GDC you have failed us.

I keep hearing people say that the GDC has leveled the playing field this year, however I feel this is simply not true. While it is true that we are playing on a totally different surface, there are still many, many aspects a rookie team will not be able to over come.
As wildstang demonstrates in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS_I0cRmGIE) there is still going to be a huge advantage to anyone who has a crab drive system, perhaps this year more than ever (as discussed in another thread simple tank drive is going to have tons of problems this year). Additionally we are starting with a whole new programming platform, however this platform was beta tested by many teams, all of which are many year veteran teams.
I could rant on for quite a while about this, and if anyone wants me to expand upon any of my points, go ahead and ask, and I’ll do my best to explain. But come on people this game isn’t leveling anything, if anything it’s just broadening the gulf between the vets and rookies.

Okay well if it is your opinion that the GDC have not leveled the playing field, then all you can really refute is the idea that they did since in essence, if they didn’t the playing field would be the same as last year, which would be unleveled…and you would then be posting the same post except without the claim the GDC sold us this “leveled playing ground.”

Just play the game, trust me you’ll enjoy yourself more thinking about all the crazy ways your robot can approach the game.

Hopefully this makes sense :stuck_out_tongue:

(Rant copied and pasted from another topic-I’ve been ranting quite a bit lately, forgive me for recycling :yikes: )

The obvious effort to even the playing field in this game is, while well-intentioned, going to have the opposite effect. It is strikingly similar to what has happened in Formula 1, which used to be practically open in terms of car and engine design. However, lately there have been increasing efforts at regulation and standardization-some of them have been for safety and some to cut costs, but many have had as a stated goal the improvement of competition. However, they have had the opposite effect. In the past, teams could come up with really innovative ideas to provide an advantage, and many did; famous examples of which include the Tyrell P34 and the Brabham BT46B “fan car”, which ironically enough is apparently banned in this competition just as it was in real life. These days, however, in order to eke out any improvement, F1 teams must do hours upon hours of expensive wind tunnel work, use gigantic simulators to test any part thoroughly before even considering trying it, and basically spending millions upon millions of dollars for improvements of tenths of seconds.

Lunacy will be similar-IMO, the most important factors in this game will be the human player, the drivetrain, programming, and the driver. The first factor is essentially a wash, despite some concerns over “basketball players” or the like. But the rest will not be. Sure, many teams will have to rethink their drivetrain and we will thankfully see the disappearance of the “trick” wheels, but the veteran teams will still have an advantage. We all know that. Programming will be even worse-I’m sure you have all seen the talk about here about traction control, anti-lock braking, and all the other three-letter abbreviations standard on new cars of the day. How do expect any programmer new to FRC to handle any of that? And given the new surface and quickly disappearing game pieces, the only drivers that will have much practice will be the ones on teams that can afford the game field, and in these economic times, there are not many of those.

While it is true the veterans may have some advantages, I don’t think you can discount rookie teams. This is a unique time for FIRST as most teams have not had early access to the control system and the playing field is quite the equalizer. I think you will be surprised by the success of many rookies and surprised by the lack of success from veteran teams. I guess what I am trying to say, is most teams (rookie and vet) are on pretty equal footing.

Honestly you need to chill. I was an impatient student who thought the same way about past games and it took me until recently to come to many realizations that the GDC probably came to when they made their executive decisions to go with the games Aim High, Rack’n’Roll, and Overdrive. There is always more than meets the eye. They have their reasons.

The WildStang movie proves nothing to be honest. You need to look at the big picture. Was there a 40lbs mass on the trolley that the crab was dragging? There are other drive trains that can do similar things WITH the moon wheels. Just think outside the box but inside the 28" X 38" X 60" rectangular prism and you may come up with a solution.

Think about the playing field on many levels. Software, Strategy, Hardware, etc. Then you may come to the conclusion that there is a big picture. What is the big picture? Hell, not even I know. But when I figure out, I’ll be sure to let you know. It took me 2 years for Rack’n’Roll so give me your email and I’ll fill you in as soon as I “get it”.

Pavan Dave

To a point, they have. You’re never going to get the playing field completely level, but throwing a curveball forces everybody to take a long, hard look at their current approach.

While it is true that we are playing on a totally different surface, there are still many, many aspects a rookie team will not be able to over come.
Rookies have a long history of pleasantly surprising. 1902 came within reach of Einstein their first time out, 2377 ran with the best of them at IRI in 2008, and two-thirds of the 2000 KSC regional finalists? Rookies–but really, who’s heard of 342 and 343?

As wildstang demonstrates in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS_I0cRmGIE) there is still going to be a huge advantage to anyone who has a crab drive system, perhaps this year more than ever (as discussed in another thread simple tank drive is going to have tons of problems this year).
Right, but even WildStang might opt for a skid-steer if they don’t think the resource demands require it.

