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coldfusion1279
04-23-2008, 01:08 PM
Anybody been noticing the trend from year to year in the game design? I will start in 2003 since that is the first game I am familiar with.

2003- Stacking boxes on top of one another to score multiplier points

2004- Gathering balls to be scored via human player in a goal

2005- stacking tetras on a "tic-tac-toe" board to score multiplier points

2006- gathering balls to be shot into a goal

2007- picking up tubes to be hung around a rack in rows to score multiplier points

2008- picking up balls to be shot/dropped over/onto a rack to score points

Trend anyone?

Of course each game has a unique task for the end of the game with a huge bonus; as far as I can tell, an arbitrary way of making or breaking the match.

So my guess for 2009? Well, some sort of multiplier game, probably with boxes. Perhaps placing them in something, or lifting them up to various heights.

It seems like in the odd years, they like to change up the game piece to something strange.. The tetras were a wierd shape and they were really heavy to lift 10 feet in the air, the tubes were incredibly light and delicate. I say, back to boxes in 2009 for a very strategic game.

To all you hopefuls for a water game:
I don't see it happening anywhere in the near future. It would be far too dangerous and a big mess. Unless they used D.I. water to inhibit conduction ;)

-O'Reilly

coldfusion1279
04-23-2008, 01:15 PM
Whoops, I searched before posting this and didn't find anything, but I just went to look at my post, and there are a few subjects with the same content about game pieces. Sorry for the repitition :)

JesseK
04-23-2008, 01:32 PM
Well, Woodie's hint in 2007 about gerbils, K'nex, and the stock market have been long forgotten. This hints in December 2007 were a wild goose chase for anyone who didn't live in Boston. Any pattern you think you've found will disolve right before your eyes on January 3rd, 2009 due to complex unaccounted-for factors. Such is the way of FRC. Such is the way of the universe.

Do not fight the universe.

Rick TYler
04-23-2008, 01:37 PM
Any pattern you think you've found will disolve right before your eyes on January 3rd, 2009

There is some chat floating around that kickoff might be January 10 -- not the third. Anyone who was out of town for the week after Christmas might still be gone on Jan. 3. Of course, I don't think FIRST has announced kickoff yet.

T3_1565
04-23-2008, 01:55 PM
1992 - balls
93 - balls
94 - balls
95 - balls
96 - balls
97 - Circles (inner tubes)
98 - balls
99 - Floppies/pucks??
00 - Balls
01 - Balls
02 - Balls
03 - Squares (boxes)
04 - balls
05 - Triangles (tetras)
06 - balls
07 - Circles (inner tubes)
08 - Balls



Only if you follow the pattern for the past few years (the rest doesn't have a pattern) will the next game shape be square.

That is all

(FIRST really likes inflatable balls dont they??:rolleyes: )

EricH
04-23-2008, 02:44 PM
2005 didn't have multipliers. Straight points for number of tetras plus straight points for number of rows plus a bonus at the end if you could get it.

There is a pattern, however. No, it's NOT the FIRST logo. It's a pattern going back at least to 1997 (bear with me here...)

It's ball, odd object, ball, odd object. 2001 had both, with the odd object being the balancing bridge.

Next up? Odd object.

The Lucas
04-23-2008, 02:47 PM
Next up? Odd object.

I vote for throwing Frisbees. Wait, I don't get a vote, the PA primary has me in voting mode.

EricH
04-23-2008, 02:49 PM
I vote for throwing Frisbees. Wait, I don't get a vote, the PA primary has me in voting mode.
Traffic cones, boomerangs (NZ regional), footballs, frisbees, batons... anything else odd for me.

Clinton Bolinger
04-23-2008, 02:55 PM
What about a Rugby Ball (Both a Ball and an Odd Object)?

-Oris-

EricH
04-23-2008, 02:56 PM
What about a Rugby Ball (Both a Ball and an Odd Object)?

-Oris-Isn't that similar to a football? I'd say it's odd object due to shape.

Koko Ed
04-23-2008, 03:05 PM
I'd love if they used these:
http://www.wild-about-you.com/Images/zorb1.jpg

Clinton Bolinger
04-23-2008, 03:09 PM
I'd love if they used these:
http://www.wild-about-you.com/Images/zorb1.jpg

With the Human Player inside as part of the game piece.

