Release next year's game early

Here is a thought and yes, I know we are opening ourselves up for criticism.

In an effort to balance the playing field among robotic teams and to keep students interested, what if VEX were to release the game for the following year right after everyone has completed their state contests? The teams who don’t qualify for Worlds or somewhere else would now have a jumpstart building their robots?

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Somebody asks this question every year, and every year the answer will be the same. The official game reveal is a big spectacle at the world championship, and nobody wants to mess that up.

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Yet those who have qualified for the World Championship will have to focus their efforts on preparing for that competition, diverting time away from the new game (which already might detract attention from the World Championship).

Honestly I fail to see how this would level the playing field when the current setup currently makes the playing field as level as it possibly can be.

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If you search for things to do in the off season that will help out, you will find several threads from the past including this one: Preparing for the new season - Early Season Design Process

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Okay, answer me this. Why do they wait a full two months to hold Worlds? I think it needs to pushed up one month, so schools and students can get started earlier than we are able to now.

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I can see how that would keep people interested, but that seems kind of unfair to people going to worlds. People will have fun at worlds, but I feel like they would try to sketch out their design early for the (early released) game, while also preparing for worlds, sounds stressful. And I don’t think it would be fair that the teams that didn’t make it get a head start, when teams who did make it are trying their hardest for worlds.

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My school generally uses the time between State and worlds to interview and choose team captains, pick teams, and interview any students who want to join for next year.

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Mine is a class and even though my students are good about trying to build a better robot, even after we haven’t qualified for state, etc. , it is very hard to maintain focus until the new reveal.

Thank you for sharing this.

this year is off due to scheduling of venue. Next year state/regional championships are closer together.

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image

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it also gives an aooportunity for worlds built robots after state championships

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Here’s some more ideas for the “off season” that will reap benefits when you start the new robot design:
• Build a simple drive base, perhaps even the Clawbot (if you have the Clawbot kit) as a test platform, or use your current drive base if it works and then get some of the new sensors (vision, GPS, inertial, rotational, etc) and learn how to program them.
• Learn how to use and program pneumatics.
• Try out various drive: mecanun, X-drive, holonomic, “kiwi” “H-drive” or any of the myriad of names that different drive systems get. Set up a criteria to make comparisons of the different drives.
• Ambitious? Learn PROS. Also, download and learn any (or all) of the good CAD software that is available with free student licenses, like SolidWorks, OnShape, Inventor, etc.
• Learn about schedule tools, like the Gnantt chart, for next year’s notebook
• Learn about decision-making tools for next year’s notebook.

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These are some really good things to also put in a notebook during early early season preparations. Judges really like seeing gantt charts and decision matrices go into the design process for that season, in my experience including those has done well for my teams winning judged awards.

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Its also a great idea to have some crazy idea and try to build it. Use things you can’t normally use in a competition. Try 3d printing parts for a robot. Do something creative and fun.

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Wow that’s a lot to do!

Let me float a popular idea with mentors. Schedule the release for the end of August. This will give mentors a 4 month break from robots. No more twice a week build sessions. No messing with trying to order parts. A break. A chance to recharge. A chance to do a deep clean of the robot lab (where do all of those Dorito crumbs come from?) Re-meet my family. Spend time with them.

If you go and look the forum is plugged with posts for the 2 weeks after the reveal. Then it slows, a peak after the partners meeting then a slump and then back up once US schools start.

So my recommendation would be to reschedule the Partner - Mentor - Coaches meeting for later in August and do the release then. That way it moves off of Dan’s vacation week. Partners get a chance to talk about issues (exactly how do we load 1,800 gallons of water) for the game. Plus not Dallas in the middle of summer.

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Unfortunately it’s become evident that the summer months are desperately needed in order to iron out most of the glaring issues with the rulebook. For an August game release to work, the GDC would have to become drastically more responsive to rules clarifications and changes, which I don’t see happening anytime soon.

Secondarily, VAIC teams need all the time they can get, and they not only have to build top tier VEXU robots, but they also have to “build” a top tier VEXU driver.

I don’t think an August release schedule is going to happen anytime soon.

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Wow, a real “off season”! Sounds like a great idea to me! With Covid, being locked out of our workspace for a year and half our teams working remote, I actually have no idea what our current status of electronics and parts is, I just order stuff as our teams ask me for things. I’d love a chance where all our teams turn in all their stuff for repair/update/replacement, then re-issue new supplies to all. But I think we could only afford about 4 weeks of off-season, because we host our first events in August at the Monroe County Fair.

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I really like being able to build over the summer. As an AP student, I am very busy during the school year. Without 2 months to build the robot over the summer, I definitely would have the same quality bot I have now.

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I think that this year was an off year, I’m (ever) hopeful that next year won’t have the constant revisions that we saw.

Is VAIC going to be a thing next year? It was very rocky, is it going to be a viable program in 2022-23?

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