[Official 2008 Game Design] OK, so YOU design the 2008 game...

Okay folks, it is that time again. It has been a month since the FIRST Championships, and you have had some time to reflect on what worked about Rack ‘n’ Roll, and what didn’t. There are already discussions about what next year’s competition might be like. Well, this is your opportunity to influence the design of the game for next year.

The FIRST Game Design Committee is spinning up and working on design ideas for the 2008 game challenge. They are looking for good ideas, game concepts, rule suggestions, play field designs, etc - everything from a basic idea for a game to a set of detailed rules and parts drawings to a completely restructured tournament concept. With that thought in mind, we would like to once again ask for your help and open a thread to discuss ideas, concepts, and specific suggestions for the 2008 game.

We have read all the related CD threads posted to date discussing Rack ‘n’ Roll. There is no need to re-hash the pros and cons of prior games, or get too deep into philosophical discussions about previous years. Please keep those comments going, and please provide feedback on the 2007 game at the Team Forums. But please keep them in the relevant threads. Here, we want to figure out how to go forward and help build an exciting, challenging, stimulating and engaging competition for next year.

As always, here is what we can guarantee: EVERYTHING that you suggest will be read, discussed, and considered. Nothing will be ignored.

Here is what is not guaranteed: There is no promise that anything that is suggested will actually get used. For any of a number of reasons, the suggestions may be impractical, incompatible, or impossible to implement, and would not be incorporated into future games.

So, here are the ground rules (in no particular order or assumed priority):

  • The game should provide a sufficiently difficult challenge that it will stress the abilities of the students and engineers on the teams to design and build a solution.

  • The game should allow active participation by teams with widely-varying levels of resources.

  • The game should be interesting to play, involving some tactical and strategic depth, and without a single, predictable solution strategy that guarantees a win.

  • The game should be audience friendly and presumably TV-friendly (i.e. you can explain the basics of game to a TV audience in 30 seconds or less, it is easy to follow and exciting for the audience, and visually interesting for the duration of the match).

  • Any field elements must be able to be constructed from readily available materials (ask yourself this question “can I buy all the parts at Home Depot, Lowes or Builders Square?”). Field elements that can be disassembled into 48x96 inch (or smaller) units that stack against a wall for storage are encouraged; field elements that require seventeen people to move or a small house to store are discouraged.

  • The game should embody the values represented by FIRST (i.e. brings out the best aspects of a competitive spirit, advances the concept of mentorship within the team during the build and competition phases, does not promote needless destruction or violence, celebrates creative and imaginative solutions).

  • The game should be structured so that ingenuity of design is just as important (or even more so) than advanced fabrication.

  • There are no assumptions about the need for three-team alliances, limiting each round to just six teams, play fields in a single plane, real-time radio communications, etc.

  • There is a preference (but not a requirement) for robots to have both offensive and defensive roles in the game. There is a preference (but not a requirement) for a role for the human player.

Also, understand that we are soliciting ideas for more than just the game itself. We want to hear about different concepts for alternate technologies and capabilities that might be incorporated into (or removed from) the game, and the structure of the competitions themselves. We want ideas for all elements of the 2008 FRC. To help spark thinking and create a structure for focused discussion, four discussion threads are being created to start things off. These threads will include:

  1. Game concepts - this thread is intended for fully developed game ideas. It is intended to collect complete game concepts, as well as be an opportunity to discuss and refine posted concepts. This thread can also be used to discuss possible themes to drive game design. For example, three years ago the FIRST Lego League used “Missions To Mars” as their theme to design a game to examine some of the difficulties associated with remote exploration of distant environments. There has not been a defining theme for the past several FRC games, but you may have ideas to change this. This discussion will take place in this thread (here).

  2. Game elements and subtasks - discussion of ideas for unique game elements and subtasks. If you don’t have a fully developed game, but have a great idea about a piece of a game or an idea about something that has never been done before, then this is the place to talk about it. As examples from the past, someone could use this thread to post a suggestion to use funny pyramid-like PVC structures as an element, or that stacking stuff should be included as a challenging subtask, or that throwing objects would make for a great engineering challenge. Someone else may have a very creative idea for the role of the human player (while some may propose no human player at all). Others can use those ideas as a creativity springboard to develop a game concept. This discussion will take place here.

