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dlavery
05-06-2004, 06:44 PM
This thread is a spin-off of this discussion (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=261517), and has been started to focus on game elements and subtasks. This is a discussion of ideas for unique game elements and subtasks. If you don’t have a fully developed game, but have a great idea about a piece of a game, then this is the place to talk about it. As examples from the past, someone could use this thread to post a suggestion to use inner tubes as an element, or that balance should be included as a challenging subtask. Others can use those ideas as a creativity springboard to develop a game concept.

-dave

Adam Y.
05-06-2004, 07:04 PM
Omg I am pathetic. I had a dream where the robots started on top of ramps. These ramps would be located on each alliance side. Inbetween the robots would be a pole. There would be giant inflatable innertubes that would have to be placed on the pole.

Tom Schindler
05-06-2004, 07:21 PM
Realizing this is a REALLY old idea, i would love to see bowling pins be in the game at one point or another.

People recognize bowling pins, which would make the game a lot easier to explain to people new to FIRST. Robots could have to set up certain pins in certain areas, while knocking down certain pins in other areas...

Also,

Bring back the torroids! Anyone around in '97 remembers these awesome game elements, we had way too much fun practicing for human player that year...

Enough about game elements,

an ideal game to me, would be one where the members of an alliance are FORCED to work with eachother. Such as having a barrier that teams are not allowed to cross, and moving game elements (Bowling pins, torroids, balls etc) from one side of this barrier to another will score points. This could allow for completely defensive, completely offensive, or mixed matches. Many gameplay strategies...

And my final thought is, as a game element, use dippin dots! they are readily available at many of the competition venues, especially the nationals! When the match is over, the field reset people get a treat!

--Tom "where's my dippin' dots" Schindler

Stephen Kowski
05-06-2004, 07:26 PM
I've always been partial to the idea of footballs as game objects. I always like hanging, but I doubt I will see that again next year since i saw it this year. I also like the idea of having zones on the field (2002) where you score by being in....

Joe Matt
05-06-2004, 07:39 PM
You know, that brings up a cool idea, remember at the team party this year, there was a game where there was a large wall, and the people had to work together to get things at the end, and the people were attached together. That's a cool idea.

Andrew Rudolph
05-06-2004, 07:43 PM
I would like to see somthing thats Not inflatable. It seems that the inflatable things we get are too inconsistant and pop often. The Floppies from 1999 are a great example.

I like how this year involved more human input into the score.

I think when we had robots Limbo and Robots Climbing over things it was fun to watch, nothing like seeing a arm that folds under 18 inches reach 10 feet. It also made a nice challenge.

I would like to see somthing that would involve a creative drivetrain. Suspension, Extendy Bits, Retracty mabumgles, things like that.

Finally i would Liked how this year the field was interactive in a motorized way. If you ever watched Robot Wars (**GASP**) Then you saw how they had elements that a bot could run into that would activate somthing somewhere else on the field. Just like this year it might be good for autonomous.

Ryan F.
05-06-2004, 07:52 PM
An idea I really liked is a sort of "capture the flag" element. It would be something that you had to trigger, and exists on both sides of the field (one per alliance). Robots would have to manipulate or trigger these, which would either be a bonus to them, or a penalty to the other team. This would cause teams to have to think much more about defense, and strategy would be a must to protect your undecided trigger thing :p . This would also cause much more exciting matches.

Ken Loyd
05-06-2004, 08:00 PM
I like multiple tasks in the game.

I like the idea of scoring zones.

I like two robots against two robots.

I am waiting for the auto mode to be at the end of the game.

I like the multiple levels for the playing field.

I have often thought of huge popsickle sticks (both ends rounded) that both robots would need to work together to make the sticks stand up (by leaning against each other.)

cazbar171
05-06-2004, 08:01 PM
One thing I have noticed in this competition is that the base material for the floor of the field has always been carpet (or at least that's all I have noticed in the photos). Most teams have gotten pretty comfortable in their ability to provide drive systems that can easily grip the carpet. I think it would be a good idea to come up with some other surface to use for a competition to add an extra challenge to the game.

minic@HYPER69
05-06-2004, 08:09 PM
I think next years game should be another co-op game. It would have a twist though... "movable" field barriers. Here is how i see it working bring back the human player pressure pads from stack attack and put a wall in the center of the field that would open when a robot was on the mat and close once the robot had left. Of course there would have to be a way othe then that moveable wall but it must be extreamly complicated! See attachment for proposed field. The idea is to get the 50gallon drums to the correct side by color.(SEE NEXT POST TO DOWNLOAD LEDGEND)

minic@HYPER69
05-06-2004, 08:10 PM
here is the ledgend

cazbar171
05-06-2004, 08:13 PM
I was noticing Ken's idea on the autonomous mode being at the end of the round and thinking about how it could be done. In the 2002 competition I noticed a few robotics with a mini tethered robot attached to the main robot for getting to the robot scoring area quickly. Perhaps an idea would be to have a game where each team builds two robots. They would have their main robot for the main tasks of the game, but also have a second smaller robot on an alternate plane of the field (possibly hanging from bars) to have limited interaction with the game. The second robot could have the autonomous mode late in the round without the risk that comes with a randomly place self driving robot.

