What is the proper position of the mechanical elements inside the Purple Dispenser at the start of a match, specifically the yellow 1x8 that ejects the discs? If it’s position is not set consistently at the beginning of a match, the time it takes to eject the first disc could be a point of contention (especially if matches are close)
The three options that would make sense are either a) parallel to the field (horizontal); b) in contact with the first disc on the outside of the dispenser (requiring a full rotation to eject the first disc); or c) in contact with the first disc on the inside of the dispenser (launching the disc as soon as it it manipulated).
Figure 1 in the game manual captioned “Starting Configuration” does seem to show the rotating arm set parallel to the playing field. Until an official Q&A or manual update gets more specific, I would think that arm parallel to the floor is the most logical starting position. If I were advising teams, however, I would tell them to plan for variations in field setup that could put the arm at any orientation and should design accordingly.
I think the purple dispenser has to have a required starting position, as it will have game-affecting impacts if it were closer or farther from dispensing a puck at the start. It could easily add 2 seconds to some dispensing methods if it was in a position where it ‘just finished’ dispensing, or almost immediately dispense. I could see even in LRS/LRT instances teams using that as a competitive advantage.
If it’s not clearly defined in the 1.0 manual when it drops in a few days, I plan on submitting a Q&A entry for that in particular (once Q&A opens up as well).
Edit: 1.0 manual doesn’t drop until late June apparently, so Q&A it will be.
Definitely could have an effect on how a team plans a mechanism or how to play a match. It’s hard to guess if the GDC will specify or if it will be left ambiguous. They have gone both ways in games in the past. For early season designs, I still think it is safest for teams to plan for variations in the mechanism starting position. It will be easier for teams to learn to work within tighter tolerances later on than to expect one specific scenario and then find out later it won’t always be the case.