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dlavery
05-15-2006, 03:41 PM
This thread is a spin-off of this discussion (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=501399#post501399), 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, or that throwing objects would make for a great engineering challenge. 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

=Martin=Taylor=
05-15-2006, 06:27 PM
The FRC games that have appealed most to me have been those that offered teams a wide variety of challenges (multiple tasks: hanging, capping, scoring balls).

These games encouraged teams to think creatively about strategy. As a result they produced a wide variety of diverse designs with some robots focusing on particular tasks while others attempted to do everything.

I think it would be really cool to have multiple game pieces. Like say buckets and tennis balls. Perhaps teams would receive extra points for putting the game pieces together: filling the buckets with tennis balls and pushing them back to base.

sanddrag
05-15-2006, 07:29 PM
We still are lacking the "big finish" of 2003 and 2004. We need something big smack in the center of the field that every team "fights" for at the end of the match.

Also, I'd like to see a greater than 45 degree incline somewhere.

Last, I think it'd be neat if part of the field could be powered by a robot. Say there's a platform a robot drives onto. It has a rope going from it up over a pulley and back down. A partner robot can grab ahold of this rope and start pulling raising the platform. Kind of like an elevator in a sense.

Jherbie53
05-15-2006, 10:18 PM
I would like too see a pressure pad or sensor on the field for the robots. An example would be, that the pad or sensor would light up a light, open a gate to another part of the field ;) , or move a game piece onto the field for your team during the game. This would make for a good game element that requires teamwork.

The Human player needs to be involved like it has been the past couple of years. Stack Attack was not a good human player game, because they only had ten seconds to place the bins on the field and their effort could be wiped out in the first 5 seconds of autonomous. Triple Play and Aim High are good human player games.

I would like too see the return of a open "bonus" zone. Like the ramp in 2003 or the bar in 2004. The ramps at the other ends of the field make it easier for the teams to go to their own ramps, most of the time, and made some pretty exciting finishes to matches.

Billfred
05-15-2006, 10:37 PM
Here's another idea. It seems that there are about fifteen threads that've floated around Delphi about how the game pieces have been triangles and circles and squares. How about just blowing all of 'em out of the water once and for all with three different game pieces on the field, one of each form (a four-sided pyramid, a cylinder, a cube) that must be assembled using reasonably strong magnets inside each piece. You then get the awesomeness of stacking without the ridiculous ease of knocking over.

santosh
05-15-2006, 10:49 PM
I would also like to see a large structure in the middle of the fiel. My biggst thing that I would like to see a lot of diferent tasks like in 2004. I understand the arguement that it can make things difficult for rookies,. But there must be some way to integrate a lot of different tasks into a game that isn't overwhelming for a rookie teams.
I would like something lik hav had in the past where you either have to climb on something or lift yourself up to get a large bonus.

Dan Petrovic
05-15-2006, 11:14 PM
I'd like to see stair climbing. I don't mean just one step.

I mean a whole series. That'd be neat to see.

Rick TYler
05-15-2006, 11:24 PM
My only two years in FIRST have both featured fields with only limited 3D features. I want to see both a really tall scoring element (eight feet plus) and elevated structures that need to be driven over, around, or under.

The scoring things are all in the other Alliance's end (or at least the key component that allows bonus points -- like making 3-across patterns in '05), and there are three ways to get there: a 5-degree ramp leads to a bridge that turns left and goes across the arena to a right-hand turn down a 5-degree ramp on the other side. At both extreme sides of the arena is a 30-degree ramp that goes up to a 40-inch square platform and then down again on the other side. Under the bridge formed by the 10-degree ramp bridge is the "underpass" to the other side that is only 24 inches high.

Simple bots can climb the shallow ramp, turn across the bridge, and then go down the other side. It's not hard, but it is slow. Better bots can take advantage of the 30-degree ramps to go over, but there are only two of them, they are all they way on the outside edges of the field, and they are steep. Really creative bots can zip straight through under the wide bridge in the center. This gives a real challenge to teams that want one, but doesn't make the game impossible for BLTs.

We could also add some complexity by including scoring elements with a complex, hard-to-hold shape (see "tetras") and another simple shape (like a squishy ball). The complex shape could be worth more points, but be more complex. Another interesting spin on game elements would be to introduce something genuinely heavy, but not particulary hard to grasp. We have some barbells (little one-hand units) covered with a non-skid rubber-like material that might be just the ticket. I know for sure that they come in 5- and 10-pound weights. What would a robot look like that could lift and carry several 10-pound barbells under a 24-inch bridge, but still be able to lift them onto an 8-foot-high scoring cage? The weights have obvious safety issues, but it would put a premium on stronger mechanisms than we had in '06.

Now, as for the actual game, I don't have any idea except that it should involve either helicopters, boats, or bobsleds...

s_forbes
05-16-2006, 11:18 AM
I would like too see a pressure pad or sensor on the field for the robots. An example would be, that the pad or sensor would light up a light, open a gate to another part of the field ;) , or move a game piece onto the field for your team during the game. This would make for a good game element that requires teamwork.


I like the idea of an automated feild element, where an action on one spot of the field activates an element on a different part of the field. That would be really cool to see.

Another thing that I could see happening is a feild element that is continuously moving, like a platform on wheels or a crane arm moving a gamepiece around in the air for a robot to catch. A moving feild would add a lot of excitement to the game.

=Martin=Taylor=
05-16-2006, 06:43 PM
Another interesting spin on game elements would be to introduce something genuinely heavy, but not particulary hard to grasp. We have some barbells (little one-hand units) covered with a non-skid rubber-like material that might be just the ticket. I know for sure that they come in 5- and 10-pound weights. What would a robot look like that could lift and carry several 10-pound barbells under a 24-inch bridge, but still be able to lift them onto an 8-foot-high scoring cage?