Another idea I have has to do with alternative point scoring tasks such as the bar hang from this year. My idea is to have a task where the driver must drive the robot to a specific place and then the rest of the task must be completed in a triggered autonomous mode.

Ben.V.293
05-06-2004, 08:13 PM
I've always thought that hundreds of tennis balls bouncing all over would make a great game. The balls would have to be released in the beginning of the match and the robot would have to get them into troths that were up in the air like in 2000(i think that was the year). And then if a robot could hit a target 15 feet in the air it would dump the other teams troth. Then something like hanging or being in a certain area of the feild at the end of the match would get you bonus points. I think that that would make for a really fast, competetive game.

I just had another idea. Mayby two large funnels up in the air that the robots would have to get the tennis balls into would be cool. The robots could either shoot them from across the feild or reach up and dump them in.

Ted Boucher
05-06-2004, 08:18 PM
For the game piece I would like to see something flexable like the floppy in 1999, but not inflatable like the balls this year.

For a twist, I would like to see a active field element controlled by the field. As an example, take the movable goals from this year and attach them to a track and have them move side to side from one side of the field to the other.
This would challange a robot to be able to do the task.

Marc P.
05-06-2004, 08:52 PM
I wasn't around in '99, but I've seen and heard many stories about the Puck. I'm intruiged by the idea of a mobile object robots can climb on and score. It would only be worth 10 points with a robot on top on the edge of the field, but worth 50 if in the center of the field. Would make for some good pushing matches, and all the more challenging if the thing can move.

I'd also like to see some odd game object, like orange safety cones. Cones are worth 5 points only if standing up, and worth 15 points when stacked on top of each other. I know I'll get lynched for this, but I liked the time multipliers of 2001. Adds a very interesting element to strategy :yikes:

Nate Edwards
05-06-2004, 09:04 PM
I would like to see something with multiple shaped balls and objects (like the bowling pins, footballs, tennis balls, and roadcones.) Each one has different point values and certain ones have to be done by the robot and certain ones by the human player... It would all be on a revolving field. The drivers stations stay in the same spot but the field revolves. Maybe it makes 4 rotations and the balls possibly would be color coded or something and there are different goals etc... It would make the game intresting I think.. how about a huge road cone that you have to cap the goals with and you have to capture it from your opponent. I read some of the posts and really liked them so incorparated them into mine. Any of these ideas sound really cool.

Nate

MattK
05-06-2004, 09:06 PM
I would love to see various terrains (maybe a pit of packing pop-peanuts or something like that)... that would emulate real terrain much better. :)

Team311
05-06-2004, 09:15 PM
corn cernals

Tom Bottiglieri
05-06-2004, 09:27 PM
Every year there has been some kind of fixed area that teams could score points at the emd of the match by being on, above, near, etc. I like this idea. What I do not like about this is that the place that gives the points is the same all the time. Last year with the ramp, this year with the bar. Teams could then just go sit on the bar for the whole match and get an auotmatic 50 points. What If there were a few "Bonus" areas on the field, and the Computer would randomly select a spot that robots had to be in at the end of the match for the bonus points. But, the spot would be selected and shown on the big screen DURING The macth. I think that would be a good way to show how things that you design (mars rover, anyone?) may have to overcome different tasks, but may have to do them on the fly without that much time to prepare for it.

Thats my 2 cents

Joe Reel
05-07-2004, 09:14 AM
I agree with the ideas:
1. multiple level playing field
2. 2 vs 2 robots
3. scoring zones
4. multiple shaped objects varying in size (ie. soft balls and 30" balls )

I would add an element of the game that would be a lever type assembly that has a bucket attached to it so that when enough small objects were in it it would lift a barrier that covers a larger goal for the larger size objects. The bucket could be removable thus introducing a defensive side to the game. It would also add another task of picking the bucket up and placing it back on the lever arm.

Mike Ciance
05-07-2004, 09:21 AM
for the scoring objects, i would suggest using cylinders.

i also have a unique idea for scoring. instead of assigning each scoring object (hopefully cylinder) a certain point value, why not make the score the square of the number? 1 cylider would get 1 point, 2 would get 4, 3 would get 9, 9 would get 81, etc. this would make the games a whole lot more exciting and hectic :yikes:

for the way objects are scored, i think the best way is to have a scoring zone on the field which is slightly lowered from the rest of the field

Gene F
05-07-2004, 12:57 PM
I was noticing Ken's idea on the autonomous mode being at the end of the round and thinking about how it could be done. In the 2002 competition I noticed a few robotics with a mini tethered robot attached to the main robot for getting to the robot scoring area quickly. Perhaps an idea would be to have a game where each team builds two robots. They would have their main robot for the main tasks of the game, but also have a second smaller robot on an alternate plane of the field (possibly hanging from bars) to have limited interaction with the game. The second robot could have the autonomous mode late in the round without the risk that comes with a randomly place self driving robot.