Additionally we are starting with a whole new programming platform, however this platform was beta tested by many teams, all of which are many year veteran teams.
Yes, veteran teams that had to hold workshops, release all of their code developed during the beta test, open their facilities to teams wanting to come by and get a feel for it, and a whole host of other requirements. If anything, they had to take resources away from other activities in order to beta test.

I could rant on for quite a while about this, and if anyone wants me to expand upon any of my points, go ahead and ask, and I’ll do my best to explain. But come on people this game isn’t leveling anything, if anything it’s just broadening the gulf between the vets and rookies.
It eliminates variables–nobody’s got any secret sauce to getting grip this year, and everybody’s got to figure out the most effective method of turning these wheels to move around the field. The playing field won’t be perfectly level, but nobody ever said it would be. FIRST is not, nor has it ever been, fair.

You guys all bring up valid points. IDK maybe I’m just really upset about this game because of team update #1, but that’s a whole other issue.

to be completly honest it looks level to me. There isn’t anything on it, no slopes, monkey bars or anything of sorts. Just a pretty level floor:p :stuck_out_tongue:

(come on, nobody thought of this, for shame)

This might be a true statement if you are focused mainly on ‘the game’.

I have seen more interaction between the students and mentors and engineers this year than in the past. There has been more mathmatical equations being put on our boards that I dare say being used in the math classes. Based on this, I would say that the GDC has hit a homerun with this years challenge. I think that this year’s game will leave a defining moment on a lot of student’s futures.

Some (most? i don’t know) Canadians still don’t have theirs. It’s going to cost us $250 dollars to get it released, and we probably won’t even get it this week.:mad:

On topic, I like the game, and think it puts us all at a disadvantage to a robot with traction wheels, but since no robots will have traction wheels, I think were all good. Rookie teams do not have any more of a disadvantage than other years. They have less IMO, but to each his own.

I think that the discussion has merit, regardless of how individuals feel about the game.

But…
IMHO, we can’t have a absolutely level playing field. Not with each and every team starting from scratch. Even two rookie teams are not neccesarily even when they start based on who is on their team.

But I believe the GDC really threw us all a great curve to deal with. In essence we all have the same drive. I don’t recall a past game where that has happened. And we all know how important drives are, and a vet team will have an advantage on carpet.

So really I think they have just made a game that, so far, has been surprisingly fun to work with.
And in the end, after the game has been played and robots put out to pasture, it wasn’t about the machines, but the students, FIRST (what it stands for) and the relationships that mentors are trying to build.

Hopefully you will dig the game and see a rookie take the prize in Atlanta.

Billfred also forgot to mention rookies like 254 and 2056, showing up and winning their first 6, and 4 regionals ever competed in, respectively.

I should also say, I loved this game, until about 4:30 today…
I dont think the GDC completely failed, because this is certainly a challenging game, however they did not level the playing field.

the video doesnt account for the mass of the trailer with balls, and it looks like several other videos ive seen. most of the drivetrains will be about the same efficacy i think.

A crab drive will be the most effective drive train this year, hands down. If you can get crab drive with traction control, you will be able to out maneuver everyone, and thats about all you can do this year.

You can look at it however unleveled you want. A team has the capacity to use such and such over teams that don’t have that capacity, etc etc etc. There is no way to truly make the playing field level unless they give you specific amounts of materials, and make you have to use those exact materials. Then everyone would complain about the GDC restricting us too much, which I believe happens to be another thread topic…

You can complain as much as you want, you may get a few game updates here and there, but all your complaining is wasting time you could spend designing or figuring out a way of solving the problem.

The thing about veteran teams having more knowledge. Many veteran teams are willing to share their past designs with other teams to help out rookies. If this is a reason for why teams don’t perform well, how does this explain “the amazing phenomenon” of rookie teams outperforming veteran teams?

I am not so sure the issue is about leveling the playing field, which is what this thread is about so far.
If anything, with a new control system and tougher constraints, the gap will widen with a few elite teams. I’d bet, this will be evident at CMP.

Just because a rookie team is a rookie to FRC, doesn’t mean they may not know what to do. As stated by Billfred, a good amount of first-year teams have done very well.

A sigh of relief went through the room as we heard that these KOP wheels were mandatory. Everybody knows that this will “level the playing field”, even if not completely.

In my honest opinion, a few of the previous games weren’t really all that “difficult” to everybody. Sure, some teams had the time, resources, or creativity to do very well in the competition. But just because you were in the program since 1998 (I know it started in '92) doesn’t mean that you’re automatically a powerhouse team.

I agree with whomever stated that this time would be better spent developing a solution instead of complaining about the problem.

Its 1992. :wink:

lol, That’s besides my point, but thanks for the fact.