FRC Blogged - More Award Updates, FIRST Choice, and a New FRC Xbox Game!

Blog Date: 
Friday, December 7, 2012 - 11:44

Excellence in Design Award

As many have noticed from looking at the 2013 FRC Administrative Manual, the Excellence in Design Award, sponsored by Autodesk, will not be part of our 2013 season.  I had intended to give more advance notice of this change, but things did not go as I had expected, and I’m sorry about that.  While a relatively small number of teams – less than 50 – submitted for this award last year, I recognize that for the teams that did submit, this represented a significant portion of the effort they put forth for the season.  Autodesk remains very committed to supporting the mission of FIRST, but wants to take this season to consider ways they could allow more FRC team members to explore the software-aided design and showcase sides of the FRC experience.  We support their approach on this.

For teams that were planning to submit for this award in 2013, consider this:  when a change gets presented to you, even an undesired change, it’s often a great opportunity to step back and evaluate the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of your activities.  You may find new and exciting ways your animation sub-team can contribute this year.  Here’s one idea:  the new Digital Media Award will be looking at the many ways teams get the message out about themselves and FIRST.  Could animation be part of your marketing strategy? 


Creativity Award

The Creativity Award, sponsored by Xerox, will be a part of the 2013 season.  It was inadvertently omitted from the 2013 Administrative Manual during the editing and formatting process.  It’s fixed now!


Digital Media Award

To be clear – while the Digital Media Award will be presented only at Championship this year, any FRC team will be able to submit for it.  You do not need to be present at Championship to win!


FIRST Choice

Reminder – FIRST Choice opens for ordering at Noon EST on Monday, 12/10.  Only teams that have paid their registration fees will be able to place orders.  The most desirable items will go quickly, so get ready!


New FRC Xbox Game

I’m excited about this one!  Diamond Bullet Studios is releasing a game for Microsoft’s Xbox console based on the 2012 FRC competition.  The game is coming out soon.  Check out the trailer here:

Also, if you – or folks you know – are registered XNA developers and would like to test this game before official release, please email  Diamond Bullet Studios would love to have your help! 


I’ll blog again soon.




Why would you do this?

It is unconscionable to make this decision at the end of the fall training season. Our team gained new members specifically interested in animation. While it is certainly the right of FRC to change the structure of the program, that decision should have been made clear at the beginning of the season. I doubt that being laid off is one of the real-world experiences that FIRST is trying to emulate for the student participants. Even if there is no monetary award, it should not be impossible for FIRST to come up with a topic and judge 50 videos. I call upon Dean Kamen to give us a topic!

The elimination of the Animation Competition is by far the largest step FIRST has taken to drive the already endangered animation teams to extinction. FIRST underestimates the importance competitions hold to unifying the teams. By removing the competition, FIRST is removing the clear goal that every animation team work towards, and thrusting the fragile teams into a realm of uncertainty. It is true that animation can be used for marketing, but how many teams actually have the resources to learn what is required to produce the motion graphics and visual effects seen in most advertisements?

I've gotta agree with Alex, and from personal experience I know that the animation team and essentially producing my own project directly helped me get into college and inspire me to get into film animation. While film and art isn't generally the main focus of FIRST, it goes to show that FIRST can inspire in more ways than science and math. I learned professional programs and the process of making animations through the autodesk awards, without it I barely would have had a role on my team.
For the students of the future, it would be great to get the award back.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.