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dlavery
05-16-2005, 05:19 PM
This thread is a spin-off of this discussion (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=383483), 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 or an idea about something that has never been done before, 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 funny pyramid-like PVC structures as an element, or that stacking stuff should be included as a challenging subtask. Someone else may have a very creative idea for the role of the human player (while some may propose no human player at all). Others can use those ideas as a creativity springboard to develop a game concept.

-dave

Eugenia Gabrielov
05-16-2005, 05:26 PM
I recommend keeping the human player. It adds challenge and fun.

As far as tasks and game elements go, I think discs would be a really interesting change. Ringtoss anyone? However, I think the elements to the 2006 game should vary so that robots of different competition levels can seek different goals. I think having a similar shape item (both this year and in 2004) helped in design, but, it was fun to see robots grab different size items in different ways. I think an obstacle in the middle of the field would also be a good idea, such as a ramp thingy similar to '03 or '04.

- Genia

Ian Curtis
05-16-2005, 05:31 PM
I would like to recommend another "attention getting" way to score at the end of the match. Something Akin to the ramp of '03 or the bar of '04. Getting back to the end zone this year didn't really get the crowd on its feet but fighting over the ramp or getting up on the bar sure did.

Adam Richards
05-16-2005, 05:43 PM
I recommend keeping the human player. It adds challenge and fun.

As far as tasks and game elements go, I think discs would be a really interesting change. Ringtoss anyone? However, I think the elements to the 2006 game should vary so that robots of different competition levels can seek different goals. I think having a similar shape item (both this year and in 2004) helped in design, but, it was fun to see robots grab different size items in different ways. I think an obstacle in the middle of the field would also be a good idea, such as a ramp thingy similar to '03 or '04.

- Genia
I think that Woodie mentioned at the kickoff that throwing things was a big no-no, as one malfunction, and the ring spins a bit too fast through the air at someone...

sanddrag
05-16-2005, 05:46 PM
I too would like to see the "big finish" reintroduced into the game. It needs to be something so big that all teams strive for it at the end of the match but not so big that everyone does it at the start of the match then sits there.

I would like to see the rules on tipping relaxed. I would like to see a low center of gravity and/or anti-tipping device considered as part of the design challenge, not as part of the rules of play. The rules should allow intentional tipping, but robots should have provisions for protection against that.

I would like to see a very large scoring incentive for robots with drivetrains that go far above and beyond the one provided in the kit. I think this year, drive systems is an area where missed out on a lot of innovation from teams because the one in the kit was good enough for the game. Make teams strive for better than what they are given.

I would like to see a large central element to the field, like 2003 or 2004. The 2005 center goal was not exciting enough.

Perhaps maybe the whole field slopes toward the center.

Or maybe there is a chasm in the middle of the field and no bridge. The challenge is getting across. There would be a ramp to jump it or there would be a bar to swing over it. Or you'd have to bridge it yourself.

Or maybe a giant wall that you would have to get over.

I've always wanted to see a multileveled field where robots drive up ramps to get to the next level, kind of like a parking garage. The whole thing could be lexan so you can see the lower levels.

Alex Cormier
05-16-2005, 05:50 PM
I really discourage the use of balls or anything that intakes air. I remember last year that some team's auto mode and stuff wouldn't work because some air got out by the time of the championships eliminations came around. so no balls or anything that takes air to take shape. i would love to see something with bowling balls. wouldn't that be great? or something that the robot has to be one with. a open box perhaps? just some ideas a floating.

I too would like to see the "big finish" reintroduced into the game. It needs to be something so big that all teams strive for it at the end of the match but not so big that everyone does it at the start of the match then sits there.

oo possibly this big finish only be awarded with 15 seconds left? instead of the ~50pts given any time, only teams can score the 50 pts in the last 15 seconds. If the team does this task before 15 seconds is left then they would get half of the big point alloted. just makes the game have a "big finish".

lsmith243
05-16-2005, 05:59 PM
I agree with Eugenia, I think we should definietly keep the human players. I was a human player this year, and the ability to actually be on the floor with the competition and the robots was incredible. Plus it adds the extra thrill when human players have to race against time and each other to re-activate their bots and help keep the competition moving. As I just said, it's a great feeling being out there on the floor, and to have the opportunity to provide that rush for kids is great.

pakrat
05-16-2005, 06:11 PM
I really want to see some sort of moving part on the feild, Akin to the ramp before my time... (2001?) but more interactive, like robots open channels to get across the feild, but seal off another entrance, like a rotating door. Also, i think that it would be nice to have durable feild peices. The crates, the small balls and the tetras all break way too much. My team hasnt brokne very much, but something more like a cube of pvc that has to be hung on a rack or into a "cargo area" (like a forklift type job) and then at the end the robot stores itself somwhere on the feild and gets points for fitting into a small box (maybe even smaller than starting dimensions).

Mainly, durable feild peices are important to me.

Adam Richards
05-16-2005, 06:52 PM
oo possibly this big finish only be awarded with 15 seconds left? instead of the ~50pts given any time, only teams can score the 50 pts in the last 15 seconds. If the team does this task before 15 seconds is left then they would get half of the big point alloted. just makes the game have a "big finish".
I really want to see some sort of moving part on the feild, Akin to the ramp before my time... (2001?) but more interactive, like robots open channels to get across the feild, but seal off another entrance, like a rotating door. Also, i think that it would be nice to have durable feild peices. The crates, the small balls and the tetras all break way too much. My team hasnt brokne very much, but something more like a cube of pvc that has to be hung on a rack or into a "cargo area" (like a forklift type job) and then at the end the robot stores itself somwhere on the feild and gets points for fitting into a small box (maybe even smaller than starting dimensions).
Perhaps we could combine these ideas? The big finish could involve a team/alliance being able to pass through certain gates to an end point. The gates wouldn't open until 15 seconds remained on the clock and a member of the alliance pressed a button (whether it be an actual manipulative button or a pressure pad), at which point, the team/alliance races to complete the final objective through the gates (button on other side of field perhaps?).

Donut
05-16-2005, 07:08 PM
If we want even more alliance work, than create a task on the field that can ONLY be completed using at least 2 members of your team. For the gate idea, one robot would have to hold down a lever or sensor to keep the gate open while their partner could go through the now open gate.

