In Preparation for the Game Reveal

I was wondering how you guys prepare for the game reveal, and what you do once it comes out?
Is there any sort of special analysis people do besides just watching the video?

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Personally, I analyse the scoring to see what method will score my team points fastest, then optimise my hypothetical design around that.


How exactly do you analyse it? Is there a certain process you go about, maybe make graphs or something, or do you just sit down and think about it?

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I came up with a list of questions to ask myself with the new video. But it didn’t work out too well.
What scores the most points per action?
What single action scores the most points?
What is the easiest thing to do?
What is the hardest thing to do?

Didn’t really work out too well. Some of the questions just weren’t applicable. But I might go back to that list if I’m kinda stumped on an immediate design.


I usually just sit down and think about it, but you probably could make graphs and other stuff if you really wanted to.

I’m assuming that the first thing that you will do will be to read the game manual from cover to cover.

The second thing that you should do would be to re-read the game manual from cover to cover.

Once you’ve done that, then you can start planning for how you’d like to play the game… while referring back to the game manual, and checking the Q&A regularly.

If you’d like to prep for kickoff, then reading previous season’s game manuals will help you identify differences in next year’s game. The differences sometimes offer insight into the GDC’s thinking.



When going through the manual, use a highlighter to make note of important parts.

Total up all the possible points for an alliance.

Total up the possible points for each type of scoring.

Think of how to defend your actions

Look for obstacles on the field and spacing around game elements so you can plan for a max robot size.


I start with my team by watching the video and the game manual and appendixes normally come out as it streams. I glance through those to get a sense and then go back through with more detail and make charts to compare actions with scoring while also comparing it to past games for ideas. After all of that I pull out the white boards and get to sketching. I do that all again when we get the actual pieces and start the notebook.


I’ll be at an airport trying to get the game reveal to load using airport wifi before getting on a plane isolated from the outside world for 2 hours.


Going through the video a few times and understanding the main concepts within the game (scoring, limitations to size, new rules that haven’t been present in previous games, possession rules, etc.) Afterwards, going through the rule book and understanding the concept of each rule and how it impacts the game is another thing I like to do (People from previous seasons have found ways to “cheat the system” such as mobile goal hoards or purely defensive bots that utilize pinning and defense). After these two steps, I like to talk with teammates that would have done the same things and see what our ideas have in common and try to sketch / design a mock up of the potential early-season robot. Hope this helps! :grin:


First of all, purely defensive bots don’t ”cheat the system,” (there is a reason GDC didn’t get rid of defensive bots/play after 2W won worlds in Gateway)

Anyway that’s besides the point, just theorize about space efficiency. Usually the “meta” of each game comes down to what makes use of your initial size limit most effectively.


In addition to what everyone else is saying you could list out all the different types of systems that could accomplish the tasks required and how they could work together and which ones would probably be best…


Before the reveal:
Get notebooks, teammates, computers and just be ready to take notes. Brush up on CAD skills if your team does so as well - having an arbitrary drive train model can often be really helpful in those first few stages of making random mechanisms.

After reveal:
If you have access to CAD software, download the game elements/field. That’s probably the closest you can get to having actual game elements to work with. Take a step farther with a 3D printer, and now you have an illegal set of game/field elements, congradulations!
Read the game manual.
There are a surprisingly large amount of things (mostly rules) that get left out of the game reveal (take this year, no mention of expansion zone/autonomous line in the reveal), and try to get a semi-decent grasp of the rules of the game.
Last year when I saw the Turning Point Reveal, a knee-jerk reaction strategy was to try and ‘‘protect’’ caps under the middle platform. This obviously changed when I read the rules.



So everyone here has pretty well established the strategic analysis. The next step for that is, possibly with some prototyping, to identify optimal points per second (PPS). We did this analysis early in the year for TP and it was very evident how little value caps had, and how much value high platform, defensive driving of shooters, hitting low flags in passing (without seeking them out) and hitting high flags with two shots was. That meta was pretty true to this day, with a few small changes.

I recommend investing in a few of the new nut retainer packs because you will do a lot of putting together and taking apart all at once, and they are niiiiiiice.

I encourage my newer teams to focus on their chassis, because if they cant get to or position their robot, their mechanisms and manipulators are useless. Therefore, immediately following the reveal of the inevitable climbing based water game or water based climbing game, identify if your robot will need any ground clearance or not. Then build an easily adaptable test bed chassis + drivetrain. That way you can easily change the drivetrain (Uframe chain/Bling/H frame /whatever) or wheels (Holo vs Locked vs Mechanum). Then toss whatever ideas you have onto your test bed chassis, and worry about reinforcing once your basic dimensions have been identified.


We plan to use the base of our existing robot as a programming drone to start getting things in order for the 2020 game, while another set of girls works on building the actual base for the 2020 game. Hopefully this will keep us somewhat ahead of the curve this year. It won’t be perfect, obviously, but may allow us to try things well ahead.


What time and date is the reveal updated?

As for prepping, I’ve been trying to get a clear table to work on. Once the reveal is out I’ll probably start CADing a robot while building.

The reveal is on Saturday the 27 In the evening- the time will vary depending on the schedule

Aside from all the individual game analysis stuff, you should visit the forums to see what other people have to say about the game. Chances are, you missed something in the video/appendix and another set of eyes won’t hurt. Communicating with other teams about what they think is also a good idea.

Also, depending on the nature of the game, you should look at previous games that were similar to the new one. Seeing how other teams developed certain things such as lifts/launchers, will give you crucial insight in your development of a design. Also, the v5 system is probably going to be tied into the game somehow, in turning point we saw this with the vision sensor and flags.


You are understating the importance of READING THE MANUAL.


Here is the Essential Guide to Understanding a Robotics Game.