Innovation/Originality Category in Notebook

Recently, GDC added the innovation/originality criteria to the engineering notebook rubric. Basically, what it means is that your team has to demonstrate that the robot you end up building resulted from your team’s independent design planning (basically you didn’t hole-count, and say you invented it or something).

I’m curious how teams are incorporating this criteria into their notebook. Is just explaining your thought process for each design enough/decision matrices like before enough or how are you emphasizing innovation/originality more?


Personally, I am just going to show every decision I take and give the full justification as a “why”. Also, taking inspiration is not the same as copying. Essentially, I am showing that I build the full robot and CAD from the ground up.


I feel like the name and the actual description do not match. Also, it seems very broad and ambiguous.

Innovation/Originality -
Team shows evidence of independent inquiry
from the beginning stages of their design process

The real question is what does “independent inquiry” mean in this context. Does it mean doing your own building and testing rather than looking up a drivetrain chart? Or is it describing how a team researches previously built designs(being inspired rather than copying)? Also, 99% of designs won’t be fully original because every team has mechanisms already discovered( take a four-bar, for example). Many teams also independently discover ideas. When the game first dropped, I messaged my team about throwing the Tribals 30 minutes after the release. Later, Another team suggested the same without ever reading my private messages. Can we both claim the idea was ours, or do I get the points because I wrote it down first?

I get wanting teams to make bots that they designed, but the rest of the notebook already does that. It is hard to a design process for a bot you copied off a CAD.