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Unread 05-06-2004, 06:41 PM
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[Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Okay, it has been three weeks since the FIRST Championships, and you have had some time to reflect on what worked about this year's game, and what didn't. And we know you are just sitting around thinking about next year's competition. There are already several discussions about what it might be like. Well, how about an opportunity to possibly influence the design of the competition for next year (and perhaps several years into the future)?

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

With that thought in mind, we would like to once again ask for your help and open a thread to discuss ideas, concepts, and specific suggestions for next year's game. What we are looking for here are specific, detailed ideas or suggestions about the design of the game for next year.

We have been through all the related CD threads posted to date. There is no need to re-hash the pros and cons of prior games, or get too deep into philosophical discussions about prior years. Please keep those comments going, and please provide feedback on the 2004 game at the Team Forums later this year. But please keep them in the relevant threads. Here, we want to figure out how to go forward and help build an exciting, challenging, stimulating and engaging competition for next year.

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

Here is what is not guaranteed: There is no promise that anything that is suggested will actually get used. For any of a number of reasons, the suggestions may be impractical, incompatible, or unimplementable, and would not be incorporated into future games.

So, here are the ground rules:
- The game should provide a sufficiently difficult challenge that it will stress the abilities of the students and engineers on the teams to design and build a solution.
- The game should allow active participation by teams with widely-varying levels of resources.
- The game should be audience friendly and presumably TV-friendly (i.e. you can explain the basics of game to a TV audience in 30 seconds or less, it is easy to follow and exciting for the audience, and visually interesting for the duration of the match).
- Any field elements must be able to be constructed from readily availably materials (ask yourself this question "can I buy all the parts at Home Depot or Builders Square?"). Field elements that can be disassembled into 4x8-foot (or smaller) units that stack against a wall for storage are encouraged; field elements that require seventeen people to move or a small house to store are discouraged.
- The game should embody the values represented by FIRST (i.e. brings out the best aspects of a competitive spirit, does not promote needless destruction or violence, celebrates creative and imaginative solutions).
- The game should be structured so that ingenuity of design is just as important (or even more so) than advanced fabrication.
- There are no assumptions about the need for two-team alliances, limiting each round to just four teams, play fields in a single plane, etc.
- There is a preference (but not a requirement) for robots to have both offensive and defensive roles in the game. There is a preference (but not a requirement) for a role for the human player.

Also, understand that we are soliciting ideas for more than just the game itself. We want to hear about different concepts for alternate technologies and capabilities that might be incorporated into (or removed from) the game, and the structure of the competitions themselves. We want ideas for all elements of the 2005 FRC. To help spark thinking and create a structure for focused discussion, four discussion threads are being created to start things off. These threads will include:

1. Game concepts - this thread is intended for fully developed game ideas. It is intended to collect specific game concepts, as well as be an opportunity to discuss and refine posted concepts. This discussion will take place in this thread (here).

2. Autonomous suggestions - a thread to present new ideas for autonomous elements in the game. While autonomy need not be a part of a specific game, creative uses of autonomy components in any game are sought. For example, a discussion may be presented that proposes the autonomous portion of the game be ______ (and we look forward to the many variations of filling in the blank). This discussion will take place here.

3. Game elements and subtasks – discussion of ideas for unique game elements and subtasks. If you don’t have a fully developed game, but have a great idea about a piece of a game, then this is the place to talk about it. As examples from the past, someone could use this thread to post a suggestion to use inner tubes as an element, or that balance should be included as a challenging subtask. Others can use those ideas as a creativity springboard to develop a game concept. This discussion will take place here.

4. Radical tournament structure changes - this thread is intended to collect innovative ways to structure tournament play. Using previous years as an example, this might include ideas to add human players to a robot-only format, or to change the three robots playing at once to a two-team alliance format. Like the above thread, this thread is meant to collect creative ideas that can be applied to any game concept. This discussion will take place here.

Understand that this will be a one-way valve for information (for a while at least). There will not be a formal response from FIRST regarding any of the ideas or concepts discussed here. If a suggestion is incorporated into the game, you will not receive any feedback or know about it until the game is revealed next year. If it is not incorporated, you may never hear why (because we may save any ideas not used in 2005 for future games).

