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Unread 05-17-2009, 07:23 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
The reason that there was a rim of carpet around the field was to get out of pins.
I thought it was because FRP came in 8x50 rolls, and 3 rolls would leave a gap on the standard 27x54 field.
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Unread 05-17-2009, 07:36 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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Originally Posted by GaryVoshol View Post
I thought it was because FRP came in 8x50 rolls, and 3 rolls would leave a gap on the standard 27x54 field.
FRP does not come in 8' x 50' rolls unless it is a custom order. FIRST had to custom order the FRP. The 18" gap was intended to give teams a tractional advantage when they were on the side of the field.
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Unread 05-17-2009, 09:42 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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Originally Posted by GaryVoshol View Post
I thought it was because FRP came in 8x50 rolls, and 3 rolls would leave a gap on the standard 27x54 field.
Haha, Gary is a master of logic.

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Originally Posted by ShaunT View Post
Maneuvering in the open field and maneuvering out of pins are two completely different situations.
If you did not realize, I was talking about you guys and your driving.

And for those arguing about wanting to level the playing field, there is a reason I have this quote in my signature since the end of Championships this year and there is a reason for what my custom user title says. I agree with Adam about everything in his last post (#55) Well stated. People need to want something and reach out and grab it. Make the attempt, whether you succeed or fail in reaching your final goal the first time around, you have built a foundation for even greater development.

I hate that every year people turn this competition into whining rather than winning.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:05 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

Just curious, how would FIRST go about "leveling the playing field" if that was their aim? This has been my first season, but the way I see it the mere fact that the game changes every year should be more than enough in terms of keeping things level.

The fact that the game always is changing means that teams always have to come up with new ideas to adapt to the new game environment. This gives an advantage to both sides.

Rookies come in with no preconceived notions of how things "should be done" and are theoretically more able to think outside the box, though they may lack the technical understanding that comes with experience.

Veterans have to forget much of the strategies and rules from previous years and develop a totally new mentality, but at the same time have greater experience

So in a sense FIRST naturally balances the playing field.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:12 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

I don't think it did level the playing feild. Mainly because of the influence of the human player on the game. Large teams have a larger talent pool to pick from so their more likely to have a realy good human player, and they could have a better chance of having a good driver, which was what it took to win.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:19 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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Originally Posted by Mr. Pockets View Post
Just curious, how would FIRST go about "leveling the playing field" if that was their aim? This has been my first season, but the way I see it the mere fact that the game changes every year should be more than enough in terms of keeping things level.

The fact that the game always is changing means that teams always have to come up with new ideas to adapt to the new game environment. This gives an advantage to both sides.

Rookies come in with no preconceived notions of how things "should be done" and are theoretically more able to think outside the box, though they may lack the technical understanding that comes with experience.

Veterans have to forget much of the strategies and rules from previous years and develop a totally new mentality, but at the same time have greater experience

So in a sense FIRST naturally balances the playing field.
Heh, that's a really good point. I like the way your mind works.

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Originally Posted by bobwrit View Post
I don't think it did level the playing feild. Mainly because of the influence of the human player on the game. Large teams have a larger talent pool to pick from so their more likely to have a realy good human player, and they could have a better chance of having a good driver, which was what it took to win.
That's not really true. All a small team had to do was train a human player well, and they could have just a good a player as a larger team.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:27 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwrit
I don't think it did level the playing feild. Mainly because of the influence of the human player on the game. Large teams have a larger talent pool to pick from so their more likely to have a realy good human player, and they could have a better chance of having a good driver, which was what it took to win.
But no matter what the game was the larger teams would have an advantage in terms of the driver. There's no way to set up a game to change that.

With regards to the human player they put that in to keep the field balanced. Leveling the playing field means having a game that favors no side. Like you said vets had a larger talent pool in terms of payload specialists, but theoretically their drivers were also put at a disadvantage due to the field (more so then the rookies as it was different than what the vets were used to).

