[FTC]: 2009/2010 FTC game design

I know this should probably wait until after world championships, but on the FTC blog Ken said that they are already brainstorming for next years game, so if we want our ideas considered we should post them now!

Personally I would like to see a random distribution of scoring pieces, I think that would make especially the autonomous very interesting. This could be accomplished but putting them in a box above the field and dropping them all at once, or something like that.

I liked the idea of the bonus balls from bridge battle! Something like that should make a comeback.

It seems like all the games are some variant of “Lift object and put it on/in/over goal” so I think a change from that would be neat. I was thinking of having a large goal (4 foot radius) and a piece earns more points for how close to the center it is. Obviously that would take up a lot of space, so it could be 1/4 of a circle in the corner.

  1. I would like to see a uniform scoring piece, like FRC. Basically we don’t have to hunt down playing pieces, but they’re the same for everyone.

  2. Honestly, I don’t feel like there’s any other way to handle pieces. They need to be lifted, or brought down, There’s really no other way.

  3. One interest game variation I would like is that the field is actually 2 small fields, but there is a bridge between the two fields. The bridge and the bridge mouth can be like a “no clog” zone and can be a penalty to ensure that robots get across, but the pieces are scattered around, but you can to put them in other side of the field.

Idk. We never really guess it.

This year, the platform was not a HUGE part, and the terrain didn’t TOTALLY change the game, but I would like to see something different going on.

But I would LOVE to see more parts for the FTC kit as well.

I was shocked at this, it was so easy to go over or around it. My bot was geared 3:1 for speed, made it across no problemo

How about Twisting/Rotating, Assembling/Stacking, Aligning/Placing accurately, Shooting, Storing, Measuring (Mass/Density, Color, Shape/Size, Brightness), Bending, etc; or doing any two of these things at once.

We actually did have a problem getting across, using 4 small wheels (I think that was a mistake) and 1:1 ratio. But it was still laughably easy to just go around. If the terrain is done again, it should have some reward for using it (IE you need to go across it to get to the highest scoring goal/piece or to get to a bonus area)

Well, I meant that there’s nothing you can do in a competition way. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too excited if my robot had to bend pieces of metal on the field all while calculating the radius of a ring.

Shooting I believe falls in a similar aspect of lifting things…but idk. :D. It would be nice to see a ball game. I know that the 2007 game included balls, but FTC has expanded a lot since then, not to mention the new kit.

All of the motions I mentioned below can be done on a competition field.

Twisting/Rotating - Twist one part inside another to align holes and then stick a scoring object into the hole. Correlate the point value with the difficulty of the twist (torque required, number of things that must twisted to open up the scoring opportunity, knob/keyhole shape, scoring object shape/weight, distance from the bot(s) to the knob/keyhole and the scoring hole, etc.), or

Placing carefully - Dumping stuff into a small goal, or putting odd shapes into matching oddly shaped holes, or shooting/placing Velcro objects onto Velcro targets (Jim Koca’s idea), or building a structure out of loosely-fitting pipes/rods and couplers, or putting balls into small/shallow depressions, or placing mirrors/lenses to get a spot of light onto a photocell, or

Bending - Bend a flexible hose/pipe to point it at a target, then drop a ball into the hose (mini-golf), or bend coat-hanger wire to make hooks and create a chain-of-hooks, or bend stiff wire into a hook and use the hook to lift up or pull down something, or straighten a bent item(s) to connect two points and thereby release scoring objects or enable some other scoring opportunity, or bend stiff wire into a shapes that must fall/fit into specifically shaped grooves, or

Measuring (Mass/Density, Color, Shape/Size, Brightness) - Find a special object (one that had a an extra 10% weight added to it) and put it in a special goal for bonus points. Pile up a variety of differently weighted objects on a scale to earn a bonus for coming closest to a certain weight (in addition to getting points for putting each thing on the scale) or for having the most weight, or use slightly differently-sized objects to reach a specific height, or

or …

Don’t give up. Instead, help me out here :slight_smile: by coming up with some free-association thoughts of your own. If you are stuck/blocked then do something completely different for a while (play Monopoly, watch Animal Planet or the Food Network, cut the grass, etc.); and then force yourself to find a connection between that activity and this discussion.


It would be cool if you could sacrifice some of your own scoring pieces to challenge your opponents. e.g. if you had rods for scoring objects and a platform that slid up and down in front of each teams goal (or something), you could raise the platform and stick a rod underneath, to make moving over it harder for the opposition.

Or make a game where building small counted. e.g. have a pole you can go under to get to a bonus area, or shoot objects over a pole to score, and then have to go under it to retry them, if you couldn’t it there might be a penalty.

Make a game where autonomous forced the robots to get in each others way, (this would make it much more exciting.)

As an aside, I think we should get CMU cams in the FTC kit.