The Big Finish needs to be re-added, and has to be able to swing the entire game score in only those last few seconds.

More interactive field elements that can hung from, climbed upon, or driven over also need to be added.

Ali Ahmed
05-16-2005, 07:14 PM
I think that the whole options thing should come back. In 2004 there were many things you could do, but in 2005 there was only one thing to do. And I also agree with everybody else in saying the "big finish" should come back. But make it something where only 2 or 3 robots could be able to be at the end. I remember Woodie saying at Kickoff 2004 that it would be almost impossible for 4 robots to hang at the end but it happened. So make it something where it is certain that only a few robots could be at the end.

Billfred
05-16-2005, 07:57 PM
By all means, keep the human player.

As for the big finale, definitely put something in the middle that robots take aim for. A bar, a ramp, heck, let's have a cargo net this year.

On the subject of cargo nets, I'd be thrilled to see a game that required mobility other than a drivetrain. Monkey bars, for example--they'd require skill to navigate, and you might not be able to get that fifteen-motor drivetrain built, meaning rookies wouldn't necessarily be bringing a knife to the gunfight with a kitbot.

Similarly, I wouldn't mind seeing a field with varying terrain. Perhaps in the manual, FIRST defines four or five six-foot squares, each with a certain feature, like a small stack of two-by-fours. There'd be N of each square on the field, placed in a different-but-mirrored setup at each competition, with a uniform setup at the Championship to make the Einstein matches sane. Think vision tetras, but they stay that way for all three days.

Finally, one that might be a mixture of a game element and technology--score the game in real-time. It'd be harder to execute, granted, but I believe FIRST's ability to do so has improved dramatically over the last game scored that way, 1995's Ramp n' Roll (http://www.firstwiki.org/Ramp_n%27_Roll). With some Banner sensors like in 2004 (where catching the reflective tape in the ball tees triggered the ball dumps), I think goals would be doable. And teams could always emulate the goal without the electronics.

Just my thoughts--whatever comes out, I'll play it.

DCA Fan
05-16-2005, 07:59 PM
I would like to keep the human player as others have said, it adds to the excitement. Also, having a "big finish" would add greatly to the excitement of the game to non-FIRST spectators. Also, maybe reintroducing the moveable goal or some other interactive element.

StephLee
05-16-2005, 09:20 PM
I think it might be interesting to see pressure pads in the middle of the field for the robots to get on. I have no idea what they would be used for or if it's feasible, but it might be interesting.

A big finish would be cool, and would probably make the game more exciting. But what about something big to start with? Maybe the alliances have to get and hold certain areas of the field somehow. With a field like the one this year, they would hold an area by putting something on top of the goal. Sort of like this year actually, but they wouldn't get points for rows and they would be encouraged to take the opponent's piece off, so only one can occupy a goal at a time. This kind of game play might make the beginning like a mad dash to get the different areas, and would make the game pretty exciting. Of course, it would be a much more contact form of play, and I don't know how that would work.

Quatitos
05-16-2005, 09:59 PM
I'd like to see some of the field elements that limit the size of objects passing through them. In previous years there have been those things like "if your smaller then this, it will save you time". In the real world making things smaller is an ongoing effort and having students practicing while they learn is something they should experience. Its important to know that it isn't always best to have biggest machine out there.

Rich Kressly
05-17-2005, 11:04 AM
I think the excitement of the end-of-a-round task is a positive for participants and spectators. The ramp in 03 was very cool, but for some it was a place to hang out for the whole match and while hanging from the bar was cool, it took too long for many teams to accomplish so it wasn't necessarily end of match exciting.

So I propose getting all of your alliance robots "home" as the excitement, just have it worth enough points that teams/alliances can't ignore it. Maybe it doubles your score, so it behooves you to play on the field for as long as possible scoring points before dashing home.

Koko Ed
05-17-2005, 05:18 PM
I don't mind the ever popular "big ending element" so long as it doesn't become the main attraction ( like in 2003 which was basically King of the Hill and forget the stacks or last year where teams looked only to hang and could care less about dealing with the balls). Perhaps if they weren't worth such a huge amount of points or you get the large amount of points if your whole alliance accomplishes the task.

Billfred
05-17-2005, 06:39 PM
I don't mind the ever popular "big ending element" so long as it doesn't become the main attraction ( like in 2003 which was basically King of the Hill and forget the stacks or last year where teams looked only to hang and could care less about dealing with the balls). Perhaps if they weren't worth such a huge amount of points or you get the large amount of points if your whole alliance accomplishes the task.
I'm inclined to agree here--50 points is a heck of a deficit to overcome when you can't hang. Last year, that was ten balls, five if you capped, per robot. If both of your opponents hung, you had to score more than a ball dump's worth of balls, or have a capper. Slightly skewed, if you ask me.

This year, ignoring rows, an end zone was all but neutralized with three stacked tetras, and was overcome on a fourth. Result? Not everybody went for the end zone. Factor in the Vex competition, where the 20-point bonus was four balls, or two capped. Perhaps I'm misconstruing this, but I believe that's a further acknowledgment of the ginormousness of the bonus last year. So, with that, I present...

As the amount of points awarded for an end-of-game bonus moves beyond four scored gamepieces, the focus will significantly shift towards achieving that bonus.

dhitchco
05-19-2005, 09:04 AM
I liked the "ups and downs" of scoring in the TriplePlay where rows were formed, and de-formed, and tetras were capped and de-capped. That's better than one "chreshendo" ending task that scores big points.

Having only ONE game element (the tetra) in 2005 was good; lots of different tasks to do with one element. Some robots could carry more than one element which was good for design theory. Having to do tasks with lots of different elements tends to "water-down" the design process.

Tasks in autonomous period should be DIFFERENT than in driver period. This year's triple play was good given the "magnetic hanging tetras" and green-stripe tetras were used in autonomous mode and/or scored differently.

So, keep the "cargo" simple, but do multiple tasks. Assign some tasks for the robot by itself with no "cargo" ala hanging, climbing, going through a tunnel, etc.

I'd also like to see the ability for one robot to AID AND UPRIGHT a fellow alliance robot that has tipped over; what are friends for anyways?

