What do you think would be a good game piece/scoring mechanism?

What object do you think would make a good challenge as a game piece or a scoring mechanism, and why? It should be an interesting engineering challenge and a good spectacle. For me it would be something like a balloon. Balloons themself are too fragile, but something durable filled with air so that it is light and super floaty. As for a scoring mechanism, something where you have to grab a game piece from a distance. Maybe you drop a hook down and try to grab a piece and then score it.

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When you look back at past game pieces inflatable is a common theme like rings, triangles, the cubes last year or inflatable balls. Typically it’s that same kind of PVC material that’s a little slippery but durable.

Look through the previous game animations and you should see what I mean and the various types that have been used before.

I always liked the idea of a small cylinder object being a game piece. It’s wobbly when upright and not squared off so you have to build a mechanism that can adjust more or only pick it up in a certain orientation possibly. Cylinders also don’t have any hard edges for intake wheels to grab easily.

I also was a big fan of the gears in 2017 as a unique shape and a precision placement needed as opposed to a floaty piece you could throw from a distance.

for non custom inflatable game pieces, I’ve always liked that FIRST seems to use general use gym sports balls, like 2020-2021 using gator skin dodge balls, 2017 using essentially knock off wiffle balls, or the throwing discs in 2013 (IIRC?). I remember even the red and blue tennis balls from 2022 being available in regular tennis ball yellow from Walmart under their Athletic brand (I didn’t confirm this, but the construction and feel of the ball was very similar).

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Anything with rollers.

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An American football or similar, preferably with a goal that is sufficiently high or remote that the ball must be thrown or otherwise launched.

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Batons. Relay or twirling, both for maximum annoyance.

I always wanted a game with a large number of small objects executed well where the scoring was done via mass. Think golf balls, racket balls, baseballs, or softballs.

This could also be done with a non-SGO (Spherical Gaming Object)
Beverage cans
Food cans
Plastic beverage bottles
Fidget spinners
Those little multi pack cereal boxes

I know there was weakly executed version of this in 2017 where it only mattered very late in the season due to unbalanced scoring, but I want to see them get it right in a game design.

For a while I thought we might get inner tubes or giant exercise balls again, but I think those are retired for a while because teams have them well figured out and they haven’t been used since 2011 and 2014 respectively.

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As for game pieces or concepts I would like to see on an FRC field. I would love to see stacking game objects onto pallets, and then moving pallets into scoring positions. Ala 2015 with stacking crates… but… you know… with less of the problems 2015 apparently had ( that was before my time.)

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I would like to see swerve modules used as the game piece, and 6 of them should be packed in each KOP.

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Stuff animals and plastic fake fruit/veggies. Make a farm game.

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I want something like a Nerf dart. It would be a high volume shooter game and you would need to serialize the darts so that the pointy end is facing the right direction

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Footballs

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At this point I am convinced this gampiece will never be used by FIRST, just because the community has wanted footballs for so long. :disappointed:

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Maybe FIRST is just waiting for that NFL sponsorship.

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Beanbags. Would require very different manipulation mechanisms.

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We kind of did that with the Floppies in 1997.

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Team 1540 puts on an off season event every year called BunnyBots, where they come up with a new simpler game for the fall. It always has stuffed bunnies involved, and typically not uniform bunnies. Sometimes teams can bring their own, sometimes they just use a pile of random ones they have. I do like the stuffed animals, the random shapes and sizes. It can cause quite a bit of chaos when ears get sucked into drive trains, or you try to pick up one that’s too fat for your intake, etc. For FRC they’d likely need to standardize the size and shape, or have a set variety, but I do like the idea for a full FRC game too!

And in case you haven’t heard and are interested, they make the game rules available for other teams to put on their own event, I think there are a few other places running BunnyBots now. You can find more info here… BUNNYBOTS — Team 1540 | The Flaming Chickens

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Less bunny more goat. AndyMark Goat - AndyMark, Inc

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I’d like to see a “Bop-it” game where the field is the elements; instead of stacking or throwing stuff, teams manipulate levers, wheels, and other things on the field to score points. The WoF in 2020 was an attempt to do one part of this but it was cut short and undervalued, and it was only one thing. Would love to see this happen at a larger scale.

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