Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

VEX Breakthrough

23

7682E
Entry ID #: 4984
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 8:24 PM


Introducing VEX Breakthrough

VEX Breakthrough is a strategic game based around scoring balls, blocks and buckets. Alliances of 2 teams play against each other attempting to score the most points during a 2-minute match. The blocks in the middle of the field form a wall that teams need to break through to access the majority of their buckets. As well as being scorable objects, the blocks also become obstacles for robots, making multiple strategies possible in this game. Our recycled game object is the Nothing but Net ball mostly for its light weight yet large size making for plenty of variation in robot designs. We looked at materials used for other robotics games before deciding on HDPE plastic for our block scoring object. It has a much smoother surface than a Nothing but Net ball and doesn’t squish like them.

Scoring

We chose both to have low value and high value scoring options for game elements with corresponding levels of difficulty. This means the game could be played successfully by both beginner and advanced teams. Careful attention was paid to the bucket design to maintain stability when on the ground but present a challenge to score on the high shelf. We felt that introducing a fixed obstacle on the field wasn’t achieving our goals so we morphed it into a large game element that contributed towards scoring.

Rules

Robots may only control a maximum of 4 balls at a time but can control as many blocks and buckets as they like. Initially this didn’t seem like a good plan until we realised that this could open many possibilities for alternative gameplay strategies. Buckets, blocks and balls are initially distributed such that attempts to hoard or otherwise deprive an alliance of scoring opportunities would be strategically difficult.

The game is played on a standard 12’ by 12’ VRC field and usual robot construction and safety rules apply.

Software

Our goal this year was to make the game incredibly realistic in the animation and texturing. Thanks to Autodesk Maya, 3dsMax, Inventor and the Arnold Renderer, we were able to achieve these goals. We also used Substance Painter from Allegorithmic to add high quality details to the texturing of the game elements. Instead of hand animation techniques which we used for previous game animation challenges, we explored creating animations which were more realistic, and this led us to try dynamic simulations. We used the Bullet Physics engine included with Maya to create more accurate and life like results for the interactions between robots, game objects and the field elements.

 

Music credit: Xenogenesis - TheFatRat / Tasty Records

 

We hope you enjoy the game and feel free to comment or ask questions below. Don’t forget to Login here with Google, Facebook or Twitter and click the thumbs up icon above!

Files

Links / Videos

VEX Breakthrough is a strategic game based around scoring balls, blocks and buckets. Alliances of 2 teams play against each other attempting to score the most points during a 2-minute match. The blocks in the middle of the field form a wall that teams need to break through to access the majority of their buckets. As well as being scorable objects, the blocks also become obstacles for robots, making multiple strategies possible in this game.

Comments

   jacob.31388@nv.ccsd.net on 03/12/2018

Hi, this was an amazing game and really well designed. I liked how you 3d designed your own robots to compete in this. Did you create the robot parts needed to design them or were there files online that you found and used? I would really appreciate it if you either sent me the files or directed me to where I could get them.

   judgereed on 02/13/2018

Really like this game. Only suggestion is maybe something for endgame for robots to do. Also, Might be a scoring issue for field staff. Other than that, great game!