Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

VRC Game Design Animation Challenge

Create an animated video that shows and explains a new VEX Robotics Competition game. This is your chance to get creative and invent a new game within the requirements of this challenge, and demonstrate the game being played in a virtual environment.  


Grade Level Requirements
Elementary School Middle School High School College / University No Grade Level Restrictions
Program Requirements
VEX V5 Robotics Competition


  • 1st: VRC Game Design Animation Award, $750 gift certificate and automatic team qualification for this season's VEX Robotics World Championship if the entrant is part of a registered VRC team
  • 2nd: $500 gift certificate
  • 3rd: $250 gift certificate


  • Entrant grade range: Middle school, high school
  • VEX competition team requirement: Must be part of a registered VEX Robotics Competition team for the current season.
  • Entries submitted in previous years’ Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.
  • Only one entry per challenge is permitted by the same person (if an individual entry) or team (if a group/team entry). Each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit an entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries.


These are the minimum requirements for this challenge. The “Judging Information” section below will provide additional guidance on how your project will be judged. Failure to fulfill any of these requirements may result in your entry being disqualified from advancing to Finalist or Winner status. If you do not know how to post a video to YouTube, please read this instruction page.

  • The game must incorporate at least one of the challenge objects described below, and the challenge object(s) used must be significantly involved in the scoring of the game.
  • A YouTube video showing the game that is No more than 3:00 minutes long with up to an extra 15 seconds at the end (not the beginning) for credits (Total allowed video length is 3 minutes 15 seconds with credits included). 
  • Please note: you must use music in the public domain, or YouTube may delete your video.
  • Post the YouTube video link directly to this online challenge site during the submission process.
  • Games/animations submitted in previous Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.

The Challenge Objects are part of the challenge to introduce a real-world limitation. Like any other engineering problem there are constraints, and in this contest the Challenge Object is one of your constraints. This year, we are offering some "greatest hits" game objects from the past few years:

Challenge Object 1: Regular Tetrahedron. The regular tetrahedron is a Platonic solid with four equilateral triangle faces. For the purposes of this game, your tetrahedron(s) may be solid, wireframe, or any combination of solid faces and wireframe sides. It may be any size you want, and you may use tetrahedrons of different sizes.

Challenge Object 2: The Hoop. This is a torus with a thin cross-section and a big hole. Your Hoop must have a torus cross-sectional diameter that is no more than 10% of the total diameter of the torus. For example, if your hoop is 12” (30 cm) across, the rim can be no more than 1.2" (3 cm) across. You may use any size Hoop as long as the proportions follow these rules.

Challenge Object 3: The Sea Urchin. This object is based on a spiny sea urchin, a spherical object with spikes. Your "urchin" can be made of a material of your choosing, and you decide if it is soft and squishy or hard and spiky. The only requirements are that the spikes must be at least as long as the radius of the sphere, and there must be at least 12 spikes. Make sure you tell us about your "urchin" when you submit your entry!

Instructions for your video:

  • Start with an title screen and introduction that states the name of the game.
  • Show and explain the scoring objects and field objects (goals, ramps, barriers, obstacles, etc.) in the game.
  • Explain how the challenge objects are used.
  • Demonstrate the game being played, explaining and/or showing important game dynamics, rules and penalties.
  • Show how a demo match would be scored and show who would win.
  • The 15-second credits at the end must include the VEX team number (if any), and the software used to create and edit the video (if any). You may include other information if you would like.
  • Any animation method may be used, including computer-generated images (CGI), claymation, stop motion or hand-crafted art. Traditionally this is a CGI contest, but we are always interested in other creative approaches. You may NOT use video of live action – remember this is an animation contest!
  • The video should well-produced and exhibit good editing, animation techniques, and use of music and narration. Please note: you must use music in the public domain, or YouTube may delete your video.
  • Robots featured in the animations should be constructed from VEX parts, follow the laws of physics and should be functional in the real world.
  • The game should be playable, interesting, and incorporate the challenge object(s) in a creative, interesting way. It is a good game.

Tips for this challenge (these are suggestions, and are not part of the rules):

  • Remember – this both a game design AND an animation contest. The quality of your game and your animation are both evaluated by judges.
  • This should be a “real” VRC game. Remember that the game should be affordable, easily constructed by volunteers, not violate any laws of physics, have understandable rules and be interesting for participants.
  • Take time to make your animation look professional. In the past we have had some great games that suffered from being presented poorly.
  • Make sure your sound quality is good. Entries with hard-to-understand narration and muddy music score poorly.

Judging Information

Judges will select at least ten finalists from the submitted entries and will take community voting results into account in making their choices. The finalist submissions will then be judged by additional selected professionals whose scores will be combined with the preliminary-round judges’ scores to determine the winner of the challenge.


  • Quality of your game: can this be a real VRC game that is affordable and easily constructed?
  • Is the game easy to understand and score?
  • Is the game interesting and creative?
  • Are the robots constructed using VEX parts, and can they function in the real world?
  • Quality of your animation: does it look professional?
  • Quality of sound: is the narration easy to understand and is the music mix clear and easy to hear?
  • Is the video well-produced: does it exhibit good editing, animation techniques, and use of music and narration?

Deadline Information

Current time:
Sat, Jun 22, 2024 12:24 PM CDT


Wed, Sep 7, 2016 12:00 AM CDT


Wed, Jan 11, 2017 11:00 PM CST

Voting Ends:

Fri, Jan 27, 2017 2:00 PM CST