Game trends

I have a theory. I’m new to Robotics, so please tell me if this is inaccurate.
I was reading (and hearing) about the past two games-2008 (Overdrive) and 2009 (Lunacy).
In Overdrive, the main goal (as far as I can tell) was speed.
In Lunacy, due to the low friction, you could not go too fast or you would spin out.
My thoughts are, this coming year, there will be something to do with high gravity or something of that sort.
If some veterans could tell me if the opposites has had any kind of trend before or if this is just a coincidence, it would be appreciated.

There hasn’t really been a trend; every time one develops, it’s promptly knocked down. The only one I can see is game names; since 2005, they’ve been common phrases or words, or a pun on those (Triple Play, Aim High, Rack 'n Roll, FIRST Overdrive, Lunacy). Games have had themes in 2008/2009, but now that I’ve said that, there won’t be a theme next year.

The longest-running trend was ball/odd object/ball, from 2002-2008; the orbit balls in 2009 stopped it cold.

And Overdrive was “tortoise and hare”; you could go fast and get 2 points per lap or slower and 10 points per lap. The fastest hurdlers (the “slower” category) tended to win, but a good lapbot could really affect their performance.

Do you mean Overdrive was tortoise and hare? Also, I’m not saying its always so obvoius, so it might be sublte. I’m hoping for any ideas on connections-I think the spider leg was 2007, and a point bonus at the end was raising robots. There was also a bump zone. In Overdrive, you were penalized for contact.
As for the speed, the slower speed was a bonus, but it the concept was a race, from what I can tell.

Yeah, I meant Overdrive. You’re right about 2007’s elements.

The bumper zone is something that’s been around since 2006. A brief history of bumpers:
Pre-2006: Bumpers are team-designed and included in weight and volume, which results in a lot of metal-on-metal impacts. Teams began designing wedges to defend against defensive robots, resulting unintentional tipping happening a lot. One match saw both alliances DQ’d for tipping. Bumpers aren’t used by more than a few teams.
2006-2007: Wedges are outlawed and replaced by optional bumpers. They had to be in a bumper zone and had to be under a certain weight–and of a standard design. As a bonus, they were not counted in robot weight or size, unless they were custom, in which case they followed the same rules as before. About half the teams began using them.
2008-2009: Bumpers are now mandatory around some percentage of the robot’s perimeter in the bumper zone.

Overdrive had a contact penalty, yes–if you contacted a hurdling robot in its home zone. Other than that, standard “hard contact” rules were in force–no high-speed, long-distance ramming, no pinning, no intentional tipping, no entanglement.

The only known trend in FIRST is the rise of unknowns.

Beyond that, there is always the chance they take ideas from the previous year to mockup game ideas for the new game. You’ll never really know unless you were on the GDC yourself.

very strong trend toward wheels and motors.

so far there hasn’t been any walking, flying, hovering, levitating robots.

hmmm… there is that cirque du soleil guy on the GDC.

The second we see the game, it’s going to be filled with platforms and like a big pit or trampoline and we’ll be like “DOH! That was him!” :smiley:

the only trend is that there is no trend… lol

You’re right. Speed is the central element to almost any FRC game. Granted some of these games had other elements too, but it’s typically hard to win in end-of-game bonuses alone.

2009: Score Moon Rocks… Fast.
2008: Hurdle Trackballs… Fast.
2007: Score Ringers… Fast.
2006: Shoot Poof Balls… Fast.
2005: Cap Goals with Tetras… Fast.
2004: Collect Playground balls… Fast.
2003: Knock over the stack of bins… Fast.

You will hear lots of crazy theories once the hint (or hints, as it has been in recent years) arrive/s. They will be largely wrong and occasionally humorous. Almost no-one will read the game hint thread through, so there will be lots of repeats. A good time will be had by all, and once kick-off arrives, it will be so obvious we’ll wonder how we possibly could’ve missed it. :smiley:

Despite the “bump-to-pass” rule in the rulebook, I don’t believe I ever saw that play out. Provided you weren’t silly enough to think you could get away with stopping up the flow of traffic, it was the same as any other game. Contact was definitely acceptable, but the very nature of the game precluded the existence of “high-speed-long-distance ramming” as everyone was trying to Drive!Straight?turn!LEFT!?

The 2009 game, you couldn’t go fast due to low friction. You would spin out.

Re-read that. Curtis never said anything about moving fast, just about scoring fast. One of the things that made 217 so effective in a season of “oh shooters won’t have a chance” was the fact that as long as they were saddled up next to you in pretty much any orientation (weren’t they one of the ones that were scoring over other robots?), they could adjust and put a crap ton of balls in your trailer while most of their opponents had to be lined up just so. Could you still beat the Thunderchickens? Sure–it happened 14 times this season. But you had to bring your A game to do it.

To add to what Billfred said, many teams had traction control, allowing them to NOT spin out, no matter what they did.

Also, 2003 and 2004 had HDPE as the surface in places. Very rarely would a robot be going so fast by them that it would become airborne. Not so much as in 2006, when a ramp structure had diamond plate on the ramp and Lexan on the top.

(And some teams had unique ways of scoring quickly, those years.)

71’s robot “walked/crawled” in 2002

and I remember hearing about a hovering vacuum cleaner serving as a placebo bot pre 2000

I like the idea of seeing trends in the game and I’ve been looking at one in particular. FIRST has a long history with ramps and, when this was mentioned by a mentor at one of our recent meetings, I researched this and from looking at the trend we are overdue for a ramp game.

Also I feel like we may see a spring loaded ramp like in FTC’s Face Off last year.

I think the longest without one has been two years, at least if you leave out 1997-1999. Not quite overdue yet.

Of the 10 past games, six of the games have included objects or field elements in which robots must navigate over or under. 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2009 are the only ones that didn’t. I’m not sure you would say this is a trend, but I would be surprised to see yet another flat field in 2010. Start designing those 12" wheels!!!

Sorry. Also, the comparison I was making was regarding moving fast.

What is the HDPE?

I would disagree, one problem with navigating over/under things is that said thing has to be robust (read as probably heavy) and large (read as, heavy++). There are exceptions but in the interests of keeping field costs down I would doubt us having any massive field elements.

Additionally, going over Tetras was a real problem in 2005, I saw quite a few teams try to drive around the field and end up immobile due to getting caught up on a Tetra (either the large goal ones or the small game piece ones)

Also, breaking my own rule not to say stupid stuff but, yay, 900 posts. Interesting fact, in 100 posts the number of digits in my post count will equal my mental age.

I might have to disagree, it seems like FLL, FTC and Jr. FLL have all included a general theme the last 2 years, so my guess is that it would continue. The theme isn’t really a “game element/trend” I guess it is more of a way for FIRST to say they are trying to inspire kids into solving “real world” problems. Also, it seems like the game pieces have centered around FIRST’s logo.

2009:circle (orbit ball)
2008:circle (giant ball)
2007:circle (inflatable ring)
2006:circle (NERF ball)
2003:square(i think)
2002:circle(also scoring receptacle design was recycled as trailers in 2009)

You get my point. So, my guess is this year will incorporate a circle, square, or triangle.