Next Season's Game

Well since Vex likes to announce next years game before the World Champions are declared this is where we start speculating what the next curve ball the Vex GDC has for us. According to the pattern that vex likes to run in next years game is going to have a universal (colorless) element with goals that are only for one color. Round Up is a colored element with a colorless goal. Clean sweep was a colorless element with a colored goal.

What do you think next years game is going to be?

I do know that the new game will be announced in the HP Field House at the VRC World Championship at 6:00 pm on Friday, April 15. :slight_smile:

Well lets just list out the game pieces here.

2008 - Bridge Battle - Tennis Balls
2009 - Elevation - Cubes
2010 - Clean Sweep - Footballs and Spherical Balls
2011 - Round Up - Tubes
2012 - ???

I don’t really know what to expect. I for one am hoping for smaller game pieces.
Also i would totally be down with separating the field down the middle again :wink:


I personally think that the ladder will be reincarnated next year.

That’s pretty much my only major guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the game piece is a pyramid or cylinder (or both?).

I would really like to see a game based size limitation rather than a rule based limitation. I didn’t play bridge battle but from what i understand if you wanted to get to the other side of the field you had to go under (i guess you COULD go over too but thats another story) the bridge which meant you had to be able to collapse down or just be small. I would like to see something like this again instead of or in addition to the current 18" rule. I would also like to see more of the non-vex perts allowance (polycarbonate this year). I think they really open up a big area of engineering that vex never used to have. I would like to see the High School Division be allowed more stuff like that this year like the plastic block that the College Division gets.


Me too. Smaller pieces are easier to store and manipulate, and would lead to more interesting processor-style designs.

Why? :stuck_out_tongue:
Game play certainly is more challenging when you have to negotiate a field with four robots on it… However, it is easier for beginning/rookie teams to compete without having to worry about another team unintentionally damaging their robot. I think it would be cool to have the field divided into thirds - one side would be blue alliance only, the middle section would be “no man’s land,” and the other side would be red alliance only. If the sections were divided by walls, then we could see some interesting wall-climbing robots. :rolleyes:

Prediction for next year: There will be many small game objects, with a big one in the middle of the field. Other than that, I don’t think it is possible to guess what the GDC is planning - they’re pretty creative, you know. :wink:

Suggestion for GDC (maybe for 2013 if not 2012): please make the autonomous period longer (maybe 30 seconds??) for the programmers like me who want to have a bit more influence in the round… :smiley:

but if hish school teams get too much, it will be another “who’s the richest” contest
or “who has access to a CNC machine” …
but i agree that the lexan this year made lots of major improvements on designs

I agree. (although it sort-of already is - some teams can afford many “extra” parts, others can only use the starter kit…)
What if the rule was a price limit on non-VEX parts, not a size limit. (i.e. "You can use $100 worth of these non-VEX parts: polycarb, [another part], and [yet another part].)

However, it would be fun to use non-VEX parts…

I think aluminium already creates a bit of a “who is the richest” contest but you also have to remember that in vex it is tricky to buy brains. I know what you mean about the CNC but it doesn’t have to be like that. We are talking about a small piece of plastic block here i don’t remember the size the college kids get but it is small (not incredibly expensive).
It isn’t really a who is the richest because you are limited by size of the block. I think somebody with access to a milling machine or a CNC could certainly make a really nice piece or a few really nice pieces out of it however i think somebody with access to basic tools like a drill press and basic hand-tools could also make something really nice.

As far as the field being divided i liked the way that for the most part robots were able to perform to their full potential with a divided field, unless your alliance partner somehow trapped you. Sure having a bit of contact or a little pinning is part of the game but it is a bit disheartening when you see a good robot just being pestered by a push-bot with a solid drive-train and no other mechanism.


Well, I don’t think that this will happen, but it would be cool to see non-rigid playing objects (e.g. loose hacky sack). I’d love to see the designs that come out for that one.

It isn’t really all that good of an idea to predict the unpredictable, I say it’s better to go over what won’t likely change.

99.999% chance that 2012 to play on the same field size and surface.

99.999% chance that 2012 will feature an autonomous period.

99.999% chance that 2012 will feature an end-game or end of match bonus points kind of thing.

99.999% chance that 2012 will still feature red and blue alliances.

95% chance that 2012 will involve lifting some game object

85% chance that 2012 will involve holding multiple game objects.

65% chance that 2012 will yield itself to de-scoring methods (Elevation didn’t).

The list could go on, but it’s all still speculation.

