FIRST Canada LIVE! - Karthik: How to Design a Game! 01/19/21

Hey everyone!

If you enjoyed today’s episode of Beyond the Bots - Game Design Challenge Show, have ever wondered what goes into designing a competitive robotics game, or just want some help with your team’s Game Design Challenge, you should tune into FIRST Canada LIVE! this Tuesday, January 19th, at 7:00pm ET, where I’m giving a talk on How to Design a Competitive Robotics Game. (the game design segment should start at 7:45p, but there’s trivia with FIRST Canada swag prizes before!!!)

For some background, in a former life I was the Chair of the VEX Game Design Committees, and also a member of the FVC/FTC Game Design Committee way back in the day. I’ve been a part of the design of 21 games since 2007, that have been played by over 600,000 students across the globe. I did a lot of things with those games, mainly focusing on ideation, scoring analysis, being the rule writer, and of course project management.

Some topics we’ll be covering on the show include:

  • Defining your game criteria
  • Maximizing the participant experience
  • A step by step game design process
  • Scoring analysis
  • A checklist of questions to keep your game on track
  • Anything else I think of between football and basketball games this weekend

We will also be taking questions on the show, so feel free to drop some in this thread if you’d like, or the live Twitch chat during the show.

As always FIRST Canada LIVE! will be live streamed at Twitch and available after the show at the FIRST Canada YouTube Channel. Also, FIRST has released an incredible amount of amazing resources for the game design challenge that you should definitely check out!

Hope to see all of you on Tuesday evening!


Anyone know when/if this will be on Youtube?
Twitch is still blocked at our school and an email to FIRST for live youtube like in the past was met with a blow-off message

Strong chance of “no”; they really don’t post their VODs elsewhere for whatever reason.

We’re also blocked at the school and on school-issue devices, but a Twitch stream presented in Google Meet holds up astonishingly well.

1 Like

So are you pulling up twitch at home then sharing your screen through hangouts at the school?

Where can we find this at?

I would imagine that someone within the meeting (student/mentor) has a device that has access to twitch, joins the google meet and shares their screen while streaming the twitch livestream so the rest of the meeting members can watch it.

we started to try that on kickoff, but they had a very limited data plan. Next time I may try to get it pulled up at home before going to the meeting

Twitch is flagged as gaming and is usually blocked by business and school firewalls. :slight_smile: At our school a teacher can get a pass for a specific academic purpose. If your school is like ours, I don’t see the IT department responding to anything less than a teacher or maybe a teacher with administrative support.

Yeah, I’m on staff with the school and still got turned down by IT. What gets me is that we can’t be the only school in this situation.

We’ll make things work somehow, but I don’t get FIRST’s mindset as to why they went away from youtube in the first place other than the scrolling comments from 1000 people on the side. It just seems like a big hassle.

On the FIRST Canada Twitch channel on Tuesday at 7:00 pm ET (specific segment starts at ~7:45pm), or on the FIRST Canada YouTube Channel shortly after the show!

1 Like

Thanks to everyone who tuned in live tonight, especially those who participated in the Twitch chat. Here’s a link to the archive on YouTube! (Starts about 50:00 into the video)


Excellent presentation, Karthik! I have some (decades-old) experience designing board games and roleplaying games, and there are a lot of similarities but also some serious differences, some of which I definitely knew but some that were not on my radar–I never would have thought to think about webcast audiences as “the audience,” but that makes a great deal of sense.

Thanks again.


This was a really great informative session. As a mentor, I had consider a fair amount of the points mention, but several new perspectives to consider. Now the struggle is how to questions the team in a positive manner to get them to refine their ideas. Need to ensure the team watch the playback on youtube first.


I strongly encourage anyone entering the Game Design Challenge to watch and absorb and discuss applying this process to their game design.
This is a really great resource.

1 Like

I enjoyed the webcast. A different perspective than the FIRSTtv webcast, so watch both. Here’s the Youtube link: FIRST Canada LIVE! Season 2! Episode 16 - January 19, 2021 - YouTube


Can we get a copy of the slide show?


Here’s a copy of the slides: How to Design a Competitive Robotics Game.

I’d prefer that people don’t rehost these or make their own versions, just because it’s impossible to maintain version control. Also, the slides were never intended to be “lecture notes”, in that they definitely need to be put in context by the presentation. At some point I may get around to turning these into a proper whitepaper, but that’s a “future project”.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.