-Oris-

Koko Ed
04-23-2008, 03:13 PM
With the Human Player inside as part of the game piece.

-Oris-

Exactly.
That's why I want to see it used.

Rick TYler
04-23-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm good with that as long as I get to pick the human player in the hamster ball.

Carlee10
04-23-2008, 03:35 PM
To all you hopefuls for a water game:
I don't see it happening anywhere in the near future. It would be far too dangerous and a big mess. Unless they used D.I. water to inhibit conduction ;)

-O'Reilly

Agreed. Yes, I to wonder about FIRST's fascination with inflatable balls. Maybe its just because they're easy to use for robots.

Koko Ed
04-23-2008, 03:36 PM
I'm good with that as long as I get to pick the human player in the hamster ball.

The only problem is they are really big (like 11 feet tall) and if they put six on the field they'd have to make a bigger field.
When Dave asks for his new game design I'm going to design a game around these balls.

JaneYoung
04-23-2008, 03:56 PM
I always think about what the real life challenges and constraint possibilities are. Hands-on applications in the robotics lab, in working with the challenges of the space station, in the automated industry. We're playing a game that the GDC designs, yes - but the teams develop awesome manipulators year after year. Drive systems. Robotic autonomy. I always think about that. When the discussion focused on the G22 rule, I thought about that in those terms. An inch is an inch, a 1/2 inch is a 1/2 inch type of thinking - when applying the constraint to a real life problem, seeking a solution. Granted, I don't have any examples other than when I'm trying to back up the team trailer, but it is what I thought about. There are times when there isn't the ease of movement that we would like to have in the game. It's good for us to have to deal with that and come up face to face with it, seeing what evolves and how the teams meet the challenge. This is the type of thing I like to think about when musing about the next season's game. :)

dlavery
04-23-2008, 04:20 PM
I'd love if they used these:
http://www.wild-about-you.com/Images/zorb1.jpg

Hmmm. FIRST is always in search of new and interesting game pieces for future FRC games. FIRST has just announced their new international regional event in New Zealand. Zorbs (http://www.zorb.com/) are made in New Zealand. Sheep love Zorbs. Sheep love FIRST. There are lots of sheep in New Zealand. Can it all just be a coincidence?

-dave


.

Koko Ed
04-23-2008, 04:26 PM
Hmmm. FIRST is always in search of new and interesting game pieces for future FRC games. FIRST has just announced their new international regional event in New Zealand. Zorbs (http://www.zorb.com/) are made in New Zealand. Sheep love Zorbs. Sheep love FIRST. There are lots of sheep in New Zealand. Can it all just be a coincidence?

-dave


.
Well at least we know sheep can be launched. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-o1acEJFJA)
Might need bigger, tougher fences though (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2b6cWQhXVQ).

Clinton Bolinger
04-23-2008, 04:28 PM
Or what if you put the MC or Game Announcer in the Zorb ball?

-Oris-

coldfusion1279
04-23-2008, 06:24 PM
I still put my money on boxes for next years game ;)

You needn't look at history from 10 years ago since the organization has changed so much. I think that once they introduced new game pieces to the mix, they realized how boring it was to keep the same piece for 4 years. Now theres 2 "odd" shapes, and 2 different sizes of balls for any given 4 year period in FIRST. I think they are trying to get students to think of new ideas every year, and changing the game piece is the easiest way of doing that.

I am personally hoping for a more dynamic game like back in 2004. The human players actually scored points in that year, which added versatility to a team. Hanging on the bar was a strategy in itself. I remember 237 that year had a bot that moved across the bar so that nobody else could get on. The robots could horde balls, pick up big ones, drag goals, climb stairs, hang from a bar.