  3. New technologies - a thread to present ideas for new technologies that could be introduced into the game or kit of parts. Particularly, suggestions for technologies, capabilities and design elements of the new control system to be introduced in 2009 are requested. If there is a capability that you always wanted to see in the control system – different development environments, more processing power, alternative communications schemes, new sensor compatibility, enhanced I/O options, etc. - this is the place to suggest it. Likewise, while autonomy need not be a part of a specific game, creative uses of autonomous components in any game are sought. Ideas about new drive technologies or inter-robot communications may be reviewed. This discussion will take place here.

  4. Radical tournament structure changes - this thread is intended to collect innovative ways to structure tournament play. Using previous years as an example, this might include ideas to add human players to a robot-only format, or to change the three robots playing at once to a three-team alliance format. Sizes of alliances, lengths of matches, number of matches at a tournament, etc are all open for discussion. Like the above thread, this thread is meant to collect creative ideas that can be applied to any game concept. This discussion will take place here.

Understand that this will be a one-way valve for information (for a while at least). There will not be a formal response from FIRST regarding any of the ideas or concepts discussed here. If a suggestion is incorporated into the game, you will not receive any feedback or know about it until the game is revealed next year. If it is not incorporated, you may never hear why (because we will be saving any ideas not used in 2008 for possible use in future games).

If at any time during this year’s competition you thought “if I had designed the game I would have done it like this…” then here is your chance! We know that if there is a single place to go for this sort of input, it will be this forum! Let us hear your thoughts.

  • 2008 FIRST Game Design Committee

Alright, might as well take a stab.

The Field

FIRST has only three years on the current field border, so we’ll stick with the same basic shape. Out of purely selfish concerns, driven by the inability to really move around in the queue at the Palmetto Regional without encroaching on the playing field, we’ll knock a few feet off the length of the field and make it 27’x50’.

Two wide strips of velcro are added to each player station wall, to which 36 balls are attached. Balls come in three sizes–one about the size of a tennis ball, one about the size of a Poof ball from Aim High, and one about the size of a kickball from FIRST Frenzy (though much lighter). The number of each type of ball (12) is predetermined, placement is not. Fifteen more balls are lined similarly across midfield. Robots start in a zone on each side of this line.

There is a Velcro-covered board over each alliance station wall, about four feet high. Above the board is the vision system light, and below it is a trough for balls that miss their mark. Balls that enter the trough roll into a bin in the player station, where they are joined by any balls not pre-loaded before the match for the human players to throw at any time during the teleoperated period.

Finally, there is a tape X placed on the carpet about four feet in front of each vision system target. More on that later.

The Robots

For the most part, the robots remain the same in basic construction as their siblings from the Kitbot era. Since the field’s a little shorter, knock an inch or two off of the robot starting sizes. (If you want to stop teams from having their drivetrain in the CNC machine ready to start right after Kickoff, here’s your chance.)

The Game

The object of the game is to get more balls onto your alliance’s boards on the far side of the field than your opponents.

Each alliance receives five small balls, five medium-sized balls, and five large balls to pre-load. Robots can only move on the side of the field nearest their alliance station in autonomous–no going beyond the other alliance’s starting zone, lest they be penalized. Robots can attempt to score on their opponent’s boards in autonomous. Whoever has fewer balls on their board following autonomous gets a twenty-point bonus and the end-game advantage, but the balls on the board still count at the end of the match. (Strategy now becomes crucial, as you want to win this bonus without offsetting it too much with points for the other side.)

Following the autonomous period, robots continue to attempt to stick balls onto their own boards for the remaining two minutes. The manner of sticking is irrelevant–human players may try and throw one on, robots can build an arm to go around the trough and stick directly, or robots can dust off their shooter wheels and attempt to connect long-distance. At the same time, robots can attempt to steal off of their opponent’s boards, either elegantly (plucking them off into a hopper to score directly) or through brute force (squeegeeing them off into the trough). Balls attached to the board are worth three points each regardless of size–the wide variation in sizes is simply part of the game challenge.

Finally, with ten seconds left in the match, five of the six vision system targets will shut off. The one remaining light will be over a board of the team that won the autonomous period–if there was no winner, then this becomes random. Robots now charge for the X in front of that particular light. The team with the end-game advantage, obviously, can see this light; the team without the advantage will either have to use the vision system or react to where they think their opponents are headed. The alliance whose robot is closest to the center of the X gets an additional twenty points.

Okay, here’s my game, based around the popular concept of goals onboard robots without being too radically differant from years past.

Stick Stack:

Same size field as this year, maybe a bit wider. The basic field layout looks like this:

The central structure, known as the tower, is the main place to score. There is a red and blue middle goal, a read and blue high goal, and 2 circular plates for stacks. (more further down.)

