Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Binary Breakdown


Frostbitten Snowball
Entry ID #: 1605
Created: Tue, Jan 13, 2015 2:51 AM

Haiku Animators is proud to present its entry for the 2015 VEX/RECF Game Design Challenge, Binary Breakdown. The soundtracks used in this video are: Brynhildr In The Darkness by Nao Tokisawa Point Zero by Yuki Kajiura Alpha Fruit by Neil Prakasam The modeling and animation software used was Autodesk 3ds Max, with some textures created using Paint.NET. The video editing software used was Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 Thanks for watching, and enjoy!


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Links / Videos


   Frostbitten Snowball on 01/19/2015

Thanks for checking our animation and providing feedback, JVS, TOSS_BOSSES, and MichaelHayes290! @JVS/MichaelHayes290 We're pleased to see that you picked up on the educational value of binary scoring. We actually implemented this as another way to integrate STEM concepts into a robotics game. @TOSS_BOSSES Yep, you are pretty on point with about Gateway’s scoring system. We took cues from both Gateway and Skyrise, as they both had advantages by virtue of object placement (bonus points for top/bottom of goals). I could see teams making an autonomous to hoard the tetrapods at the start of the match, but doing so means that teams may have to forego scoring with the three single discs on the ground leading up to one of the goals, essentially giving an early game advantage to the other team. That said, the tetrapods are meant to be fought over, since they provide a break in a cycle of what would be otherwise scoring and descoring like in Sack Attack. As a secondary or tertiary objective (depending how you see descoring or bonus points), the tetrapods and tetrahedrons offer strategic diversity to teams looking to gain the upper hand. However, gaining control of the tetrapods does not mean that the opposing side’s tetrahedron is rendered worthless, since the bonuses (excluding NOT) occur regardless of control, though it would be desirable to possess both. Even if you hoard both tetrapods, flip the white arms up and play AND, the other team could also play AND to receive the same 8-point bonus. In essence, you can play mind games by putting both white arms up, waiting for the other team to play AND, then flipping a black arm up and playing XOR or OR. It requires another layer of control to use them to their fullest extent. @TOSS_BOSSES/MichaelHayes290 Yeah, I definitely feel that the scene tallying the score could use some improvement. I wanted to see the whole field while making the points appear close to the goals, so I compromised, resulting in positioning the camera at a funny angle and making the score hard to see. I'll try thinking of a better way in the future! @MichaelHayes290 Fun fact: the echo effect for the announcer voice was from recording in a bathroom. Yes, that was intentional. I didn't like the pre-packaged echo effect from the editing software.

   TOSS_BOSSES on 01/18/2015

I like the use of binary scoring with the different coloured bowls, only comparison to a VEX game I can think of is the doubler/negation barrels in Gateway, but I'm not that keen on the tetrapod concept, mainly because either alliance could just hoard both tetrapods almost instantly at the start of the match, effectively making that part of the game redundant for the rest of the match. The animation looks really nice and the real VEX parts on the robots fit in well with the rest of the field and lighting. The only minor point I'd make is that the scoring screen at the end looks good rotating, but makes it difficult to see the points scored as the background keeps moving up until a couple of seconds before the end. Good Luck!

   Frostbitten Snowball on 01/14/2015

Thanks for taking the time to look at our video and provide feedback! I'll go through a bit of the game design we had in mind. First off, yes, the black discs numerically has a value of zero while in a goal, but that does not mean they are worthless. Since the score is counted in binary, disc positions matter greatly; the black discs provide a quick way to ramp your white discs up to the highest position for 8+ points. An example of this would be a goal with 3 white discs and a black disc. You could score it several different ways: 0111 (7 points), 1011 (11), 1101 (13), or 1110 (14), but it’s pretty obvious which one is the best choice. The white discs are less important in the lower positions, so think carefully about how you use them. There are only two white discs that are not in a stack with black discs, so if you try to pick up 4 white discs, you’d probably spend enough time for the other alliance to fill their goals. On top of that, every disc that touches a floor goal is worth one point, regardless of color, so that makes black discs powerful in their own right. It was because of their versatility (arguably more than white discs) why we decided to not return black discs to the field. This way, it provides some meaningful choices for team strategies—do you try to stack white discs in a goal, sacrificing time for score? Do you try to run a scorched earth policy while the opponent takes the white discs? You could even place all the black discs on a floor goal for easy points. This way, each strategy has its own merits and counter-play. You are correct in that descoring keeps the game going because you could gain a 16 points advantage by descoring a white disc and then scoring it, but countering this using black discs means you can keep a team from using a stolen white disc against you (keeping it to an 8 point swing). Feel free to ask more questions! Tl;dr, black discs open up more strategies for teams

   robbin847 on 01/14/2015

I like this game as it really is educating people. But because the black discs are 0 wouldnt that make tha tcolor object next to useless. there would be a rush for white discs and as soon as those are gone then the game is pretty much over. That addition of the and/xor/or is nice and very smart as it can help keep the game going but it wouldnt do enough to counteract the lac kof black discs. The descoring should help keep the game going though. and why do black discs not come back. that is asking for someone to run a scorched earth and block the opposing alliance from all the white discs while you score them