Medicine balls would be perfect.

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Another cool game element would be a marry-go-round, or spinning platform.

http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/604879/2/istockphoto_604879_empty_merry_go_round.jpg
(imagine this without handle bars)

Robots would have to cross this powered hazard to score or to reach the other side of the field. This would be particularly spectacular if next year's game involved balls. Imagine the chaos of balls being spun off of the field! :D

Tetraman
05-16-2006, 08:17 PM
Pool Noodles
I've seen footballs as a different ball design
A HEAVY ball...like a bowling ball.
Boxes that arn't bins.
Large Puzzle Peices

And something I would like to score with: Small robots you build that eject from your "mother-bot"

Jherbie53
05-16-2006, 11:21 PM
Another cool game element would be a marry-go-round, or spinning platform.

http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/604879/2/istockphoto_604879_empty_merry_go_round.jpg
(imagine this without handle bars)

Robots would have to cross this powered hazard to score or to reach the other side of the field. This would be particularly spectacular if next year's game involved balls. Imagine the chaos of balls being spun off of the field! :D
I would also like to see something like a marry-go-round on the field. It could be powered and could not, the only problem with it being powered is, how do you get power to it? It either has to be large enough where there is no room on the sides or needs some walls or "speed bumps" covering the power cables. You could also put some gold rings around the marry-go-round to grab, bonus points for grabbing the rings, or a free ride. :D

I think the game needs a movable field element, like movable goals in First Frenzy or a movable platform. In the Autonomous thread like this one, someone mentioned a "house robot" that would just keep moving around the field and sometimes play defense. This can also be done with a part of the field. Have something that moves, like two gates that open for a set number of seconds at different times in the match.

Peter Matteson
05-17-2006, 12:54 PM
I would love to see goals that drive themselves around the field using a kop tranny and cim. Maybe they could line follow a pattern to make scoring more challenging.

mjbrauck
05-17-2006, 02:34 PM
What about a moveable object that teams try to get on their side? Like instead of trying to get your robots up a ramp at the end there is one large object that you have to pull, push and/or lift onto your side or onto your platform, and stop the other team from getting it to theirs.

Bill Moore
05-17-2006, 03:02 PM
What about a moveable object that teams try to get on their side? Like instead of trying to get your robots up a ramp at the end there is one large object that you have to pull, push and/or lift onto your side or onto your platform, and stop the other team from getting it to theirs.
How about a "hoverpuck", which becomes active for the final 30 seconds of the match. The robots could not grasp or push it, but could only hit it with a flat bumper/plate on the side of the robot. Something that will have the robots applying vectors and aiming ricochets toward a goal. (Maybe have a big "Easy" button on the bumper/plate that disables the robot for 5 seconds after it applies a force to the object.)

artdutra04
05-17-2006, 03:30 PM
I think the game this year was good except for one thing. In 2005, you had to have all three robots on the alliance work together to win. If you only had one robot that could score tetras, you would almost never win. But this year, in most of the elimination matches if you had just one good shooting robot, that is more or less all you needed to win. The other two robots would more or less do nothing on the field, why the one main offensive robot scored.

I think in a way this actually set the bar lower for many teams, as they figured that they did not need to do much during the match except stay out of the way of the main offensive robot. Another game similar to 2005, where all of the robots on an alliance need to work together and score in order to win would be nice again.

As for a game concept, I think a game similar to one of the ones in the middle of the 1990s would be fun. Many of them had a big structure in the middle of the field, which could keep the audience looking at one area instead of constantly having to scan back and forth from one end of the field to the other.

Jherbie53
05-17-2006, 03:55 PM
How about a "hoverpuck", which becomes active for the final 30 seconds of the match. The robots could not grasp or push it, but could only hit it with a flat bumper/plate on the side of the robot. Something that will have the robots applying vectors and aiming ricochets toward a goal. (Maybe have a big "Easy" button on the bumper/plate that disables the robot for 5 seconds after it applies a force to the object.)
What about a giant game of air hockey. The surface would be hard to get traction on and there would be a lot of action. If the field were designed just right, you could have multiple alliances with goals for each one. You could also have the big "hoverpuck' for bonus points. The down side is trying to have enough "air" moving on the field, and the noise might get a little loud from whatever's powering the "air."

mjbrauck
05-17-2006, 11:45 PM
What about a giant game of air hockey. The surface would be hard to get traction on and there would be a lot of action. If the field were designed just right, you could have multiple alliances with goals for each one. You could also have the big "hoverpuck' for bonus points. The down side is trying to have enough "air" moving on the field, and the noise might get a little loud from whatever's powering the "air."


It would most likely be to expansive for FIRST to make a huge air hockey table and to hard to transport from place to place. Not to mention a team version of something like that. But it would be awesome if they could make it work.

mjbrauck
05-18-2006, 12:08 AM
How about the ramp/platform you need to be on at the end of a match is on some kinda wheels, and you can push it around during the match. Maybe even try to use it to block a goal or just push it to the other side so you don't have so far to go at the end.