Andrew Rudolph
05-19-2005, 07:01 PM
I kinda like having feild elements that can break. It means your robot and drivers need finesse. Also every time somthing breaks everyone will give you an OOOOOooooooo. Granted it sucks as far as running the competition, who wants to have 4 times the amount of feild elements than are on the field to ship around. Of course if they are small enough, who cares!?

I would like to see the playing surface change. Maybe, a hdpe floor, or painted metal, some glossy, some grippy. But that would make it tough to ship around, and for teams to set up. Maybe interlocking floor material.

I would love to see some very creative game element like the floppies in 1999. I liked how they deformed when you tried to do anything with them. Maybe get thoes hot dog shaped Microbead (http://www.brookstone.com/shop/thumbnail.asp?world_code=1&category_code=28&subcategory_code=173&cmid=hdrdrop_1_28_173&search_type=subcategory) pillows in different sizes and you make beds for the voulenteers to sleep on?

Billfred
05-19-2005, 07:27 PM
I kinda like having feild elements that can break. It means your robot and drivers need finesse. Also every time somthing breaks everyone will give you an OOOOOooooooo. Granted it sucks as far as running the competition, who wants to have 4 times the amount of feild elements than are on the field to ship around. Of course if they are small enough, who cares!?

I've got a better idea. That idea is velcro.

It's cheap, available, and can make handling objects a pain in the butt, so long as you say an object must be together to count.

Billfred
05-19-2005, 07:54 PM
Just as a thought, on the off chance we have balls again...

Suppose that over each player station was a set of electric leaf blowers, that turned on and off on certain events. It'd sure be more interesting to herd balls if you've got big blowers stopping you.

Conor Ryan
05-21-2005, 10:28 PM
You know what would be a great game element? A Frisbee or some other disc like object!

This is why they would make sense
-Lightweight
-Cheap
-Easy to replace
-Can fit many into a small area (great for shipping
-Encourages more Innovation in design in what ever task you would like us to do (aka, balls are getting boring at this point)
-Everyone likes them (ever meet someone who doesn't? My point exactly)

EricH
05-22-2005, 06:49 PM
How about ballons? With a penalty for popping more than a certain number in one match? Hey, they're cheap and easy to transport if they are deflated.

dhitchco
05-27-2005, 08:41 AM
I like the suggestion about Frisbees (generically called "disks"). There is a huge disk golf league here in Rochester, NY.

Think about this in an alliance.
Redabot #1 has a frisbee launcher; Redabot #2 goes wide left while redabot #3 goes deep right. Redabot #1 fakes a frisbee toss "launcher" to redabot #2, but then throws a "hail mary" pass to redabot #3 which catches the frisbee in the blue alliance end zone and scores a "touchdown" for the red alliance. Talk about teamwork! I can just see the announcer's going nuts over that type of team play!

RyanMcE
05-27-2005, 05:03 PM
I'm thinking for the game elements we should try things that are wildly out of proportion to each other. Not like 13" balls and 30" balls of 2004, but something like golf balls and tetras - two completely differently sized and shaped objects that require completely different mechanisms to deal with.

More game element possibilities:

Footballs (please oh please!) - they are odd-shaped for a great engineering challenge, popular outside of FIRST for good PR, and easily available in large quantities (think NERF!)
Large, thin sheets of foam, rubber, or plastic - maybe in the vicinity of 8x4 sizes. They would be extremely awkward for a FIRST-sized robot to attempt to manipulate
Marbles! Hundreds and hundreds of marbles! They are so small, teams would have problems not running over them with their robots, adding to the challenge, espeically when there are... 8x4 plastic sheets laying on top?
A major field element that moves, like in 2001, but bigger... and spinning. Think, giant merry-go-round in the center of the field. Hm, now I have to run over to the game design thread and submit this idea that just came into my head...

sanddrag
05-27-2005, 07:38 PM
Idea #1

I know I briefly mentioned it before, but the more I think about it, I really really really think the field should have a chasm all the way across the middle of the field. I'm thinking it should span midfield and be about 4 feet across (just slightly longer than max robot length) it should be about 1 foot deep and have verticle sides so you can't go down in and then get out very easily at all.

There would be some strong/mandatory scoring reason to cross this chasm.

There would be a few ways to get across:

Bridge it yourself - the robot is its own bridge. Just think, totally new kind of mechanism, and not a whole lot to copy from in the real world. Definitely a medium-sized point bonus would be given for bridging it yourself, as opposed to using the field (below).

Really high 2004 style bar - used to swing across over the chasm. I'm thinking it should be 12' high, so you can't do a simple one stage arm.

Teetering bridge like 2001 - sounds easy enough but here's the catch. The bridge never comes down to the ground like. It makes a 6" stair like 2004. Also, the pivot of the brige should be really high so it is steep when it is tilted. Also, the bridge should be very low traction hdpe, just like 2004 or 2003.

There is no alternate route option (like going around the chasm) because it spans entire mid field, but there are three ways of doing that task see?

The chasm with the few ways to get over are perfect field elements for a really exciting game. You could even make one of these actions worth points at the end for the "big finish" For example, the bridge would be used to cross during most of the game, but at the end of the match, if you balance the brids it is worth points.

I was thinking scoring objects would be thrown by robots over the chasm, but if you wanted to make it really hard, it is possible that there could be goals which must be transported across the chasm. I would keep the goals very lightweight though.


Idea #2

The field has a large central 4 sided pyramid structure. I imagine it would go to about 5' high and the sides would be angled at about 40 degrees. It would have sharp/defined edges just like a real pyramid, so it is diffuclt to transition from one face to another. At the very top (where the point would usually be) is a small flat spot for one robot to sit; this will be like "king of the hill" from 2003 Stack Attack. Except only one robot can fit. Above this flat spot, supported by 4 posts, is a goal to contain the scoring objects. The bottom of the goal is 3'6" above the flat platform so a full 5' tall robot cannot fit on the flat platform. The sides of th goal wouldn't be too high. There would be other goals on the flat part of the field, but putting the scoring objects in this one on the pyramid would be worth significantly more points. The goal also may be capped by a larger scoring object for a multiplier. Here's the catch though. On the bottom of the goal (which is above the small flat spot on top of the pyramid) there is a mechanism that may be triggered by a robot to release the scoring objects at any time during the match. Finally, of course a big amount of points is awarded to having a robot on the small platform at the end of the match, and a good amount of points is awarded to a robot that is on (and stays on) the side of the pyramid at the end of the match.