I thought this was where they were going when they introduced the EDUBOT( now Robovation ). I pictured a raised platform in the middle of the field Around the rest of the field would be balls, pucks, doughnuts, whatever. Points would be awarded for teams getting these objects onto the raised platform. For bonus points, they could deliver a mini-bot to the platform that moves the pieces into a receptical for double point value. For added fun these smaller robots would be autonomous! Maybe for more human involvement the platform would be enclosed and the way to get the elements to the mini-bots is through openings the human players shoot at.

Andrew
05-07-2004, 03:13 PM
New and different alliance station.

Modification to the kit...include a camera + transmitter.

Four sided, enclosed alliance station in the center of the field...entirely opaque. Ie, the driving squads for all four teams cannot see the playing field.

Each team station is on one side of the alliance station. Each team station has a television receiver which talks to its robot. (note: different frequencies would have to be assigned to the robot camera).

Teams have to drive their robots based on a robot's eye view of events.

The human player (if any) would not necessarily need to be inside the alliance station.

Andrew
05-07-2004, 03:17 PM
Playing field artifact...

Have balls which appear the same (same diameter, surface texture, color) but which have different mass (type 1 has 2x mass of type 2).

Type 1 balls which are placed in scoring container 1 count +2 points.
Type 1 balls which are placed in scoring container 2 count -1 points.

Type 2 balls which are placed in scoring container 2 count +2 points.
Type 2 balls which are placed in scoring container 1 count -1 points.

Robots can score balls or human players can score balls. In either event, the robot or human must differentiate ball type by weight.

Extra bonus...
If the scoring container can direct balls into a positive or negative hopper based on weight (like a change machine), then a real-time score could be maintained.

Swampdude
05-07-2004, 04:03 PM
One thing that I would try to do is make it easier on the teams competing in the finals. This year requiring them to specify what order the alliances would go out, or last year what side they would start from, was stressfull and made it unmanagable as far as getting a good strategy together. Our team wasn't really prepared for the rapid fire matches. You really need a seasoned team management effort in place to handle final matches. At that point your already dealing with any quick repairs, battery changeouts, quick strategy sessions, opponent evaluations etc. For your typical team, this is overwhelming. Especially after already having dealt with 2 1/2 days of straight competition.
So basically when it comes to making rules for the finals, I'd ask that you go easy on us. I like the time out thing, maybe add a couple short ones. It would be nice to maximize in-between final match times as much as possible. I know it cuts into the days schedule. Which is why I think considering how many more teams there are now, you really need to figure out how to fit more matches in per day. This would buy more time for the finals, and help to fit more teams into all of the regionals.
Which means a simplified field setup, scoring and quicker seeding match turnarounds (announcements). If you shaved 30 seconds off every match you buy an hour extra for finals.
Also I suggest you make printouts of the seeding results available to everyone towards the end of seeding on Saturday. This would help us in the alliance selection process. It gets hectic at that point, and that would be a nice little tool to help us all a little better. Some teams don't have the resources to organize a very concerted scouting effort.

Thanks!

bnr1179
05-07-2004, 04:16 PM
How does this sound:

The field dimensions would be similar to this year's. There is are two bars running the entire width of the field that are 20" off the ground. These bars are located on opposite sides of the field 6 feet from the centerline of the field.
At the field centerline is a single bar raised 8' off the ground, similar to this past years, but not on a platform.
You get points for hanging from the 8' high bar, but to get there, your robot would have to be able to fit under or go over the 20" bar. Quite a challenge. Maybe some really smart team can figure out a way to hang from the other side of the 20" bar, who knows?

Perhaps the scoring objects are larger than 20", so you have to do something funny to get them to the other side of the field.

A simple robot that is less than 20" tall can get to the opponets side of the field and play some defense, or can stay on their own side and score some points.

One more idea:
If you want to use scoring balls, put four scoring towers similar to the stationary goals this year. The towers are only wide enough so that balls stack in them - 30" wide goal for a 24" diameter ball. Your team only gets points if your's is the ball on top. A stack of 5 red balls each worth 5 points gets capped by a blue ball - all those balls in that goal become blue property - 30 points. Last second, red throws one in - changes back - 35 points red

Clanat
05-07-2004, 06:17 PM
A platform on casters to play king of the hill on: it would be crazy to have shoving matches on a platform that is being pushed all over the field.

Not2B
05-07-2004, 09:47 PM
Few ideas....

- Moveable platform that robots can get onto - because it would be interesting

- Temporary line of sight disruptions for the drive team, but with human players able to see what is going on. Teams would need to set up a "non-verbal" communication system to see what was going on.

- Field elements that need to be activated by robots. Examples... Pull on a ring, push a button, etc...

- Hula hoops or other such ring type of thing. Maybe collect them, maybe put them on a hook that can be raised or lowered by your partner. (I really like that idea now that I think about it....)

Mark Pettit
05-08-2004, 01:44 PM
I'd like to see obstacles/barriers strategically placed on the field that cause a robot to become disabled for a period of time if they cross/touch them. The most attractive scoring zones could be guarded/blockaded by these to make it more challenging to get to those scoring zones.
Perhaps the alliance partner of the disabled robot could shorten the duration of the disable by doing some task that re-enables their teammate.

