So I was pondering the news for the past week, and I have come across an idea that would definitely fit the GDC’s mold of going outside the box to mess with our minds:
Think, what event was recently in the news concerning NASA? That’s right, finding water on the moon.
Now, before you say “Oh no, not another person dreaming up a water game”, consider this:
Imagine, if you will, a two-liter soda bottle, filled about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with water or any other type of liquid. This creates a game piece with, you guessed it, dynamic characteristics. Now imagine several dozen of those, and you have the basis for my idea. After this, the goal could be as simple as hording those pieces and attempting to steal them from the other alliance, or building something with them. We all know the challenges that can be faced with handling an object with predictable traits (center of gravity, force required to move it, etc.), now imagine having to do that all over again with objects that can shift in transit. Add to this the low-friction floor that we saw last year (created to simulate the low gravity of moon driving), and you have what could be a team’s biggest nightmare in terms of engineering, but quite a thrill to watch and play.
Quote from Dave: “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those dang kids!”.
Forget sand or water and plastic bottles. Just take a PVC tube, stick a ball bearing inside and cap each end. Instant cheap scoring object that everyone can make as many of as they want. No mess and dynamically changing COG. Make some short, make some longer for different point values, etc. No more scavenger hunts at WalMarts for the illusive orbit balls, etc. either. Kind of like this: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/22847
Admittedly thin-skinned inflatables don’t last too long around robots, even when they are being careful… but I like the off-centre COG concept.
Although, when you were mentioning “finding water on the moon”, I was expecting a contest to see how fast a robot could smash into the end wall… the team mates would have to analyze the results before they, too, were smashed into the wall.
Speaking of which, I’m sure the whole idea behind the mission was a bunch of engineers sitting around going “wouldn’t it be cool to smash a rocket into the moon as fast as we can?” and then going “so how could we JUSTIFY doing it?”
I seem to remember that much of that discussion centered around inflatable clowns on staircases. Stairs did show up a few years later. So it would seem that the only part not yet realized from that original concept would be the inflatable clowns. Which, I would point out, float very nicely.
evil little man…
No, they don’t float nicely. They have weighted bottoms. They may “bob” nicely, but that’s another story…and the version of the clown game I like wasn’t on stairs. It was the one where you stuffed as many into an old VW Beetle body in the center of the field as possible. Now, no one ever said the clowns couldn’t go in a boat instead, though, but I digress…
I can see dynamic game pieces being a really cool game piece. Even if we didn’t use sand or water, there are endless possibilities for this (think - JELLO!). Just filling a PVC pipe with beads and superglue-ing the caps on would give the same effect. The same could be done with, say, a Haagen-Dazs cup…