I haven't totally thought this out but I would like to see the game played such that the center of attention is the top goal of this pyramid and robots are driving all over (up/down/sideways) this pyramid for the majority of the match.

So, what do you all think of my ideas?

spears312
05-28-2005, 07:11 PM
I'd be interested in seeing some sort of dynamic field element next year. It would add a twist to any game if there were an object that moved or changed during the course of the match (either self powered, or powered by a teams robot on the field). One idea would be like a gate or bridge, or a slightly less likely robotic mobile goal.

Another idea would be scoring elements which can change shape (like hinged joints or something). One more option along these lines would be several different scoring elements on the field at the same time (can you say triangle/tetra, circle/sphere, and a square/cube all on the same field at the same time). This would either create diversity in the manipulators or make an interesting challenge on developing a manipulator which can efficiently handle all of them.

sirbleedsalot
06-03-2005, 08:37 PM
I know I have posted this before, but putting the electronic id tags (like what is found on high priced items in stores) on the scoring objects, and then placing the detectors on goal posts. It would be easy to create a game like soccer that would be scored in real time. I know I am not the best at explaining things so I understand confusion.

Andrew Rudolph
06-04-2005, 01:17 AM
I know I have posted this before, but putting the electronic id tags (like what is found on high priced items in stores) on the scoring objects, and then placing the detectors on goal posts. It would be easy to create a game like soccer that would be scored in real time. I know I am not the best at explaining things so I understand confusion.


I think it would be really neat, this goes along with autonomous and sensors, but if whatever scoring element we had wasnt colored. Then Usign RFID teams had to identify if the scoring object counted for them.

I.e. All the tetras were white this year with RFID chips installed in them. Then scattered about the feild. Teams would have to go pick them up to see if they counted for thier alliance. THAT would be awesome!

sanddrag
06-04-2005, 12:47 PM
Remember how in 2004 the bar could be raised or lowered with a drill put into the side of the platform? While it was rarely used, I think it was pretty neat.

What if there was something similar where robots could drive over and do that. Like there would be a hex shaped receptacle in the field and then the robots would have a hex shaped spinning bar and they could drive up, stick it in, and raise or lower the bar or something else to make it easier for themselves or harder for the opponents.

Ronald_raygun
06-04-2005, 01:25 PM
For the '06 game no matter what the challenges are, I thinkthey should elevate the driver stations. It was kinda difficult to see the goals on the other side of the field.

EricH
06-04-2005, 02:51 PM
Bridge it yourself - the robot is its own bridge. Just think, totally new kind of mechanism, and not a whole lot to copy from in the real world. Definitely a medium-sized point bonus would be given for bridging it yourself, as opposed to using the field (below).


Sorry, sanddrag, but it's not totally new. WWII: Some tanks were known as "funnies." One of them was a bridge builder and carried two simple bridges onboard. The "new" mechanism would be a way to pick up the bridge so none can follow...

EricH
06-04-2005, 02:53 PM
It was kinda difficult to see the goals on the other side of the field.
That's the whole point of having the driver stations at field level! :D

Ronald_raygun
06-04-2005, 08:31 PM
That's the whole point of having the driver stations at field level! :D

The problem is hitting a robot in the loading zone accidentially and potentially hurting someone. Besides, the center goal on the ends of the field kinda made it hard the the center drivers to see even past the middle goal.

robot180
06-09-2005, 09:47 PM
I liked the idea of a multi-level field, but what about an elevator? There could be a box, made of metal on the bottom and either lexan or wire mesh or something on the sides. It could have doors and be controlled from a button at each end of the field. The elevator should be large enough to fit two robots that each fit inside the envolope. At the end of a match, all of the robots could fight to get into the elevator for extra points.

In addition to all of that, there could be more to the game, like ways to earn points from both the first level and the second level.

Robot Safety:
For the safety of the robot, the door could automatically close before the elevator begins to move and open when it stops at its destination. Also, the elevator could have a lexan box built around it so a robot does not drive under the elevator and the elevator does not lower down onto a robot. The elevator could be set to not stop until it reaches a floor and gives sufficient time for robots to get out and new robots to get in, like a real elevator in a building.

Ronald_raygun
06-09-2005, 10:06 PM
There is one problem with that elevator design. Is it easy to build? Assemble/disassemble?

sanddrag
06-09-2005, 10:26 PM
There is one problem with that elevator design. Is it easy to build? Assemble/disassemble?Howabout an elevator powered by a robot? One robot gets inside and a partner grabs a rope and starts pulling which raises the elevator. It would be a collaborative effort. I think that would be wicked cool.

See, this way you don't have to have any special motorized mechanisms or anything. Basically just a box with a rope that goes up to a high pulley, and then some easy way for another robot to get ahold of that rope.

I'm really liking the idea of robots powering field elements.

Jaine Perotti
06-10-2005, 11:14 AM
A major field element that moves, like in 2001, but bigger... and spinning. Think, giant merry-go-round in the center of the field. Hm, now I have to run over to the game design thread and submit this idea that just came into my head...
I just had an idea come into my head as I was reading this.

- The field would be divided into two sections, "A" and "B".
- Goals to receive scoring objects would be mobile (like 2002 and 2004), and color coded to each alliance. x amount of points would be scored per object in the goal.
- There would be a "spinner" (like on a game board) located in the center of the field. If the spinner is pointed to side "A" of the playing field, all of the points scored in the mobile goals located on side "A" would be multiplied by, say, 2. If it is pointed to side "B", then all of side "B"s goals would receive the multiplier.

This game would allow for innovation in drivetrain design (battling for possession of the spinner), AND in offensive play (scoring points). This game would make both simple, defensive designs AND complex, offensive designs advantageous. This game would make it so that BOTH types of robots are needed.

Its also interesting because the multiplier would benefit both teams. The value of both scoring methods would also be pretty balanced - neither one would really take precedence over the other, because the bonus would effect both alliances.

This game also provides for last minute excitement ("Who is going to get the spinner bonus?") Robots would be trying to manipulate the spinner in their favor, and other would be trying to push goals onto the side of the field that the spinner is pointed towards (multiple tasks for multiple alliance partners). The spinner also puts alot of the focus of attention in the center of the field, which several people have mentioned as a favorable game characteristic.

