Speculation/Ideas for 2013-2014 game

Do you mean dodecahedron? I like icosahedrons myself.

In our robotics classroom we have some large 18x18 squares of wavy green plastic, which resembles corrugated sheet metal. It is not impossible to cross but it is certainly hard if you don’t account for the terrain in the design. I say the terrain should have some wavy green plastic!


I don’t know if it’s been said or anybody’s noticed it, but as far as I can tell, the games follow a pattern. Several patterns, actually.

1st pattern: style

Bridge Battle: massive scoring and number of objects
Elevation: precision based
Clean Sweep: Massive scoring and number of objects
Round Up: precision based
Gateway: also somewhat precision based
Sack Attack: Massive scoring and number of objects
Next year: possibly more precision based?

2nd pattern: difficulty

Bridge Battle: didn’t participate
Elevation: easy (light, small objects and short goals)
Clean Sweep: more difficult (heavier objects and higher scores)
Round Up: Difficult (no floor goals and high hanging, etc.)
Gateway: less difficult (floor goals are back and objects are easier to handle)
Sack attack: easier (massive floor goals, parking bonus, no 393 motor limit)
Next year: possibly harder? (maybe more restrictions)

FTC may have more unique games, but VEX games are more dynamic. FTC has far too many rules, leaving far too many ways to get disqualified (even by accident).

Kind of a strange idea, but a harder game that is precision based should have multiple game objects, in my opinion. Do you guys remember the little kid toy shape boards that had holes for the differently shaped objects? What if the next Vex game included a larger version of that, in which the robots had to score the different objects by putting them in their correct hole? Haha I liked it?!

Now lets just add the twist… The holes that the objects need to be placed in… are in the ceiling!

The robots have to grab the objects, reach up, and place them into the correct hole in the correct orientation, or else they wont fit!

I will agree with you on the disqualification thing, FIRST tends to be a little too generous with the disqualifications. But in general you see a lot more varied designs in FTC Worlds then you do in VEX worlds.

That might be a result of FIRST’s shorter season length. In the past, VEX has had plenty of design variation; I think the NZ “plague” in Gateway was simply because that game wasn’t the most dynamic, and efficiency was all that mattered in an offensive strategy.

To be honest, I prefer the shorter season. You end up with more people having to come up with their own designs, instead of copying others. Plus I prefer not having to instantly think about the new game, and would prefer a 1-3 month mental break.

With this years game I am hopeful we will see more designs and strategies.

It would be cool if autonomous and driver control were contrasted. then make endgame something that the beginning of the match makes difficult.

for example- Get your allied goals on your opponents side of the field in autonomous. In driver control you get those goals back to your side of the field and fill them with a game object which reside back in your area. In endgame, you must place the goals(which are weighed down with game objects) in some sort of area.

the only problem with this is balancing out the game so autonomous,driver control, and endgame do not overpower each other. One way to do this is limit scores. For instance, goals in this area do not count for points if the team does not score ____ points from putting game pieces in the goals. Or even goals not in this area count for a maximum of ______ points for game pieces.

The longer season gives teams more time to refine. For the past two years, our team has taken pride in our unique robots, but they take a while to perfect.

Looked at your teams website, and yes those were some nice designs, very different approach then most teams. But this is getting off topic.

VEX wouldn’t make a shorter season for one simple reason, profit. VEX unlike FIRST is a company trying to make a profit. We could go over the advantages and disadvantages this causes but that is a different topic. The main point is profit will drive them to need people to never stop thinking VEX. So it makes perfect sense, end one game with the release of a new game.

But back to ideas of what game could be.

Take one of the game designs people submitted for the competition last year. There were some really good ideas that were submitted.

Or the idea of changing the arrangement of the field. Instead of 12’x12’, make it 16’x8’. This still uses the exact same number walls currently being used.

Allow multiple different configuration sizes. As was done in the college game a few years back. So instead of 18" cube, allow something like, for every inch off one dimension, you can add an inch to another dimension. Example: 12"x18"x24", or 12"x21"x21" or 12"x12"x30"

Would a 16’x8’ field still use the same number of tiles?