I would also like to see a contest that requires the robots to shoot projectiles at targets and/or at their opponents for points. I know safety is a concern but maybe you could get Nerf to sponsor a contest and use foam projectiles.
You could even force teams to put goals or receptacles of some type on their robots. If my opponent's projectile ends up in my robot's goal, then I am penalized with a points deduction. If my alliance partner's projectile ends up in my robot's goal, then there is a bonus/multiplier.

Andrew
05-08-2004, 02:33 PM
This seems like the best place for this suggestion...

Release the robot building rules in the pre-season and set up the Q&A system for feedback.

This will allow the FIRST community to flag all of the picky little inconsistencies in the rules before we get to build phase.

It will let us look up suppliers, et al. and get an idea of what parts are legal.

Since most veteran teams right now have big stock racks of FIRST parts, this change would help the newer teams.

Rather than placing restrictions (e.g. you can only buy this from supplier x), set up a Q&A specifically for legal parts. Only those parts are legal.

So, if a team asks, "Is the BEI yaw rate sensor legal," FIRST isn't bound by the "only available from digikey" rule. It can say yes or no and that becomes gospel.

This also allows teams to browse the Q&A and determine what parts are legal. So, if you didn't know what a "fizzbuster" is or where to get one or whether you could use it, you could browse the Q&A as the competition progresses and get the benefits of other teams' experiences.

Alex Pelan
05-08-2004, 03:09 PM
One thing I have noticed in this competition is that the base material for the floor of the field has always been carpet (or at least that's all I have noticed in the photos). Most teams have gotten pretty comfortable in their ability to provide drive systems that can easily grip the carpet. I think it would be a good idea to come up with some other surface to use for a competition to add an extra challenge to the game.

Exactly. How about something like ice?

dk5sm5luigi
05-08-2004, 05:07 PM
One thing that I have always thought would be an interesting twist is having the alliances not decided before the game but during the game. The how I havn't quite figured out but it would be something that could be changed throughout the match. This would make it fun because the two best teams out there could be working together and then all of a sudden with 5 seconds left one of the other robots changes the alliances and which would completely change the outcome of the game.

This would add a new twist that FIRST is always great at coming up with.

Astronouth7303
05-08-2004, 09:18 PM
I think a larger degree of uncertainty would be cool. So everyone's mind would be off loop-holes and on making a bot to cope with everything.

c-squared_2006
05-08-2004, 10:47 PM
Yes that would be totally awsome, but mostly a robot that is good at one or two things function best. But to creat a robot that could do everything will would be challanging yet fun. hmmmmm....

Billfred
05-08-2004, 11:34 PM
One thing that I have always thought would be an interesting twist is having the alliances not decided before the game but during the game. The how I havn't quite figured out but it would be something that could be changed throughout the match. This would make it fun because the two best teams out there could be working together and then all of a sudden with 5 seconds left one of the other robots changes the alliances and which would completely change the outcome of the game.

This would add a new twist that FIRST is always great at coming up with.
The only thing is, alliance swapping has two key problems:

1) It will confuse the tar out of a civilian spectator. To the average joe who heard "robots," "free," and "contest" in the same sentence in the paper, an alliance stays as such.
2) It'd create a defensefest, as you don't know how you end up. That, or you effectively end up with a 4v0 game again, as all of the teams want to cover their backsides should it be them who's switching alliances.

Personally, I'd be partial to just giving teams the four team numbers on the pairings. Then when the teams are queued, they draw colors. Kinda Survivor-y, I know, but it'd require teams to be fast with the strategy, or make it an open book.

Gee, I hope that I make sense at 11:30 at night...

MPblankie
05-09-2004, 04:17 PM
I was really disappointed in this years game. I think the balls are getting old, but I have been waiting for tennis balls for a long time. The don't pop either, unless ran over by a lawnmower, which I have done. I also like the idea of getting rid of the carpet. There are always complaints of it getting torn up. I also like human player involvement but not as much as this year, and not as little as last year. The balancing ramp was a really good idea a few years ago. It took skill and it was very exciting to watch as a spectator.


I think future games also have to keep in mind, poorer and newer teams. The games are getting harder and harder for rookies, and if I were new, I would not want to join. Teams without much money also don't have the money or space to build a whole field or enough to buy 72 pipe flanges for goals.

811SmallFry
05-09-2004, 07:44 PM
This IS my first year on a team, so I really can't relate to other years- but I agree, balls probably do get old fast.
I think that another texture flooring would be good- something that doesn't have a lot of tread, to add to the confusion.
I liked the hanging- but I think that having something movable that the robots have to get on would be cool.
I LOVE the idea of whichever ball is on top gets all the points- it would REALLY put the pressure on!
Some suggestions from my team are to keep the stairs, NO MORE BOXES, and to do more with autonomous.
I would really like to see the idea with only seeing from the "Robot's-eye view"...
I think that's all I have to add.. I was also thinking something with buttons, and when you press them, SOMETHING happens... I'm not quite sure... The idea is still formulating :rolleyes:

Specialagentjim
05-09-2004, 10:48 PM
Im also still interested in the "invisible to the human eye" identifiers of scoring objects.