I liked it a lot :)

EricH
04-23-2008, 06:30 PM
You needn't look at history from 10 years ago since the organization has changed so much. I think that once they introduced new game pieces to the mix, they realized how boring it was to keep the same piece for 4 years. Now theres 2 "odd" shapes, and 2 different sizes of balls for any given 4 year period in FIRST. I think they are trying to get students to think of new ideas every year, and changing the game piece is the easiest way of doing that.As I said, ball, odd shape, ball, odd shape. Boxes, maybe. Donuts are pretty recent (3 games, with one being in 2007, one in 1997, and one in 1999), leaving boxes, tetras, or something all out of whack. I'm trying to design a game (for the design thread) that will fall into the last category... Bwahahahahaha. Oh and if you want a dynamic game... Double evil laugh.

thefro526
04-23-2008, 07:01 PM
I want to see a game go back to when you could actually play some defense. This year's game was great but, it got kinda tiring without the ability to play straight forward defense. We were always glancing at the refs to ensure that the slightest nudge was legal.

I'd love to see some kind of strange object next year. Boxes would be cool, as long as the game was actually designed so that the boxes could be manipulated effectively and not descored in .2 sec (we've all seen the videos of the teams who would stack 3-4 boxes and then go to get another and then have their stack knocked over in '03).

Also I hope the GDC continues to make it easy for teams to field a competitive robot like this years game and also in 06. Just about any team this year with even a basic drive train could score points and make a positive contribution to their alliance. I know of at lease two time this year where one of our matches was decided by a mere 2 points.

DonRotolo
04-23-2008, 07:04 PM
Sheep love FIRST.
To those who doubt, have you ever heard any sheep state the contrary?

ahem.


The trend in FIRST games has been towards..

Automated or easy scoring
Quick and easy field reset
Easy concept for spectators to grasp
(cost*quantity) for game pieces is reasonably small.

Traditionally, and speculatively for the future, we can expect...

26 x 54 playing field (or whatever the dimensions are...)
3-team alliances
Autonomous mode of 15-20 seconds
Match time of 2 minutes-ish
An end-of-game bonus for doing something
Some kind of object that needs to be manipulated to score
120 lb robots
17 Ah batteries

And, you'll generally do well in competition if your robot...

Captures the scoring object quickly and positively
Can score well in all or most of the possible ways
Is robust/durable and consistent.

But I think almost anyone could spot these trends...

Don

ExarKun666
04-23-2008, 07:56 PM
My personal view on this is that they move away from balls, in fact they should think of something totally unique. What I had in mind was that the game could be the around the same dimensions as always, first you have no barriers what so ever just a flat ground with the glass surrounding the playing field, the game would be just who could pick up an object, whatever it may be, and go across to the opponents side to a set out area, drawn out with masking tape where the objects would be put, the catch is, that the game would be like tag in a way where it would be mandatory to have switches in certain places on your robot, and if the switch is hit then the robot stops until one of it's switches is pushed again, yes this very complicates and all, but it's unique!

dtengineering
04-23-2008, 09:50 PM
The trend in FIRST games has been towards..

....

But I think almost anyone could spot these trends...

Don

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. The significance of these trends is much greater than simple ball/not ball patterns, because it does tell you something about what to expect. Certainly some of the trends have reasons... for instance if we were allowed to build 38"x40" robots, I will bet at least a few teams would have to disassmble their shop to get the robot out.

Another trend, two drivers, a coach and a human player of some description is also present. Perhaps because it seems to work pretty well.

The field size also seems fairly fixed. There may also be constraints on the size of the playing field at some venues that I haven't visited... but I would certainly love to see it made larger. That, alone, would eliminate a lot of "defense" without needing rules to specifically take care of it. Kind of like Olympic vs. NHL sized ice rinks... the big playing surfaces benefit speedy, skilled players.

I would expect a few changes for next year as a result of the control system, however... I get the impression it weighs a bit more than the IFI system, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a slight increase in the weight limit... and with the possibility of video feedback, part of the match could be played with a curtain obscuring the driver's view of the field running on video feedback only.

As much as hybrid mode might have fit in well, I do miss having human players do something physical/athletic. The 2004 game where the human players shot the balls to score points was definitely the high point for human players since I have been going to regionals.

But as for trends, keep in mind what the mutal funds say, "Past performance does not indicate future results."

Jason

Dad1279
04-23-2008, 09:51 PM
I predict an intelligent game piece. Small autonomous robots, randomly scooting about the field.....