I’d like to start seeing unique games besides just picking up and dropping off an object from point A to point B. How about rock climbing or some sort of obstacle course?

Ya, an obstacle course would be really cool. Or maybe moving targets, like in lunacy.

I think they should cover the field with corn. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have always wanted to see a FTC game with more ramps in a game styled like the 2003 FRC game. I would be a prefect fit for the new platform in my mind.

If we do have an object grabbing game again, how about a game object larger than the robot (like the 2005 bonus game piece big ball) that rather than the top teams just gathering up a ton of small objects and unloading them for massive points, teams would have to think of unique ways to pick up the large object to score one at a time.

You could put enough large scoring objects, that it would be worthwhile for teams to try and grab 2 simultaneously, that would be cool!

I thought the bonus cube from VEX elevation was a good change from Pick up A, put it on B. Something similar (not exactly the same) would be pretty sweet.

Mabey have largeish flat discs, one side red and the other blue, and half start red up and half blue up, and then at the end of the match the team with the most of their color up would win. The discs could possibly be tapered at the edges to make for slightly easier gripping.

Going of the large scoring object, I’d like to see the game change to 3 robots an alliance, and in this game, robots would have to work together to carry an object. :D.

One one side, it promotes team work, on the other side, I guess a robot which can carry the object is paired with two other objects which cannot carry the object…I guess.

It’ll be interesting none the less.

I would like to have a game where a hard to accomplish action “Turns the tides” on a game.

Ok. Lets imagine:

Red Scoring Elements
White Scoring Elements
Blue Scoring Elements.

Now, there is a center goal.

red scoring for red
blue scoring for blue

What about white?

Maybe it could be a large/heavy/difficult goal. A single large goal, that say, if brought to… the blue side… the white balls would count for blue. if the large goal was moved to the red side, white would count for red. Something cool like this.

I was also thinking, maybe in the middle, a large rotating platform. Free rotating, or motor rotating, it would be cool. Motor rotating could add a physical barrier to the game, whilst a robot-pushed spinning platform could be used strategicly.

Think of how much harder Face Off would be if the robots could actually rotate the diamond shaped platform in the middle.

A dynamic arena in general would be great. Mild combat (Flipping) would be nice too, but to an extent. We don’t want multihundred dollar robots being mashed up. Faceoff would be very different if you could lift robots out and away.

You’ve largely described “Hangin’ Around,” the FVC game of two years ago. It’s hard to design a game that the GDC hasn’t already tried. :slight_smile: (There was also a similar FRC game, but I don’t know the name of it without looking it up…)

My main complaint about this year is that the peak is too low, many teams have achieved perfection, or almost. I would like to see a challenge where you have fewer team getting full/almost full score, and time left over Here are a few ways I see that happening

If you had objects that could be scored over and over (e.g. last years FRC scoring objects), because i find that this year, in the really competitive matches there is nothing to do in the last 40 seconds or more.

It might be cool if it incorporated autonomous into tele-op (Like if you had a shed in the middle to collect bonus items from, but the shed itself obstructed driver view).

It would also be cool to do something that almost recquired shooting (as long as they put treads in the new kit) and serious innovation. for example, imagine if the triangle goal were four or five feet tall, and was worht 20 points.

Lots of people have put forward the “bridging the gap” idea, I think that that would be a great challenge, how about putting two long 2x4s on 3-4inch long sliders 15 inches apart, then the opponents could push the 2x4s around around, while you crossed the gap. Or if you preferred, you could build a robot that went through the gap, using ramps like in the current FTC.

A challenge with more manipulation would be cool too, like placing bars into slightly larger holes.

Over all, I would like an FTC challenge which would create larger challenges to try and solve, whether or not the teams were ale to would come out later, but I would like to see a challenge where you have fewer team getting full/almost full score, and time left over, and more teams being pushed to their limit.


Or robot is such a beast, that it actually pushes the goal, when it rams into it to align.

I forsee FIRST using alot of the 2009 FRC flooring for something in the future. I’d hate to see it go to waste sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

I’d also like to see more emphasis put on moving heavy items, which would force teams to focus on the engineering behind designs rather than simply throwing something together in a week. It would also take away from available battery power for the drive train, which would put less merit in building a bot for pushing and shoving.

Greater defense should also be an option. For example, maybe a dumpable scoring platform.

I just had an idea:

Ok. think of 2 shoeboxes. Now, make on blue, and the other red. Now, stick them together, to make a shape that is a 2 sided box.

THis can be to where a robot can score in it, and a robot can flip it over. It starts sideways, and a robot can tip it over, so say, should it land blue-side-up, all white scoring elements (See my previous post)in it count for blue. However, a red robot can flip it over, so it dumps all scoring elements, and the red side is up. It should be a great enough challenge for a robot to lift up.