Lil' Lavery
05-19-2006, 11:50 PM
How about having big street hockey pucks instead of air hockey. Pucks are fun to manipulate, and you could give bonuses for having them stacked at the end of the game or scoring stacked pucks (makes for some cool manipulators).
One thing I loved this year is the wide-open field. I enjoyed the lack of bottlenecks at the middle of the field. I'm not against large field elements, but I like them where they don't impede travel too much (like the ramps this year). I wouldn't mind something like the see-saw in 2001, because a short robot could go around it easily. Speed bumps or something in the middle would be fine too. The thing I didn't like about 2004 is that a strong robot could often trap a robot that wasn't meant to go on the ramp on the other side of the field, eliminating them for most of the match from scoring. You could also stop people under the bar as well. Instead of allowing you to move around and escape the defense, it just gave them other places to bottleneck you.
I <3 Real time scoring. It made the strategy so much more intense because every point you scored, they could score right back on you. So this year, more than any other, it mattered alot WHEN you scored, not just THAT you scored. It also allowed for great late game come-backs and finishes without involving any sort of "king of the hill" points (which I do like though). Real-time also made the game more audience-friendly and sports-like, which tends to be better for publicity and generating excitement. I even remembering hearing a spectator sitting behind me saying during the VCU finals "this is better than the basketball here!" (or something along those lines).

=Martin=Taylor=
05-20-2006, 01:14 AM
The down side is trying to have enough "air" moving on the field, and the noise might get a little loud from whatever's powering the "air."

Realize that the field itself doesn't have to supply the air power. The puck could have a motor/fan in it that allows it to float.

I believe there is a toy like this. It is however slightly on the small side for FRC. (I picture a giant puck!)

The carpet would have to go, and something would have to be put in its place to protect the playing surface.

All the same, using a floating puck would result in some awesome trajectories! :)

Donut
05-20-2006, 01:41 AM
I think game pieces without a guranteed or changable shape would be interesting to use. Like large bean bags! Imagine teams testing out an arm to pick up a bean bag, only to have it squish different directions and fall out. It would be quite a challenge to use.

And as a spinoff of the game I've suggested and the 2001 teeter-totter, I want to see a large teeter-totter appear as the "center piece" everyone scrambles for at the end. One teeter-totter in the center of the field, with or without goals attached to it, and robots are allowed to climb on it. A bonus is awarded to the alliance which tips the thing in their direction. I could just see 6 robots clambering all over a large moving piece of metal and it swinging back and forth and probably knocking a few robots over.

Lil' Lavery
05-20-2006, 03:10 PM
Realize that the field itself doesn't have to supply the air power. The puck could have a motor/fan in it that allows it to float.

I believe there is a toy like this. It is however slightly on the small side for FRC. (I picture a giant puck!)

The carpet would have to go, and something would have to be put in its place to protect the playing surface.

All the same, using a floating puck would result in some awesome trajectories! :)

Oh, do you mean one of these?
http://www.sharperimage.com/all/en/images/products/EC500BLU-MI.JPG

It can float over just about any surface, and could even work with the currented carpeted floor.

Billfred
06-06-2006, 01:43 PM
Just as a thought, what about some sort of tricky-to-score-in goal?

Consider the field in Dave's infamous curling teaser:

http://www.team116.org/Images/CurlingBots.jpg

Now add a bar that scoring objects can go under (but robots can't) just before the banked curves, and delete the middle row, putting some sort of goal basket in its place. Robots get a small amount of points for getting it past the bar, but the big points are earned by getting the objects around the bend and into the goal.

Richard Wallace
06-06-2006, 01:50 PM
Just as a thought, what about some sort of tricky-to-score-in goal?

Consider the field in Dave's infamous curling teaser:

http://www.team116.org/Images/CurlingBots.jpg

Now add a bar that scoring objects can go under (but robots can't) just before the banked curves, and delete the middle row, putting some sort of goal basket in its place. Robots get a small amount of points for getting it past the bar, but the big points are earned by getting the objects around the bend and into the goal.I like it! Put the whole arrangement out in the open so the audience sees both sides, and robots are far from humans while they go after it.

The last thing any of us wants is another easy-to-get-DQed-in goal.

Jeff Waegelin
06-06-2006, 01:52 PM
As for a game concept, I think a game similar to one of the ones in the middle of the 1990s would be fun. Many of them had a big structure in the middle of the field, which could keep the audience looking at one area instead of constantly having to scan back and forth from one end of the field to the other.

Yes! Bring back the structures! We've had two years of open-field (well, if you don't count the tetra goals) games... I think it's time we had one with a big field structure again.

mjbrauck
06-07-2006, 11:26 PM
Oh, do you mean one of these?
http://www.sharperimage.com/all/en/images/products/EC500BLU-MI.JPG

It can float over just about any surface, and could even work with the currented carpeted floor.


do you know the company or product website for those? What do they run on, and how long can it run without recharging? Would it be possible to use something like that without having to replace batteries between ever match?

oh and can it float over water??? not sure why it would need to but there seems to be alot of talk about water in the 07 game.

Koko Ed
06-20-2006, 04:22 PM
For my game idea "Bumble Rumble" I thought of using Bumble Balls
http://www.crazypet.com/news/Bumble_Ball.jpg
that have to be scooped up and placed into robotic goals driven by the human players on the opposing alliance trying to evade the robots not only from scoring in them but from being captured and dragged back to the alliance zone for bonus points at the end of the match.

Jherbie53
06-20-2006, 04:48 PM
For my game idea "Bumble Rumble" I thought of using Bumble Balls
that have to be scooped up and placed into robotic goals driven by the human players on the opposing alliance trying to evade the robots not only from scoring in them but from being captured and dragged back to the alliance zone for bonus points at the end of the match.
What if your robot had to hold the goal in the air for more points? This would create a very hard problem, trying to keep your balance with a goal thats shaking. It doesn't have to be very high in the air, maybe 4-5 Ft. It would be weird and cool watching robots going after the "Bumble Rumbles" on the field.