Koko Ed
04-23-2008, 10:04 PM
I predict an intelligent game piece. Small autonomous robots, randomly scooting about the field.....

You mean like my Chicken Goals from Bumble Rumble.

EricH
04-23-2008, 10:14 PM
I predict an intelligent game piece. Small autonomous robots, randomly scooting about the field.....Placebo!

(For those that don't get it, some of the games pre-1997 (AKA before my first year as a spectator) had placebo robots to maintain a 1v1v1. They didn't do a whole lot other than move around.)

coldfusion1279
04-24-2008, 01:35 AM
The significance of these trends is much greater than simple ball/not ball patterns, because it does tell you something about what to expect.

Actually, the point I am trying to make is that it could very well be as simple as ball/not ball. I agree there are many more parameters that are usually similar year to year which we take for granted.

However, FIRST isn't going to go crazy on one game, with incredibly complicated rules and expensive game pieces. By simply alternating ball/not ball, they encourage an innovative thought process. I don't expect to see large blow up balls again any time soon, cause in the next couple years the same kids may still be on the team, and whats the challenge in doing something thats been solved already.

I am very very interested by this discussion because looking back, the majority of posts are mentors. I find it interesting because we have all likely been around for 4+ years...

If only we had someone from first posting here.

EricH
04-24-2008, 01:45 AM
If only we had someone from first posting here.We do, but all he (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/member.php?u=171) gives us is yellow bananas, red herrings, and the occasional underwater robot or jello. One or two others are suspected (or confirmed), but don't make any game-related posts.

KarenH
04-24-2008, 03:10 AM
Hmmm. FIRST is always in search of new and interesting game pieces for future FRC games. FIRST has just announced their new international regional event in New Zealand. Zorbs (http://www.zorb.com/) are made in New Zealand. Sheep love Zorbs. Sheep love FIRST. There are lots of sheep in New Zealand. Can it all just be a coincidence?

-dave

Of course not! Especially since the North American Zorb site is located in the Smoky Mountains, about a 4-hour drive from the FIRST Championship venue in Atlanta. :)

lingomaniac88
04-25-2008, 09:20 PM
Hmmm. FIRST is always in search of new and interesting game pieces for future FRC games. FIRST has just announced their new international regional event in New Zealand. Zorbs (http://www.zorb.com/) are made in New Zealand. Sheep love Zorbs. Sheep love FIRST. There are lots of sheep in New Zealand. Can it all just be a coincidence?

-dave

This isn't a game hint, is it?

DonRotolo
04-25-2008, 09:44 PM
for instance if we were allowed to build 38"x40" robots, I will bet at least a few teams would have to disassemble their shop to get the robot out.

Another trend, two drivers, a coach and a human player of some description is also present. Perhaps because it seems to work pretty well.

The field size also seems fairly fixed.

and with the possibility of video feedback, part of the match could be played with a curtain obscuring the driver's view of the field running on video feedback only.

Four good observations, the first being hilarious because I am sure it is true.

As for field size, I am unsure that FIRST has the desire to radically change the basic field layout, due to the costs involved with major changes. Those fields represent a big chunk of change..

Last, the idea of parts of the field being obscured from the drivers is outstanding, just a wall or curtain across the field would do...and to accommodate those teams that can't get the video working, the 'robo-coach' on the other end of the field can direct with hand signals during the match. Be sure to post that on the 2009 game thread...

Don

Molten
04-28-2008, 06:54 PM
This isn't a game hint, is it?

Everything that lavery says is a hint. Even if he doesn't know it himself, it is always a hint.

My thoughts for a game in the future, would use a heavy item. Perhaps a medicine ball. Not sure what to do with it, but it would be a great challenge to make a bot that can handle some decent inertia.

Also, what about something like weasel balls? They would be cheap and definitely a challenge. If they are too small you can always make a bigger version. Perhaps it might be best to remove the weasel

http://andrewteman.org/blog/images/weazel2.jpg

Alex Dinsmoor
04-30-2008, 09:16 PM
Also, what about something like weasel balls? They would be cheap and definitely a challenge. If they are too small you can always make a bigger version. Perhaps it might be best to remove the weasel

http://andrewteman.org/blog/images/weazel2.jpg

But the weasel is the best part! Imagine teams driving around trying to catch a giant weasel! You know you want to see it, admit it ;) .