What do you think?

-- Jaine

Ryan Foley
06-10-2005, 02:42 PM
I just had an idea come into my head as I was reading this.

- The field would be divided into two sections, "A" and "B".
- Goals to receive scoring objects would be mobile (like 2002 and 2004), and color coded to each alliance. x amount of points would be scored per object in the goal.
- There would be a "spinner" (like on a game board) located in the center of the field. If the spinner is pointed to side "A" of the playing field, all of the points scored in the mobile goals located on side "A" would be multiplied by, say, 2. If it is pointed to side "B", then all of side "B"s goals would receive the multiplier.

This game would allow for innovation in drivetrain design (battling for possession of the spinner), AND in offensive play (scoring points). It also provides for last minute excitement ("Who is going to get the spinner bonus?") Its also interesting because the multiplier would benefit both teams, but one team more than the other. Robots would be trying to manipulate the spinner in their favor, and other would be trying to push goals onto the side of the field that the spinner is pointed towards (multiple tasks for multiple alliance partners).

What do you think?

-- Jaine

Funny, I had a similar idea, except that I borrowed MIT 2.007's version. Instead of a spinner, I was thinking the 2001 teeter-totter bridge, maybe bigger. Whichever side was lower would have their points multiplied, or it would just be worth a certain number of pints if a multiplier is too much.


I like yours though, it's new, and I think it'd be harder to manipulate/ more fun to watch. Perhaps it could double as the location for robot scoring (get your robot on top).

To reply to BillFred's post (below): Actually I thought an interesting idea was a large balance scale. Whoever's side is lower wins the match. Then, the points for objects in your side is your Ranking Points from that match. Perhaps I shall whip up a full description of this for the other thread

Bonus: it gets rid of the "2X the loosers score...." stuff.

Billfred
06-10-2005, 05:43 PM
Funny, I had a similar idea, except that I borrowed MIT 2.007's version. Instead of a spinner, I was thinking the 2001 teeter-totter bridge, maybe bigger. Whichever side was lower would have their points multiplied, or it would just be worth a certain number of pints if a multiplier is too much.

I like yours though, it's new, and I think it'd be harder to manipulate/ more fun to watch. Perhaps it could double as the location for robot scoring (get your robot on top).
Well, if we're talking of lower, how about a balance scale to keep things interesting? Load it any way you safely can (balls, tetras, robots, freshmen), and have that multiply things.

robot180
06-11-2005, 12:18 AM
In my opinion, a balance is not a great idea because what real life situation does that resemble and also, it doesn't seem as exciting as the spinner or elevator ideas. How about several spinners. If a robot can climb ontop of one spinner, it can reach the second spinner to get more points. If the first spinner is rotated with a robot on it, it might make it harder for drivers and operators to control, which may call for some good strategy and stuff.

sanddrag
06-11-2005, 01:21 AM
I do like the spinner in the sense that it gives something to really "battle" over like the top of the ramp in 2003. The spinner would have to be built really sturdy though so it didn't break from robots pushing on it to point it a different way and climbing on it etc.

Jaine Perotti
06-11-2005, 11:28 AM
I just had another thought - what if the spinner was long enough so that when it was pointing towards the side of the field, it would be so long that it would block off that half of the field.... so it could be used as a barricade to robots coming through on that side? That would make things more interesting. It would look sort of like this:

_____________
| ................ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
|<----+........ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
| ................ |
| .................|

SoftwareBug2.0
06-11-2005, 01:02 PM
For the '06 game no matter what the challenges are, I thinkthey should elevate the driver stations. It was kinda difficult to see the goals on the other side of the field.
I disagree. As a driver, I did not find it difficult to see the our team's robot. In my opinion, the most difficult part was when the robot was right up next to the driver's station, which would not be helped by a raised platform.

That's the whole point of having the driver stations at field level!
There are a couple problems with raised drivers stations. One is that they would take more time to setup, and the other is that they would block the spectators' views. In my opinion, the drivers stations have been at their current locations it is the easiest to setup, and afford good visibility.

robot180
06-11-2005, 03:18 PM
I was thinking of a different type of "spinner". How about a hexagon shaped rotating platform at mid-field. It could have a much smaller one ontop of it. A robot could climb on the first one to turn the second one. Maybe, we could put a mark on one side of each hexagon. The number of sides between the mark on one hexagon and the other would be the score. So, you would want to get the mark on both to be on opposite sides from each other.

I noticed that everyone here is talking about large, stationary game pieces that everyone fights over. Are there any other ideas for smaller scoring objects, such as tetras or bins or somehting?

Last year, someone posted a possible hint to the game, involving orange construction cones. I thought that would be a great idea. The thing about the tetras was that they were easy to pick up, compared to bins and balls.

Ronald_raygun
06-12-2005, 11:04 AM
the other is that they would block the spectators' views


Software, I was referring to this kind of field the all the drivers are on one side.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/ronald_raygun/06Game.jpg

663.keith
06-26-2005, 05:38 PM
I am against the idea of a wide field for the operators. Most motion on the fields earlier (like 05) was back and forth, so the operator was usually in the same direction as the robot. In other words, when the operator pushed both joysticks forward - the robot would move away from the operator. if the operators were lined up 90 degrees from the robot, most of the time the operator would move the joysticks forward, and the robot would move right or left in relation to the operator.

Also, I like the human player aspect of the game for two reasons. It gets one more person involved in the game, and it is very enjoyable to watch interaction between robot/human during the game.

As far as a big finish goes, I am hesitant to jump back on the bandwagon. I feel that it ruins the rest of the game. A team that does not have the ability to complete the big finish will ultimately fail -- this means teams would design their robot specificily for the big finish, detracting from every other element in the game. I liked the end zone triple play this year because it was a small enough point value that some people didn't go for it, and yet it still made huge changes to the outcome of the game

care_hardy
07-05-2005, 11:45 PM
After hearing several of the names given to past FIRST games, including "Stack attack" and "Raising the Bar", a few things occurred to me... 1) the recurrence of stacking (or piling) of objects in most games and 2) the idea of putting bars to another use. Using those two basic thoughts, here's what I've come up with.