Thanks jpmittins, same to you ^_^
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Last edited by Mr. Pockets : 05-21-2009 at 06:13 AM.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:31 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

This thread and some others all focus on the game and mechanical design. For me the biggest factor separating success from barely completing the build was not the design- build mechanical but the ability of teams to deal with change, documentation and following detailed instructions. I'm not looking at the championship level. I'm focusing on the regional and the actual build season.
This year was a year of change. Before this year veteran teams were familiar with the IFI system and ready to go from day one. Rookies had a low bar and many years of resources to get up to speed on the control system. With the new control system this year there was a new separation of the haves and have nots. The teams that had mentors and students with the ability to parse large volumes of technical documentation and detailed precise instruction did well. Those who could not had a very frustrating year. This year the game rules had more of a bureaucratic feel to them. Remember the long post and rants about the bumpers? Seams there were more than a few veteran teams that designed and built robots with illegal bumpers and did not have fun rebuilding there robot in the last weeks.
Should First level the playing field? No way. However, they need to help and pick up the bottom and push down on the top teams. Ensure that no team fails to complete a season and that the top teams do not take the technology so far that the high school students become disconnected from the mentors.

Last edited by Gdeaver : 05-20-2009 at 10:33 PM.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 06:11 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdeaver
Should First level the playing field? No way. However, they need to help and pick up the bottom and push down on the top teams. Ensure that no team fails to complete a season and that the top teams do not take the technology so far that the high school students become disconnected from the mentors.
So in other words make a game that isn't too complicated that it is too far beyond the students ability to work with it?
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Unread 05-21-2009, 07:04 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdeaver View Post
This year was a year of change. Before this year veteran teams were familiar with the IFI system and ready to go from day one. Rookies had a low bar and many years of resources to get up to speed on the control system. With the new control system this year there was a new separation of the haves and have nots. The teams that had mentors and students with the ability to parse large volumes of technical documentation and detailed precise instruction did well. Those who could not had a very frustrating year.
This is a very interesting view point - one which I have not yet heard. I would have expected the new control system to be a field leveler, not the other way around. This year, the veterans with their vast experience with the IFI controller weren't able to skip over that learning curve like they could in years past. All teams had to learn from scratch and were on equal footing.

Quote:
Should First level the playing field? No way. However, they need to help and pick up the bottom and push down on the top teams. Ensure that no team fails to complete a season and that the top teams do not take the technology so far that the high school students become disconnected from the mentors.
I'm staying away from this, lest the dead horse be pulled from the grave for another beating.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 09:20 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

What I'm trying to point out is that the shear volume of documentation that a team needed to digest and the need to follow directions precisely added a new dimension to the "level the playing field issue". If a team mastered the technical documentation and the instruction to bring up the control system then the field was very level. That hurdle was a big one this year. Going forward next year, with some experience, Labview and the control system should be an enabling and leveling factor. In past years the mechanical part was the separator .
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Unread 05-21-2009, 09:25 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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Originally Posted by Gdeaver View Post
Should First level the playing field? No way. However, they need to help and pick up the bottom and push down on the top teams.
I will never accept a goal that says "push down on the top teams." (Pre-emptive response: I do not consider Lunacy <G14> to be supporting such a goal. It applies to everyone.)

Quote:
Ensure that ... the top teams do not take the technology so far that the high school students become disconnected from the mentors.
That strikes me as a misdirected focus. Student/mentor disconnects do not occur only because of advanced technology.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 09:58 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

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That strikes me as a misdirected focus. Student/mentor disconnects do not occur only because of advanced technology.
In fact, one could argue that student/mentor CONNECTS occur because of advanced technology. How many high school students (and for that matter people in general) can see a walking robot and not be curious how it works? If they are curious enough they will try to figure out how it all works. This will encourage them to seek out mentors. This is my perspective as a student/mentor.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 10:20 AM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

Okay so just to make the GDC happy lunacy did level the playing field to a very small degree. Lets be honest look at the teams that won the championship this year, these teams are good every year no matter what you throw at them. In fact 111 and 67 are two of the arguably the best ever. I don't know why people think the game makes a difference. Student, Mentors, sponsors and volunteers make a team. FIRST is purposely designed not to be a level playing field and that is why it is such a great real world model.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: Did Lunacy really level the playing field?

No matter what, the playing field will never be level. All of this talk of leveling the playing field is really just a waste. This year was full of upsets and unexpected wins and loses but the playing field wasn't really level. Good teams still build good machines, some teams still build sub-par machines, and others still build machines that just blend into the crowd.

Look at Nascar, you only have a limited number of parameters in which to work and yet somehow, teams still manage to get a leg up on the competition through technique, experience, strategy, or Skill.
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