The game pieces are 3/4" x 18" PVC batons, with plastic or wood endcaps.
There are two types of game pieces, standard batons, and stackable batons. Stackable batons have a red end and a blue end, and 2 relativly strong magnets embedded in each endcap, wheras standard batons are, well, standard.

Each alliance starts with about 60 standard batons and 6 stackable batons in their homezone (like triple play with the human load tetras.) In addition, 9 stackable batons are placed standing on end in the area behind the white line.

There are 4 ways to score:
Placing standard or stacking batons in a goal.
Stacking stackable batons on either stack base (small circular protrusion from the central tower)
Stacking stackable batons Onboard a robot!
Getting robots into any of the endzones at the top of the field.

Before the match, one robot per alliance is designated as that alliance’s goal, per choice of the alliance members. A goal similar to the stack bases on the tower is attatched to that robot wherever the team wishes. (teams will be required to leave a 4"x4" flat surface free for this purpose.)

At the start of autonomous, robots may start with nothing, 5 standard batons, 1 stackable baton, or both. They have 15 seconds to try and score these. After this, 2:15 of teleoperated play begins, divided into 3 periods. However, these are not offence-defence periods like aim high, but periods that dictate how robots score.

In period 1, robots cannot cross the white line, and human players cannot bring stackable batons into play. To score, teams must score standard batons in either the low goals on the side of the field, or in the middle and high goals in the center of the field. These batons are brought into play by the human player, who must shovel them out onto the field through the human player chute (no passing over wall.)

To prevent the triple play human loading station penalty dilema, there will be strict penalties against breaking the plane of the side wall within a certain area of the human player chute, rather than ‘ramming/touching/being in the general vicinity of’ penalties. Batons scored in the tower are returned to play through a funneling system, and scored with a system similar to the low goal scorer of aim high. Batons scored in the low goal can be returned to play by the opposing alliance’s human players.

In period 2, robots may both score with standard and stackable batons, and the restrictions on access to the stackable batons are lifted. Alliances get points for every baton in a stack with their alliance color facing up. These stacks can be formed on any of the four goal bases. In addition, stack scores on the 2 non-robot goals are doubled for the alliance controlling the uppermost baton, and multiplied by 1.5 for every stackable baton in the stack scored in autonomous. Obviously, medium-tall stacks won’t survive very well on a moving robot, and so teams planning on carrying stacks of any height must develop a method to protect their own stacks. Robots may possess up to 2 stackable batons. (batons in an onboard robot stack don’t count as “in possession”)

In period 3, teams can only score with stacks, and no more standard baton scoring may occor. Also, the possession rules are lifted, so that robots carrying stacks can carry several batons, and build a stack on themselves in the last few seconds of the match. (see the endgame section to see why teams may want to do this. )

In the endgame, teams get points for robots in any of the 3 endzones, each of which is just barely wide enough for 3 robots, but teams will really have to work to get that.

Teams must negate the Diamond plate speedbump to reach any endzone, and the 3.5 foot limbo bar to reach the middle endzone.

Scoring (kinda approximate):
.5 for each baton in low goal, 2 if done autonomously (score is rounded up to nearest whole number)
1 for each baton in middle goal, 4 if done autonomously
2 for each baton in high goal, 7 if done autonomously
5 for each stacked baton.
10 points for each robot in corner endzone, 25 for each robot in middle endzone
middle stacks multiplied by 1.5 for an autonomous baton, 2 for controll of top baton.
robot stacks multiplied by 2 if on a robot in the corner endzone, 3 if on a robot in the middle endzone (obviously hard to carry a 7 foot stack under a 3 foot bar.)

Thoughts? Comments? I think that, despite being quite a bit differant from past games and more complex, it has a wide range of challenges to choose from, and makes it quite hard for a robot to “do everything.” Also, teamwork is critical with scoring on each other, and the challenge of protecting a baton stack, plus a completely new gamepiece should lead to robots quite diffeent from all past years, like shooters in 06 and ramps in 07.

