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

Just one word-


Inflatable punching clowns

see attached

(For the young’uns this game was originally submitted to this board in 2003)

Send In the Clowns.doc (50 KB)

Send In the Clowns.doc (50 KB)

I dunno – sounds kinda scary to me! :smiley:

How about all the robots getting in the one clown car at the end?

I’ve met Jack. He is an unstable air-head and he flip-flops under pressure.

:eek: :yikes: :eek: :yikes: :eek:

I know him too- that one guy usually in a knock down-drag out with the team but he’s always pumped up for competition…


Man, how did I miss this post?! It wasn’t up on the portal whenever I was looking…

If anything’s still open for suggestion/discussion, here’s a couple of things I’ve been thinking about for a while now:

1.) Model the 2006-2007 FTC competition finals for alliance selection – one additional robot to serve as the backup robot as well as rotate in/out, as mentioned above. It could definitely help save some time for repairs and help broaden alliance strategies.

2.) Have a part of the field that only one type of robot can get to. We see all kinds of drive trains but too often teams go with simple tank drive with 4-6 traction wheels simply because it’s, well simple. How about a lake of marbles that simulates driving on ice? Good luck getting around that thing without large, wide wheels or tank tread! The lake of marbles was an excellent demonstration of the different drive trains during a VEX obstacle course we set up for people to play during a local town festival.

3.) Less possibility of an accidental reach-over from the human player. Geez, the finger accidentally broke the plane while throwing a tube onto the field, why penalize everyone by shutting the robot off completely?

4.) Autonomous consists of switches that are set high (~10 feet) or in an obscured area, and require fairly accurate manipulation of a [game piece] the robots do not start off with. To score in autonomous, the game pieces must be removed or manipulated – as an example, a switch must be flipped, a rotational lever turned, canister relocated, etc. The alliances get a [1 + #objectives/(roll of dice)] scalar to their non-end-game score based upon how many objectives they complete. Let’s face it, a big endgame provides something simple for rookie teams to do but an inversely-proportioned auton leaves veteran teams feeling like they have unused skills. Oh yea, and the starting zones for the robots changes every match. Easiest way to do this is to draw the lines based upon a random angle for the starting positions using lasers mounted on top of the alliance stations.

5.) There could also be a red/blue safe zone that exsists where the teams may gather game pieces for scoring that are worth more than the typical game piece, with 1 caveat: the entire robot must fit under a 2-3 foot overhang to get to this area. No opposing-alliance robot may enter or break the plane of this area, and no pieces may be retrieved from this area without first going underneath the overhang. This area is on the side of the audience so that they may see the robots shrink down to fit under the bridge. The entrance of the bridge also has an auton. light guiding a robot to it, however the gamepieces within may not always be in the same spot.

I had an idea for the game pieces. Not anything more really.

FIRST has done big and awkward, how about something small and irregular? something that requires a lot of fine control- Like a hockey puck. If you think about it, it’s perfect. They can be ordered in bulk, they’re cheap (a dollar each) , which was a complaint about the track balls this year. for the price of one trackball, you can get 100 pucks, probably more then enough.

You can also get them with screening- so you could have red faced pucks and blue faced pucks, or green vision pucks…

The only drawback I could see is that a human player throwing one could be a little more dangerous then foam balls or such. Or a robot shooting them. but you could design a game where shooting them would not help at all.

Also, they have an irregular shape- can’t just build a roller based system like many teams did in 2006. Or perhaps you can. But it would probably require a little more work.

A few ideas on how you could design a game: Have a ramp that the robot has to drive up to dump the pucks into a slot- which then feeds them back to a human player via a ramp.

Or have puck dispensers that dispense pucks at different times in the game- for fun you could set them to randomize- and teams have to gather the most pucks and set them in them to movable platforms on the field- think a 4 ft hexagon with a bucket in the middle. This adds a defensive aspect as well- you can move the goal away from your opponent, they can move it towards another robot on their alliance, so on and so forth.

The electronic scoring could be simple too- a little scale to weigh how many pucks are in each bucket. divide by the weight of a puck, voila!

So there’s your conglomeration of random thoughts on hockey pucks in FIRST.

and one more thing- a puck with a FIRST logo would be a great souvenir of a tournament for anybody…