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


- 2005 FIRST Game Design Committee
- FIRST Executive Advisory Board
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Last edited by dlavery : 05-06-2004 at 06:52 PM.
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Unread 05-06-2004, 07:26 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

I've never thought about game design before, but the other day I was stuck on it. Considering the past, I thought it can't use balls again, to have a hump year. I kinda liked 2002. So here's some of it, you can fill in the rest.
It uses the existing field. There are 3 objects, a plywood Triangle, Circle and Square hmmm. They're large enough to fit your 30x36x60 robot inside of. They're placed across the field like 2002's (3) goals were. The game is called Crazy Crates :-)
The usual format 2 on 2. The goal being to get under (inside of) these crates like the shell game. Also getting them into a field position (it would be funny seeing these emblems shuffling around the field internally powered). I didn't think of anything more than that sorry. I think adding another feature to take in there with you to up your score would be the bonus part. Maybe some Donuts? Being we have to extract the robot from the field after the match, this gives us incentive to hurry up. But I thought it (the first logo boxes) would be visually appealing...

Edit: Just thought maybe it could also be a 4 team effort to unshuffle the logo peices (which are randomly located) into there appropriate order and position, then the score bonus is what 3 of the 4 got inside the logo's.

Another Edit: OK I did a little more home work and here's the matches I envision.

First of all, simple is good!
- So this is a cooperation game like 2001, using the timer for multipliers.
- The logo pieces are randomly located "After" the robots are set on the field. This will help speed up reset, and eliminate the point and pray method.
-The center of the field has outlines of the logo pieces for the robots to relocate the logo's within the outlines
-Autonomous 15 sec' where the logo pieces have reflecitve tape in order to be located, near there handles. The logo pieces could also have I/R.
-The four teams work together to get 3 inside the boxes, and get them repositioned inside the field outlines. The fourth climbs on top of the center round piece to double the over all score. They do this as fast as possible to get time multipliers.
-The Boxes would be fairly heavy and hard to lift and get under without tipping them over. But they would have delrin skids so they could be pushed around easy.
-You can get points for just getting them into position without anyone inside. So this helps the rookies.
-Easy stuff to build, and a very asthetic match finally having a bot on top of and centered on the FIRST logo (makes for great photo ops)
-Sorry no Human players
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Last edited by Swampdude : 05-07-2004 at 10:38 AM.
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Unread 05-06-2004, 09:51 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

BILLFRED'S 2004 IDEA: Clean Out The Backyard!

(Yes, we played this in elementary school. Yes, it steals from a few years. No, I would not want to do field reset for this game.)

The field du jour is of the same dimensions as this year's, perhaps a little shorter. Midfield are two sets of eight-inch steps per side--one step, then another--running about half of the length. The lower step would be lined with footballs. The remainder is a fence, kinda like 2k1. Paint or diamond plate to taste.

Autonomous mode would entail getting to a switch mounted on the fence on either side. Hit it before the other alliance does, and a slew of tennis balls dump onto their side of the field. (I imagine either a leaf blower on steroids or something like 33's system this year stuck inside the steps to hold all this. Just something simple.)

For the remainder of the time, you're trying to remove said tennis balls and footballs from your team's side of the field. Footballs, given their shape, count more than tennis balls--although they're far outnumbered. Assign the point value for a ball on their side, and then a bonus for being on the top step at the end.

Of course, if you really wanted to punish the programmers, you could always have one alliance member start on each side of the field.
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Unread 05-06-2004, 10:20 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

2005 Game Submission

*NOTE* This was written off line in a word processing document, so sorry if anything is repeated. *END*

FIRST grows, FIRST is living, FIRST also to my intuition also loves to throw back at us what we least expect. All of these suggestions I’ve made should be déja vu for everyone, every element is based on a previous game, but there are a few new ideas and concepts to throw everyone off guard. Hopefully, my game is like fusion quisine, it uses common ideas in unconventional ways.

Here’s my fictitious Kick-Off idea scenario....

Dean: “Lets waste no more time, let’s reveal this year’s game.”
Woodie: “I agree Dean. When we designed this game, we intended for this game to be played by the most dedicated veterans, yet also the newest of under equipped rookies. So, for the third year, we have locked Dave up during the winter holiday...”
Dave: “Yeah, you still have to give me my car keys back you guys...”
Dean: “You’re not free yet Dave...”
*Laughs from audience*
Woodie: “Well, lets roll it!”

