View Full Version : Alternate Mech Events

05-01-2010, 08:16 PM
Earlier today in the irc chat a few of us were discussing possible alternative events or competitions that could be run over free times or possibly factored into the main tournament.

Here are just a few of my ideas:

Find and Destroy

You have come across an enemy settlement. Orders are to destroy as many of the settlements defenses before their reinforcements arrive.

Three or four turrets mounted with tank guns, transponder and target panel (or simply target panels and inexpensive micro controllers that indicate via LED when hit to keep cost down) could be randomly placed around the arena. Search out the targets and hit them once to disable them.

Based on time it takes to find destroy every target or number of targets destroyed in X time. Number of hits taken is negatively factored into your score.

Waypoint Time Trial

Hotshot rookie mech pilots are holding a race to find out who is the best.

Waypoints marked with colored flags are set in a random path throughout the arena at road intersections. Mech needs to walk to each waypoint and visually determine the path the next waypoint based on color order (red → green → yellow → blue).

Based on time it takes to reach all the waypoints or number of waypoints reached in X time.

Inclined Walk

Mech engineers have agreed that not all battles will take place on flat perfectly paved city roads. They wish to begin trials on other terrain.

Walk up and inclined plane set as steep as you think your mech can handle.

Based on ramp incline and distance traveled up the ramp.

Push and Pull

Supply shipments need to be moved to war torn civilians settlements.

Load up a small sled with as much weight as you think your mech can move.

Based on weight of sled and distance moved in X time.

Obviously on all of these quads would have a large advantage. A multiplier could be applied to any final score based on mech type or bipeds and quads could simply have different standings.

Please keep in mind that none of this is official. It is just ideas.

Feel free to add anything you may think of but please please PLEASE keep it realistic. Focus on shooting and movement and stay away from elaborate custom tracking and scoring systems.

05-01-2010, 08:37 PM
I really like these concepts -- and we will definitely be doing something like this next year (mainly to fill gaps in the Friday/Sunday schedules). In fact, I like these so much, I don't even have to talk about our capture the flag idea (because the Search and Destroy hits all the same requirements without reconfiguring the arena).

A variation on Push & Pull, (to be more like the Walker Tractor Pulls that I was so psyched about doing after pushing Odin around the arena in the free for all):

Push and Pull (tractor pull edition)
Supply shipments need to be moved to war torn civilians settlements, and the wheels on the sled are going flat.

Pull the sled as far as possible with your mech. Like a tractor pulling weight sled, the weight moves farther forward, off the wheels and onto direct contact with the ground, the farther you go.

Based on distance moved in X time.

I'm guessing we would only have 2 or 3 events like this running, since if our numbers are a bit higher, we'll have more matches in general, and more people to do these.


05-01-2010, 09:35 PM
I love the idea of stories that the mechs are "acting" out! Brilliant!

05-02-2010, 10:18 AM
OK...I had a crazy idea, and I'm not sure how it would work...

What if we made Mech Warfare sort of like a choose your own adventure book. There would be two or more different alliances competing to take over a city...or something. The winner of each battle would change the story line, and possibly what was required in the next round. The story line could change where the mechs start out in the city, and what they each have to do. It could even initiate multiple mech battles. We could all come up with different scenes, and Maya could even have her drama students shoot the preambles to each fight. It wouldn't have to be too elaborate...

Ideas could be things like defending a fallen comrade...One mech has to find and take out another mech that is on the ground before being taken out by the mech defending it. The win could be either taking out the defending mech, or taking out the defencless mech. The advantage being 2 targets one of which is not moving, the other bot's advantage being...winning if the attacking mech doesn't find the fallen mech in the 12 minutes, or knowing where the other mech is going.

Who is on each side in which fight could be determined by flipping a coin, or the alliance with the most wins...

Of course now this whole thing is just spiraling out of control...

OK...so that is probably crazy, but it seams like it would fit in with the whole thing.


05-02-2010, 12:16 PM
Sounds like an interesting concept, but I think it might be a bit premature considering the capabilities of most of the mech's currently.

05-02-2010, 01:19 PM
Waypoint Time Trial

Mech needs to walk to each waypoint and visually determine the path the next waypoint based on color order (red → green → yellow → blue).
Good idea, but I am red green color blind. Need to have a system in place for the color deficient folks.

Feel free to add anything you may think of but please please PLEASE keep it realistic. Focus on shooting and movement and stay away from elaborate custom tracking and scoring systems.

Old West Gunslinger

rules: mechs will be 24'' apart facing 180 degrees opposite of their opponent. Ref yells "ready, draw", on the word draw the mechs rotate and shoot. First one to hit a target plate wins.

05-02-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm of a half a mind to start with a hex or a quad but I don't think I'm smart enough to take that route ;););)

Take it. You will save yourself a lot of head/heart ache over the long run. While some people jump straight to bipeds, I think the complexity of balancing and walking is a real hinderance and challenge. I feel this way about kit robots, think of how much harder it is with something custom. I think some of the upcoming check-in rule changes will make it very difficult for bipeds to compete in mech warfare...

Sounds like an interesting concept, but I think it might be a bit premature considering the capabilities of most of the mech's currently.