Koko Ed
06-20-2006, 04:52 PM
What if your robot had to hold the goal in the air for more points? This would create a very hard problem, trying to keep your balance with a goal thats shaking. It doesn't have to be very high in the air, maybe 4-5 Ft. It would be weird and cool watching robots going after the "Bumble Rumbles" on the field.
I think it would be hard enough chasing down the Bumble balls and catching the robotic "chicken" goals. Picking them up might be asking a little too much.

Kristian Calhoun
06-20-2006, 05:46 PM
I think it would be hard enough chasing down the Bumble balls and catching the robotic "chicken" goals. Picking them up might be asking a little too much.

How about if you got a bonus if at the end of the match, your robot was holding your goal full of the Bumble balls in the air?

However, one of the problems that I see with this is that an abundance of the Bumble balls in a goal may be too heavy for a robot to lift (also add in the weight of the goal itself). This can be seen as one of the hypothetical game's challenges that must be solved during the build process. Although, if each alliance only had one goal, then multiple robots could work together to try to attempt to raise the "chicken goal full of bumble balls" [doesn't that sound quirky?] into the air.

Also, if I recall correctly, don't those things run on batteries?

Donut
06-20-2006, 08:52 PM
I'd worried about bumble balls being crushed. They are plastic.

I was worried about price at first, but a quick search reveals the mini bumble can be found for $5-$10, not too much worse than the poof balls this year.

FIRST would need alot of rechargable batteries at competitions for these. And alot of chargers. I like the idea though, the ball can run away!

Koko Ed
06-20-2006, 09:00 PM
How about if you got a bonus if at the end of the match, your robot was holding your goal full of the Bumble balls in the air?

However, one of the problems that I see with this is that an abundance of the Bumble balls in a goal may be too heavy for a robot to lift (also add in the weight of the goal itself). This can be seen as one of the hypothetical game's challenges that must be solved during the build process. Although, if each alliance only had one goal, then multiple robots could work together to try to attempt to raise the "chicken goal full of bumble balls" [doesn't that sound quirky?] into the air.

Also, if I recall correctly, don't those things run on batteries?
Like FIRST couldn't get a big supplies of A batteries (or design something to supplant them).
ANd actually the ending bonus would be the red and blue end zones and if the Chicken goals are captured and dragged into the end zones you get big time bonus points (it's not going to be easy to catch a small mobile robot and drag it back across the field to your home zone).

Koko Ed
06-20-2006, 09:02 PM
I'd worried about bumble balls being crushed. They are plastic.

I was worried about price at first, but a quick search reveals the mini bumble can be found for $5-$10, not too much worse than the poof balls this year.

FIRST would need alot of rechargable batteries at competitions for these. And alot of chargers. I like the idea though, the ball can run away!
I just like the comedy potential of watching numerous robots chasing around a bunch of manic balls freaking out all over the field.

Dan Petrovic
06-20-2006, 09:19 PM
I just like the comedy potential of watching numerous robots chasing around a bunch of manic balls freaking out all over the field.

That would be hilarious!

Imagine the drivers getting frustrated while chasing a ball like we were in Atlanta.

We were stuck in low gear so catching a free-rolling ball took a bit longer than it should.

Imagine that multiplied by however many teams there are next year.

I'm starting to like this Bumble Ball idea :D

Donut
06-20-2006, 09:36 PM
If this isn't in next year's game then someone's designing one using it for an off season or Vex thing.

Koko Ed
06-20-2006, 09:36 PM
That would be hilarious!

Imagine the drivers getting frustrated while chasing a ball like we were in Atlanta.

We were stuck in low gear so catching a free-rolling ball took a bit longer than it should.

Imagine that multiplied by however many teams there are next year.

I'm starting to like this Bumble Ball idea :D
Don't forget the human player controlled goals. :D

UCGL_Guy
06-22-2006, 10:39 AM
Ed if I catch your drift with the opposign human player controlled goals - thatwould be really cool. The human player could have a really significant impact on the game. This could be used with a lot of different game designs

Jherbie53
06-22-2006, 06:33 PM
I agree that moving goals would be great. I think it would be cool to have set paths for them, kinda like a PAC-MAN field, with different turns over the field. As for the human player seeing where there goal and the other goals are, you could have a system of lights setup in front of the human players telling them where the paths are, or if its technically sound, a screen with the paths on them.

Greg Needel
06-27-2006, 12:30 PM
For my game idea "Bumble Rumble" I thought of using Bumble Balls

that have to be scooped up and placed into robotic goals driven by the human players on the opposing alliance trying to evade the robots not only from scoring in them but from being captured and dragged back to the alliance zone for bonus points at the end of the match.


just FYI BEST robotics did a game called bumble rumble in 1994 http://www.bestinc.org/MVC/Game/Bumble_Rumble_1994

Lil' Lavery
06-27-2006, 01:18 PM
The thing I like about the bumble idea, is that some of the traditional methods of ball manipulation couldn't be used, at least as effectively. The roller intake system would likely jam and choke, if it was able to even get a grip on the bumbles in the first place. And they might be able to shake their way out of claws.
I like the chicken goal idea as well, but I don't think you can have such a hard to score goal with such a hard to manipulate object in the same game without it becoming very low scoring. I think mobile goals ala 2001, 2002, and 2004 would be elusive enough, especially if the opposing alliance grabs them and starts to move them around. Or how about "bumble goals" that shake around as well? :yikes:

josh s
06-27-2006, 01:23 PM
Going to 3 teams per alliance was fun in 2005 because of the level of teamwork that was required. This year I felt that you didn't need as much teamwork because it took just one good shooter and 2 bots playing defense to win which is why I would like to see 2 teams per alliance again. It would also allow for more field features and obstacles and allow for a more difficult challenge.