*movie plays, Dave narrates*

Welcome to the 2005 FIRST Robotics Competition Game, FIRST Frenzy: Ramp Rampage. The game features a giant 10 by 6 ramp with 20 bins, a large bin of 30 balls above it, and two 8 foot goals on the sides of the ramp. The game starts when robots on two alliances start with their back to the wall, and head to the ramp. The robots must head towards the ramp and either push it down (it starts balanced) or push it up. The bins will fall onto either the red or blue side, while the balls will fall onto the other side. Robots them must stack bins (bins that count for the score must be in a stack at least 2 bins stacked tall) bins, or herd balls to their human players. Robots will travel up and over the ramps to steal other team’s stacks, bins, or balls, and then put them onto their side. While there isn’t a minimum count for the goals to count, there will be a net that will automatically lowered or raised ontop of the goal. If the ramp allows for the red team to cross by having it leaning towards their side, the goal for their team will be uncovered. Same for the blue team, but if the ramp is balanced, then both goals will be uncovered. Then after 1:45, the teams have the option of either entering autonomous mode, or stay in human control mode. If the team chooses auton, their score will be doubled by 2. If they choose human control, the final score for that team will be lowered 10 points. In the last 15 seconds, all the goals will be uncapped, and the robots will fight to gain control of the tilting ramp. If a robot lasts till the end while balanced on the ramp, that team will be awarded 25 points per robot. After the match ends, each team will be awarded one point per ball, and one point per bin stacked in stacks bigger than two.

*movie ends*

*Claps*

D: “Now, lets unveil the field!”

*music plays*

Game is unvailed....

Anyway, that’s my idea for the game. Here’s some ways this will work...

*For teams to enter auton, both new auton buttons must be pressed by the human player on a pole behind the drivers. Only the human player can flip the case (imagine those war movies where you have to flip the cover, then press the button) and press the button and hold it in until auton activates. Now, one robot can be activated for auton, and the other can be still in human control, but the total will not be multiplied by 2, but instead nothing will be added or subtracted to the score.

*The net will be raised and lowered by an automatic sensor that detects the ramp’s position, only if it is completely touching the ground will it be raised, and only if it is balanced will they both be raised. The net will be be raised with a motor.

*The balls will fall via a trap door onto the appropriate side. The trap door will fall down allowing the balls to spill onto the right side. The door can either tilt left or right, allowing for a gap between the side panels and the door for balls to fall through.

*The bins will be stacked in 4 rows of 5 in the middle of the platform. They will be the same bins as 2003.

*The ball container on top will be 10 feet off the ground, right above the ramp.

*The ball container’s bottom will have an infrared bottom, so the robots can use infrared to get on the ramp. Gyros will also be added to the kit to keep the platform balanced by robots.

*A large lexan barrier will be placed next to the ball dump area to prevent the balls from escapeing.

*Balls will be herded to the human players like the 2004 game.

*Balls cannot be scored by robots, and bins will not be placed by human players.

Field diagram will be added in the attachment. Hope you enjoyed my game, FIRST Frenzy: Ramp Rampage!
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Last edited by Joe Matt : 05-07-2004 at 08:43 AM.
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Unread 10-26-2004, 02:18 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred
BILLFRED'S 2004 IDEA: Clean Out The Backyard!
VGMasterShadow's 2004 Idea: think of better ideas

If you guys are looking for a beta tester, I'm your man.
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Unread 10-26-2004, 04:13 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Alright, so I was talking with someone (Gary, perhaps?) at Robot Rodeo about how utterly evil it would be to switch the balls in this year's game to ping-pong balls, or ball pit balls, or just something that's freaking small. (On the flip side, you should've seen the balls as of Friday night. Horribly overinflated...some were watermelons. But I digress.)

But back to the subject at hand...FIRST hasn't tried a game where scoring was real-time (as in not when the field was at rest) since 1995. As far as I can tell, FIRST was a different thing back in the day. However, having been all intimate with a field now, I'm more than certain the method could make a proper revival.

So, what's the big idea?

Consider a field covered liberally in ping-pong balls. Or ball pit balls. Or anything annoyingly small like that. Teams get two minutes to herd up said ping-pong balls, and feed them through a sort of hopper system, which counts and scores them. (For a human player element, have the scored balls feed back into the player stations. They then have to return them to the field as fast as possible, so their robot could re-scoop and re-score them. Just don't let them drop it into the hopper/robot.)

One point per ball, with a bonus for a hopper-blocking item being on top at the end.

Pros: Action until the very end. Since there's a theoretically endless supply of balls, you want to keep going until the very end of the match.

Cons: Another complicated field (ask anyone who set up at the Rodeo), field reset will hate it, real-time scorekeepers will be obsolete.