The goal: Create a ladder. For those of you who enjoy the names of the different games each year, this one's got lots of opportunities for a play on words.

The field: The central feature would be a ladder structure missing its rungs. In short, posts with rests attached to them will scatter the field on which tubes will be placed. Depending on the level of difficulty desired, these ladder skeletons could be placed in clusters or at different heights. Other obstacles like a ramp may be added to increase difficulty.

The object to be manipulated: Tubes (possibly made of the same material as the tetras were this year) with something on the ends to prevent them from slipping off of the rests. Length mary vary depending on how much driver skill will be emphasized (shorter ones = more difficult to place). I haven't thought out yet how these will be picked up or loaded on to the robots.

Challenges: Designing a robot that can accurately pick up and place the tubes at varying heights, and possibly having to control your robot while on a ramp or other obstacle.

Scoring: Points are awarded for the number of tubes placed, whether the team/alliance occupies a full ladder (much like the tic-tac-toe aspect of Triple Play) and what ladder skeleton it is placed on (read: more difficult to get to? More points)

Penalties: Penalties will be distributed for unnecessarily, and intentional, rough contact. Teams would not be allowed to remove another team's already-placed tube. If they do so, accidentally or intentionally, that amount of points will be deducted from their final score.

There are still a few kinks to work out, but that's what I've come up with thus far. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Game Design Committee comes up with for the 2006 season! Hopefully we'll see a few new elements in the game that will result in very unique robot designs.

-Care

EricH
07-29-2005, 01:07 PM
Here's an unusual idea (not that there aren't too many already): a POWERED field element. For example: one goal of some form wanders around the field on one of several paths. Teams get twice the score for any object placed on it that they do for anywhere else. However, it also acts as an interference bot against both alliances, only depending on who is in the way. Another example: a swinging gate of some form that you have to wait for.

The problems: the main one is that FIRST would have to design this element, give it power (which means either extension cords (for the gate) or a large supply of batteries (for anything mobile)), and program it. Then again, it would add at least one level of difficulty to the game.

Kyle Love
07-29-2005, 01:58 PM
Heres my off the wall idea. Use tires or something like the "LIVE strong" and "VEX" wristbands just on a bigger scale, and make square or rectangular goals in the center that are elevated 7 and 10 feet off the ground. (3 goals, 2 7feet 1 10feet in the center) Have a 2 foot tall gap under the goals so teams could go under the bridge. Have 5foot tall goals at the red and blue alliance home zones. Still have it 3vs3. 1 Autoloader per alliance and have a suspened "tire" hanging on a hook on the side of the field with a green panel in the center (similar to this years vision tetra) for the CMU. Also, have a human player area with a 3'x3' box on both sides to distingush the "loading zone".

My paint drawings can be found here (http://photobucket.com/albums/a173/YOitsDonVito45/2006%20Game%20Idea/)

-KL

sanddrag
07-29-2005, 02:44 PM
I like the idea of using tires for a gamepiece. The shape would make them easy to put on a pole or something, but the weight would make it very challenging to maniupluate. I'm thinking along the lines of something like a small car spare tire or a small trailer tire. Also, they are very durable. Almost no chance of breaking. But they might be a little pricey. Used or reject tires maybe?

Or maybe part of the playing surface can be covered in tires like this http://www.eddabney.com/confidence_course_files/Dan_tires.jpg but no horse and smaller tires.

Ryan Foley
07-29-2005, 02:52 PM
I like the idea of using tires for a gamepiece. The shape would make them easy to put on a pole or something, but the weight would make it very challenging to maniupluate. I'm thinking along the lines of something like a small car spare tire or a small trailer tire. Also, they are very durable. Almost no chance of breaking. But they might be a little pricey. Used or reject tires maybe?

Or maybe part of the playing surface can be covered in tires like this http://www.eddabney.com/confidence_course_files/Dan_tires.jpg but no horse and smaller tires.

Check out the 1997 robots, they had inner tubes that year. 111 in particular had a very cool way of picking them up.

I love the idea of all or part of the field being covered in tires. That would make a great all-terrain style element, however, teams with very good drivers could avoid the holes and only have to worry about getting onto the tires and riding the edges. A lot more tank tread robots would appear I imagine.

If you want to be really evil however, make a wall of tires standing upright. I would love to see a robot try to fit through the hole in the center.

sanddrag
07-29-2005, 02:59 PM
If you want to be really evil however, make a wall of tires standing upright. I would love to see a robot try to fit through the hole in the center.
Or maybe even better yet, make some sort of mound of tires (attached/connected/rigid/stable) that you can climb to the top of in order to get points. I'm still a big fan of kind of the hill. We just need a more interesting hill.

sanddrag
07-29-2005, 03:08 PM
What about a midfield barrier of large proportions. Maybe like 5-10 ft high but not quite vertical, maybe like 70 degrees referenced from the horizonal (on both sides, so it would look like this /\ ) And then there could be some sort of horizontal bars on it (like rungs of a latter almost) for helping to get over it. And maybe there could be a bar high above it to winch off of or something.

You'd have to have an alternate option of getting to the other side of the field but it can't be too easy because then people wouldn't do this. There must be great scoring incentive for scaling this wall and getting back down to the other side.

Ryan Foley
07-29-2005, 04:28 PM
Here's an interesting idea for a midfield barrier.

Place a 2ft diameter pipe on it's side, spanning the width of the field. For robot scoring, robots would have to climb on top and not be supported by anything but the pipe.

Options:
1) fixed pipe on ground
2) freely rotating pipe (about an axle of course) only raised enough off the ground so it doesnt contact the carpet. Some interesting defense could be played if teams could get on top and then start using their wheels to spin the pipe. Log rolling competition anyone?*
3) Cut out some parts of the pipe, so that there are tunnels leading to the other side.
4) raise the pipe off the ground (perhaps a smaller diameter, like 1ft or 1.5ft would be better if this was done). Imagine the 2001 or 2003 limbo bar, just a lot bigger.
5) put another one (same diameter) at least 8 feet above the first one. Then teams could hang off that one for points, climb on the bottom one for more points, or use the the higer one to pull them up and onto the bottom one.

Interesting Combinations of options mentioned above:
A) 1 and 3
B) 2 and 3 (it would almost be like something out of mini-golf, could be fun)
C) 2 and 4
D) 2, 3 and 4. The clearance under the pipe could be 8inches, and under on of the holes could be 16in, that way you dont have to be less than 8in to get under.