For example, have a scoring object that emits a "point" or "no point" IR pulse code. Human eye can't see it, but the robot's gripper could have a receiver to read the pulse, and relay that information back to the driver so he/she can determine whether to score that box or not.

It would mimic real world robotics problems today, forcing robots to feedback information to their operators who are unable to fully understand what's going on in the robot's environment (robots in iraq, robots in space, robots undersea, robots in nuclear facilities - all places where a human cant visibly be there with the robot and has to rely on sensor feedback).

hansTP2S
05-10-2004, 06:24 PM
here we go, since i already posted this in the first thread, before seeing this thread, and for some reason you cannot delete posts, but whatever

It is basically a pseudo-capture-the-flag in which there is one item that starts of on the top of a pole and it is worth an extra X points, this object is symmetrical, one half of it is one alliance's color, the other half is the other color (basically if you were to lay a pillow flat, the top half would be red and the bottom half would be blue). To get those points at the end of the match you must fullfill two requirements: your robot must be on the opponent's half of the field (or maybe up on top of some stairs or something as well) and the item must be laying on your robot somewhere: laying is defined as (this definition is made to make as few loopholes as possible): touching only your robot(not other robots or the ground) and only touching your robot where your color is on the object.

It seems like a good idea, the only problem with it that i can see is another robot can just touch it at the last second. However this could also be seen as an advantage, because it adds a LOT of excitement into the end of the game.

hansTP2S
05-10-2004, 06:29 PM
The only thing is, alliance swapping has two key problems:

1) It will confuse the tar out of a civilian spectator. To the average joe who heard "robots," "free," and "contest" in the same sentence in the paper, an alliance stays as such.
2) It'd create a defensefest, as you don't know how you end up. That, or you effectively end up with a 4v0 game again, as all of the teams want to cover their backsides should it be them who's switching alliances.

Personally, I'd be partial to just giving teams the four team numbers on the pairings. Then when the teams are queued, they draw colors. Kinda Survivor-y, I know, but it'd require teams to be fast with the strategy, or make it an open book.

Gee, I hope that I make sense at 11:30 at night...

you make sense, but you couldnt have random alliances in the finals, for obvious reasons

sanddrag
05-10-2004, 06:29 PM
If anyone knows that really old Nickelodeon TV game show Legends of the Hidden Temple, they had a variety of really great game challenges (for humans) that could perhaps be used in a FIRST game (for robots or human players).

Gabe Salas Jr.
05-10-2004, 07:08 PM
Well the past two years there was a variant of a "King of the Hill" style play. I know in 2002 there was something similar to a "Gold Rush" scenario with the three movable goals in the middle of the playing field. And I was just thinking, why not a "Capture the Flag" type of scenario; where there is something that your team needs within enemy territory, and vice versa for the opposite team.

I also like the idea mentioned of an interactive playing field, where something happens on the playing field when an event occurs; like something on the playing field moves. Something like this year with the ten-point balls but more drastic, but not too mission critical like "Stack Attack." But I would like this to happen during human operator mode.

I was thinking of more teamwork critical objectives. We can use the floor panels used for the human players in "Stack Attack," and have robots use these to activate the event on the field. Like in order for a person to take an object from the other team, the other team must activate the switch, which will make the objective (the flag) available. Like it will lower the cage around the "flag." So one robot is on offense, the other is on defense, and vice versa for the other team. But since it is necessary for two robots to get the objective there will be a lot of pushing, and shoving, along with speed and timing being critical. Just an idea, nothing concrete.

I love how with this year's game, there are so many things available to do, but nearly impossible to do within the time limit.

Another evil thing that will definitely make scouting and preparing for a match a lot more difficult, is if for some "odd" reason, the team colors on the LED's switch in the middle of a match. This is would be a unique twist to the game, but will probably get shot down. I am pretty sure somebody else mentioned about this (but I am uncertain).

Ryan Foley
05-10-2004, 08:04 PM
Personally, I'd be partial to just giving teams the four team numbers on the pairings. Then when the teams are queued, they draw colors. Kinda Survivor-y, I know, but it'd require teams to be fast with the strategy.

They did this in 2001. I liked it a lot better, made you think quickly.

I'm working on various game ideas for the main thread, and trying to organize all my thoughts before I post.

hansTP2S
05-10-2004, 09:45 PM
If anyone knows that really old Nickelodeon TV game show Legends of the Hidden Temple, they had a variety of really great game challenges (for humans) that could perhaps be used in a FIRST game (for robots or human players).