Thoughts?
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Unread 10-26-2004, 04:55 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred
Consider a field covered liberally in ping-pong balls.
I can see the headlines now: Entire Northeast US completely sold out of ping pong balls!
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Unread 10-26-2004, 06:25 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

So I haven't thought out all of the rules and regulations and whatnot, but my idea is to get rid of boxes and balls all together, and do something with flags. There would be:

-2 machines per side
-Each flag worth a certain amount of points
-Certain number of points for machine locations at the end of each match

I haven't thought out the rest of it yet but I did create a pretty little picture for those of you who have no idea what I was just describing!
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Unread 10-26-2004, 09:02 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpugh
I can see the headlines now: Entire Northeast US completely sold out of ping pong balls!
In other news, US faces a shortage of ingredients for ping pong balls. Usage of other spherical objects eminent.
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Unread 10-26-2004, 11:15 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

A good game of capture the flag (or flags) is always fun!
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Unread 05-06-2004, 11:07 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

OK here is my idea with a very hastily made attachment that hopefully will explain what I had in mind.
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Unread 05-06-2004, 11:37 PM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

I'd like to see another game like the 2003 game where FIRST moves away from the ball/goal concept, which has dominated most FIRST games. 2003 was a great departure from that formula, and pretty much put everybody on a level playing field in terms of design. In my opinion, the problem with using balls and goals over and over again is that it allows veteran teams to re-use old designs and puts many newer teams at a disadvantage.

If FIRST could use something other than balls, boxes, and goals to win points in 2005, I think it would be a challenge for almost every team.
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Unread 05-07-2004, 12:38 AM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Just thinking of something I'd be interested in trying to work out -- With a purpose similar to that of the bar in this year's competition, have one or more (but not enough for all teams) raised platforms for the robot to be sitting on at the end of the competition. Something table-like that the team would not be able to simply roll up like a ramp or even climb like stairs. Maybe at a height of 4 feet, with a footprint not much larger than the 30 x 36. One disadvantage I see though is the amount of carnage if the competition is as physical as some of the matches I saw this year-- 130lb bot falling 4 feet would definitely require some durable construction.
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Unread 05-07-2004, 01:55 AM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

Ok here it goes. The field will the same size as this year for obvious reasons. It will be kind of like 2002's game where there are different zones, but the middle zone will have 3 bar like this year running the width of the field. About 6 feet of the middle will be higher then the sides maybe going a little higher like 10 ft. the other ones coulb be 8 ft. the middle will be 4 ft. wide. under the middle bar the platform will have a small passage about 40 inches wide. just enough for a robot. Ok thats just he middle. The rest of the field will be regular carpe and on each side of the field there are 2 goal type things but they will basically poles on a wheeled platfrom. One of the poles will be 8 ft. high and the other one will be 6 ft. So a total of 4 goals. the goals will be colored for each alliance. it will the regular 2 team alliance thing. your alliance's goal will be on the other side of the field. The goals will be circle with a diameter of 35 in. Ok in the four corners of the field there will be a stack of 8 semi-inflated inner tubes. these will be worth points in the goals. If you det it in the 8 ft. goal it will be worth 10 pts. and in the 6 ft. goal it will be 5 pts. For the bars in the middle you will obviously be hanging from them, but hanging will only count if at least one of your goals is one your side with at least 2 tubes in it. If one goal is on your side, that being the side closer to the player station, the hand counts for 50 pts. and if its 2 goals then its 100 pts. There will also be 4 tubes in the player station for the human players to put in the goals. Now for an overview. So there are 4 goals on the field, 2 are yours and 2 are the opponents. there are four stacks of 8 semi-inflated inner tubes in the four corners of the field. in the middle, running the width of the field there is a 4 ft. wide, 6 inch high platfrom with a 40 inch break in the middle. on that platform are 3 bars. The middle 6 ft. of the bar is 10 ft. tall and the rest is 8 ft. tall. the game will run for 2 min. with a 30 second auton in the begining. So there is my design that i cameup with while typing this.
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Unread 05-07-2004, 04:17 AM
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Re: [Official 2005 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2005 game...

A very important item in Dave’s ground rules is that:

Quote:
“The game should be audience friendly and presumably TV-friendly”
IMHO, it’s the thing that stands in the way of FIRST reaching it’s full potential of having a team in every high school. No way could any of the y2k+ games have been explained in 30 seconds to the general public; and, even to those of us who know what’s what, they just didn’t come across on TV.

The reason why is that, with so many objectives, there’s something going on all over the place – a kind of inexplicable mayhem that mono-vision can’t capture.

So, I suggest a single object for manipulation (E.G. a puck) and a single purpose (E.G. the goal). To control to the degree of difficulty and to add some eye-candy, there could be moguls, tunnels, ramps, and/or etc.
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