Kinda going to shotgun this, it’s personal, you may not agree with everything, blah blah blah…
- Start early
- Maintain an open mind regarding possible designs and strategies
- Start on paper first
- Develop many designs
- Design starting with the manipulator, working your way down to the drive
- Test and iterate on your design as often as you can
- Work with your programmers to consider sensors in your design upfront, integrating them in as the design develops
- Reach out for help when you need it
- Play the game as intended
- Underestimate what a newcomer can bring to the table
- Be afraid to get input from the community, other VEX teams, etc
- Come into this with deep predispositions, every game is different (it’s the GDC’s job to ensure this)
- Go off looking for that “one design that does x”
- Try to find as many loopholes or unintended strategies as you can looking for a way to “cheat” the game
Now for a few ramblings…
Is a really really REALLY big problem right now
In short, VEX has shown itself to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of design convergence. It kind of makes since, the GDC lays down a challenge each year and instantly mandates ten-thousand-some-odd people to design a robot to do essentially the exact same task. Some convergence is going to happen. However, in my opinion teams that go out looking for the winning design before actually trying to develop their own home grown strategy and design are circumventing the design process. It’s against the spirit of VEX and it only serves to limit what you can get out of this program.
My suggestion is to start fresh, turn off YouTube, grab pen and paper and a whiteboard and go at it. Use your first competition to test the waters, see if whatever you’ve come up with works, then and only then should you look around to see what others have done.
Modding PTC’s and/or Over-Volting Batteries
IE blatantly cheating
You are the scum of the Earth if you do this. And yes it is happening at all levels of the competition. You are ruining something very good and turning a trustworthy community against itself when you contribute to this problem. This year the RECF sent a clear message, ANY team caught doing this is going to pay for it dearly. The random pit inspections and the not so random field inspections yielded lots of infractions. Some teams even tried to be clever about this and were still caught.
The simple fact of the matter is, it is shockingly easy to test for these kinds of modifications. You are going to get caught. Don’t do it. And teams that think that they have to “up” their game because “everyone else is doing it,” A. Most of the community isn’t doing this, B. the RECF is cracking down, this isn’t likely to be an issue much longer and C. this game is not about winning, cheating to keep up is just plain cheating. DON’T DO IT!
Is bloody freaking awesome. I love it, Camaron loves it, lots of my friends mind’s are already spinning. It’s got some roots in previous VEX games, capping the goals in Elevation, the size and manipulation of game elements is similar to Gateway, etc.
But the overwhelmingly different thing about Skyrise is the highrise. It’s worth a lot of points, it’s an easy concept but it comes with a tough set of design requirements. In short it’s THE challenge and those who can rise up to this challenge will almost surely succeed.
I’ve never seen the RECF drop such a bombshell of a tough goal, ever. This game is going in the history books and I cannot wait to see some of the crazy robots that get built this year.
Stuff to consider
- The field is very open this year, lots of space to maneuver, a Holonomic’s wonderland
- The highrise is more or less an eff-off zone. It’s protected, good to know
- Scoring on the highrise is more valuable than anywhere else (4pts v/s 3pts for capped & 2pts for non-capped)
- After (AND ONLY AFTER) that capping goals becomes the challenge (basically Elevation)
- The pegs are 1.12 lbs, and seemed a little bottom heavy to me
- The cubes are strong, I wouldn’t worry about breaking them
- It takes three scored highrise pegs or cubes to beat an autonomous bonus, you definitely want to win the autonomous bonus
- No real end-game, nothing particularly match upsetting in the last 30 seconds, means we can focus on playing the game until the end
- 9 scoring elements are available to teams to pre-load in predetermined positions @ match start (7x pegs, 2x cubes) 36 pts total
- The center stack of cubes can be plowed (forcefully randomized) just like in Gateway
I see scissors, lots of them, with a lot of play. I see six wheels, four wheels and holonomics. I see a lot of teams potentially falling over. I see an exciting game, like Round Up where no one true design dominates. I see at least two off-the-wall designs emerging that blows everyone’s minds.
All in all I see an exciting, long, fun, hard year. Bravo GDC, RECF and VEX Robotics for yet again bringing us a new endeavour.
Good luck everyone, enjoy your summer! -Cody