2009 5th Gear FRC Match Simulator


On Chief Delphi, let’s use this thread to discuss the 2009 FRC season’s version of the 5th Gear FRC match simulator.

Notice that there is a FIRST FORUM here (FIRST Forums 5th Gear Simulations page) for Q&A when you have an installation, maintenance or similar question.

Here is where you go to see the announcement, download instructions, and download the software
Thanks WPI !!!

Please direct all other Chief Delphi 5th Gear conversations here first, and only spin off new/different threads if necessary.


Is there any way to play it alone or over the internet, not just on a LAN?

FYI - I just had to put pointers into 9 :ahh: separate threads to get them all pointed at this one :slight_smile:

If this is the watering hole, a link to the simulation would be valuable.


Hi - We are glad you are interested!

We developed this year’s version with only LANs in mind. Like you, we would like to expand its reach out into WANs (ie any random set of half-fast nodes attached to the internet, or other WANs) but this year we have not done any testing in that sort of configuration, nor have we made a concerted attempt to have the code operate well in that sort of environment.

So, your mileage may vary. If the clients trying to participate in a match can all reach the server with very low delays, it might work OK. If not, then all bets are off.

I suggest trying it in a LAN, before trying it across a WAN, so that if you do try it across the net or another WAN, you can assess for yourself if it glitches.

About playing solo - The computer-controlled-robot software (to give you an opponent) is going to come out later, so for right now, solo play (one client connected to the server) wouldn’t be too exciting, but, on the other hand, practice makes perfect.

PS: I’m guessing that running simulations across the internet or other WANs will be near the top of our most-frequently-requested-improvements-list by the time this season is over.

Thanks Don - My mother-in-law called before I could get the link posted. - I just edited the original post to include it.

First of all, a thank you to you and the Lockheed guys for putting this together. I bet it took a lot of work, and I think it could be very useful to A LOT of teams.

I installed it, and got it running. I do not have anyone else to really play with at the moment, so I figured I would give it a go solo. It didn’t appear that was any option for me to control a robot. The match did begin, however the moon rocks were just tossed around the field, and I coudl only control a flying camera. Is there a way to just play a match solo?

Thanks again for your effort.


EDIT: It appears that you need to have 2 instances running of the simulation…1 to host the game, and 1 to control the robot in the game

You got it. It was designed for running a complete match in a LAN environment. AI Robots are coming down the pipe though…

Yes, you’ll need 1 server instance running. Then, just start another isntance as a client and connect to (which is the default iirc). I did it in sandbox mode last night. It’s a good simulation of the drive, I think. Is there a way to make the walls clear, or drive the bot in first person? Even better would be to drive the bot from the driver station’s point of view.

If someone set up a dedicated server … now that would be fantastic! I know we can set one up internally in the school, but porting that out to the internet may be a challenge…

I second the request for clear walls.

Sandbox mode…I’m assuming this is referring to driving in somewhat of a sandbox? I did notice the drive to be very different between the 2 modes.

Very awesome tool to have though!

Brando - You are correct.

The simulation uses a client(s)-server set-up. The one Server instance of the software that you start up for a match does have a display that can be used to watch what is going on from an adjustable viewpoint. Each user (whether a real human or the computer controlled clients that are due out soon) connects to that server and shows that client’s view of the field. The view starts out behind the driver station wall and can be shifted to other perspectives.

The Client instances are how you control a simulated robot. The Server combines the Clients’ actions into an integrated result and then sends that result out to the Clients. The Clients then send further actions into the Server, … This happens rapidly over and over throughout the match.


the install went fine… i did as i was told and installed the .net 3.5 framework sp1 first and then installed the program. but i went to run the program i ran into this error… “Cannot continue. the application is improperly formatted. contact the application vendor for assistance.” any ideas?

Not yet, though it is on our todo list.

Try the ‘C’ key for camera modes. 3 modes: Chase (default), Overhead, and Competition view.

Anyone have any luck installing in Windows 7? I get a BSOD :ahh:

Installed it and played around in the sandbox a little. One thing I noticed is that when driving into a pile of balls the robot tends to get stuck but I’m sure on what. For example if I drive along a wall into a pile of balls the robot will get stuck even if there is plenty of space for the balls to get pushed. Is this a bug or just something weird happening.

Anyways this thing is awesome and looks to be a great tool. Thanks for all the hard by the engineers at Lockheed.

Minor quibble: why is chase the default camera view? IMO this is the most useless of the 3 views. Driver practice will almost certainly want to use the Competition view and strategy development will likely use the competition or overhead views.

The chase view starts the match with your camera pointing at the back of a wall if you start in one of the corner locations (not sure about the center one)

Overall, a great program from the little I have been able to play around with it. We will hopefully get a lot of useful strategy development and driver training done with the assistance of this program.

A leftover legacy of the fact this was developed initially as an exhibit. The problem with the other two modes is

  1. No easy way to see which robot you’re actually controlling… pretty confusing when you’ve got 6 robots running around the field.
  2. The controls are more intuitive when you’re behind the robot (up for forward, etc).

Both are essential for drivers to learn of course, drivers need to learn to overcome the confusion (especially this year when there are balls flying around everywhere and human players to contend with) and drive with the robot’s axis in mind, but someone first picking up an Xbox controller would find both of these views difficult to start with.

We may just make it a game option what default view you start with in the next patch.

Glad you like it so far! On this first run, we’re definitely looking for feedback on how to make this a more effective tool, so make sure to record any thoughts on strengths/weaknesses when you do use it for driver training/strategy development. There will be some surveys coming later in the build season.


When I’m in Lunacy, the friction too high, I don’t know if that’s just how it drives or if there is little physics applied…

Also, anyone know how to manipulate the balls???

Are you running a client? If you’re just running the server you’re just controlling the camera. You need to create a client to connect to the server to drive a bot. It will then give you prompts of what keys to press to manipulate the balls.

First off, VERY NICE PROGRAM and thank you for putting the time in to do this!

I do like all of the above suggestions and would like to add a concern. For some reason Overdrive works fine, but Lunacy is very, very laggy for me with the lowest settings. I play some pretty graphics intensive games on my laptop. Anyone else having this issue?

Also (just a cool thing not a requirement, you guys have already done a lot), but a controls setting would be nice.