Libby K
05-06-2008, 02:24 PM
Placebo!

(For those that don't get it, some of the games pre-1997 (AKA before my first year as a spectator) had placebo robots to maintain a 1v1v1. They didn't do a whole lot other than move around.)

Long live the placebo!
I hope they come back in some way, shape or form. Not only were they wacky and fun to watch (I speak from experience, when I was little I was a spectator/occasional placebo bot driver), but it would be an interesting game challenge that many of the current drivers haven't encountered before.

JaneYoung
05-06-2008, 02:36 PM
But the weasel is the best part! Imagine teams driving around trying to catch a giant weasel! You know you want to see it, admit it ;) .

Well, so what do you do after you catch the weasel?

Pop it?

(Ever heard of the song, Pop Goes the Weasel? Many many years ago, I had a little jack-in-the-box that popped up to Pop Goes The Weasel...loved that thing.)

EricH
05-06-2008, 02:41 PM
Pop it?

(Ever heard of the song, Pop Goes the Weasel? Many many years ago, I had a little jack-in-the-box that popped up to Pop Goes The Weasel...loved that thing.)Round and round the cobbler's bench, monkey chased the weasel...

Leav
05-06-2008, 05:38 PM
just wanted to remind you guys of the quantum problem you are facing here....

by posting to CD about next year's game you have in fact informed the GDC (via Dave) that you know about their pattern....

CD poster:
Next Year's game will use boxes.

Dave Lavery:
Oh no! they are on to us! let's use balls again!!

but you can rest assured: I have restored the balance by letting the GDC know that I know that they know that you know they have a pattern.

then again.... if they know that you know that they know that you know they have a pattern they might just ignore the fact that you know they have a pattern all together.....

(:p)

-Leav

Koko Ed
05-07-2008, 11:27 AM
just wanted to remind you guys of the quantum problem you are facing here....

by posting to CD about next year's game you have in fact informed the GDC (via Dave) that you know about their pattern....



Dave will feed us a steady diet of red herrings before he goes in for the kill.
The game has just begun!

EricH
05-07-2008, 11:37 AM
Dave will feed us a steady diet of red herrings before he goes in for the kill.
The game has just begun!
He hasn't launched one yet. Not even the traditional "You design the game!" threads. He must be in hibernation.

Blue_Mist
05-07-2008, 11:42 PM
Round and round the cobbler's bench, monkey chased the weasel...

Round and round the '09 field, the robot chased the weasel...

Sorry, couldn't resist! But it would be cool if we had an ice field and robots chasing weasels. Ah, that would be hilarious, but may result in some non-FIRSTers not taking us seriously...

Big Kid
05-13-2008, 09:16 PM
Round and round the '09 field, the robot chased the weasel...

Sorry, couldn't resist! But it would be cool if we had an ice field and robots chasing weasels. Ah, that would be hilarious, but may result in some non-FIRSTers not taking us seriously...

And not to mention some possible increase of needed pit time. Robot + Ice + KOP wheels = disaster

better give us some nice tire chains in that KOP

lol, jk

acdcfan259
05-14-2008, 08:54 PM
Heres my idea. Theres a ball like in '05 that you have to hit over, that triggers the pancake batter pouring into the pan. The robots race over to the pan, wait for it to cook, flip it. Race the pancake over to the judges table and place the pancake on the judges plate. The judges judge each robots pancake on its taste, texture, and appearence. Now there would be the bonus chocolate chip pancake batter ball on a 10 foot pedestal.

Big Kid
05-14-2008, 09:48 PM
Heres my idea. Theres a ball like in '05 that you have to hit over, that triggers the pancake batter pouring into the pan. The robots race over to the pan, wait for it to cook, flip it. Race the pancake over to the judges table and place the pancake on the judges plate. The judges judge each robots pancake on its taste, texture, and appearence. Now there would be the bonus chocolate chip pancake batter ball on a 10 foot pedestal.