Ryan Foley
06-27-2006, 01:25 PM
I like the chicken goal idea as well, but I don't think you can have such a hard to score goal with such a hard to manipulate object in the same game without it becoming very low scoring.

Actually, I think it would force teams to work together. One robot would have to catch and hold the goal, while the other partners catch the balls and put them in the goal. Sure it may be a bit more low scoring than other games, but it has potential for great teamwork-based action.

To make it really interesting, allow robots to lift up goals, and even dump them out. Then teams would have to guard their goals from the opponent as the clock winds down.

Faith
06-27-2006, 01:30 PM
Could there be a way to make the robots goals? Maybe have it required that each robot has "goal" on them, and then have teams trying to score objects by putting them on the other team's bot?

Jherbie53
06-27-2006, 02:26 PM
Could there be a way to make the robots goals? Maybe have it required that each robot has "goal" on them, and then have teams trying to score objects by putting them on the other team's bot?
Or if this was how the human players scored, by having them score points in their robot or bonus points for being in one of you alliance partners robot. It could be hand ball size or whiffle base and/or soft balls. The goal on the robots could be a simple basket supplied to the teams or like this year specifications would be given. There could also be bonus points for raising it above a certain height. [which seems to be a trend with me suggesting that]

Fuzzy
06-27-2006, 03:02 PM
I think the main problem you would have with the bumble balls (besides batteries) would be resetting the field. Turning on a few dozen of those balls for every match would take a while :p

AdamHeard
07-18-2006, 05:59 PM
A new concept on the "chicken goals"...

The goal would be to keep them in your zone. the zones for each team would be signigcantly darker than the rest of the field. The chicken goals would have a light sensor (or ir) to tell if they are in a teams zone, or in the center. When they are the center they will either be not movine, or staying it it. If they are in a zone they will be moving erratically until they're out. This would require teams to really grab on and control these chicken goals.

Billfred
07-21-2006, 10:44 PM
Just as a notion, what if there were some sort of disabling task that robots could complete on the field?

Imagine that four balls were placed on the field. Robots can place those balls in a goal placed in front of each drive team that disables that team's robot when activated. Each successive placement of a ball gets more points--for Aim High, let's imagine 5, 10, 15, and 20.

This brings out some ridiculous strategies. The obvious idea would be to disable your opponents quickly, but what if you were to wait until 25 had a big load of balls, or 222 was stuck right on your ramp? Suddenly, their once-prime position has backfired, and they can't do a thing about it. A team with a box on wheels or a tipped might want to go ahead and disable to claim what they can, but it's not automatic--someone has to go over there and drop that ball in.

Sure, that could create the weakness of a three-team alliance getting disabled. I'm sure there's ways around it--either make the third ball for an alliance a non-disabler, or end the match when one full alliance is disabled. (Who wants to miss out on their numbers advantage?)

Jherbie53
07-22-2006, 12:09 AM
Imagine that four balls were placed on the field. Robots can place those balls in a goal placed in front of each drive team that disables that team's robot when activated.
What if the 4 balls had some weight to them. Like 5, 10, 20, and 30 lbs and you had to lift them up and place them on something above the ground. The heavier balls would have to be lifted higher, just like the StrongMan event in which you do the same thing. But the twist would be that you don't know who's disabled. It could be one of your teammates or not and it could even be you. With the disabling there would only be a set limit and not the whole match time. Again this would be a very hard and different strategy that team would have to come up with.

Andrew Blair
07-22-2006, 02:09 PM
What if the 4 balls had some weight to them. Like 5, 10, 20, and 30 lbs and you had to lift them up and place them on something above the ground. The heavier balls would have to be lifted higher, just like the StrongMan event in which you do the same thing.

Biy, I like this idea! However cool it would be though, I think that having to continuously reset the heavy balls throughout an entire day might be a problem for the crew. Secondly, where game objects are typically harmless to get hit by, these would be a completely different story. But it would be fun.

Donut
07-22-2006, 02:11 PM
I could see alot of harm coming from this style of play, especially if you can disable an entire opposing alliance. A team could simply build a robot that could disable the other alliance within the first 10 seconds. The matches would be (I think) un-exciting, and it seems to go completely against the idea of working together and not trying to disable your opponents.

The disabling might work if it was only for a little bit and not everyone on your alliance could be disabled. I still see this as kind of a malicious strategy though.

Now if there was a game element that allowed you to "sacrafice" your robot temporarily and allow your alliance to get some kind of bonus, that could be interesting. For example, there could be a pressure pad that you had to drive your robot onto. As long as the pad was active your alliance would have some kind of bonus (an extra goal activated, doubling points for a certain scoring object, etc.), but the bonus goes away as soon as the pad is inactive again. This would be similar to disabling yourself, except you can still do something if designed right (a really long arm for example).

Cactus_Robotics
07-22-2006, 07:15 PM
Now if there was a game element that allowed you to "sacrafice" your robot temporarily and allow your alliance to get some kind of bonus, that could be interesting. For example, there could be a pressure pad that you had to drive your robot onto. As long as the pad was active your alliance would have some kind of bonus (an extra goal activated, doubling points for a certain scoring object, etc.), but the bonus goes away as soon as the pad is inactive again. This would be similar to disabling yourself, except you can still do something if designed right (a really long arm for example).

