Frank Answers….Monday? Again?

Blog Date: 
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 07:51

Sorry for the delay on this one!

This week’s question comes from Eric Husmann, who is currently between teams, and is from the Los Angeles area, California, USA:


I was wondering about some of the workings of the FRC Game Design Committee. Specifically:

--What are some of their constraints? Or, to put it another way, what objectives do the games need to meet?

--What is the (current) approximate development timeline?

--How are the game hints chosen and/or developed? (And... have any "red herrings" been released for 2014?)

--Is there a way for non-GDC members to give suggestions to the GDC on what they would like to see in a game, ranging from small elements to full games? (If not, can one be developed?)


Thanks for the question, Eric.

We are trying a new game design process for the 2015 game. The process includes written objectives, clear phases, and milestone reviews. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to list the specific objectives of the 2015 game here, but the general objectives are just what you would expect -  we want a game that’s safe, that’s exciting to play and to watch,  that’s good for both rookies and veterans, that’s challenging, that has real time scoring, etc. The list goes on, but I think it’s fair to say there would be few surprises in the general objectives list for most folks in the community.

We’ve already started work on the 2015 game. We kicked things off with an on-site meeting here in Manchester the weekend of October 5th. We would like to have the game design mostly complete by the FIRST Championship, though all involved recognize that’s an aggressive schedule.

For game hints, typically someone on the Game Design Committee or an FRC staff member will send out an email with an idea to start us off, then it’s built on. The idea will go around a few times before it’s finalized. The process is very loose. We don’t spend too much time on this because it’s a very busy time of the year. Also, if we had released any red herrings for 2014 we probably wouldn’t be pointing them out right now. :-)

Last season we surveyed teams about what they thought of the 2013 game and what they liked to see in games. We will be doing that again in 2014. Some of the questions will include open-ended comment boxes, those would be a good place to put game suggestions.

I’ll blog again soon.



I'm just have your expectations from past games lived up to reality? i.e. Was the game played like you thought? Were there any big surprises? Did you think more teams would be able to do something (i.e. climb the pyramid)? Any loopholes that you thought of that no teams thought of? Any big regrets from game elements that you really took as a lesson for future games?

Honestly I didn't think many teams would attempt to go for the 30 point climb in last years game. I thought that many teams would try to score from a long distance shooter. I learn a game element to build a more efficient drives system in order to get more objective accomplished.

Will an encrypted manual be posted ahead of the kick off? In past years we were able to download the game manual ahead of kick off and given a password to help with bandwidth on the website. Just curious if this is going to be the case this year.

The encrypted manual is available now, here:
We blogged about this yesterday, and will be sending out an email blast to all teams today.

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