[WRRF]: Cal Games Weekly: Updating our progress!

Hi folks!

After listening to suggestions from our Saturday meeting, we’ve realized the need improve communication between the planning group and the community. So, starting today, there will be a weekly newsletter updating every team and everyone on the progress of the planning effort.

Each issue of the newsletters will include short summaries from folks in charged of various aspects of Cal Games. We will hear from groups like registration, awards manufacturing, side event, publicity, and we will hear from folks like the Head Ref and lead inspector on current progress, major concerns, and things they need from the community.

The goal is to make it clear for the bay area FIRST community (that means you!) to understand just how we are doing, and what we need from the community. We will also have a separate section for questions and polls on various issues to help us shape the event for the teams.

So, please read the newsletters, please speak your mind, particularly in responds to questions and polls, because that’s what we need you to do.

Thanks so much! Hope to hear from everyone!

-Ken Leung
06’ Cal Games Manager

Hi folks!

Topics of this issue of Cal Games weekly include:

1. Planning Overview: “It’s now four months into Cal Games planning”
2. Registration
3. Awards Manufacturing
4. Side Events
5. Field Elements
6. Setup and Logistics

1. Planning Overview: "It’s now four months into Cal Games planning"

We've now spent a little more than 3 months into the planning of California Robot Games 2006.  More than 88 individuals showed up at a planning meeting one time or another, and hundreds' of e-mails were sent and received in the name of Cal Games planning.  Yup, it's been an exciting summer so far!

We got a lot of the details figured out: location, time, the game, number of teams, registration fee; there are now 6 individuals willing to step up to the plate to take leadership positions.  Having said that, we need more!  We need individuals to become group leaders for side event, event logistic & setup, and we need folks to take initiative for team queuing, field reset, volunteer coordination, and the pit admin table.

Take a look at the planning overview attached to this message.  There are 5 remaining questions that needs to be worked out in the months to come (awards, side events, display/demos, concession, field electronics), with only 6 of the 21 leadership positions filled.  We can't move forward because we need folks to take initiative and ownership of every aspect of Cal Games!  

If you have some free time on your hand, if you want to see Cal Games return successfully, then please let Ceal (ceal@wrrf.org) and I  know you want to help.  We've gained a lot of momentum since May; we've gotten a lot done.  Let's not stop here with only two and a half months to go.  

Let's go folks!  It's Game time!

-Ken Leung
06’ Cal Games Manager

2. Registration- Lead by Phyllis Schmit (team 1351)

Current progress: Registration announcement and reminder have now been sent, and are available at: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48294. There are now 4 teams registered for Cal Games (Yeah!!).

**Major concerns: ** If you intend to register but need to wait until school re-opens to get a school check sent, please notify us anyway with all the info. To guarantee a slot a personal check can be sent with instructions that a school check will be sent to replace it by September 1st.

What we need the community to do: Register for Cal Games, or send us intention to register. Remember, if we don’t have enough teams (24) registered by 9/1, we won’t have the full Cal Games event.

3. Award Manufacturing- Lead by Team 115

Current progress: There is now a plan to manufacture the awards in Monta Vista High School, where Team 115 is located at. Mr. Shinta, team 115’s advisor, will be helping the students with woodworking, and sources for the silicon wafers, mats for the backing, plaques, and glasses are being researched and followed-up.

Major concerns: None.

What we need the community to do: The number of awards will need to be decided we can move ahead with the plan. The number will be decided by the planning committee, but not before the community give us some feedbacks on a few questions. Please see the “Question and polls” section for the questions regarding awards.

  1. Side Event(s)- Lead by None.

**Current progress: ** We are still in the stage of deciding what side events we will have on the day of the event, if any.

**What we need the community to do: ** We need feedbacks on a few questions from our side events discussion. Please see the “Question and polls” section for questions regarding side events.

5. Field elements: Lead by Dave Sheridan (Team 776)

Current progress: We are in the stage of gathering field elements from the bay area FIRST community. There will soon be a visit to NASA Ames to check on the condition of their field. Research on materials and cost for additional elements will begin shortly. The effort to gather balls for the game will also be lead by Dave Sheridan.

**Major concerns: ** We may need a “practice day” to put together the playing field and field elements to see if every thing fit together before we ship them to Pioneer High School.

**What we need the community to do: ** We need folks let us know what field elements (center goal, ramps, etc) you have available for us to use as soon as possible!

6. Setup and Logistic: Lead by Ken Leung

**Current progress: ** We are still gathering group leaders for the setup & logistic planning. Alvin Cheng (team 581) and Randy Lam (team 1458) have volunteered to be a part of this, but we need more! As soon as we have a small group of folks (5-6), we will begin inventorying our supplies, and pay a visit to Pioneer High School to start drawing floor plans and setup procedures.