Field Size: 54x24 roughly

There are hexagon goals in the middle of the player station walls that are 6 FT across the points of the hexagon. There are also four more, two on either side of the field. All of the goals are centered over the walls. The player station goals are 5 FT tall and the other goals are 3 FT tall and all sides are clear with alliance colors at the top. The goals in front of the player station and on the other side of midfield belong to the other alliance. Example: The goal right in front of a driver blue belongs to red, while the two closer side goals belong to blue. At midfield in the center there is a 7 FT tall hexagon tower that is 3 FT across the points of the hexagon and is also clear. It has openings for a game piece on all six sides. All of the opening are movable up and down between 3 FT and 5 FT and are randomly changed before the start of the matches. There are also lights right above the openings, red, blue, or green. Each alliance has one of each color light on their side of the goal. On both sides at midfield are 2 FT high half-hexagons in between the two goals on the sides. In the half-hexagons are buttons for each alliance and there is another for each alliance inside the tower at the bottom. In the corners are launchers that drop game pieces onto the field. There are two human loading zones on either side of the field by the player stations.

Game pieces:

The game pieces are hexagon balls or hex-balls, about the size of either a soccer ball or a kick ball, and are built like the tetras were. There are three types of them, one is a common color and is worth 2 points, these are entered with the launchers, another is colored the same as an alliance and is worth 4 points, these are entered by human players, and the last is colored yellow and worth 3 points. The yellow ones are used for autonomous.

Robot Sizes:

Same basic rules as last years, with three different starting sizes.

Human player:

The human player action will be just like triple play, but they don’t have to wait for the robot to back out and in, and will add their color game pieces to their robots. The drivers temporally “disable” their robots so the human players can load, by both of the drivers standing on mats. This will allow more than one human player to load a robot.


The goal is to place a yellow hex-ball into the center goal, it does not matter which opening it goes into, and one on each button on the sides. Autonomous will be 30, 20, or 10 seconds. It depends on how many robots for the alliance will be moving and you have to let the refs know if you will be moving. If only one robot is going to try for all three alone, it will be 30 seconds. If two try, then 20 seconds, and finally 10 seconds if all three try. Winning autonomous will let you human load first, and gives you double the points of all three hex-balls. Double point is only awarded if all three hex-balls are scored. If both alliances score all three of there hex-balls, then both will human load first.

Match Length:

The match starts with autonomous. After autonomous, the match will be 2 minutes long. Human loading can take place in the first 30 seconds it that alliance scores in autonomous, if neither alliance scores then no human loading for the first 30 seconds. After that anyone can human load for the final 1:30.


The object is to score the hex-balls in you goals. You get point value of the hex-balls in any goal. There will be a home zone line in front of the player station wall. If you can get all three of you robots behind the line at the end of the match, then you get double the score in your far goal. The winner is the one with the most points.

15 second Auto
2:00 Operator Control

3 Red Robots
3 Blue Robots

Game Pieces:
60 Soccer Balls
~300 Hockey Pucks

Field Lay-out:
In the middle of the field, there are two 3 ft. high, 20º ramps (similar to 2000), each 18’ wide, with an 18’ gap in between. Strung in between the tops of each ramp (at 3 ft. high) is a bungee cord. The area between the end of each ramp and the alliance station wall is designated the [red/blue] Alliance Zone (color depending on corresponding alliance wall). 10 balls are placed at either end of each ramp, against the wall, in a row. 10 of the remaining balls are given to each alliance to be divided as they please, but no robot may start with more than 5 (any remaining not placed in robots are given to the human players). All the hockey pucks are strewn on the floor in the gap between the ramps. Against each alliance station is a 2’ high, 2’ deep clear polycarbonate bin, stretching the length of the wall. 18" above that is a mesh net, extending 2’ beyond the wall, stretching the length of the wall. All robots must start the match touching the bin in their alliance zone.

Each alliance receives one point for each ball or puck placed in the bin on the FAR wall.
Each alliance receives three points for each ball placed on the FAR net.
Each alliance receives five points for each puck placed on the FAR net.
The alliance with more points at the end of autonomous receives 20 BONUS POINTS
Each alliance receives 10 BONUS POINTS for each robot only touching the surface of a ramp at the end of the match.
The alliance with more pucks in it’s Alliance Zone (not counting the ones in the bins/nets) at the end of the match receives 10 BONUS POINTS.
Each alliance has its BONUS POINTS (all of them) doubled for each robot it has touching BOTH ramps at the end of the match.

Human Players may throw balls they start with to robots, into goals, or onto the field.
Removing/knocking off the bungee cord IS field damage.
Robots may not extend beyond 6’x6’x6’ until the last 15 seconds of the match.
Game pieces MAY be de-scored.

The game has two scoring objects

  1. Soccer balls, similar to those used in 2002.
  2. 1’x1’ cubes, constructed of some hardy material. These cubes are missing a top and bottom, so they are really more like shells.

The field.