Yes but also teams "could" just build a robot that does nothing and just sit there to get there team some bonus points, so if they were to do something like that it would have to be more challenging for teams like a high goal or bar like in 2004. if they were hanging bonus points would be added for the length of time but with a max of like 15-20 sec. I don't know just a idea.

Andrew Blair
07-27-2006, 04:06 PM
Hmmm... I don't think this has been done before, but it would seem to be the ideal game piece...

Frisbees!

They're cheap, difficult to break or otherwise mangle, easy to get a hold of, would create an interesting game, would create an entirely new, never experienced game piece, and even if flying, would be relatively harmless!

I can envision a game similar to this year's in terms of dynamics, but it would still be just as new, exciting, and challenging as any other game.

Donut
07-27-2006, 04:17 PM
Now the real question to that one is are the robots simply collecting the frisbees, or throwing them? :D

Dan Zollman
08-16-2006, 12:34 AM
This might be a little late, but there's always next year's game.

I like the idea of a game with a particularly dynamic field environment. The last two games didn't have that. Games with mobile goals did. It would be even more interesting if the moving/movable elements were obstacles.

What if the field had sets of movable walls? The walls would be organized in a certain number of rows across the field (probably three to allow enough room for movement), in a number of short sections per row. They could move along tracks, which might be an obstacle for robots to drive over, but they could still work. The purpose of the tracks is to keep them in the same three lines. Robots could slide them back and forth and drive between the sections. The idea is similar to the board game Shuttles, but I can't find a picture of it.

This would allow for a number of robot mechanisms: robots could move the sections using horizontal wheels, arms, or just by pushing.

It wouldn't be simple, but I think there would be ways to create the track and the sections. The only problem is that if the walls are tall, it would be hard to make them stable enough to be moved without getting knocked over.

sanddrag
08-23-2006, 04:50 PM
I finally figured out what I realy want to see in FRC next year. A field and game that is safe without the need for penalties/DQs to make it safe.

Anyone agree?

Koko Ed
08-23-2006, 04:59 PM
http://smilies.vidahost.com/contrib/sarge/Disappointed_anim.gif just FYI BEST robotics did a game called bumble rumble in 1994 http://www.bestinc.org/MVC/Game/Bumble_Rumble_1994

JaneYoung
08-23-2006, 05:25 PM
http://smilies.vidahost.com/contrib/sarge/Disappointed_anim.gif
They also used the bumble balls in the 2002 game called Warp X just in case KoKo Ed comes up with another name - with an X - :)
Sorry Ed.....

Billfred
08-23-2006, 05:49 PM
I finally figured out what I realy want to see in FRC next year. A field and game that is safe without the need for penalties/DQs to make it safe.

Anyone agree?
(cough)aimwellkindahigh(cough) (hack)nopenaltiesallday(wheeze) ;)

All joking aside, few things would make me happier than to see some form of chute/corral/whatchacallit that robots and humans have no chance of interacting with. Aim High was certainly better than FIRST Frenzy, thanks to the mesh keeping folks off of the light, and leaps and bounds ahead of Triple Play (although that comparison is apples to oranges), but there was still that possibility.

What about a variation on the this year's center goal? Put a ramp up to the hole for balls (or, for your game Dave, inflatable clowns), then have them roll down and around a barrier into the human-player-accessible area. Suddenly, incursion doesn't seem so bad, and you can keep a count with a simple photogate.

Freddy Schurr
08-23-2006, 08:00 PM
A circle field with 3-4 alliances of two teams per alliance.

I would like to see a 3 alliance game.

Peter Matteson
08-24-2006, 07:48 AM
I finally figured out what I realy want to see in FRC next year. A field and game that is safe without the need for penalties/DQs to make it safe.

Anyone agree?

Seconded.

Lil' Lavery
08-25-2006, 06:19 AM
I finally figured out what I realy want to see in FRC next year. A field and game that is safe without the need for penalties/DQs to make it safe.

Anyone agree?
I agree with Billfred, 2006 wasn't very bad. The muzzle velocity and incursion seemed to have more to do with the scoring system and field set up than actual safety.
But I do see where you're coming from, especially with the 2005 game (and a little with the incursion in 2004). 2003 was also pretty safe, as the human players only functioned before the bots moved at all.

Lil' Lavery
08-25-2006, 08:45 AM
An idea on penalties:
Team sports do not actually subtract points (or add points to the opponent) for penalties, but rather just make the it easier for one team to acquire points. That idea could be interesting in an FRC game.
Instead of penalizing 5 points to the alliance at the end of the match, the offending robot(s) could be disabled for various lengths of time. A small penalty, 5 seconds, a longer one could be a disabling for the rest of the match (which already exists).

Richard Wallace
08-25-2006, 09:06 AM
An idea on penalties:
Team sports do not actually subtract points (or add points to the opponent) for penalties, but rather just make the it easier for one team to acquire points. That idea could be interesting in an FRC game.
Instead of penalizing 5 points to the alliance at the end of the match, the offending robot(s) could be disabled for various lengths of time. A small penalty, 5 seconds, a longer one could be a disabling for the rest of the match (which already exists).Would penalty time be enforced electronically by the field controller? Or maybe just having the offending drive team step away from their controls for the duration of the penalty?

GaryVoshol
08-25-2006, 09:08 AM
... the offending robot(s) could be disabled for various lengths of time. A small penalty, 5 seconds, a longer one could be a disabling for the rest of the match (which already exists).Good theory, probably poor execution. Someone would need a box with 6 cut-out switches. Then a flag is thrown by the ref, he's got to tell the box holder which robot is disabled and for how long, the box operator has to find the right button to push. In the mean time, the diabolical robot has totally trashed the opponent - or done something else nasty - or may have used it's unfair advantage to score points for its alliance, or prevent the opponents from scoring.

