The Design Behind Recycle Rush

What did we complain about the most last year?

  1. Bumpers
  2. Violent Gameplay
  3. Disproportionate Penalties
  4. Referee Fatigue
  5. Single Gamepiece to manipulate
  6. Dead gametime where robots have nothing to do

What did FIRST try to do in this game? Remove/fix everything we complained about. You could say that this game has a community driven design behind it. What are your thoughts?

Careful what you wish for…

My only complaint about this game is that it prohibits opposing alliance robot contact. The violence wasn’t caused by having contact between opposing alliances, but rather the amount of “open-flat-field” defense time that was available to an alliance partner without a ball. Plus, 6 CIMs.

Except they went too far in the other direction (especially regarding the violent gameplay and single gamepiece) and forgot what the ‘C’ in FRC stands for.

I agree totally. People are complaining about the gaming turning non-contact, but its basically what they asked for. FIRST may have taken the solutions to the problems listed to an extreme instead of finding a happy medium, but there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. I am on a FIRST team to design, build, and showcase a robot that can complete a challenge–not to compete in a competition. As far as I’m concerned, anything after Bag&Tag is extra. A welcome and fun extra, but still not my main purpose for being a part of FRC.

From a design and strategy standpoint, I think this is the most difficult out of the three most recent games that i have participated in. I am looking forward to the challenge, even if the results aren’t as visually spectacular to spectators as previous years.

The icing on the metaphorical cake of build season is wowing and entertaining the crowd, and that was the icing on the metaphorical cake of being on the drive team too. But we may entertain our spectators in different ways this season. Nobody knows how fun this game will be until we actually see matches. I felt similarly about Aerial Assist at the beginning of the 2014 season, but it turned out to be very entertaining to watch when competitions were in full swing.

Do you think Recycle Rush will not be a competitive game?

I think watching teams of machines work out logistics puzzles, and build towers that could topple at any moment, will be quite engaging visually. Like watching Curly, Larry, and Moe carry stacks of dinner plates through a crowded kitchen.

You miss one point about how it is completely in line with the previous game. This is about getting the teams to work together, 3 robots 2 scoring platforms, 1 landfill. The winning team will the one that is able to run a smooth workflow of moving playing pieces and stacking them without getting in each others way.

Would you say skiing, weightlifting, diving, running, gymnastics, golf, or any other score or time based non head to head sports are not competitive? Competition does not always mean directly facing an opponent. This year instead of competing against only 3 teams at a time, you’re working against the entire field of competitors at one time. It is my belief that in many ways this makes this year’s challenge MORE competitive- instead of simply working your strengths and exploiting the weaknesses of the opposing alliance, you must use all your craft, skill, and experience to help your alliance partners succeed if you wish to succeed yourself. This year, you can’t default the weakest robot in your alliance to “go play defense”, they’ll have to serve some kind of offensive purpose to maximize your score to rise in the rankings, and win in the eliminations.

In 2010, VRC did clean sweep, where teams were largely on their own on either side. Now, the game had a little more interaction than this game allows for (going back and forth, etc.), but it was one of my favorite games to date.

  • Sunny G.

The matches themselves won’t be competitive.

I had this reaction at first, but after rereading the rules I can’t find a rule that explicitly disallows contacting opposing robots. G18 is about not contacting anything beyond the Step, but allows for contact with other Robots, the figure below it even shows that example.

Some may say that this game is going to be the hardest to design for, but in reality it’s probably one of the easiest. So many will try to over complicate the solution but really, they made this years game so easy for us. Everyone just has to open there eyes and see that what we have to create has already been done before, we just need to modify it. This game doesn’t need and fancy tricks or creative end-effectors…it needs to be a scaled down garbage truck. Simple as that.

Sure the concept is simple, but it will be a challenge to design bots that can quickly move stacks of 3 or more totes. This year’s game objects are heavier than recent seasons, but the ability to add more motors could contribute to some teams’ success in object maneuverability. You just gotta do the math first.