THAT SHOW WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 111111oneoneone

but yeah kind of an obstacle course dealio.

maybe the robot could do something to make it easier for the human player..but that would put more emphasis on the hp in leiu of the bot. i thought the amount of hp interaction was pretty good this year.

jerry w
05-13-2004, 10:26 AM
Things I did NOT like in 2004.
Static tasks Scoring awarded Teams too many points for a static task. A team could hang from the bar much too soon in the game. The 50 points gotten were easy points, since no other tasks had to be done. If the point value of a hanging robot were 40 instead of 50 points, this would encourage more active task participation.
Autonomous Autonomous mode could not tackle most of the tasks in the game. Of course, 2004 saw us with a new controller. The newness made autonomous mode extra difficultly. Nevertheless, there ought to be a choice of simple tasks during the autonomous phase. The ball triggering was simple enough, but more tasks would be better.
Things that I DID like in 2004
Task quantity The multitude of tasks during a match meant that teams had to decide which task to do and when to do it.
Navigation Navigation beacons were a great idea. If teams have time this summer, they can learn how to use the beacons. This would be great during autonomous mode next year.
Choices Two pathways were available for a robot to use for reaching the other side of the field. This provided flexibility.
Scoring The simplified scoring, along with the use of the opponents’ points, was much easier to understand than in the past.
Suggestions for another game in 2005
Game objects Next year should use the boxes instead of balls. A change between round and non-round requires that teams change their thinking about the objects, and not just modify the manipulator from last year.
Object location Have the human player place an object on the field that an opponent robot must locate and move. The scoring should award Points for moving the object into a goal area.
Human player Make the human player active at the start of the game as was done in 2003. This provides visual proof to the audience that the humans and robots do interact.
Vertical control Include a tall task (like a hanging bar, or stacking), so that teams learn how to maintain balance, or learn how to prevent toppling.
Carriers Provide a wheeled object on the field that can support a robot. Allow a partner robot to move the object while it is supporting an alliance robot.
Dynamic field Provide a hinged pathway to a platform. The rules should allow the robot to move the pathway (ramp) to an open or closed position. The platform can trap a robot, unless the partner moves the pathway into a proper position.
Goal post Use a goal-post in the game. A robot gets points by touching each goal post in sequence. Award Extra points for moving an object from the first to the second goal post.
Obstacles In 2004, teams did climb an obstacle, though it was not required. Perhaps we should have an obstacle to climb which results in points.
Cooperation Require a partner to pass an object to the alliance robot to get points. Each team should have their robot supported in different marked field areas to count toward points during the pass.
Active tasks Provide at least two constructive tasks that result in points. For example, stacking boxes, or positioning an object into a field zone would earn points.
Zones Devise an inner court and outer court on the field. Make the transfer to the inner court a task that requires cooperation with the partner. The partner must activate a lever, or slide a wheeled object to cause the alliance partner to reach the inner court. The points for doing tasks in the inner court should be double the points for those on the outer court.
Autonomous Provide a large selection of tasks to do in autonomous mode, with points for each task. Teams must then tailor robot design to complete one or more of these tasks.

i have more ideas, but i also have some mercy.
Jerry W

ahecht
05-13-2004, 10:41 AM
One things I'd like to see is a much simpler game, where there is only one way to score. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean that there is only one way to win, just that the audience only needs to keep track of one thing, and the winner is obvious at a glance. In other words, one things needs to be done to win, but theree are multiple ways to do it.

A good example of this was the 2001 MIT 2.007 competition, where the "field" was a giant teeter-totter, and the winner was the robot whose side was lowest at the end of the match. There were a wide variety of strategies, from extending weights to mobile jacks, but it was clear who won.

I'm posting this as an element because I have no idea how to design a game like this. Perhaps a giant teeter-totter in the middle of the field that had to be loaded up with objects from around the field that robots had to acquire in different ways (a heavier object might be high up and hard to get, for example).



On a completely seperate note, I'd like to see more electronics componants available, not just those from Digikey. Parts like the CMUCam (http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~cmucam/) could be used to make awsome autonomous modes that do things like score balls or grab moving objects.

Ryan Foley
05-13-2004, 12:52 PM
A good example of this was the 2001 MIT 2.007 competition, where the "field" was a giant teeter-totter, and the winner was the robot whose side was lowest at the end of the match. There were a wide variety of strategies, from extending weights to mobile jacks, but it was clear who won.
I'm posting this as an element because I have no idea how to design a game like this. Perhaps a giant teeter-totter in the middle of the field that had to be loaded up with objects from around the field that robots had to acquire in different ways (a heavier object might be high up and hard to get, for example).



I'm actually working on a game that uses this idea, I'll post it in the main thread when I finish it.

crazyone
05-14-2004, 09:57 AM
I was talking with my advisor Fred and he suggested that it would be interesting to see a sort of chasem in the middle of the field, where robots would have to either be a bridge, cross on another robot, or do both and thier points were on the other side also there would be a risen pole one could also cross over be.

Greg Young
05-14-2004, 02:01 PM
I've been waiting for a week to find the time to write this up properly. It doesn't look like that is going to happen, so this will have to do. I'm assuming a two against two game, but it can be easily modified for other scenarios. This is just one element of a game, there would have to be other scoring methods added.

GeneF talked about some similar ideas a couple of pages back in this thread.

Near the center of the field are a set of pedestals 30 inches square and 72 inches tall. Half of the pedestals are blue, the others are red. The top surface of each pedestal has a one inch wide white border. The pedestals have a net of 3 inch square mesh 18 inches down from the top and extending out 12 inches from the vertical walls.

Each team builds two robots. One is the usual 130 pound behemoth. The second robot is built from the parts in the Robovation (I think that's what they call it these days) kit and must fit in an eight inch cube. The maxumum weight of this dozer is three pounds. The dozer is strictly autonomous, no operator control allowed. The Robovation kit would need added sensors for this to work. An alternative is to develop a narrow list of additional electronics that can go into the dozer.

