Offseason mock 2020 game: Unlimited Power

Hey all! On the plane home from Houston, I threw together an interpretation of what I think the 2020 FIRST RISE: Infinite Recharge challenge could be with a game I call Unlimited Power.

You can find a link to the game manual (with field CAD models) here.

I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of Unlimited Power, and welcome any feedback on how to make it a better game. I wanted to challenge myself to make a realistic, balanced game playable by all levels of teams that involves no game pieces and objective, mostly automated scoring.

Thank you for your time,
-Andrew

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Just an initial look at the game field I like how open the field looks for robots and it seems that views aren’t very obstructed from the point of view of the driver stations. For the audience, if you are sitting dead center, you can see all of the robots, but can’t see any of the objectives in the center panels, if you are sitting off to one side of the other, the panel obscures a good amount of the field and the objectives on the opposite panel.

Maybe if you made the slides on the left and right horizontal and leave the center one vertical, you could cut down on some of the height of the panels. and open up the view a bit.

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I’m always super impressed with your creativity when making these ideas

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After reading through the rules, this is a really cool game and amazing that you did this on the plane ride home. I did have some thoughts:

  • Rule G13 and R01 should be combined somehow to show the exact envelope that the robots can extend, I think this reads that if you reach out of your frame perimeter you can only go 40 inches up? but if you go vertical only you can go up to 150 inches?
  • I feel like there would be a lot of elevator bots again, I have to say I’m kind of sick of seeing them.
  • It’s really interesting that there is no separate game pieces for teams to gather, this is a pretty cool concept, has there been a game like that before?
  • For the VAWTs, I feel like a robot could be sitting there spinning one of these while not moving for 10s+ on the field, which might not be super fun to watch, especially if you have 4 robots just sitting and spinning. Maybe you could have robots drop of a minibot that would do the spinning itself?
  • What’s the purpose of the different levels of the elevator, is there any strategic benefit to going for the lower values? There doesn’t seem to be enough of a difference between the elevator levels.
  • I’m not really understanding the role of the human player, if the opposing alliances select different designations how do you determine which one gets assigned? Maybe I just didn’t read that right

Great job!

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  • It’s definitely a difficult concept to convey. Basically any extensions above 40" must be entirely within the frame perimeter at all times. Anything lower can extend outside the frame perimeter. The intent of this rule was to protect field elements such as the VAWTs from robot contact.
  • I had the same feeling, and spent a solid 20 minutes considering whether it would be worth it to have another “elevator” game. My final decision came from the idea that there are plenty of successful ways to play the game other than lifting objects, as well as the fact that any “elevator” would have a vastly reduced list of requirements from the normal, so there could be more creativity with the designs. I showed some friends the game a few days ago and some suggested some really good ideas I hadn’t even thought of that wouldn’t involve an elevator in the way we know it in FRC to achieve the objectives, and that made me feel better about going forward with the game.
  • I don’t believe so - from all games I’ve looked at, every one had movable game objects. Part of the challenge with no game pieces was not only creating an incentive to not just sit in one spot and score, but also to move across the field.
  • In theory yes, one could just sit at a field element and score continuously, though the intent was if I had balanced the game correctly, such a strategy would not be able to keep up with a robot actively moving around to different field elements to score. I’m unsure how well the listed cooldown periods are with accomplishing this, so more opinions are always welcome.
  • The different levels of the elevators offer a unique set of tradeoffs in play style and design choices. In order to physically lift an elevator to level 5 height, a robot must extend up to almost 4x its maximum starting height, a magnitude of extension I’ve yet to see in FRC. It would be easier to design for a shorter lift height and receive a couple less points. Depending on the design, it may also be significantly faster to go for a lower lift option. I also considered how easy it is to be defended while scoring an elevator, and the ability to push a robot out from under an elevator while they’re currently lifting it and cutting off the score early on, and thought that these would affect how teams approached the challenge.
  • The alliance has a single control board that all human players may collectively operate, so a single signal is sent from each side. Almost every year, the primary point of a human player is manually introducing game objects to the field, and without game objects in this game I wanted a way to allow human players to influence the field in a more strategic way. I envision in this game human players being strategic liaisons between alliances for field-level strategies.

Regarding your earlier post - you’re right about the skyline blocking the view depending on the height and angle of the viewer - I had not considered that initially. It makes me dislike the skyline a bit in hindsight, as one of my largest complaints about Destination: Deep Space was the poor sightlines for everyone. I had initially designed around making sure drivers could see everything they needed to, but I think with his new perspective I would possibly make the skyline out of clear polycarbonate, or change the geometry in a way that would make it more spectator-friendly.

Thank you for the input!

This is amazing!

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love this game design, the starting config leads to some interesting design constraints

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