Wouldn’t many different robot sizes require a ton of different sizing tools? Also, I think the size limit helps create a standard for robot shipping. Teams don’t have to spend money on a new box every year to haul their robot to Worlds. And someone could easily make a tall lift-less robot (8"x8"x46"), so new teams wouldn’t get the experience of building a lift.

A 16’ x 8’ foot field would use less tiles. 32 tiles instead of 36 tiles, so it is a little bit small area.

You don’t need sizing tools, just a good old measuring tape. Still you could bring the idea in to more reasonable levels. A 8"x8"x46" robot would be funny to see, but talk about a center of gravity problem being so tall.

True, our 42" Gateway bot was pretty tippy. I suppose it could have wheels fold out to expand the base.

That makes me think of stairs, the ‘Leg-Wheels’ perhaps?:confused:

I think that the 2013-2014 game should be called Ascension and the objective of the game would be to put Blue and Red colored PVC pipes onto “posts” attached to a sheet metal pyramid (like round up but bigger) with each level of the pyramid being worth more points. It would be challenging to make a robot small enough to go under the lowest level of the pyramid and make it go high enough so that it can score on a post. There would probably be a corner goal as well for the newer teams. Bonus points for hanging could be a possibility depending how high up you are on the pyramid like in round up.

These would be interesting gimmicks, but increasing any of the dimensions of the standard VEX game will inevitably be very inconvenient for teams.

I’m sure there are a lot of teams who have enough space where they meet for a 12’ x 12’ field but wouldn’t have enough space for a 16’ x 8’ one. This either means they need to find a new meeting space, which isn’t likely to be easy, or they need to stop using a competition sized field.

Likewise, there are a lot of teams that can transport an 18’ cube but would have trouble transporting a larger one. The College game this year has a 24’ cube robot, but the maximum size for check-in luggage on many airlines is a 20’ cube. This means transporting 18’ robots is pretty easy, but transporting 24’ robots is going to be expensive and much more difficult. This is before considering the cost of new robot transport boxes, as The VEX Raptors mentioned.

So while changing around the parameters of the standard vex game might be fun, it introduces a lot of extra inconvenience and cost for participating teams. I think there’s plenty of room to be creative within the limits of the traditional game.

id really like to see a huge contrast in object sizes such as the bonus ball in clean sweep, or the bonus cube in elevation
bonus objects that are many times bigger will force teams to have more innovative intakes

for this year, the yellow sacks would have been 10 times bigger and 5 lbs each?
and maybe DOUBLE everything in the goal its scored in? (haha, im getting this from the doubler in gateway)

but a greater difference in size would really bring up the challenge

Teams can make work around their work space. May be an inconvenience, but teams will manage. I am sure there are teams right now who can’t fully fit the 12’x12’ game as is. Nor do I doubt VEX designed a 12’x12’ game specifically because it would fit in every team space. The idea that you must stick to a 12’x12’ only boxes you in, and limits your game designs.

Also with allowing different size robots, this is also something teams could manage themselves. Right now not every team decides to go to the full 18" cube dimensions. Allowing them to expand in another dimension opens things up a lot. As for shipping, well that is something each individual team needs to figure out on their own. Maybe a team designs their robot to be taken into 2 individual parts, that can fit into their existing shipping crate.

These limits are only placed by the people thinking inside the box. Once you start thinking outside the box, the ideas can be opened up a lot more.

Another idea, you could introduce a weight to size ratio. Only 12 inches height at x weight. Only 15 inches height at y weight. and only 18 inches height at z weight. This makes people make designs factoring weight into the problem (weight is a real world issue after all).

And your right there are a lot of things you can do with the existing game to make it more innovative. I stand by the idea of tweaking the Worlds game so it is just a little bit different then the regular season (was done with programming). Just enough so that it separates the true designers and the copy cats.

Also I think a lot of good games were put forth in the game design contest last season. I think it would be awesome for VEX to use a game designed by a student.