At the start of the match the behemoth is carrying the dozer. At any time during the match the behemoth can place the dozer on one of the pedestals. The dozer is activated when released by the behemoth.

The scoring pieces for this element of the game are hockey pucks or air hockey pucks. The pucks on top of a blue pedestal are worth points to the blue alliance, red pedestal pucks give points to red alliance. One of the tasks for the behemoth is to collect pucks and put them on top of the pedestals. The task for the dozer is to push pucks off or keep them on. Keeping pucks on the pedestal may involve pushing another dozer off. The net will let pucks fall to the floor while keeping dozers off the floor where they might get crushed.

The behemoth can't hold on to the dozer and use it to sweep the top of the pedestal. A behemoth holding a dozer while knocking an opposing dozer off the pedestal would draw a stiff penalty. The only time a behemoth can contact the top of a pedestal is while placing or picking up its dozer.

Using air hockey pucks would reduce the chance of a dozer being damaged by a puck dropped on the pedestal. It would also increase the challenge of picking a puck off the floor.

Yes, it sounds a lot like robot sumo.

The idea is to increase the emphasis on electronics and autonomous programming. Making more of the main game autonomous has a certain appeal, but I don't want to go that route. One of the most interesting aspects of the competition is watching the field team adapt their strategy to changing situations on the field. Taking away driver time will necessarily reduce this aspect of the game.

Scooter
05-22-2004, 01:34 AM
I would really like to see the robot giving some feedback to the drivers that is essential to the game. The current control setup limits this a bit, as you can only transfer 1 or 2 bytes of data back. I would like to see a dedicated wireless RS-232 stream. This would also help in that teams could use it for debugging their code wirelessly.

What if there were several zones on the field and at the end of the match, one field was randomly selected and started beaconing (ir). The robots would have to autonomously move into that zone for bonus points. This would move the auto portion to the end of the game, add an element of randomness and uncertainty to the game, and provide a great challenge to the veteran and rookie teams alike.

-Bill

crazyone
05-27-2004, 09:07 AM
I was talking with my advisor Fred and he suggested that it would be interesting to see a sort of chasem in the middle of the field, where robots would have to either be a bridge, cross on another robot, or do both and thier points were on the other side also there would be a risen pole one could also cross over be.

For a more complete idea of what this game may look like check out

[Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...
and saerch for Canyon Crossing. There you will find including the above element.

EStokely
05-27-2004, 03:07 PM
Its time

3 vs. 3

Or 2 vs. 2 vs. 2

More time in the field, 2:30

LIGHTER Robots. 130# is alot to ask 2 high school students to carry.

A field that has a barrier all along the center (long way) you can't cross it, all scoring options are on the barrier(I love the idea of the colored balls in the goal, who is ever on top gets all the points)
So little robot contact, no slamming etc. Could be specktator unfriendly but I'm curious how a less Combat robot type game would look like.

Later

Billfred
05-27-2004, 05:35 PM
Good ideas, ones I wish could be done--the only issue comes up with frequencies, especially at the championship. There's 20. That's enough to have four per field. Up that to six, and we magically are shrunk to three.

2v2v2 would be interesting, but then we have the issues that came up during 1v1v1. The lower teams gang up on the higher, knocking them out of contention.

Game time would be nice, except it would involve either cutting matches or extending the day. Not that any of us sleep anyway. (24-hour regional, anyone?)

As for lighter robots, I see two sides. One is that you've got to keep students' backs healthy, the other is that you've still got to build a robot. 1293 pushed the limit with our arm and such, but then shrunk well once we removed it at Palmetto. Cutting weight could be done, but then I fear we'd see a fair amount of overpowered R/C cars (excuse the expression, it's the only way I could think to describe it).

Just a question on the field idea--would there be one red and one blue robot on each side, or both reds and both blues on each side? Where they sit either makes it 2v0+2v0 or 1v1+1v1. Either would be interesting, but I'd just like to know what you were looking for.

Wetzel
05-30-2004, 06:24 PM
The robot needs to be able to load itself into the back of a pickup truck.
So, a platform that is about the same height as a pickup truck that needs to be climed for additional points.

