Why do we care about the game hints?

I would like to start this post off by saying that each year, I follow the craziness of the game hints (who doesn’t!?). Its a major part leading up to every FRC season.

Each year, we try to read between the lines to find out what FIRST is trying to tell us. We spend hours hitting F5, waiting for the next guy’s 2 cents. But why? Nothing will ever be more than speculation (until kickoff, that is). For all of the ideas that we throw out there, maybe 1 in 20 is kind of relevant to what the game ends up being. And even if someone were to guess the game, what would they do? They can’t start building their bot early. Its still only a guess. It would more than likely be a waste of time.

So for everyone out there, why do YOU (or don’t you) follow the game hints? Is there something in these hints that I just don’t get.

What else is there to do in December (besides finals, shoveling snow, and polish off prototypes while doing Fantasy FIRST)?

Besides, I think this xkcd will sum it up quite well: http://xkcd.com/356/ See the first frame.

Teaching rookies, build a kitbot, practice driving the kitbot, design a custom drivetrain. Just to name few.

It’s all in good fun, try not to overthink it. I think EricH summed it up quite well with the xkcd comic.

If you enjoy winter, you get excited about the first snowfall.

If you like FRC, you get excited when you start getting the first glimpse of the new season.

That’s how I look at it anyway.

To me game hints are like robot teasers. Much ado about nothing and I ignore both.

It gives me something to be a grumpy old man about.

I love to watch the analysis progress. The individual brains acting in uncoordinated unison achieving more than any individual could.

Sometimes you hope you can actually figure out the game…

I’d say just the entertainment value. There’s something oddly lovable about seeing hundreds of minds go off in every single directing (Including a few who always manage to link to a water game XD) and just see where it all goes. It’s quite fun to partake in, because even with the wildest idea, if you explain it correctly people will see your view and maybe even validate it.

I enjoy the game hints because it means we are close to a new season of FRC. I like following what others say for amusement, but I have never really taken them seriously. We will all find out the game at the same time, so figuring it out beforehand really doesn’t do much (other than give the people who figured it out a sense of satisfaction). Some of the more serious discussions are interesting, and then many tohers are based off of over-analyzed words like “mull”. I do think it would awesome to be on the GDC and know that the sanity of thousands of people rests in your hands, and then watch the discussions on crazy hints that you release!

I guess the short answer is: fun. But realistically, there isn’t much a point.

And to the person who figured out mini-bots from “locomotion” last year…mad props. But we still all found out the same information at the same time :stuck_out_tongue:

Game Hints first and foremost are an excellent way to get new recruits excited for the upcoming season.

For some of us, The Game Hint is enough to give us a ‘feel’ for the new game. Maybe we can figure out that we’re using an arm, or will need to climb a ramp, etc, and we’ll design hypothetical mechanisms around them just to keep our skills sharp.

Okay, I will say that last year some of us mananged to link the picture of “Little Eva” to WALL-E’s girlfriend EVA, and then leap to the conclusion of a mini-bot. However, there were no real details about the game beyond that.

And in 2007, some people managed to perceive the idea of inner tubes from the red (or was it blue?) coloring around the diamond plate target number. Again, no real details about the game.

Has anyone anywhere EVER managed to figure anything out substantial from any of the clues?

I do it for the comedy. It’s funny seeing the non-serious ideas that get tossed around.

Even though it hasn’t happened yet, it could happen. Such is the foolish way of the hopeful.

This is second hand information, but:

In 2002, apparently teams were given a BOM for one of the mobile goals, but no instructions as to how to build it as a hint. Teams who competed in 2001 were familiar to some extent with FRC style mobile goals. Some teams were able to build a relatively accurate mobile goal and began prototyping grabbing mechanisms around the parts.


Mr Needel Was pretty close in 2007

For me its just the fun of it.

Games hints most of the time are hard to interpret and honestly don’t give you a leg up, but it helps get you in the spirit of things and excited, for whats coming up.

The best part about figuring out the game hints are after the game is released and played you get to look back at the crazy responses that people post. Then you get to see who was the closest or furthest away from the actual hint.

Ah, good, someone linked to what the clue was!
Some time after kick-off (may have been a year later, for all my mind can remember), I was chatting with Woodie about this clue. He said that, at the time, they were tempted to release a series of clues, spaced out every few days:

  • The number 5
  • The number 4
  • The number 3
  • And to really throw everyone off, the number 7!

Can you imagine how many ways the brain trust of this audience would have gone with those numbers?:rolleyes: