Feedback on Live Remote Head to Head Competition

I hope you all were able to view the REC Foundation Town Hall to announce the Live Remote Head to Head Competition. We will be posting the video of the Town Hall soon. As I said at the conclusion of the Town Hall, the RECF Foundation and VEX Robotics is looking for your feedback! Please share your thoughts on this thread. And please keep it professional!

Dan Mantz
CEO REC Foundation


@DanMantz @DRow The Webinars are very good but the software that they are using hasn’t worked for me and other teams that I’ve talked with multiple times. For what you all are doing I think that a simple live stream on Youtube or Twitch would suffice and they could use a separate system for Q&A’s. Which I think they are already doing anyway.


My first impression is that it’s unfair to people that don’t have space to setup a full field


Isn’t the virtual event similar to having 4 bots do a modified skills challenge at once?

Also, how are you guys able to inspect fields and robots virtually? For example teams can set their goal slightly higher than usual for easier cycle. Teams can also potentially hide a motor with polycarbs. Is there any plans to deal with these situations?


I see a potential problem:

This game was meant to be a swing game. but since there is no longer a point to descoring, and there is no longer any way for you to loose points, you essentially have 2 minutes to fill only 9 short goals. This is preposterously easy, even easier than skills before the update. It also takes away even more from the design aspect of the robot, because now any half-decent robot can do everything it needs to. There will be nothing to differentiate the skill of most teams except for sheer luck with partners and opponents.


I guess the new goal for the game is to touch all 9 goals at once, since touching it will double the scores obtained. It might be interesting for teams to design crazy tether bots, which most likely won’t be seen in the original change up game


I know the recf is trying their best, but it feels like everything was rushed. How are you going to check the plastic limit? What’s stopping everyone from making a 19” x 19” x 19” vrc bot (or bigger)? There’s no longer a reason to care about defense, so torque in drivetrain is out the window for all purposes aside from increasing acceleration, and that doesn’t matter anyways cuz there’s no way to see how many motors someone has (or additional electronics undetectable by the brain) because of decorations a team might have in place. Not much incentive to work on intakes, since descoring is significantly less relevant; hoarding is now pointless; etc etc etc etc etc etc

Even without the potential for cheating, where did the design challenges go…?

Quite frankly, I professionally hate what has been done with this game : )


I missed the webinar but read over this: VRC & VIQC 20-21 - Live Remote Head-to-Head Rules Modifications thread. I couldn’t find who owns a goal if its a tie, but it’s entirely possible I missed the part where this is explained. I assume if it is a tie no one owns the goal?

this is the only thing I like. I wish they could have just added this as an extra challenge for normal skills matches.

but I think it will be pretty easy to touch all 9 goals, just have some string and plop it down touching all the goals lol.

if this was all they changed it would’ve been fine
aside from all the other flaws involved with a virtual competition

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How are they even going to be able to score matches if the goals are different?

So, the meta devolves to either having the tether wheels suggested early this season released at all eight outside goals, or when that is ruled illegal, the team that manages to tether two robots into one to control two separate goals.

I mean, I don’t envy the RECF’s position in trying to make a game work during these times, and although I don’t think that this “better than nothing” solution is worth it, I can’t think of anything else much better for the RECF to do that involves head-to-head matches.


If the RECF is going to have 2v2 like this, they might as well remove 2v2 this year


it feels to me they tried too hard to throw together something that wasn’t ever going to work. I would much prefer just normal rules skills-only events. (I’d be cool if the endgame was left in there)

but to me it takes the bad part of matches (the luck aspect when it comes to schedule) and the bad part of skills (a game that is ridiculously easy) and combines them. Its impossible to make a good replacement for in person matches, so while I appreciate the effort put into trying, I think the focus should have been on improving skills rather than creating this questionable system.


sums it up very well


Regarding difference in element value (red alliance red is worth two, blue is worth one). It’s gonna be hard enough to scan poor quality webcam feeds to figure out the score on three fields simultaneously, also having to remember “oh, for mine red is worth two but here it’s worth one” to figure out the comparative scores is gonna be nearly impossible. Red should be worth two and blue should be worth one on both to make it easier.

For the same reason, if this isn’t already the case, make sure the positions of teams on the feed teams see is consistent (e.g my partner is always in the bottom left corner, opponents are the top right and bottom right). That way you don’t have to remember who is where.

If touching the goals at the end doubles the score, teams are gonna build octopus bots that touch all the goals and are only useful in online events.

Mic quality is gonna make communicating really really tricky. Honestly, phones on speakerphone might be slightly less bad, any chance teams could call in to a number like on WebEx?

Regarding the trailer grants to help teams without a field, I know that in our region at least the person with the trailer charges some absurd amount of money to rent a field from him. So I don’t see that being viable. I also know a lot of teams only have room for half a field, or the field takes up nearly the whole of a room so there’s nowhere to put a webcam. Any chance this could be modified to be played on half a field and with a shorter match time to compensate for fewer game objects? I think that would make it a lot more accessible.


Why not use the pandemic as an opportunity to allow teams to explore the possible ways one might actually fix a problem in the real world?

Since hacking together a virtual competition really isn’t possible, why not turn VEX into a science fair where teams get to pick a real-world problem, envision a VEX way to solve that problem and make a machine that demo’s their solution?

Need a ventilator?
Make a crappy VEX one.

Need to do lots of COVID-19 testing?
Build a VEX robot that runs the tests by moving samples around.

Need PPE?
Maybe a VEX team can design something that can be 3D printed.

Social Distancing?
Build a smart wearable that detects when people are too close.

Contact tracing?
Sounds like an app to me.

I complained before COVID that we have the worlds youngest brightest minds trapped in game of put the X in the Y. Why not deploy the fleet to try and have an impact. Just cancel the season, forget the put the ball in the hoop crap we obviously cannot do effectively anyway this year. This lame webcam stuff isn’t going to be fun. Accept that 50% of teams will just opt out, and give the 10-20% of hardcore VEX kids something actually hard to chew on.

I bet they’d prefer this to what is currently being proposed.


in regards to how easy the game is, you could say: just have shorter matches. they did this to “fix” skills, why not this? shorter matches will make it even harder for lower skilled teams to compete, which will make any team that can’t max out their goals just dead weight, and in general makes things less fun imo.

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or how about we have a decent skills challenge to make up for the horrible match play?


i dont wanna make a difference i wanna play and have fun lul