Blacktop Robotics Game

Hi y’all. With all the changes that covid has brought, we at Team 1339 have spent most of our time creating a game with some unique qualities. We feel like it’s ready to share with the broader FRC community. Though we didn’t design this game for the 2021 FRC Challenge (it wasn’t even a thing when we began the process), we are also planning on submitting this project for the Game Design Challenge, assuming it meets the requirements.

Blacktop is primarily a project about addressing systemic inequities in the current structures of high school robotics programs, especially those impacting individuals, schools, and communities that experience racial and socioeconomic barriers to success in STEM education. To that end, we have tried to create a game where:

  • No special (expensive) field is required; existing spaces and equipment can be used
  • The concept is easy to understand for anyone, and easily fits into existing sports paradigms that students are already interested in
  • Opportunities exist for more drivers and human players to be involved; less “leaving out” of people who want to participate on the field
  • There is no tournament structure, removing the academic and financial cost of travel, and allowing schools to develop robots at their own pace
  • There is potential to build highly competitive robots without annual investments in expensive materials and control systems
  • Outdoor play makes games safer during Covid Times

We would love to have folks in this community review our concept. We are currently designing and will be building two robots to demonstrate the game (hoping to have them complete by summer 2021), and we welcome any interested teams to analyze the game, design robots virtually, or even join us in building robots to play it. Thanks for all the help offered by many in this community as we have struggled through this process.


Huge kudos to 1339 for putting this together. It looks like the best parts of 2012 and 2014 all mixed together, and you’ve done a lot of work making it as accessible as a robotics event can be. This is a great project, put together for all the right reasons.

Hopefully this picks up steam, because I’m looking forward to watching some games! Maybe I can even convince 2102 to step up and build a bot.


If the Delta Variant forces another virtual season, I’ll try and push our team towards this. One of our mentors who have been with us 11 years has always wanted to make a basketball shooting demonstration robot :grinning:

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