There are 2 mobile goals (like those used in 2004), located on either side of the field. Each of the mobile goals is filled with 20 balls (each side has designated 20 balls). In the center of the field, there is a 4’x4’ platform with it’s upper surface being 1’ off the ground. In the center of the platform is a 2" pole extending 5’ from the top of the platform. Atop the pole is a green light which sheds light in every direction. In each corner of the field is a cube, with those on the red side being red, and those on the blue side of the field being blue. At either ends of the field there is a line 4’ from the alliance station wall, indicating each sides home zone (red’s home zone is in front of red’s alliance station).

Rough drawing of field


The game is composed of two periods, teleoperated and autonomous. The game begins with a one minute and 45 second teleoperated period.

During the teleop mode, teams will race to empty their mobile goal of balls, and place them in their home zone. There are no restrictions on touching balls or the goal belonging to the other alliance. However, at the end of the match, only balls of your color count towards your score. Balls must be in contact with the floor at the end of the game to count.

As time counts down to autonomous, teams will race to get in position to use their cubes. Cubes function as multipliers, if placed down over the pole. Cubes cannot be scored before autonomous mode begins. Two cubes of the same color placed on top of each other multiply your alliances score by 2. Cubes not placed on top of each other do not count Eg.

Blue gets a multiplier

Both sides get a 2x multiplier

Neither side recieves a multiplier

Teams are only allowed to be in posession of one cube at a time.

Alternatively teams can elect to mount the platform, for a 15 point bonus per robot. This bonus is scored at the end of the match.

Each ball of your color, in your zone, contacting the floor at the end of the match will be worth 3 points. If you have the multiplier, your score gets multiplied. Each robot on your alliance on the platform recieves 15 points.

//End game

This game presents teams with a multitude of options. They’ll need to control their goal, retrieve balls from it, and figure out how to defend the balls until the last possible second, then get them on the floor. The points worth from the multiplier and being atop the platform are quite worth it however, so teams will need to work together to win.

One Sentence Summary: Score flexible foam pool noodles for points, taking advantage of the “safe” zone.

Duration: 120 seconds human control, 15 seconds autonomous

Alliances: Three red, three blue. Can also be played with two red, two blue.

Field Elements: Foam pool noodles. Box at each end of the field, with an open back, which is the goal (target light at top of box).

Game Field:


The Game

Autonomous: Robots attempt to place a single (1) foam pool noodle into the box in their goal zone, tracking the green target light at the top of the box. Teams will have to take into account the possibility of collisions with other robots. The autonomous noodle is worth ten (10) points, for a maximun of thirty (30) points possible during autonomous.

Human Control: For human control the noodles should be worth approximately two (2) to three (3) points each. If robots did not score during autonomous, they may score their single (1) noodle as normal and/or may gather more noodles. Robots may be in possession of more than one noodle at any time.

Loading is accomplished in either of two ways. The first is to pick up noodles from the floor. The second way is for the human player to load noodles into the robot at the loading zones in the corner of the field. As mentioned earlier, the goal box has an open back, allowing the human players to recover the noodles scored and feed them to the robot by reaching around the corners of the field.

Teams try to go across the field to score in their noodles in their goals, while attempting to evade the opposing alliance that is playing defense. Collisions will occur. To score you must get to your “safe” zone, which is a protected area that is off limits to your opposing alliance, but completely open to you. Once inside your “safe” zone you can take your time scoring noodles in the box.

One robot in the “safe” zone is one robot less defending the other goal, and teams can use this to their advantage, by scoring while defense is weaker. Deciding when to try to score versus holding back to defend will be a key part of the game.

Near the end of the game teams may choose to to return to their starting positions and remain there until the end of the game for an additional ten (10) points per robot, for a maximum of thirty (30) points possible. However, during this time opponents may continue to score, possibly allowing them to score enough points to offset this thirty (30) point endgame bonus.

The field is seperated into two by a 18’x18’x4’ Box that had an 1" taken out on top of it to create a platform inside it. With 2 flags on it that were on posts that were 5’ and spun. There would be 2 goals (one in each corner) that are 7’x7’x1’ with a hole in the middle that would connect to a chute that shot out the bottom to the human player. On both sides of the field (Between the Human Players) There would be a holder with 200 balls in it that would release them on command.

The game pieces are wiffle balls (about 3"D) There would be 200 on the field at a time (100 per side). There would also be 2 red and 2 blue Balls (5"D) and a Bonus Gold one that would come if you won auto mode.

