pic: 2013.5 Mock Game Pipefall

More information on our blog.

Interesting concept, stacking pipes around a pole. However, I would think that the pipes should be obtained from the human player similar to how robots got tetras in 2005. I say this because it seems extremely difficult to pick up a slick PVC pipe from the ground, especially if it might just roll away. It seems that if you don’t let teams get pipes from human players, rookie teams might have an exceedingly difficult time.

But looks like a lot of fun, and I would gladly have this be the game for 2015.

We thought about that but wanted to make the challenge harder (it is fake game after all). So many times the human player rules just get in the way. Also how do you easily hand over a pipe to a robot safely? The tetras required a crazy system that disabled your robot when you stepped off a mat, if we never have a system like that again in FRC I will be a happy man. The 2007 system, through the driver station window or over the top, doesn’t seem that much better. We also wanted the field easy to prototype for. If we built some kind of ramp for introducing them like this year it would be one more field element teams would need to build.

Looks interesting. I’d get rid of the Kinect and change hybrid to autonomous though. The Kinect and hybrid was pretty useless in 2012.

Also, what’s the point of different height scoring poles? It looks like scoring on the 10’ ones is worth the same as the shorter ones.

It wasn’t useful in 2012 because that game didn’t require movement in auton and you started with most of the game pieces that you were going to have in auton. You also had very limited time and only one per alliance. We think with a game that encourages more movement in hybrid we could see teams take advantage of the alternative interface to the robot.

They are worth the same. The idea is that the more scoring pieces that are scored the harder it is to score them. That means that instead of what happened in 2011 teams are encouraged to score higher at the end of the game not the beginning (similar to 2005). Teams can decide to score only on the lower poles but eventually they might all be full so having a robot that can go to the high poles on your alliance may be useful.

Simple solution. Cut 4" diameter holes in the driver station walls. Have human players feed them through those holes. Probably dedicate specific locations (corners?) for the task, and potentially have a protected loading zone.

It doesn’t really make the challenge too much easier, either, as the orientation of the pipes coming through the wall is different from the orientation the pipes must be scored in.

How many teams got pieces from the 2011 human players? (1503 and who else?). We also don’t like protected zones that cause ticky tack fouls.

So what you’re saying is you’re planning a takeover of the GDC to ensure a future of more interesting and challenging FRC games without ticky tack fouls…

We tried to stay true to a real FRC game but sometimes we just had to get
rid of a few of the more annoying things.

I did not read too carefully but I like that you chose to allow teams to possess as many pipes as they design for. I prefer that to games where teams are limited to 1, 3, 4 etc.

Best brickbot hybrid/first 5s strategy: Drive forward and shove all your opponent’s pipes into the corner.

We had a lot of debate about this. We wanted a mass quantity game like 09 and a single object game like 2011. We almost limited the number of large pipes but thought better of it. If you can design for it why should the game penalize you?

That’s why the pipes start on both sides of the field and some in the middle.

Horrible game design idea just popped into my head. I have to commend you for eschewing the “top scoring piece owns a goal, now make some combos” bonus system in this game. The less we remind the GDC of that style of bonus, the better.

The only one worse that we came up with was a bonus for the most length of pipe on a scoring peg. That would be disastrous for spectators.

I like this system because visually you should be able to get an idea of who is winning without real time scoring. Look at the field, are there more red or blue pipes scored? You won’t know exactly but you can get a general idea if the match is close or not.

How many teams got pieces from the 2013 human players? Why is 2011 the go to example? FRC teams has plenty of examples of how to pick up tubes from the 1997 and 2007 games. Throw them a game object they’ve never seen before, and they’re far more likely to load from a human player than anywhere else (see 1997, 2005, 2013). Especially if they can’t be lobbed across the field by the human player like they were in 2011.

Also, off the top of my head, 1218 also loaded from the human player in 2011.

And I’d rather have “ticky tack” fouls than make it borderline impossible for 30th percentile teams to load successfully.

Or just knock them all over and laugh as 50% of teams can no longer pick them up and re-orient them to score successfully.

This is great Allen! I’m sure well get to use it as a fall training tool for our newer kids. Thank you for providing such an interesting resource.

I hope I get to see a robot who can play this game at TRR. I mean there’s at least 6 weeks before then :wink:

Maybe I missed it on the blog or in the rules…but when is the actual competition?

There isn’t an actual competition. This is just an experiment. We use it to work on design iterations and brainstorming. We did it last year but kept the game private, this year we decided to release it.

Can’t tell if serious, or seriously FRC addicted…

Also, you forgot to ask when the Q&A Forum will be open. I mean, it’s been two whole days since the game release and there’s no Q&A Forum? I’m starting to reconsider Spectrum as a viable GDC substitute.

The Q&A is basically this thread. Also there has already been rule update and we didn’t even make people wait until Tuesday after kickoff. Though we didn’t announce it very well.