Infinite Recharge Week 1

Infinite Recharge has officially launched!! 2020 is definitely going to bring an interesting game.

Kickoff – Jan 4

We started our season by attending the kickoff event at Dripping Springs High School with a variety of other local teams.

As we waited for the game reveal videos to begin, a Howdy Bot !hype in the Twitch comments was mistakenly repeated, causing it to appear 54 times in a row! (That’s over 8 minutes)

After we learned this year’s exciting game, students and mentors split up to attend informational tutorials about different aspects of FRC, including mechanical systems, marketing/fundraising strategies, programming hacks, etc. This is always a great time for individual students to interact and share their knowledge with those on other teams.

And of course, we had to stop by DoubleDave’s, our favorite pizza joint, on the way back to the shop! While eating some delicious pizza, we chatted about the tutorials and compared Infinite Recharge’s concept to that of past FRC games.

For the rest of the day, we reviewed game videos and discussed the 2020 rulebook at the shop. We also began developing strategies and weighing point values of various game elements.

As per tradition, the end of kickoff day is spent on a few good rounds of humanbot, in which students and mentors act as field elements or robots to simulate a match. This helps everyone create a strong visual on what a game match would look and feel like, from the size of the field to the actions of a robot crossing it.

Week One: Jan 4 – Jan 9

The Sunday following kickoff is spent on field simulation, aka field VR and more humanbot. This part of the team’s process is to familiarize students with the physical aspects, boundaries, and possibilities of the game. We also do this by reading and analyzing the entire rulebook together, for optimal joint comprehension.

The following two days are used for individual mechanism brainstorming, with a ban on any research and sharing with others. This is so that everyone can develop unique and crazy ideas, free from any influence or assessment. Then, on Tuesday night, we take turns brain dumping and sharing each idea without analysis or personalization. A key attribute of this session is that nobody claims ideas as their own, because everyone plays a role in developing the mechanisms we create together.

After this, we begin to seriously analyze the ideas gathered and ruling out those impractical or inefficient. The purpose of this is to narrow down our list of 80+ mechanisms to around 10, which we then do research on to determine how feasible they seem. We also reread sections of the rulebook they might potentially violate so that our robot stays clean and fair.

By the end of week one, we have multiple ideas of mechanisms to prototype, all of which were developed with input by the entire team.

Stay tuned to see how these prototypes turn out in week 2, and for updates on our progress!


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