So what does it all mean? As a team develop a solid reusable drivetrain that you like (we like holonomic drives, a lot I might add). Aim for that U shape we all know and love.

Then play around with lift mechanisms (four-bars, elevators, linear slides, scissor lifts, etc.), build them all if you want. Experimentation and practice never really hurts.

Finally grippers, or end effectors. These are fun. They also come in many shapes and sizes, they can even be belts! These are often the most specific part of the robot (meaning the part that requires the most attention to detail and geometry).

So focus on that stuff for now. It’s a surefire way to be as prepared as possible for the game release.


I hope that the game is not entirely about how efficient the robot is. Near the end of the season, robots tend to find the best designs and the best building. From then, its about how well they play. Clean sweep had some elements of strategy in it, like holding the balls, or dumping out, but mostly it was about how fast you could go. I like Round up because there is a lot more that can be done with the field, especially the movable bases.

Game pieces could get pretty interesting. The smaller the game piece, the more available for scoring, and the harder to make a large point swing in a single motion. However, they can’t get too small or they would get stuck in places.

It might be less about precision this time, for scoring. Round Up and Elevation involved getting game pieces into a very specific place to score, but Bridge Battle and Clean Sweep were about getting balls in a general area. Perhaps they alternate, and we’ll get something with less aiming. Less precision could also make for a faster game as teams spend less time aligning their robot to score.

I’ll assert that continuing the trend of custom part fabrication will reduce the growth of the VRC program.

I believe expanding the VRC, beyond reaching the low-hanging fruit in the STEM education market, will definitely be hindered if you tell teams that success depends on them not only learning a ton of Vex (parts, software, VEXNet,etc.) product information, but also learning how to whittle & bend custom parts (accurately) out of raw stock.

The typical contributor on this forum (and in this thread) is by definition a member of the “low-hanging fruit” segment of the market. While you/we might enjoy the challenge of designing, manufacturing, integrating, testing a part, and then iterating that process several times; there are many, many, potential users for whom that opportunity will be a turn-off.

For many it will be the large stick that breaks the camel’s back and makes the whole thing too much of a headache.

Let’s not push the program in that direction. Let’s instead stick with modifying the stock parts and continue to expand the pool of friends in the tournaments to include as many new faces as possible.

I think I find a sentiment similar to mine expressed here in a Paul Copioli post; but before I or anyone put too much stock in my iterpretation of what he wrote, I recommend double-checking directly with him.


We all loved the ladder this year so much that I’m willing to bet that there is a similar game part for next year.

In a similar vein, we all hated the pinning rule.

So I’m announcing “Tower Blast” - there is a solid 17’ 3’ high wall that goes diagonally across the field. There are two towers, one on each side, at the top of each ladder is a 3’ square platform. (Similar to this years ladder, but with a top)

Robots will be required to climb the ladder, gather Elevation like cubes and launch them at the other side. Reuse game parts, no chance for pinning because you are on your side of the wall, and amazing game elements to play on, a giant tower!

Or not :rolleyes:

My favorite game so far was Elevation. It had a lot of robot interaction, little to no de-scoring, and the robots had to score in high towers for the maximum points. I’d like to see next year’s game incorporate some of those features as well as offer another unique end game.

Personally, I didn’t like the ladder this year. Hanging isn’t particularly worth it because people can knock you off and a lot of scoring/de-scoring can be done in the time required. Also, many teams resort to dumping every tube in the center of the ladder, so it becomes who can dump them in the ladder first or who can stop the other team from doing so. I feel that the ladder just adds more “stuff” to the field and limits the area robots can travel around the field. However, my team did design with the ladder in mind and we will be ready for these strategies at worlds.

My prediction for the new game would be that the game element is some kind of pole or long cylindrical object that you have to place on a rack. Vex has not come even close to that shape for a scoring element. Also, though I do not like the ladder, I believe they will bring back the ladder in some form next year.

why do you think descoring is a bad thing?
in elevation there was only pretty much ONE strategy: “goal-capping”
the winner is pretty much determined by speed and efficiency

but in round up there are MUCH more strategies that you can use
i think round up has been the best game so far because of that

I guess I’m more of an offensive player vs. a defensive. I like to see quick robots control the field by their agility and scoring ability. There was just way too much emphasis place on descoring this year.

Again, coupled with a unique end game, would make it a fun game to watch.

Golf balls? just something I was thinking about. So many of the competitions have been about capacity of your bot, it would be interesting to see something smaller. It would force you to use the standard vex parts in some new ways. I think they will go small this year

How about if robots had to chase moving HEX bugs across the field and capture them, and then place them in assorted bins?