If you thought Ri3D was hard...

If you thought Ri3D was hard, try participating in a week one FRC field build. For all the teams out there participating in an FRC event this year, make sure to thank your volunteers a little extra this year.

As somebody who has participated in both Ri3D and a week one field build, I can say the latter has less time, less instructions, more to build, and a greater level of quality required. Also there is no failing… the field must be completed for the event to happen.

The field this year is arguably the most complicated field in FRC history. The Airships look sweet, but they’re something else to try to put together, especially with poor instructions, and incorrectly bent pieces. As one FTA put it, “Does anybody know how to assemble a Lego kit with no instructions and a few missing/broken pieces?”

The Duluth field setup team worked until 11PM last night (without finishing either field) and we’re going back at 7AM to (hopefully) finish it in time for the first practice matches. If you see a volunteer this year, make sure you thank them, because they’re the hardest working people in FIRST. Make that double if you run into an FTA.

While upgrading our field elements up to ones that actually somewhat matched what we would see at a real event we realized how vague, unorganized and poorly detailed the field instructions really are. Field building will get quite a bit easier as the season progresses once FTA’s, Field Supervisors and other volunteers figure out how it’s supposed to be assembled but the first couple of weeks are going to be tough. If anyone has a week 1 or 2 event near them volunteer yourself to help build the field. Not only will you get to help with an immense task but it’s also cool discovering the nuances in new fields

Oh my, you are so right. It is so valuable to have help with field set up and tear down. Please consider staying after your local events and helping the host teams.

We were up late last night with help from 4381 setting up the FIM Lakeview District. We are so thankful for their help!

I think the complexity of the field comes from several factors:

  • We liked Stronghold last year, and FIRST wants to capitalize on that success again. And so, we have yet another field more complex than we’ve seen previously.

  • FTC’s game design has ever so slightly slipped into FRC given the multiple game objects, tiered scoring objectives, and, arguably, the appearance of impossibility with regard to playing all aspects of the game well.

  • Reaching “outside the tent” as, I believe, Frank put it takes a lot of spectacle and a tad bit of pomp & circumstance. To get others interested, you need to up your game, and that’s exactly what FIRST has done.

  • We needed a genuinely unique change-up in game difficulty. When I say this, I mean that this year was relatively tough to build a robot based off of previous year’s successful robot designs.

If we continue on this path of field complexity, then my heart goes out to all those working on their airships and boilers.

At least you didn’t have to build half the field out of 2x4’s (Best picture I could find).

Northern Lights, 2014.

And at least you had a field to build before 11!

North Star, 2014… the truck with the field didn’t show up until 11:55PM - only what, 9ish hours before practice matches started?

But yes, Field complexity makes it really tough on the volunteers to get things set up correctly and on time for the teams. Having enough people around to help does make it go quicker, but having too many can make it go slower, as well!

Back in my day LEGO didn’t come with instructions.

And we liked it!

Well when the goal is consistency across all events. Instructions help out a lot.

Maybe Beach Blitz 2.0 won’t use an official field… :eek:

Please! Please! If any teams can supply some people to help with field tear down after competitions, it would be really appreciated. Even if it is only a short time while the rest of your team is working on pit tear down.

My hope is the field returns to a simple design next year. You can have an effective game (2006, 2010, 2011, 12, 14) with a very simple field.

Or get one that already has the modifications completed on it. Some of the alterations that we had to do out there last year were interesting :slight_smile:

TRIGGERED imagines animated gif of nuclear detonation mushroom cloud

Agreed. Not to mention that it takes a significant amount of strain off of teams (especially smaller ones) in constructing field elements during their build seasons.

After our team hosted our own offseason event last year and assembled the STRONGHOLD field over the course of an entire day on our own, I empathize with the volunteers that have the same time to put together this even more intricate field. (Thankfully disassembly was finished in a couple of hours - s/o to 2869 for their help there)