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Unread 05-05-2002, 11:42 PM
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Ok, so YOU design the 2003 game...

Okay, it has been a week since the National Championships, and you have had some time to reflect on what worked about this year’s game, and what didn’t. Are you sitting around, already thinking about next year’s competition, and wondering what it might be like? Well, how about an opportunity to possibly influence what next year’s competition might be like?

Several groups are working with and within FIRST to address various aspects of the challenge for next year’s competition. They are looking for good ideas, game concepts, rule suggestions, play field designs, etc – everything from a basic idea for a game to a set of detailed rules and parts drawings.

With that thought in mind, I would like to open a thread to discuss ideas, concepts, and specific suggestions for next year’s game. What we are looking for here are specific, detailed ideas or suggestions about how to design the game for next year.

I have been through all the related CD threads posted to date. There is no need to re-hash the pros and cons of prior games, or get too deep into philosophical discussions about prior years. We want to figure out how to go forward from here, and help build an exciting, challenging, stimulating and engaging competition for next year.

So, here are the ground rules:
- The game should provide a sufficiently difficult challenge that it will stress the abilities of the students and engineers on the teams to design and build a solution.
- The game should be audience friendly and presumably TV-friendly (i.e. you can explain the game to a TV audience in 30 seconds or less, it is easy to follow and exciting for the audience, and visually interesting for the entire game).
- Any field elements must be able to be constructed from readily availably and inexpensive materials (ask yourself this question "can I buy all the parts at Home Depot or Builders Square?")
- The game should embody the values represented by FIRST (i.e. brings out the best aspects of a competitive spirit, does not promote needless destruction or violence).
- The game should be structured so that ingenuity of design is just as important (or even more so) than advanced fabrication.
- There are no assumptions about the need for two-team alliances, limiting each round to just four teams, playfields in a single plane, etc.
- There is a preference (but not a requirement) for robots to have both offensive and defensive roles in the game. There is a preference (but not a requirement) for a role for the human player.

The need for non-tangling tethers is entirely up to you.

Here is what I can guarantee: EVERYTHING that you suggest will be read, discussed, and considered. Nothing will be ignored.

Here is what is not guaranteed: There is no promise that anything that is suggested will actually get used. For any of a number of reasons, the suggestions may be impractical, incompatible, or unimplementable, and would not be incorporated into future games. Likewise, there is no guarantee that you will receive a response on anything you submit. If a suggestion is incorporated into the game, you will probably not know about it until the game is revealed next year. If it is not incorporated, you may never hear why.

If at any time during this year's competition you thought "if I had designed the game I would have done it like this..." then here is your chance! I know that if there is a single place to go for this sort of input, it will be this forum! Let's hear your thoughts.

- dave lavery
FIRST Executive Advisory Board
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Unread 05-06-2002, 12:52 AM
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/me pops knuckles, starts typing

Let's have a game on a concrete or dirt floor. Carpet was proven this year to be no match for some of our more vigorously traction-oriented teams. Concrete would be a more uniform, cheap surface that almost everyone already has available, but dirt would probably be more fun.

Let's have a game that has more opportunities for autonomous behavior. Use the retroreflective tape again next year (It'll catch on, give it time), but turn the robots on for five seconds before the drivers can touch the controls. That forces innovation in controls to rival the great mechanical designs we've seen over the years.

Let's have a game that uses heavy game pieces. Concrete blocks, bricks, bowling balls, medicine balls, 180lb goals on casters - the game is more interesting if two humans would lose to two robots. (Note - the trouble with the heavy game pieces is that they can tend to make the game slow - fast goal towing robots were the exception to the rule this year.)

Let's have a game where a team can score before time runs out.


So here's my game:

-Three minutes per match.
-Three teams of two robots each on a hexagonal dirt or sand field.
-Ten (or some other non-multiple of three) cinder blocks are stacked in the center. Robots go get the cinder blocks, then bring them to their initial scoring zone.
After one minute, the number of bricks in each scoring zone is tallied, and the zones shift randomly. So the red team's zone is now across the field from where they are now, and the blocks that red worked so hard to score are now counting for blue. The teams then have a minute to move the bricks to their new scoring zone. At the end of that minute, the bricks are scored, and the scoring zone changes again.
-Basically each match has three one minute periods, with no break in between. A robot's goal is going to be different during each period - either getting blocks out of the center, preventing other robots from moving your blocks, or preventing other robots from moving their own blocks.

Ok, so it isn't a complete game, or even that great of a start, but you get the idea - make the game hard, and integrate some way to assure scoring before time expires.
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Last edited by Kris Verdeyen : 05-06-2002 at 01:01 AM.
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Unread 05-06-2002, 12:54 AM
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Two things:

I think this year we had two different games: the qualifying matches and the elimination ones. Different strategies to play each. I'd like to have only one game, only one rule for the whole competition.

An interesting thing would be a mata-burro (I don't know the name in english) wich is a bridge made of transversal sticks. The distance between them would make it difficult to cross the bridge, because regular wheels would get stuck in the gaps.


I'll think of more things and edit this post later.