And then an extra 50 points if the robot can make the coffee. and maybe another 10 for putting the judge's choice of syrup on the pancake

acdcfan259
05-15-2008, 05:21 PM
And then an extra 50 points if the robot can make the coffee. and maybe another 10 for putting the judge's choice of syrup on the pancake

I like how you think.

JaneYoung
05-15-2008, 05:46 PM
And then an extra 50 points if the robot can make the coffee.

I recently met one of the parents on our team who has a son in junior high. She told me about a robot that he is working on that will fetch and deliver coffee. She says right now the robot wants to move diagonally but I'm sure he will have all of that worked out by the time he is a freshman. Can one develop a code that says: 'drive straight to Jane'?

KarenH
05-15-2008, 06:44 PM
Heres my idea. Theres a ball like in '05 that you have to hit over, that triggers the pancake batter pouring into the pan. The robots race over to the pan, wait for it to cook, flip it. Race the pancake over to the judges table and place the pancake on the judges plate. The judges judge each robots pancake on its taste, texture, and appearence. Now there would be the bonus chocolate chip pancake batter ball on a 10 foot pedestal.
Oh, the poor judges! Unless they could all eat pancakes the way Dave Lavery can eat donuts (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39103&highlight=dave+amanda+donut+IRI)!

Q. Sheets
05-24-2008, 12:02 AM
I've noticed a real pattern with the games, as each relates closely to either a common sport or game:

2008 - NASCAR -- racing around track
2007 - Connect Four -- placing circular objects in rows and columns
2006 - (U.S.) Football -- scoring high in the middle (like the uprights) or low (like endzones)
2005 - Tic-Tac-Toe -- rows of three
...

AndyB
05-24-2008, 10:55 AM
I've noticed a real pattern with the games, as each relates closely to either a common sport or game:

2008 - NASCAR -- racing around track
2007 - Connect Four -- placing circular objects in rows and columns
2006 - (U.S.) Football -- scoring high in the middle (like the uprights) or low (like endzones)
2005 - Tic-Tac-Toe -- rows of three
...

Lets just hope we never see an iteration of robot scrabble...

EricH
05-24-2008, 04:18 PM
I've noticed a real pattern with the games, as each relates closely to either a common sport or game:

2008 - NASCAR -- racing around track
2007 - Connect Four -- placing circular objects in rows and columns
2006 - (U.S.) Football -- scoring high in the middle (like the uprights) or low (like endzones)
2005 - Tic-Tac-Toe -- rows of three
...So what were 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, etc? The only pattern I've seen that continues for a long time is that there's a ball, oddball, ball, oddball pattern between 1997 or earlier and 2008 (exception being 2001--but that was an odd year and the "oddball" would have been balancing the bridge).

JaneYoung
05-24-2008, 04:31 PM
Just for fun - I'm thinking of a little bit of mental exercise.

Here's a few of questions:
a. why is the game piece important?
b. what does changing it up from year to year do?
c. how does the game piece affect the overall game?
d. how does the game piece affect the strategy or strategies of the game?
e. what are the limitations to a game piece when making a decision as to what to use?

I see lots of discussions trying to predict game pieces and suggest game pieces but I never fully understand why that is important. Help me out. :)

GaryVoshol
05-24-2008, 07:18 PM
Jane,

If gamepieces are too similar from year to year, existing teams have another edge over rookies in that they already know how to build a manipulator that would work with the gamepiece. Or, conversely, know what wouldn't work. :(

Having an oddball piece (like tetras and ringers) puts teams back on similar levels; no one has had experience with that piece.

Since we had a ball year this season (even though it was a huge ball!) we're "due", by some people's figgerin, to have another oddball piece next year. Having fun trying to guess what that piece will be is like trying to guess what a certain curmudgeon's hints mean. Maybe it's time for bananas or fish!

Dan Lavoie
05-24-2008, 10:26 PM
To be fair inner tubes were also used in Toroid Terror as a game piece. I don't recall which year that was.

I hope we see a game which has one or two crazy ways to play that very few teams will want to attempt. They may or may not turn out to be legal. Things that jump to mind are teams 190 and 1519 from this year.