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crc1021

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Reply with quote  #1 

Now that all regional competitions are done, I'm curious about what others thought about the Crossfire game. I liked the shooting aspect, but was disappointed with the lack of point diversity. Rather than teams having to figure out a strategy, every team just did all challenges in largely the same way. Also, I don't recall a game where it was possible to complete all the challenges in three minutes (at least in the time I've been with involved with BEST)

For next year, I'm hoping for a more complicated game like Pay Dirt or Gatekeeper.

What are your thoughts?

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Zach M

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yeah, I feel like it was an easier year for most teams in general, but I think the amount of points possible to get may have been small, but the bonuses available separated the teams quite well in my opinion. 

But yes, I hope there's something like Pay Dirt with the market shift. That was a real strategy game. I like it when things change from seeding to semis to finals. I think 2018 has lots of potential to be like Pay Dirt, because it seems like it is going to be about collecting lots of stuff. I can't wait for bESTology to start! We shall see. 
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nicholas.seward

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Reply with quote  #3 
This year was super fun to watch, easy to explain, easy to build a practice field, and the bot was fun to drive.  I would say this is about as good as it gets.  (If I was to add anything it would be something analogous to the agate or prairie chickens.  For instance, we could have some small foam cubes be stand ins for rubble.  There could be a very small number of points awarded for clearing it away.)

It seems like there were clear divisions between teams.  You don't want a competition where everyone is so close in points that assigning a winner isn't arbitrary.  From the games that I witnessed there was always a clear winner.  As we all know now, it came down to getting Manny fast.  Figuring that out and designing a bot for speed is far from trivial.

Please oh please never let us have a competition again where the bot doesn't roll.  It is so hard to show off your bot if it has to be mounted on a poll, rail, trolley, etc.

My hat is off to this year's designer.  I can only hope we can get a game this good again.
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jgraber

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Reply with quote  #4 
  I agree field was visually appealing,  but lack of planned disassembly made the field center painful to move between Kickoff,Demo,Game,Demo,Game,Regional.
Throwing projectiles was new as far as I know, and cool idea;  not too many shot out of the field.
The design team consists of former BEST competitors, now mostly engineers in aerospace, and they think they know how rules should be written to be clear;  they also did PayDirt.

Contrasting opinions: 
 
   I disagree about the importance fast manny:  There are only a few top teams that can even clear the field at all, so it is only those teams that fast manny is the distinction between them.   And of those,  reliably picking up manny the first time is more important than shaving a few seconds of drive speed.  What does it mean that a robot can completely clear their field in half the time?  not hard enough?  opportunity for cooperation to other teams?


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nicholas.seward

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Reply with quote  #5 
@jrgraber: I agree.  It all depends on your level.  I usually tell a team that at locals if you can score anything and give yourself a week to practice then you will probably place.  Don't get to caught up in trying to do it all.  In fact, many of the bonuses are usually distractions(red herrings).  All my students are so over-programmed that we have to build the bot in a weekend so all we focused on was getting Manny and the cans.  We provisioned for a catapult but didn't add it on until the very last minute.  I am pretty sure we would still have placed without the catapult.  To me it seemed like this competition gave a good range of challenges to engage a large range of teams. 

The only thing I would have liked to see added is some kind of point opportunity for a dumb rolling robots.  Getting a robot to roll is very hard for some teams so we need to give them a win so they will want to come back in the future.  Side note: I think the kit needs to include two wheel hubs to get teams off the ground.  I try to have other rookie teams come over to our shop to go from zero to rolling in an afternoon.  Having a robot that moves really gets these kids jazzed.  One team we helped just made a robot that went around and pushed prairie chickens and those kids were ecstatic.
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