Sports penalties are incurred either by stopping the game and giving the offended a scoring opportunity (basketball, soccer, hockey) or by changing the status of the game once a play stops (football). You're right that they don't add or subtract points for penalties. However some timed sports add time for infractions.

In some leagues, standings can be altered after the fact for shenanigans that went on either in a game or outside it. If anyone is familiar with the Italian soccer scandal, that is just what has happened. Teams have been sent to lower divisions, and/or will start the season with negative points in the standings.

Unless we want to make the game into stop/start type of play (either by ref whistle for penalties or by an end of play as in football) we will have to be satisfied with post-match penalties. The key is to making the penalty commensurate with the infraction. IMO the loading zone penalties in Triple Play were too extreme - too many points for sometimes trivial infractions. The problem the GDC has is that until games are run, they don't know just how many points will be scored. In Aim High we had lots of predictions about robots that would score 30 points in a couple seconds of autonomous - but how often did that happen?

Lil' Lavery
08-25-2006, 12:43 PM
Good theory, probably poor execution. Someone would need a box with 6 cut-out switches. Then a flag is thrown by the ref, he's got to tell the box holder which robot is disabled and for how long, the box operator has to find the right button to push. In the mean time, the diabolical robot has totally trashed the opponent - or done something else nasty - or may have used it's unfair advantage to score points for its alliance, or prevent the opponents from scoring.


That's why you cut out that middle man. Give the head ref(s) the disable button. It has a button for each of the 6 starting locations on the field, and when hit it disables for the minimum penalty (for example, 10 seconds). During those 10 seconds, (s)he then adjusts it to a greater length penalty if the infraction was longer.

GaryVoshol
08-25-2006, 04:21 PM
That's why you cut out that middle man. Give the head ref(s) the disable button. It has a button for each of the 6 starting locations on the field, and when hit it disables for the minimum penalty (for example, 10 seconds). During those 10 seconds, (s)he then adjusts it to a greater length penalty if the infraction was longer.
You still have a problem. Either that means the head ref is the only one that can call penalties, or he will have to get information from the others.

And we'd probably get a lot of re-do's as the wrong robot unintentionally gets disabled.

I don't think the technology would be impossible. I just worry about the human interfaces.

Billfred
09-05-2006, 08:56 AM
You know what would make every field coach need a long nap after a competition? Not knowing exactly what game you'll be playing until just after introductions.

Imagine a big wheel behind the field that is spun right before autonomous. On it are several stipulations--in the example of Aim High, things like a 20-point autonomy bonus, corner goal balls are worth three points, two-minute free-for-all, highest team numbers from each alliance sit out the match, lowest team numbers from each alliance sit out, drive the robot to your right, or the dreaded Verbrugge light. Suddenly, you can't plan for everything that could come up, and you've got exactly ten seconds to create your strategy.

You know, shake things up a bit. ;)

Richard Wallace
09-05-2006, 10:27 AM
You know what would make every field coach need a long nap after a competition? Not knowing exactly what game you'll be playing until just after introductions.

Imagine a big wheel behind the field that is spun right before autonomous. On it are several stipulations--in the example of Aim High, things like a 20-point autonomy bonus, corner goal balls are worth three points, two-minute free-for-all, highest team numbers from each alliance sit out the match, lowest team numbers from each alliance sit out, drive the robot to your right, or the dreaded Verbrugge light. Suddenly, you can't plan for everything that could come up, and you've got exactly ten seconds to create your strategy.

You know, shake things up a bit. ;)I once heard about an Intro to Physics instructor who took a similar approach to writing tests. Tests were given during the last ten minutes of scheduled lecture periods. Students had to study and practice for maybe a half-dozen different types of problems, but only one of them would be on the test. So if you understood and were prepared for five of the possible six types of problems, but the one you didn't get was the one that the instructor chose -- then you'd get a zero on that test. Of course luck of the draw might also work in your favor.

Averaged over a large sample of students and a long period of time, this instructor's system was 'fair' and it certainly saved him quite a bit of time making up test problems. But it seemed unfair to the students who got zero.

Tetraman
09-13-2006, 11:00 PM
I have always loved the idea of an evolving field. After a certain time in the regionals, the field is added to. Than it happens again. Than again. And again during the quarterfinals to finals.

Billfred
10-03-2006, 12:57 PM
This one came to me the other night, and I think it could work well.

Imagine a series of auto-loaders for the game object like in 2005, but with a bit of a dump action like in 2004, and a 2006-esque vision target incorporated somehow. Human players have a supply of the game piece, which they can place on any of the loading platforms. When loaded, the vision target turns on. Five (or three, or what have you) seconds later, the platform dumps out the object into play and the light goes out. There would be no distinction between red-loaded and blue-loaded platforms.

I'm picturing several of these on the back border of the field, all identical in nature. Teams wouldn't need the whole dumping mechanism, just the chute or route the object will take out of the dumper. And, if Dave Verbrugge comes a-knocking, you could always have the green light turn on first, then go to yellow, then to red right before the dump.

d.courtney
10-03-2006, 10:34 PM
I want something big in autonomous that only one side can get, almost like the center peice in Lego League compititions, however autonomous time is extended, say to 30-45 seconds, apon achieving this goal you recieve a large number of points 50-75 or maybe instead of points a multiplier thats applied to your points at the end 1.5-2x, and the very second you achieve this your opposing team can be human controlled, and you must stay in autonomous until the time is up, there would still be the main part of your game you could work on so one would likely see amazing autonomous codes, although with the fact that the other team gets to go human controled it allows them to either stop you from getting more points, or work on getting as many points as possible as the autonomous would make the other team in a disadvantage... and then I think the end would need to have the same impact and excitment added, can't think of anything unique

Freddy Schurr
10-03-2006, 10:40 PM
That would be cool if one RED alliance robot and one BLUE alliance robot could go to the center of the field and do a task together and receive like 25 bonus points for each alliance. That would show the spirit of Gracious Professionalism.