*= I'm not suggesting anything about water when I say "log rolling"


PS: this midfield barrier also keeps the piggy-back robot option that seems to be applicable to every game since 2001 in some way. Check out 111's 2001 robot if you don't know what I mean by "piggy back robot"

Kyle Love
07-29-2005, 05:27 PM
Bike tires! Then you can stack TONS at one time!

sanddrag
07-29-2005, 05:55 PM
Bike tires! Then you can stack TONS at one time!Great idea. Those would be great scoring objects. Light enough to handle yet large enough to be exciting.

Karthik1
07-31-2005, 10:41 PM
I would like to see a part of the field that is not carpet, plastic, or any type of hard surface. I want to see a surface that conforms to the shape of the robot. I am not talking about the entire field, just a part. It would be interesting to see a surface like a bed, foam, or even sand.

Also I like the robot bridge idea, maybe there could be a ramp like 2003, but not connected in the middle, so in-order to get across the robot must get over some big gap.

Billfred
08-12-2005, 06:52 PM
After fitting most of my belongings for college into six Stack Attack bins, I have a suggestion for the next game element: Make it something a college student can make use of in his or her life at college.

(And if the name of next year's game becomes Dorm Room Derby, I apologize to the FIRST community in advance.)

mechanicalbrain
08-12-2005, 07:06 PM
I would like to see a came where the drive never has direct line of site (do the entire game through video feed). I would also like to see a game where the space for the robot is limited so flexible frame becomes extremely important.

ChrisH
08-13-2005, 09:50 AM
It seems to me that one of the problems with using the cameras was the varying lighting conditions between arenas. Green was not always green and while the calibration numbers might have helped, I think there is a better way.

What about using LEDs (which have a very well defined spectrum) to illuminate a diffusing panel? This would create a significant area of a well defined color that could be detected. The LEDs can be run off batteries and with proper battery pack design they could easily last at least all day without replacement or recharging.

If you really want to get fancy put a polarizing filter on the diffuser and on the camera to reduce the chance of reflections being interpreted as real signals.

I feel this would make "homing" tasks easier by eliminating much potential confusion.

Just a thought

ChrisH

sanddrag
08-13-2005, 10:06 AM
For film productions, there is some special stuff they use to do a green screen effect. The backdrop cloth is actually this very special strange type of grey cloth. (sorry I don't know what it is called). Then on the camera is a ring of maybe 50 super bright green LEDs around the lense. The subject (actor) must be placed between the LEDs and the screen, otherwise it doesn't work.

So, due to their color/whatever the LEDs have very little effect on the color of the subject at all but on camera, the grey backdrop cloth comes up a smooth, solid, uniform greeen with no texture. The cloth is made specially to reflect the green light evenly back to the camera. It cannot be seen just by a person, but it is very bright, uniform green on the camera.

So, I was thinking if the robots could have lots of green LEDs and then there could be field elements with this cloth on them. It should make homing in on it very easy with a camera since the color reflected back to the camera doesn't really depend on lighting conditions.

However, I'm not really sure how well this works over distance. I've only tried this operation from maybe 10 feet away.

robot180
08-28-2005, 03:26 PM
Back to the tire idea, what if a patform of tires was slightly angled and uneven. This would simulate a more real-life application. The robot would not just drive on perfectly even ground. Some bots could get stuck, but get alliance partners to push them out. Maybe if small objects, like tennis balls, are dropped in the tires, where they cannot be seen by the drivers, the robot could use sensors to find the balls and alert the driver using lights on the robot or controls. When the robot finds a ball, it could somehow reach out of its bottom and grab the ball. Maybe they get points for recovering as many balls as possible, with different colored balls giving different amounts of points. This would resemble a search and rescue situation where the tires are like driving over rubble and the different colored balls represent different types of finds, living people, dead people, animals, and whatever else would be found in a pile of rubble.

EricH
08-29-2005, 11:41 AM
For a game object, how about boxes of KK donuts? Human player eats them as the game progresses. (No fair using Dave L. as human player, even during mentor rounds! :D )

phrontist
08-29-2005, 12:10 PM
Wow... tires... that would be great! I love the idea of drastically different size elements too, so I guess the ideal game for me would involve tires filled with ping pong balls. Oh yes...

I'd also like to see some other way for robots to move around, instead of the wheels-on-ground approach. Perhaps aircraft cable(s) running the length of the feild (from driver station to driver station), that robots could grab and winch themselves along on. Essentially, I like the idea of robots off the ground and moving around.

I'm envisioning a feild with a taut aircraft cable across the center (like the midfeild line in soccer) at height x off the ground. You could design your robot to be below height x or you could design your robot to get over the cable using the "zip line". In order to make the zip-line option attractive, the game could revolve around depositing items on the opponents side of the feild at a significant height, like the tetras this year. It would be difficult to deposit items up high if your robot had to fit under that cable, but if you built a mondo arm it could do both functions. Hey! The scroring items could be the aforementioned ping pong balls, deposited in tires. The tires with your ping pong balls could be on the opposing side of the feild, with the goal on your own. You'd have to get across and get back to score, or have on robot get across and send ping pong balls over some how. Robots could do wildly different things and still be competitive!

As an aside, aircraft cable is cheap and strong, and if the feild were designed properly, quite safe (snappage wise). You can anticipate how much tension would be on it in the worst case scenario because you know the weight limits of the robots. You could make them lower for saftey/challenge reasons.

Billfred
08-29-2005, 01:59 PM
I think that BEST explored this technique a few years ago, but what some gamepieces with unpredictable attributes?

Suppose this technique were applied to Triple Play. In certain pipes that make up the tetra, some extra mass (nuts? washers? cement?) would be added in. The human players would then have to gauge the weight distribution and put them on the robots accordingly, and drivers would have to fiddle with their technique in the event they picked up a cattywampus tetra from the autoloader.

Billfred
09-19-2005, 08:37 PM
Proof that you get inspiration from robots slugging their brains out as well...

Anyone who watches Robot Wars is familiar with the technique to open the pit (a robot, competitor or house, hits a switch made of a tire and a panel, triggering the pit to open). Suppose that a similar device on a FIRST field enabled a device to release a more valuable object.

