Future Game Pieces


Bonus points granted for each field element they bounce off of before being scored.


I think a football might be used soon. The last “sport” gamepiece that we’ve had was a Frisbee.

It would be difficult enough for teams to pickup and control within their robot, but easy enough to launch with plenty of football shooters already existing. Very similar to how 2013 was, but a lot more easy on anyone unlucky enough to be hit by one (if made of foam).


Footballs have been the conversation for YEARS. The earliest post I could find was an archived one from 2000…

Didn’t FIRST want to take it easy on games that encouraged a large amount of stored mechanical potential energy? I think this was a 2014 concern when someone broke their arm on a ball catapult (that being said 2015 had perhaps more dangerous can-grabbers).

As for my own preferences, tube game, but past that - non symmetric game elements (maybe beanbags with 2017 fuel as filler?), or symmetric objects with centers of mass that are not in the geometric centroid?


Considering international teams’ challenge obtaining game pieces, it makes sense to consider objects that are obtainable at scale (& durable). Footballs yes. Also foam rollers (like used for stretching muscles). Rubber track and field discus. Traffic cones…



Contrary to what I’ve seen others say so far, I think I’d like to see something small and light. Big and heavy is fun, but I would like to see robots play with ping pong balls. Something small and light is more difficult to control, and would pose a challenge because a large chunk of people have a ‘bigger is better’ mindset. I think something small, light, and hard to shoot would pose a fun challenge for builders and drivers, and a unique game style.

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Could you imagine the Pit areas - let alone the workshop spaces if these were the game pieces? I might lose it…


Utter chaos, enraged volunteers, safety incidents left and right…




I was thinking about this the other day. Would be cool and challenging


Just need to develop a reliable power source or buy every D battery at the nearest BJs.


… Seeing how it is spaced themed in all… Planets maybe? In the past (at least to my knowledge) when ever they has been balls ('12, '14, '16, '17, etc) they have always been only one size. So with planets (and maybe stars) there would be a wide range of balls as small as the 2017 fuel and as big as the 2012 and 2014 big balls. And then maybe you had to shoot or gather into something. It could be challenging, seeing how pretty much every shooter ever is designed for only one size of balls.


Multi-sized balls would be a fun challenge, as would varying textures, mass, or surfaces.

I’m not sure I’m up for a repeat of 2017 by “fueling up the rocket”. That game concept has lost its appeal to me, even if it were to use different gamepieces for propellents.


I totally agree, if Deep Space has some sort of rocket, space station situation they could have you repair it by scoring multiple shapes in different places.


Taking my ideas now, eh?


Good idea, but be careful oh how scoring is implemented. FTC used two sizes of wiffle balls for Cascade Effect, and points were scored based on how high you could fill tubes. There was a limit to how many you could carry at once, and the small balls almost became obstacles because of that. I think that was the only time I’ve seen teams avoid picking up a game piece.




I think that there is gonna be a dense, heavy, and non-foam piece this year. It is the 40th anniversary of FIRST and 10th anniversary of Lunancy, a particularly strange game, so the GDC will go wierd this year.


Ten years earlier, 1999 was the first year where the game pieces were not air or water filled. (Double Trouble: Floppies and the Puck).


There is (was) a toddler toy called a Bumble Ball. A sphere with about 20 soft spikes on it. An internal motor with eccentric weight on a gimbal caused it to bounce randomly. It would sit still for a time then bounce in place then take off in some unpredictable direction. Fun for babies, pets, and dads. Maybe for robots too. I would add a robot accessed kill switch to score by disabling. Possibly place them in a corral that an alliance can SET FREE captures pieces. Field reset would be a HOOT!

UPDATE: I didn’t read far enough. Koko Ed found these. They might even be cheaper then Orbit Balls.