Blue Ally
HPR  | o |                            | o | HPR
       |==|                            |==|
       |                                      |
       |                                      |
       |                                      |
       |     |=======|=======|    |
       |     ||           o           ||    |
       |     ||           |           ||    |
       |     ||           |           ||    |
       |     ||           o           ||    |
       |     |=======|=======|    |
       |                                      |
       |                                      |
       |                                      |
       |==|                            |==|
HPB  | o |                            | o | HPB
Red Ally

Lol. Cant get it to stay even. 

Robot Sizes:

Same basic rules as last years.

Human player:

The Human Player can take the balls from their section (will look like 2006) and throw them onto the field. They can try to score into their goals on the other side of the field.


The goal is to put the balls in your robot (you hold 15 at start) into one of the goals. Highest points gets the Gold ball.

Match Length:

Autonomous Mode lasts 20s.The Balls drop from the holder at 15s after the Human Control starts. The Winner of automode would then go on defense and their goals would be shut off for the first 45s of match. Then it would switch. In the last 40s would be a free-for-all Then the match with Human control lasts 2m10s


The object is to get the balls that drop from the holder on the side of the field into the goals on your side of the field, Each ball scored is worth 2 points. If a flag was pointing twords your side of the field at the end of the match you recieved 15 bonus points per flag. Also if your robot had its alliances color ball on the box at the end it was worth 10 additional points (Gold ball is worth 20 but only the Auto mode winner gets points if it is on the box)

Well, here’s my 2008 entry into the game design fray…

4onthefloor.zip (93.4 KB)

4onthefloor.zip (93.4 KB)

Field Layout:

The field size is 54 ft long and 27ft wide. The field is divided into 3 zones. Each zone is approximately 18 feet long by 27ft wide and is colored red, blue, or gray. The red alliance zone belongs to the red alliance and the blue zone belongs to the blue alliance. The grey zone is referred to as the neutral zone. In the center of the field are three goals one 10ft tall and two 6ft tall from the floor, both are 3 feet in diameter. The goals are hexagon shaped and are 3 feet from point to point. These goals are recessed in to a 1 foot tall platform that is 12 ft deep and 20 feet wide. The goals are made of lexan and are transparent and have a door on the bottom where the platform and goal meet. These doors will remain shut during the match and are used only to empty the goals after the match. Within each of the goals approximately 1 foot from the top is and 1 foot long cylindrical vision target. These targets are visible from any angle. There are two 15 degree ramps that lead up to the platform from both alliance zones. In each of the alliance walls are two human load chutes. These chutes are 4 feet off the ground and 1 foot from either side of driver station and there dimensions are 1 foot tall by 3ft wide. Between the platform and the side wall there is a 3.5 ft wide causeway where robots may travel freely. In each causeway there are 10 red balls and 10 blue balls placed into rows of 5 the red balls being closest to the blue alliance zone and the blue balls being closest to red zone. Also lined up on the alliance wall are 30 balls of the opposing alliance’s color. There are also 30 balls in the human player station.

The Game:

There will be two alliances on the field with three teams each. The primary objective of this game is to place regulation size 5 soccer balls into any goal on the field or merely have them on your side of the field. In the final minutes of the match the robots will race back to the neutral zone and attempt to get on the platform to score points. There will be a 20 second autonomous period where the robots operate using only onboard sensors and programming. In the 2 minute Operator control period. 
 In the Autonomous Mode robots must start in their alliance zone at most 2 feet away from the wall. There will be a white line on the field to show this. The robots may load up to 5 of the autonomous balls of there color and score these balls in any of the high goals or take them to there opponents side of the field. Any autonomous balls in the 10 foot goal is worth 5 points for that alliance, any autonomous ball in the 6 foot goal is worth 3 points and any autonomous ball on the opposing side of the field is worth 1 point. These balls may still be in the robot or on the floor. The autonomous score is the tallied at the end of autonomous mode and is added to the alliance score. Any alliance that scores at least one point in autonomous gets a five point bonus and the winner of autonomous will get another 10 point bonus. In the event of a tie both alliances will get the bonus even of no points are scored.
Operator Control then begins. The robots receive commands from the human controllers and may also use on board programming. The scoring is simple a ball in the 10 ft goal is worth 5 points, any ball in the 6 foot goal is worth 3 points, any of an alliance’s balls on that alliance’s side of the field is worth 1 point. At the end of the match any robot on the platform is worth 10 points. Human players may introduce any of the balls in their station into the field, either through the chute or over the wall. The chute is two way and robots may feed the human players any balls on the field and they also may be introduced over the wall. The human players may also score in any goal on the field.
The penalties are simple, no tipping or intentional destruction; these will result in a disable. Pins may not last more than 10 seconds and robots and human players may not break the plane of the chute. Either of these will result in a 10 point penalty. These lax rules are to promote good defense and robust robot construction.