Major concerns: None.

**What we need the community to do: ** We need folks to volunteer to help us work out all the details from renting trucks to laying down carpets on the Friday of the event!

Thanks so much, hope to hear from everyone!

-Ken Leung
06’ Cal Games Manager

Cal Games 06 overview v3.pdf (46.5 KB)

Cal Games 06 overview v3.pdf (46.5 KB)

This is a separate section of the Cal Games Weekly for questions and polls on various issues, questions that help us shape the event for the teams.

So, please take your time to read through them, and speak your mind. The feedbacks from you will have major impacts on the decisions made by the planning committee for Cal Games.

This issue will include questions for the following topics:
1. Awards
2. Side Events
3. Practice Rounds
4. Alliance Selection

**1. Awards: **

There are a huge number of suggestions for side events at Cal Games. They include:

Award Possibilities (not committed yet!)
o Wacky Awards
o Unusual KOP use
o Best use of “Off-the shelf” items
o Autodesk Inventor
o Best video why you should join FIRST or come to CalGames
o Play of the Day
o Rookie Awards (Rookie in 2006 FIRST, or Rookie at Cal Games)
o Safety Award
o Gracious Professionalism or Sportsmanship Award
o Judges Awards (if we can obtain judges & sponsors!)

Traditionally we’ve had about 14-15 awards for Cal Games. 6 for the winner and finalists of the main game, and the rest for side events and in game performance, plus a few for rookie teams. Even though it takes time and money to manufacture awards, we have always been proud of the qualify of our awards. They are of the coolest things in previous Cal Games.

The award manufacturing group (team 115) informed us they need the number of awards to move ahead with their plans. We have to narrow down the suggestions so the planning group can make a decision. So, we need feedbacks for the following question:

On a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being the least important, 5 being the most important, how important are the following types of award to you and your team?

A. Game performance awards (ie. Most balls scored during autonomous mode, most balls scored by human players)
B. Team performance awards (ie. Gracious Professionalism award, Safety award)
C. Robot awards (ie. Unusual KOP use award, creativity award)
D. Side events awards (ie. awards for the winner and finalist of the side events)
D. Judges Awards (ie. team spirit, team imagery)
E. Autodesk Awards (ie. animation/inventor)

If there is a certain type of awards you strongly prefer (rated 4 or 5), please tell us what award(s) you hope to see for that category.

2. Side Events:

There are a huge number of suggestions for side events at Cal Games. They include:

o VEX challenge
o Ramp climb
o Distance throw with accuracy
o Replicate another robot’s actions
o Obstacle course, timed
o Obstacle course using previous year’s elements with Aim High Robot (level
playing field for drivers!)
o Number of balls in 10 seconds, accurately
o Number of balls picked up in X seconds

Traditionally, side events are difficult to manage, and not every team get to participate in them because of the regular matches. They can also be a distraction from the main game. However, they can be good spectator sports, or crowd pleaser, like the Truck Pull from 2002. There are many great suggestions, but we need to make a decision one way or the other. To help us make the decision for side event(s), we need feedbacks for the following questions:

A. Is it worth the effort to have side event(s) at Cal Games this year? Yes or no to side events? If yes, how many side events(1-3)?

B. If we have side events Friday evening, would your team participate in them (assuming there is a team social or some sort Friday evening)?

C. What type of side event do you prefer: spectator sports (ie. obstacle course with practice robot for spectators to drive), crowd pleaser (ie. Truck pull), or a challenge for teams (ie. The ones suggested above)? You can also answer “I prefer all three just the same” or “I prefer none of them”.

3. Practice round in qualification rounds:

This question was raised during the 7/8 meeting. If we have 6 qualification matches Saturday morning, would it be worth it to make one of the 6 matches a practice match?

Pros for a practice round: So teams can test out their robots and shooters in the lighting condition of the Pioneer High School gym.
Pros for 6 Qualification match: Simply more match for teams to play.

So, the question is: Do you want 5 qualification rounds and 1 practice round, or 6 qualification rounds and 0 practice round?

4. Alliance selection:

This question was raised during the 7/8 meeting. FIRST implemented a new alliance selection system for the 2006 game, Aim High. The number 1 alliance gets to choose their partner first, while the number 8 alliance gets to choose their second partner first. This is different from the older format, when the number 1 alliance used to choose their second partner before everyone else.

So, the question is: Do you want to keep the alliance selection process from Aim High, or do you want to see it return to the older format?

Thanks so much, hope to hear from everyone!

-Ken Leung
06’ Cal Games Manager