By the way, I think this thread is great! I tried to start one like this before but it was too early...
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Unread 05-06-2002, 10:59 AM
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How about an over head cable to get to some part of the field which is other wise inaccessible.
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Unread 05-06-2002, 11:50 AM
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JUST DONT LET TEAMS BE ABLE TO ZERO THE WINNER AGAIN.
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Unread 05-06-2002, 11:58 AM
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CliffHanger 2003

I haven't really though of all aspects of the game, just the main obstacle. Let's make it so 1/2 of the field is on the ground level and 1/2 the field is on a plateau 12" high or higher (maybe 2') You can score on the 1st level, but scoring on the 2nd level is like a 3 point play in basketball. Place the scoring zones up in the air, so simply driving into something won't unscore it. Let's make it harder to unscore the object than to score the object. Also, let's make the scoring objects heavier than a ball or inner tube.

I would also love to see dirt, but probably impractical given some of the venues (dirt and basketball arenas don't mix.

Now, ice arenas would probably love to have this game. Put carpet (or some other high traction material) where people walk and have the game on ice. The logistics would be pretty hard, but think of all the new designs.

-Paul
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Unread 05-06-2002, 12:37 PM
Scott England Scott England is offline
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my 2 cents

My team didn't really have a problem with the carpets, but i heard that some teams are pushing traction to the extent that the stuff peels up or tears. I can picture already the school administrators raising hell if we try to put a large dirt or sand playing field indoors, but maybe just plain plywood floors? They would be more uniform and clean then dirt, and less susceptible to damage then carpet.

I'd like to see larger teams, 3 on 3, maybe 4 on 4, though even numbers of alliances to avoid ganging up. 3 on 3 though would elliminate the occasional 2 to 1 match ups when one robot dies or isn't working, 3 vs 2 is i would think would be a more even match if one team dies. Plus with 3 robots per alliance, more robots could compete at a time so they would be more matches for each robot, and you'd likely see a greater range of capabilities, which brings me to my next suggestion...

Several ways of scoring, soccer balls in a goal, bowling pins set upright in scoring zones, robots hanging from a bar or climbing onto a foot high pedestal, large levers that initially are neutral but can be tipped one way or another to score for that alliance, or any others, just pick several to see a wider spectrum of robot designs, beyond just ball robots or goal robots. Potentially some way of scoring such that one robot must lift or work directly with some other robot to do one single task (possibly worth many more points) Like perhaps a single long metal rod, too heavy or awkward for a single bot, one must pick up each end, and place onto some type of support structure like the rack in gyms for holding the bar when doing bench presses.

Ok, that's about as far out into left field as i want to go right now. Good luck on AP exams to all the high schoolers and final exams to all the college students
~Scott
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Unread 05-06-2002, 01:36 PM
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Any sort of different scoring system would be much appreciated...
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Unread 05-06-2002, 01:51 PM
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Re: my 2 cents

Quote:
maybe just plain plywood floors?
only problem with plywood floors is what if a piece breaks... then you have the problem of trying to fix it in between matches whereas with carpet just a little duct tape will do
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Unread 05-06-2002, 02:06 PM
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I would like to see a game where speed, maneuverability, and teamwork are important. I'd like to see a game where alliance partners can benefit by passing playing field artifacts back and forth. I'd like to see a very low friction playing field; ice perhaps. I'd like to see very low friction goals. Take this year's goals. Attach a skirt to the bottom plate. Add a blower motor. Voila, Hover-Goals! I can just imagine goals zinging around on the playing field while robots frantically try to catch them. I suppose I'm envisioning a game that vaguely resembles air hockey.

-Joel
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Unread 05-06-2002, 02:07 PM
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Enough with balls

I think a game similar to hockey, but with frisbees would be awsome!
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Unread 05-06-2002, 02:08 PM
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For an alternative floor how about some 1/4" steel? Like to see teams break pieces off of that!
And frisbees for scoring devices.

I'll come up with some rules after finals.


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Unread 05-06-2002, 02:20 PM
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i say go back to a game like 2000, people understood it quickly, it was fun, anything could happen, there were alot of "upsets", and the scoring wasn't too complicated. it had just the right amount of pushing and shoving, but the game didn't rely on it, and stratigy was extremely important. plus you could play defense, offense, or both. i really enjoyed 2000.
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Unread 05-06-2002, 02:58 PM
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Re: Enough with balls

Quote:
Originally posted by tjrage_25
I think a game similar to hockey, but with frisbees would be awsome!
FRISBEES!!!!!!! i am all for it.
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Unread 05-06-2002, 03:37 PM
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About the surface of the playing field i suggest plastic ice. the type used in skating rinks in malls and exibitions where a real ice surface is not availiable. It is very durable and cheap. comes in tiles and easy to transport. Also adds a little bit of challenge to traction although most rubber will grip it anyways.

THe scoring this year was really complicated for outsiders to grasp quickly so i suggest an incredible easy way of scoring and increase the strategy in other areas such as two types of gaols worth different amounts. Also an interstingly shaped field like a V shape where two teams start at the ends of the V and race towards something at the bottom of the V.

Just some ideas for consideration as i think of more i will post them.
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