Wetzel

mgreenley
08-16-2004, 02:37 PM
Some ideas and comments: (scroll down for the annotated version)
I've seen some discussion in the main thread about a bumpy playing field and, from personal experience, I know that packing up a field is difficult work. Doing something like that might be interesting, but would make the field squares take up too much space because they would not lie flat on one another (unless two squares meshed, but matching them all would bring words forth that I cant post, and the squares extend under the booth, so I feel that it is impractical). One of daves rules was easily storable.
I also saw a suggestion for a 4v0 co-op game instead of a 2v2. 4v0 games are inherently tedious and not "TV-friendly". Though I am not speaking from personal experience here, I have been led to understand that there was very little contact between the robots. This also rules out the divided field idea because it also prevents contact. Robot contact taken to an extreme is always bad, and any team that purposely aims to disable or harm another robot should always be red-carded, but pushing another robot (for example out from under the ball chute this year if they had a goal hooked to them, or had a net ball-catcher) to achive an objective or prevent them from doing so (I really liked the King of the Hill idea in Stack Attack and how robots crossed back and forth multiple times so the choke-point promoted game-friendly contact) is a good thing. I know that unless a team has a design that is so overwhelmingly powerful in some objective (i.e. 365, MOE in the year previous to Stack attack), a large part of the game comes to rest on how well your drive-train preforms in a dynamic situation. For example, Team 25 had a hook design this year that (I only saw them once at competition because I was in the pits other matches) sometimes got bent and prevented them from hanging, but they also have an incredibly strong high-speed and high-torque drivetrain, so we would for the most part steer clear of them while we worked. This makes 25 a very "TV-worthy" robot even if it didn't have its hanging arm at all.
Lastly, autonomous mode was huge in stack attack and not so big this year. That is because there was actually an advantage in most designs to get position, then let the balls drop. Having a game where this doesn't occur (in Stack attack, hitting the boxes later was never a good thing) means that there is no possibility that auton won't be a big part of the game. See my other post in Dave's other thread for a more complete reading on my view on the auton and what should be done with it (keep it).

So if you didn't feel like reading that:
1) Multi-level fields like Stack attack are good.
1b) bumpy fields have cons that outweigh the pros for me and my back
by the end of the day at Ramp Riot Which is coming up soon if
you haven applied to play, go to our team website!
2) I'm against 4v0 games, and for 2v2 or 3v3 games (maybe a third robot
might be interesting because it means that two robots could start on
either side of a (i.e. ramp) like stack attack, and a third robot could
start in an unusual location (i.e. the other side of the field)
3) Good contact is good, bad contact is bad.
4) Keep the autonomous mode (I like the beginning of the game for it
myself)

Michael "Greenleaf, Pokey, The Crate Guy" Greenley

P.S. Brandon, I have another word for Amanda to put in the spell checker, storable. (Add to to-do list ;) ).
P.P.S. I like sterelite boxes. I do not like cleaning up bits of box. this has no relation to the above post.

Evilfrog87
09-25-2004, 01:29 AM
its a little late for this post but whay not?

i feel the game this year should have several different games or objectives to do. for instance, you could have capture the flag, 'shoot hoops', bowling. and end it all with a hang on the bar. team could choose to do one, or all of these tasks. the harder the task, the more points its worth. all of these tasks should be simple things that everyone understands, (flip a switch, shoot hoops, bowl, etc.) not something hard to understand (like: grab 2point balls and put them in one of 2 goals and put a 2x ball on top). i should be able to explain it to a 5 year old and he should be able to visualize the game. this would also make PR with little kids easier.

plutonium83
09-26-2004, 12:29 AM
I'd like to see a walking challenge!

LBK Rules
09-26-2004, 01:33 AM
Alright, I know alot of people are going to extremely dislike me for this, but I have a few suggestions.

I agree with Mr. Lavery that FIRST should have more improvising. When Mr. Lavery came by our robot at VCU, he enjoyed seeing our robot made of shelving, lamps, plastic bins, bungee chords, a lawn mower wheel, and a bicycle. First should encourage more scrounging, improvising, and dumpster-diving. (We found a large sheet of steel in a dumpster behind a Wal-Mart once
) I hope there can be more of that in the future.

There should be an optional autonomous mode, in addition to the regular autonomous mode. Teams that opt for the XAuto, will have their points doubled, or added onto, depending on the type of game. All teams will have to comply with some form of ID system, so all robots can know who's where. There should also be some form of Rookie/2nd-Year team points for completing, or almost completing, the XAuto. Autonomous programing is tough. Believe me, I know.

FLL has been tougher than FRC for me. You can't custom-fit a LEGO. Everything is autonomous. It's smaller scale. you have to work with a less-powerful programming system, and fit everything into 5 slots. And that doesn't even include the presentation, which is harder to work on than the Chairman's Award, at least now that it's been restricted to paper. FLL is much less strict then FRC regarding the build time, which is not as good as you might think! I almost wish I could be on a FLL team this year. :]

I would also like to see something with water. I saw that somebody mentioned ice, and that's also unique, but I think water would present an ultimate challenge! (I'm serious here.)

Thank you for taking the time to finish reading my post! If you have any comments or flames, you can just PM me.

robolemur1236
09-28-2004, 10:01 AM
Differering layers of carpet would work, like the robot has to "wade" through a section to get to the scoring zone? maybe?

Adam Y.
09-28-2004, 10:06 AM
I'd like to see a walking challenge!
Too late some one all ready built a walking robot. I think it was for zone zeal.

Billfred
10-19-2004, 09:06 PM
Alright, dead topic, I know.

But I had an idea, and it might just be one of those diabolically evil things that FIRST could do.

Imagine along the edges of the field (like where the ball tees were this year) a sort of cage made of PVC pipe with a kickball inside. Points or a multiplier or whatever would be awarded based on the location of the ball within said cage.

Now would fiddling with that ball take some precision or what? (And it has the added benefit of PVC pipe being cheap as free.)