Robot Rules:

Same as rack and roll but only no 6 foot class this is replaced with a 3 foot 130 pound class. Also there are no rules that apply to the Operator Interface except COTS requirement, so external power sources may be used as long as the IO gets its power from the field.

As a programmer, I would like to see some integration of sensors into the field for all to use. The idea that especially strikes my fancy is that of placing radio receivers on the corners of the field and allowing access to the information they give about the distance to the receivers on the robots. This way we could triangulate and keep a tab on the locations of all of the robots on the field, greatly expanding the possibilities for autonomous mode. A more ambitious model for this would include radio signatures for the game pieces as well. Using this method, an atonomous mode of 50% of the game could easily be conceived, moving the FIRST Communities challenges closer to those of the industry. Granted, this is a huge shift from the usual FRC position of hands off of other team’s radio signals, but the advantages would be very lucrative from my point of view.

I have said this before and I’ll say this again. I would love to see at least another 15-30 seconds of autonomous. Although it has been quiet in the past (no robots moving some matches), it would put more weight on the autonomous section if the Auton/Total fraction of the game is increased a bit. Even if it isn’t it will increase the emphasis on programming which I think is lacking to many degrees.

On another note I think that there should also be a 4th robot. Similar to IRI I would like to see the top eight seeds pick up an extra robot. WHY? Because it will count as both your “back up bot” and it will also enable your team to play some CRAZY strategy. Also for those robots that get “knocked out” for one round and can’t be fixed in 30 seconds but a 1 minute, it will help those teams get ready for the next match without having to worry about having to sit out for the rest of the match.

Those are points that I see VERY VERY lacking in FRC because it makes autonomous less important for some teams because its only 15 seconds, and the strategy level will let even some of the lowest seeded teams reach the top because they are individually good at only a certain task.


Ideas that can really make an interesting game

1 - ‘Goals’ don’t start as red alliance or blue alliance, but must be captured in order to gain points.

2 - Limited vision of the field from the driver station. Human player has full vision, visual cameras on robots can be used.

3 - Field evolves as the competition (i.e. the regional/national) progresses.

4 - Different flooring…maybe something like you’d walk on in a country fair crazy house…spinning parts…If I would like to see anything interesting happen to the competitions, I would want to see a floor change.

5 - If Water becomes a possibility, use water as the game piece rather than an obsticle.

6 - Auto-mode at the end of the competition, rather than the beginning.

7 - More constructive robot-to-robot interaction, similar to the lifting robots bonus of Rack n’ Roll. Maybe learn from the A-Bomb from Aim High…

8 - A game that requires 60% gameplay, 40% robot…like Aim High was. It makes for much more exciting matches

9 - A game that, in good spirit and good fun, pits the experienced teams against the new teams.

10 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCkmqTFr1jg

I was thinking that I would love to see something getting built or stacked Because this is an aplicable idea. I was thinking that it would be fun to try and fill a hole or gap on a raise platform with blocks and then move the blocks to the otherside having crossed over.

I’m not going to post an overview of an entire game, just put out a few points that I’d like to see.

  1. Multiplying score or value of a game piece by completing a certain task.

  2. Bonus points at the end, but not enough to outweigh the efforts made in the first 1:30 of a match.

  3. Important autonomous, but not enough to overwhelm the alliance on the losing side of autonomous.

  4. Durable game pieces.

  5. If 4 isn’t possible, let them be cheap and abundant.

I was going to point out year numbers so people would know what I was refering to, but I figured that everyone on Chief Delphi knows what I’m talking about when I mention an overwhelming autonomous, especially the GDC.

dave-- Since you seem to be the visible spokesperson for the Game Committee, can I ask how the GDC figure out The Game and the general schedule of putting it together? Do you all sit around one lazy summer afternoon and say let’s do X-Y-Z, then type up a quick 150 pages of rules and call it a day? Everybody comes with their own favorite game idea and you arm-wrestle for the winner? Everybody procrastinates until Christmas then work 24/7 to the day before Kickoff? (Actually, I don’t think any of these are really possible, but ya never know!)

How far do you go testing the game? A secret crew builds a couple of robots? (I can imagine how secret that must be!) I hear stories of planning next year’s game before the Kickoff of this year’s game. I realize with the thousands of teens trying to find that one loophole I appreciate all the rules you have to go thru to make sure everything is covered. I’m amazed how you come up with a different game each year.

