That means maybe you can use it--but please think twice before you sink too much time into building a Room that completely depends on it. When in doubt, ask us!
We respect that these exploits fill a need that builders have that isn't yet covered by the tools we've made for you. Please share and discuss your creative tools requests on our canny.io board, on Discord, and at our community AMAs and Q&As.
- Dodgeball fire effect
- Lag-based movement trigger
- Spawner Gadgets inside Circuit Boards
- Trigger Volumes with Decorative Objects
- Transparency by Rich Text on Buttons
Dodgeball fire effect - Unsupported - A dodgeball attached to an Animation Gizmo and grabbed can stay in place and emit a fire particle effect that's not available in the Emitter gadget. This behavior may break in the future if there are changes to object physics, the Animation Gizmo, or the Dodgeball prop. We appreciate creators' desire for more fire emitter effects. Additions to the Emitter gadget are planned, but this specific particle effect will not be included.
Lag-based movement trigger - Unsupported - When a Trigger Volume and an Environmental maker pen object are attached together via Gizmo, the Trigger Volume updates its position more sluggishly than the Environmental object. This means that at some speed threshold, the two objects will collide with each other, and the Trigger Volume's pins will fire. This behavior will break in the relatively near future with planned changes to object behavior. The good news is, Circuits V2 already supports this functionality.
Spawner Gadgets inside Circuit Boards - Known Bug - Spawner Gadgets can be added to Circuit Boards. This is not intended behavior, and it has the potential to cause issues. This might save a little Ink for the time being, but it's not worth it! We'll be fixing this as soon as we get a free moment, and that might break your gadgets or throw a wrench in your Room project.
Trigger Volumes with Decorative Objects - Known Bug - Decorative objects were designed not to have collision boundaries and therefore can't activate Trigger Volumes. However, there's a known bug where Decorative objects appear to briefly gain a collision boundary when they're grabbed by a player, and thus activate Trigger Volumes. Users have used this trick to create world interactions that are smooth and don't have difficulties associated with Physical and Environmental objects. We will eventually be fixing this bug as part of the Circuits V2 development, and when we do, existing uses of this exploit will break. The good news is, similar functionality is planned for Circuits V2; users won't need Trigger Volumes anymore to identify objects, and we expect to have an Event that can execute when a Decorative object is picked up. For the time being, there is a supported workaround for this functionality in Circuits V1, which does cost more Ink: use a Clamp Gizmo to attach a 'dummy' Trigger Volume to the Decorative object you're working with, and then use object Tags to control what happens next. Trigger Volumes behave much like Decorative geometry, with the difference that they have collision boundaries that can activate other Trigger Volumes.
Transparency by Rich Text on Buttons - Unsupported - The Button and Sign props were not intended to support Rich Text input, but builders discovered long ago that this can be exploited to create 2D surfaces with lots of colors, and even transparency. We're planning to add an official, designed-for, supported alternative way to create transparency, and we're going to do that before we eliminate this exploit--but we do plan to eliminate this exploit.
As for the Buttons that currently exist for this exploit: we're going to make our very best effort to preserve them functioning. We are very aware of (and very grateful for) the really awesome ways this exploit has been put to use as part of great experiences in Rec Room, and we want those to keep working. But, that's not a guarantee--we don't know yet how difficult it might be to make that happen, and there's always a small possibility that it can't be done without breaking something else. Therefore, continuing to use this exploit does involve some risk.
But here's what we can guarantee: if the worst should prove to be true and we can't manage to preserve existing uses of this, we will absolutely give the community a heads-up, and a reasonably long period of time (at least a few weeks) during which builders can go into the Rooms that will be affected and swap out the Button exploit for the supported alternative that we create.
One more note about Rich Text: it also supports selection of colors outside of the Maker Pen's color palette. When we eliminate use of Rich Text, we don't plan on providing an alternative way to create those colors.
Developing Rec Room is an art as much as it is a science.
When we're developing the creative tools that you all use, we only have a basic idea about how you all will use them in practice. Some of the best things that have been created in Rec Room have been amazing examples of lateral thinking and creative problem-solving--and we don't want that to stop!
We encourage pushing the boundaries of the tools we provide. But we also advise respecting those boundaries. These two things can absolutely be done at the same time! Learning that balance is part of the art that you all practice. In fact, it works the same way in lots of creative fields, and definitely in software development--Rec Room is a great place to learn these lessons!
Sometimes after creative tools are released, we discover that the community has started using them in ways for which they were not designed. Most of these uses are harmless! Some of them are not.
Sometimes these "not-designed-for" uses can lead to performance issues and bugs. But mostly the problem with them is this: Rec Room is always changing, but the design principles we use do not. When we change tools, the only thing we can be sure won't change is what we designed them to do. Logically, this means that if you're using tools for something they weren't designed to do, then we can't be sure--and you can't be sure--that they won't stop working.