Sep 16, 2007

FLL Mission Overview Part 2 - Solar Power Satellite

Objective: Press the red lever on your side of the table to unfold a solar panel on the satellite. Press the lever before the team on the other side of the table to make the radar dish point to your table.

Point Worth: 15 points for pressing your lever anytime, with a bonus of 5 points for pressing it first (making a total of 20 points).

Mission Location: North (top) center of field.

Estimated Difficulty Level: 1/10 for minimum points, may vary for maximum points.

Time Length Rating: Low

Unique Challenge Aspects: Only mission which incorporates a competition between the two teams opposite each other on the tables.

This mission is probably my favorite one this year. I always like the competition missions, because they're so easy to complete by themselves (or at least the past couple ones that I've been in were), but the competition aspect increases the difficulty level by an unknown quantity. You might have to hit the lever in 5 seconds to win in some cases, while in other rounds your opponent team may not even go for it! This adds a neat twist to the challenge, since you can never be sure that what you have is good enough. We'll probably be seeing some amazing solutions to this challenge at different state tournaments and especially at the World Festival.

Another interesting aspect of this challenge that is different from past years is the fact that it's located almost directly in front of the base! (hence the 1/10 difficulty rating) It almost seems like the designer purposefully made it like that to encourage teams to try for it. The fact that you get points for hitting your lever any time also encourages people to try for it, so there will probably be more teams going for it this year.

-Jonathan

Richard's comments: Just a quick reminder that you are NOT allowed to switch the pointer to your side if you did not trigger it first. Some teams did things like this in past years, for example in No Limits, they scooped the ball out of the center hoop (the objective was to be the first to place their ball in the center hoop) and replaced it with their own. This called for some of the most amazing devices, but it looks like designers wanted teams to go another apporach this year.

14 comments:

Jim Kelly said...

Jonathan's right - the strategy element is at play here - do you spend valuable game time trying to rush for the center for those extra 5 points OR do you concentrate on getting to the more difficult missions sooner?

Jim

linda zoe said...

There were a lot of teams that scored perfect 400 points last year. Maybe this challenge was designed to insure that there would not be a 400 point tie between two competing teams this year.

Dean Hystad said...

There is almost always a cooperative or competitive mission in every challenge. It is my experience that the kids prefer the competitive mission.

I thought they blew the scoring on this one. I was hoping for X points for one solar panel deployed, 2X points for two solar panels deployed, and the pointer decides who gets all the points. Now that would raise some very interresting strategy questions. "Do I race for the satellite or do I wait and see what the other team does?"

Maybe it's good I don't have a say in designing the challenge.

Jonathan Daudelin said...

Dean,

Yeah, my team really didn't like the cooperative mission either. And like Linda said, having the competitive mission would prevent a tie from occuring if two teams got 3 perfect scores at the WF again.

The problem with your scoring idea for the Satellite mission would be that you'd have to depend on the other team to get a perfect score (unless they let you activate the other team's side for them).

-Jonathan

Dean Hystad said...

I don't see the probem. About one in 10 teams last year tripped both sides of the space elevator. Why not both sides of the satellite?

It's not like we want it to be easy to get a perfect score. I think a good challeng should make a perfect score ALMOST impossible.

Jonathan Daudelin said...

Right... that's why I said, "unless they let you activate their side". So as long as FLL also allowed you to activate the other team's side, it would be good.

I agree that perfect scores should be very hard to get... I just don't think it's good to have to depend on the other team to get it.:-)

-Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Can you do the Dam project next please? These are good to read and my team will use them to help us with our robot.

Bryan

Anonymous said...

"And like Linda said, having the competitive mission would prevent a tie from occuring if two teams got 3 perfect scores at the WF again."

What if those two teams never go against each other or another team who can beat them? It won't prevent anything. Luck of the draw (obviously though the faster will win).

Jonathan Daudelin said...

That's great, Bryan. Richard is planning to post on the Hydro Dam next.

Anonymous,

Yes it's not likely that they'll go against each other in the regular rounds, but if two teams end up with 3 perfect scores after the rounds, they can go against each other only once to determine the winner.

-Jonathan

Joshua Heinzl said...

Richard and Jonathan - I'd be more than happy to write a few of the missions.

Josh

Jonathan Daudelin said...

Hey Joshua,

Thanks for offering, but Richard and I can handle them, besides the fact that non-contributors can't make posts anyway. But feel free to comment on our posts with any additional information you might have - that's always welcome!

-Jonathan

Bhavesh said...

Jim,

Thanks for mission overviews! My team loves the discussion here.

Can you post labels (tags) on this entry so that all of the overviews appear on this URL:
http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/search/label/missions

This power satellite post is missing tags currently.

Bhavesh

Jonathan Daudelin said...

bhavesh,

That's a great idea... you can find all our posts on the FLL missions by searching for "FLL Overview".

-Jonathan

Jonathan Daudelin said...

Oh, or you can search for "mission overview" to only get these posts.

-Jonathan

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