I don’t want any secrets of Next Year’s Game. I hear there’s some big party sometime after New Years that kicks off the build season, and I can wait. If it helps, use “Rack and Roll”’s or another previous game schedule to explain. Thanks.


PS: Regarding this:

Based on personal experience, “Be able to explain the game to my 83-year-old partially deaf father - over the phone.”

Other than that, thanks for creating some fun for those long winter nights!

I really don’t care too much about the implementation of this into a game but I miss games with more then one game element.

I would like to see a game with 2 very different items combined into one game. But make it 2 really different things. Like if you combined the balls from 2006 and the tubes from 2007 into 1 game. Making teams choose the type of robot they want to build while making it extremely difficult to do everything. This would also allow for more diverse types of alliances in the tournament as there will be a much more diverse field.

2008 - pool noodles and foam footballs :yikes:
2007 - tube <-one game object
2006 - balls <-one game object
2005 - tetras <- one game object
2004 - big and small balls and goals <—very good
2003 - totes <-one game object
2002 - soccar balls and goals <–okay

Here’s a game idea I developed just for the fun of it -

Playing field -
The game is played on a square field 32’ x 32’ by 4 teams of 2 robots.
Each alliance will be located on one of the 4 sides (see attached sketch)
A multi tiered scoring platform will be located mid field, made up of immovable and movable parts. (see attached sketch)
There will be 4 parts that are mobile with one assigned to each alliance.
A multi tiered immovable scoring structure will be located in each corner.
There will be speed bumps used to divide the playing field and to create the robot starting location (which also doubles as the bonus point zone)

The game pieces will be 12” and 18” inch traffic cones. 12” Yellow for autonomous and 18” Orange for the non-autonomous playing periods.

Each traffic cone will be marked with A, B, C, or D – to match each alliance team that will use them.

Scoring – with game pieces
The game has 3 playing periods with unique scoring rules as follows;
Autonomous period 15 seconds – successful scoring is counted by each alliance and cannot be de-scored during subsequent playing periods. Uniquely marked alliance game pieces will be used during this time period only – this cone will be placed on the robot prior to the start of the match.

All for one playing period (45 seconds) – All alliances will attempt to increase their score by working as one. The score is computed by adding all alliance scoring during this period.

Open scoring period (60 seconds) – the resultant score of both All for one and Open scoring time periods. De-scoring is allowed by removing game pieces from any alliance scoring zone, except from the mobile scoring platform.

Scoring – bonus points
If an alliance can successfully move their scoring crate into the designated bonus point area before the game ends, they will be awarded 20 bonus points.

Each alliance Open playing period scoring will be added to their Autonomous scoring and to the Accumulated all for one playing scoring, along with the bonus scoring.

Each team will be assigned QP values as follows
Highest accumulated score = 3 QP
2nd highest score = 2 QP
3rd Highest score = 1 Qp
Lowest score = 0 QP
In the case of a tie, each team tied will divide the QP points, for example;
Team A scored 54 pts = 3 QP pts
Team B and C scored 42 pts = 1.5 QP pts (2+1=3/2)
Team D scored 20 pts = 0 QP pts

Successful scoring and values –
Autonomous scoring of 12” Yellow cone occurs when the cone is;
Placed on top level Mid field platform = 10
Placed on corner scoring platform = 4
Placed in their alliance scoring crate = 6
Placed in opponent scoring crate = 3

Non-autonomous scoring of 18” Yellow cone occurs when the cone is;
Placed on top level Mid field platform = 5
Placed on corner scoring platform = 2
Placed in their alliance scoring crate = 3
Placed in opponent scoring crate = 0

Human players control the flow of the cones onto the playing field. Human players will pass one cone through a hole in the wall at a time – at a controlled rate of 1 every 15 secs. upon an audible signal.
All cones are able to be scored by either member of the team, regardless of which human player passed it onto the field of play.

game idea 2.xls (23 KB)

game idea 2.xls (23 KB)

I had another idea today…if the field floor was a smooth surface, you could use balls or other shape elements with super Velcro on them, and goal posts, like tall PVC poles, that you can stick the balls on. The poles could be incremented by heights and you get different points for the heights.

OMG, just spent 30 minutes typing a game and page went back :open_mouth:

anyway, i was inviting a game…

In general i would like to say that flying stuff is cool, weight limitations rasied would be nice, lifting bots is cool, mybe 2 autonomus rounds?