I can't see how it would be more complex than what is already required. As is all of the mechs "should" be able to walk from point a to point b, find a target, and shoot it. How would defending a square either by patrolling or camping different.

It may mean that one robot has to walk farther than it otherwise might, but that would also work to the advantage of both participants.

I just think it would be cool to give the event a purpose....

Your right about it probably not being practical though.

just my two cents.


05-02-2010, 03:42 PM
Wow, these idea's are great. I think the gun slinger deal would work for every one but may be a good category for brats. Could be a placed where a brat gets to take out a Botzilla Maybe even a non camera event if there would ever be such an event at MW.

In the spirit for taking thoughts out of the box a bit I was thinking about props changes to fit the theme of the given event.

In this post I talk about a new arena design. http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showpost.php?p=39941&postcount=6

The bottom side panels on the inside could be changed easy enough to reflect different themes. If buildings and other large props were on wheels they could be changed with greater ease. I'm sure the wheels could be added in such away they could be concealed.

Another thought is if a new arena is made that would mean there could be 2 arena's. One could be prepped as an event was in progress in the other. The thought of a second arena will make more sense as the participant numbers grow. I'm not sure a second arena is a real concern at this point unless used for a prep or practice area.

More events, more participants. sounds like the need for more organizers will be needed. For me I know it is going to be a financial challenge to build a robot. I'm in the process now. If I do manage to get to WM next year I would not need to be asked twice to help out.

05-02-2010, 05:37 PM
Jungle Combat Area

Design an arena using randomly placed trees. It would allow for different strategies to be used than the City area. The trees would be narrower than most Mech but would become a navigation challenge. Also, you might be able to keep constant visual of the target, but you may not have a direct line of sight for your guns.

I suggest the dimensions of a paper towel cardboard tube, as the size of the trees. of course add a little bit of weight to the trees to make them a little harder to bulldoze.

05-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Let's try to keep suggestions within the realm of reality. The feasibility of creating an entirely different arena for a few exhibition matches is far beyond what I'm willing to do at the event. The arena this year took two entire days with 4 people working to get built.

Ideas are awesome, but keep in mind that we're only going to be operating with the urban arena as our playing area.

05-03-2010, 04:46 PM
So this thread has gone hideously off topic. The idea was to come up with ideas of little fun things we could do with our existing mechs during competition down time.

Edit- Tybs here, agreed. Moved tank discussion to thread here: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=4090

05-08-2010, 11:07 PM
Come on I know we can come up with more then this! The western gunslinger idea is great.

Obviously time wouldn't allow for everyone to run all side events. I think they would be an opt in if a pilot wishes to participate.

An idea I had the other night was to keep a running record board for any of these events posted in the forums and/or MechWarfare page. Records could be held over year to year. They would also be separated into biped and quad categories.

I think the key to keeping the side events interesting and fun is to have one variable, pilot controlled, that has a large affect on overall score.

An example would be the Inclined walk... Overall score could be equal the the distance traveled (up to the length of the ramp) multiplied by the incline in degrees as chosen by the pilot.

05-09-2010, 01:31 AM
I hope you don't mind, but I've been thinking about this a lot. I was thinking that we could run the side missions outside of the official robogames event times. So, starting at say 9am, and stopping at 12, and then starting up again at 8pm, and running till 10. That way it wouldn't inter fear at all with the official mech warfare event. I was also thinking that we could start up a team category...as an official part of robogames, and make it so that all of the participants of mech warfare would be placed on a team...Team selection could be random at first, and over the next few years could become something that people form as we get more participants. We would start off with two teams, and could run a series of scenarios based on the outcome of each match.


05-09-2010, 09:15 PM
OK, time to stop lurking. I've been lurking around Trossen for a while now and have picked up several ideas for new projects.
An event idea I came up with is a tower defense game. You have a tower in the middle of the arena with two teams, attackers and defenders.The tower doesn't have to be the sears tower. With the room in the arena it would be wiser to go with something like a radio tower or space needle type thing, so it's easily maneuvered around. It would have 8 target plates on it, 4 mounted low and 4 mounted high (requiring the ability to aim up ~ Geiger height). Each plate would only have 1HP so for the attackers to win they have to shoot all 8 targets. Defenders will just have to keep the attackers from succeeding for a certain period of time (or eliminate them first).
The tower should be easily moved so it doesn't interfere with regular matches but not so easily that it could be knocked over or moved by the mechs.
It's just a rough idea but I thought I would throw it out there.

05-10-2010, 09:45 AM
I'm liking this discussion so far! Sounds like a lot of fun.

I'm an avid paintball player, and some of these "scenario" games are reminding me of some other games we would play.

As mentioned previously, capture the base is a fun one. You must tag the innermost location of the base to have "captured" it. Generally you have to eliminate the defending team to do this.

I also liked "president" where one team guards an unarmed "president" while an opposing team has to score just one kill shot on the unarmed player.

"EAE" (everbody against everbody) is utter mayhem, but at least you don't have to worry about teams. If it moves, shoot it!

If more robots had hands/manipulators, you could also have a game where you must retrieve an object and bring it back to base...this one would probably be a little complicated at this point.

Thoughts on whether these would be feasible.

I also like the thought brought up earlier of having scenario's and one-on-one battles separate.