BBnum3
10-03-2006, 11:25 PM
That would be cool if one RED alliance robot and one BLUE alliance robot could go to the center of the field and do a task together and receive like 25 bonus points for each alliance. That would show the spirit of Gracious Professionalism.

Interesting idea, but I don't think it would work in a game like Aim High, because each side would be receiving the same amount of points, and it wouldn't affect the outcome. It would be a good idea for a game that involved a ranking system based on total points scored over the course of a regional. That is something I would like to see. A game that has a different kind of ranking system, maybe like soccer (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw 0 for a loss). I think a game with a baseball or soccer-like score would be intriguing, and maybe a little easier for a spectator to wrap their mind around.

Lil' Lavery
10-04-2006, 02:42 PM
A game that has a different kind of ranking system, maybe like soccer (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw 0 for a loss).
From 2004-2006 we had a semi-NHL style system. 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie, and 0 for a loss. (In 2006, the NHL eliminated ties, and before that they also awarded points for OT losses. FIRST allows ties, but has no OT). I think this will most likely be back this year.
The "Rating Points" (RP) served only as a tie-breaker if two teams had the same QPs (W/L/T points). Rating Points were the adverage score of the LOSER of each of the matches you participated in.

GMKlenklen
10-04-2006, 04:12 PM
Maybe have a drive train-heavy event that would require movement around a partially raised Field (like ramps here and there), some of which the driver would not be able to see directly from their position (you would have to have a camera on your 'bot!) and also, have the robot manipulate something while in a "blackout zone" (the place where driver has no direct vision of his/her robot) Only thing is, monitors are expensive and web cam type video feed is poor resolution! (kit of parts can fix this???)

It could be cool if they took some places and instead of carpeting, made it have linoleum or something. Drive train heavy.

Billfred
10-08-2006, 07:08 PM
It's been said that inspiration comes from many places, CD-Media being one of them:

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/13975

Now imagine that, but with two robots conjoined through some means (say, gripping a shared piece of steel pipe) for a multiplier or other bonus.

Bongle
11-26-2006, 11:08 AM
For the field, I think several shallow pyramids would be interesting hazards to drive around. Teams might have to design suspension or 'lifted' robots in order to quickly navigate around them and not bottom out on the pyramids. Boxes on wheels could just drive around them. They would be durable, not require anything electronic, be duplicateable by teams during the build season, and would be a nice change from ramps or elevated flat bits. The drivetrain that my team used this year for aim high could very well have successfully served them in 2003, 2005, AND 2006. Terrain mixup is a good thing.

One single large pyramid in the center instead of a ramp for the final 'robots end here for a bonus' piece would be interesting, or maybe 4 smaller robot-sized ones so that the teams have to play musical chairs when the match ends.

Actually, I'd be interested in any kind of 'rough' terrain. Something that requires real drivetrain innovation to go over it quickly and reliably.

Actually, having less space for the final piece than there are robots would be interesting regardless of what shape it is.

Billfred
12-01-2006, 09:35 PM
It might have similar themes to Aim High in some regards, but I'd love to see a game that involved processing the game piece in some form.

The example that comes to mind would be to have stations where teams received (small) balls of five different colors. Four of these stations would only have one color come out, while the fifth would have a mixture of colors in addition to its color. (Why? Teams would have to sort the balls to get a proper supply of the fifth color.) Human Players would put buckets into position Triple Play style with some specification on it, say, three green balls, two blue, and one red. The robot would have to dispense exactly that many of those balls, then place the bucket in a scoring position.

Scoring would be based upon the difficulty of the spec (one-color buckets are easier than three-color), with some multiplier for the fifth color since it requires teams to sort the balls (using the CMUcam, presumably). For more fun, offer two scoring positions: one that is safe, and one that offers a bonus but can be disrupted by the opposition. You could get more points in the risky zone, but a well-equipped opponent could empty your bucket or taint it with extra balls.

evanisthat!
12-01-2006, 10:21 PM
How about a combination of the best of the previous games, a big ramp in the middle of the field like stack attack. Big goals that robots shoot balls into, but only from on top of the ramp, and the goals can be stacked on like in 2004 with the 2X ball. You could cover the other alliance's goal so they couldn't score unless they freed the ball. This would cause a ton of action on the ramp, and a good amount of strategy and manipulator innovation.

OR

A big see-saw in the middle, that is also a ramp, and is perpendicular to the long side of the field. It would have 2 hanging goals, one on each end, and the object would be to fill the goals with game pieces to get the ramp to tilt in your favor. Other robots could try and balance it by getting on the other side of the ramp, and you could shoot or dumb the game pieces (probably heavy balls) from anywhere on the field into your goal. Tons of strategy, innovation, and "king of the hill" style fights. There would also be a limited number of game pieces to be scored, thus once the goals are full, the game dynamic changes entirely.
Who knows, lets do it all underwater too!

108

Joel J
12-06-2006, 09:40 PM
What about a tesseract? I'm just saying it, because it sounds cool.. I can't actually think of how it would be used as a game piece.. maybe some sort of demented goal?

http://jonathanscorner.com/etc/blajeny/tesseract.jpg

FIRST in "4D," sounds good.