To apply the example to a prior FIRST game, suppose that beside the ball dump in FIRST Frenzy was a small side chute, containing the mythical 25-point ball. This ball would only be released if a button on the field were held down for a given amount of time (say, ten seconds). Ten seconds is a really significant amount of time in a two-minute match, so teams would have to decide whether going for the more potent ball was worth the time investment. Especially if, in this scenario, their human player was shaky.

JP_1163
09-23-2005, 01:57 PM
I see robots walking. I see them stepping over objects of varying heights and widths to reach a goal. I see robots manipulating objects and then returning to their originating spot. I see robots engaged in cooperative ventures where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. I see robots that don't bash and crash but work together to complete a complex task requiring all partners to work in concert to achieve their goal. I see the scoring based on the number of successful tasks completed within a 2 minute period.......

Wait......wait...... sorry crystal ball is on break......

:eek: :eek: :eek:

anna~marie
09-29-2005, 04:41 PM
when do we get our clue?

Billfred
09-29-2005, 05:03 PM
when do we get our clue?
Traditionally, the hint goes out a week or so before Kickoff.

phrontist
09-29-2005, 07:26 PM
Traditionally, the hint goes out a week or so before Kickoff.

Traditionally, everything Dave says is a hint, but no one has any clue what the game will be.

Taylor_Ratliff
10-08-2005, 02:51 PM
For the last 6 months, ive been working at Sam's Club pushing carts with the help of one of those automated cart machines, and let me tell you, THEY SUCK! they break down all the time, water gets inside it, the turning radius is horrible.
The job itsself is absolutely back-breaking, most of the time we were pushing them by hand out in 100F heat (TEXAS!).
I think the idea of an automated cart retriever is excellent, and would make a good theme for a FIRST competition. The robots would have to wrangle scattered carts, line them up, and take them back to the garage area all while avioding obstacles that simulate cars/people.

Another thing is that you cant just push the carts, because if you need to stop they all come apart, you have to have something at the front, so this could easily incorporate teamwork like previous FIRST competitions.

I would also like to say I am against having a human player, as it takes away from the actual design of the robot and encourages teams to go get someone out of athletics for the soul purpose of doing the interaction.

For example, in 2004 our team just went and got a 6'8" guy off of the basketball team to do the shooting for us, and he made 138/141 total shots for the whole weekend. The kid didnt know, or care, anything about robotics he was just there to get a few days off school.

any thoughts, comments?

mechanicalbrain
10-08-2005, 03:03 PM
I would like to see the continued use of new sensors every year but combined with the chance to use previous years sensors. Also i wouldn't mind seeing the custom circuit rule modified to allow custom circuits to transmit to the player station. Finally I would like to see the game become more robot intensive. Like, i think the 2004 game would have been much cooler had the robots been allowed to score too.

dlavery
10-08-2005, 06:14 PM
For the last 6 months, ive been working at Sam's Club pushing carts with the help of one of those automated cart machines, and let me tell you, THEY SUCK! they break down all the time, water gets inside it, the turning radius is horrible. The job itsself is absolutely back-breaking, most of the time we were pushing them by hand out in 100F heat (TEXAS!). I think the idea of an automated cart retriever is excellent, and would make a good theme for a FIRST competition. The robots would have to wrangle scattered carts, line them up, and take them back to the garage area all while avioding obstacles that simulate cars/people.

Another thing is that you cant just push the carts, because if you need to stop they all come apart, you have to have something at the front, so this could easily incorporate teamwork like previous FIRST competitions.


OK, I promised that there would not be any responses to any of the suggestions submitted to the game design suggestion threads, and no feedback would be provided until the game is unveiled in January. However, I just can't resist with this one.

I just want to point out that this problem has already been solved. Rather than build a robotic shopping cart retriever, just automate the shopping cart itself! The folks over at Derek's Digital have come up with this design:

http://www.team116.org/images/cart_final-sm.jpg

("Pimp my shopping cart"?!?!)

-dave

Al Skierkiewicz
10-09-2005, 11:04 AM
For film productions, Then on the camera is a ring of maybe 50 super bright green LEDs around the lense. The subject (actor) must be placed between the LEDs and the screen, otherwise it doesn't work.

However, I'm not really sure how well this works over distance. I've only tried this operation from maybe 10 feet away.

Film productions is the secret wording here. This does not work in video, sorry. For green screen effects in video, the screen is lit with "flat" lighting so there are no variations in the background. There can be no green in the foreground subject without those objects being replaced by the "key" video.

Henry_Mareck
10-30-2005, 11:33 PM
personally, i really like the idea of having a switch or key that opens another area, not that just directly affects your scoring, but rather opens another way to score.
however, this could be difficult, complicated, or expensive to build

Andrew Blair
11-11-2005, 07:07 PM
I like the idea of small, roundish objects, like golf balls. They can't be broken, they could be arranged so as to require finesse in picking them up, they're easily availaible, and it could be a real challenge to shuffle them around stragetically. Now, this type of object would create some problems as well, such as field cleanup, making sure there were adequate balls on both sides to make it fair, and the hazard of people occasionally turfing on them. :ahh:

Billfred
11-20-2005, 08:59 PM
Probably tremendously late, but imagine the following.

Suppose that there were some objective that you want to happen for your alliance, and you don't want it to happen for your opponents. However, neither of you want it to happen to nobody.

As an example, imagine there was a goal from Zone Zeal at midfield. In autonomous, robots would attempt to displace this goal from the middle of the field, bringing it back to their side of the field. If an alliance succeeds, a randomly-selected robot on the other alliance is disabled for ten seconds. If neither alliance does it, a randomly-selected robot on both sides is disabled for ten seconds. Nobody wants to have their power robot disabled, right?

(If this actually makes it into the game, I apologize. ;) )

slickguy2007
12-02-2005, 08:35 PM
How about a new type of surface to drive on. The carpet is what everyone expects, so why not throw a curve ball to see how everyone swings? I would also like to see teams try to hang on a mobile platform. These are random ideas, but they could have some potential. Also, I think it would make things much more interesting if the competition were 2 vs 2 vs 2 or something to that effect. I am no master creator, but I think it would be interesting to see this in next year's game.

GO 1403!!!