At the beginning of spring break, I really wished there was a program that would simulate match play, so that my team could create a great strategy for Gateway. At that time there wasn’t one available, so I started to learn how to program a video game instead of my robot. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to finish this before the World competition.
When Sack Attack was released I believed that the same would apply this year. I made a game for Sack Attack!
I am releasing a free version that will be able to simulate the drivers skills challenge. There is also a full version that simulates match play and drivers skills challenge. Match play operates with four robots controlled by four users with user selectable buttons on the keyboard (this can be changed in the “change keys” option in the settings page). I believe that this is a very powerful tool for any team that wants to be competitive.
If you want the full version, it is available for $5.00. Half the proceeds support Berthoud Robotics, the other half will cover the expenses of this game.
The link to download these games is provided below. http://1069b.berthoudrobotics.org/game-simulation
There is, unfortunately, no PC driver for the VEX joystick, so it is for the time being impossible to code the simulator to interface with a VEX joystick. As you said, using the Xbox controller is a possibility. From my experience, though, the best joystick to use in a VEX setting is a Logitech dual axis joystick or similar. This is because it has a layout identical to that of the VEX joystick, whereas the xbox controller layout is slightly different (one analog stick is up in the corner).
Out of curiosity, how long did it take you guys to make this program? I remember it took me almost a full year to get VirtualVEX where I wanted it, including the time it took to learn the engine. It would be cool for us to get together online and share development experiences