Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Place discussions about upcoming events here in this thread.

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MarkR
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Re: Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Post by MarkR »

I would certainly not be in favour of anything which discourages teams bringing joke robots, last-minute robots, or other kludgy things which are unlikely to win - they are certainly part of the entertainment.

I didn't see any ducks on Saturday, but at least Diotant was there (when did Diotant stop being a joke robot and start being competitive?!)

I can't remember the team or driver who hot-glued a robot from spares in AWS56 - it was made during tech-check time with hot glue which wasn't even solid yet during weigh-in, and it was overweight so needed a few bits cut off.

And the one made of train tickets at AWS55 ?

I'd hate them to be excluded :)
Robots: Betsie - RaspberryPi controlled flipper bot with gyro stablisation - too clever for her own good?
Stacie - tidy flipper; 4wd driven by hair bands

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Ocracoke
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Re: Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Post by Ocracoke »

To chip in on this discussion as a person who didn't attend this AWS:
  • Multiple arenas: So long as the extra arena(s) met AWS requirements, that'd be OK but it'd then require more event crew to make it work which I know can be a problem. I don't think it'd require an update to Antlog per se, just some coordination to know who is fighting where.
  • Charging competitors: I've never been keen on the idea of charging people to come to BotFest because I feel that would deter some people from coming and ultimately, these events don't run if people don't come. That being said, I appreciate that AWS runs on a completely different scale and I do understand the burden of taking on the full cost of an event (BotFest 2 was about £200-230ish all in with insurance being the main cost this time around) so if it was say £2 per robot (regardless of weapon/mobility type or whatever), assuming a full 128, that is £256, I would understand that sort of charge.
  • Limiting the robots to 3 per team: I do/did this at BotFest because of the way the event is structured in that all entrants are split into 4 groups, one unique robot per team per group. In the current AWS tournament structure, you couldn't fill the 128 spaces if all teams entered 3 robots if my maths is right. A 2+1 system would be fine in my book
  • 2 minute fights: This is something I do at BotFest, though it is very rare for a fight to go the whole two minutes in the group stages in my experience.
  • Robots not being ready when called up: This is a tough one in my opinion. I want all the fights to go through of course but there has to come a point where you say "No, that is it". With that said, I also am not overtly keen on it being a set time limit of x amount of minutes because it adds more pressure onto the EO to measure this in the middle of running the event as well. I would rather skip onto another fight and then ask if they are ready to go after that and repeat if not. It'd require some judgement on the EO's part as to when to call it but I can't think of another solution to it.
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Spaceman
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Re: Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Post by Spaceman »

As first time EO at AWS 57 I experienced some of all of this. I was lucky that I had hired the hall a bit later but it was very chaotic.

I personally think a limit of 3 robots with the 3rd being a walker/cluster is sensible. If we could increase events then it allows more opportunities for robots to fight, teams will just need to curate what machines they use.

Regarding dual arenas: In the case of AWS 57 I am not sure it would have worked. I think to do it successfully you need space and people to effectively run 2 competitions in parallel while communication is maintained.

most fights do not last a full 3 min so I think dropping to 2 min would be helpful but not impact full as people may think.

One thought would be to look at dropping the double elimination. Possibly not entirely but maybe after a certain round. While I realize DE allows competitors to guarantee 2 battles with a robot, It does significantly add to the fight load. It would be worth exploring other formats. Maybe early rounds could include more rumble based battles to cycle through more competitors quicker. I do recall people who were worried they had not fought for a long time due to volume of battles and the way the draw had been.

Also agree tech check is an area that need streamlining. For me it was the one area of the day I found most stressful. While I realize its no easy matter to do something like pair up ant log, I feel its worth investigating methods to make the process easier and/or quicker.

I was down a bit on funds following AWS 57 so a entry fee to offset costs would be good. While i enjoyed being a EO it is hard to commit to that sort of costs easily without knowing it can be offset.

A question in insurance: If the event becomes a fee paying event would that impact on insurance? Also, when I booked in insurance for AWS 57 I was told that it did not cover damages by competing teams on the venue and, while they would be liable, the venue owners would likely pursue the EO for costs. The advice i was given was to ensure teams had insurance to cover their creations. This may just be a quirk of the insurance I had got, but are we getting to the point where we have to address insurance coverage for the teams as well as the event itself.

I appreciate I an a new EO so haven't got the experience of others, and that some of the above suggestions may well not be practical or feasible. Having been a EO I would say its very hard work, and hats off to all past and future EO's for doing it.
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James Williams
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Re: Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Post by James Williams »

I wouldn't be too keen on dropping double elimination as it would pretty disappointing for teams with only 1 bot (especially new teams) to spend hours traveling to & from events, sometimes even spending the night at a hotel, only to be out pretty quickly after only 1 fight.

I do however think having melees in the 1st round could have potential. Lets say for mathematical convenience we have 120 bots at an event & each fight averaged 2 minutes including time between fights. As it stands the first round would be 60 1v1s, taking up 2 hours of time. If we instead had 3 way fights you would have 40 fights totaling 1 hour 20 minutes. The only major drawback with this that I see is that having melees could mess with the brackets regarding matchups in the following rounds.

I do also think that although dropping to 3 bots worked well, I don't think something as drastic as dropping to 2 rollers + 1 walker/cluster is necessary yet. I think allowing the standard 4 bots to sign up & dropping to 3 if necessary is best.

One question regarding charging is that if we start charging a set amount at an AWS, should every AWS following that have the same charge applied or do we leave it to each individual EO to choose whether or not to charge at their event?

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Re: Coping with the demand (An EO's perspective)

Post by MySolderIsOlder »

3-way battles for dbl-elimination round sounds intriguing and could add to the excitement if the software could cope (though I wouldn't go above 3 bots in a standard arena). Obvious downside is that individual fights would take longer, though whether significantly more would go the full 3 mins is doubtful - and if the transition time between bouts is longer than the extra fighting time, it should still be more efficient. Can also impose strict time-limits on readiness during this phase of the comp but (at EO's discretion) be more flexible in later rounds (when there are fewer bots but more damage to tend to).
Maybe worth trying out at an Antweight Open?

Don't have a problem with charging so long as it's a low entry point (£2-3 per bot). Ten quid isn't a lot relative to the cost of preparing 3 antweights and travelling to the venue. Alternatively, if the EO's made it easy to contribute voluntary donations (on-line giving page for example) then I'm sure some of us who are in a position to give more would be happy to do so. Personally, being very English, I'd feel more comfortable contributing discretely via something like gofundme rather than ostentatiously asking the EO for their paypal details.

I should add these are the views of someone who hasn't actually made it to an AWS yet!
Stuart (Anthony's dad)

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