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Topics - TheRoboteer

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1
Showcases / TheRoboteer's Tries to Figure Out RR2
« on: November 12, 2019, 03:29:32 PM »
Figured I should make one of these. I've mostly just been recreating my RA2 designs at the moment to learn the ropes of the botlab in RR2, but I hope to do some original designs at some point in the future

This is Claymore, based off one of my flagship RA2 bots. Pretty happy with this thing actually. The front end is almost all panels which have been adjusted to fit nice and flush with each other. Flipper uses a hinged linear actuator while the drive is 2 of the longer ampflows connected through  1:1 ratio chains into 90 degree gearboxes with a 2.5:1 ratio, which makes for a nice balance of speed and controlability IMO

 


I also updated Speed Demon a bunch. A much nicer disc which is a lot closer to the RA2 version, but still manages to be hella powerful thanks to a bunch of work I did making sure the engagement on the teeth was good. It's actually 4WD though the front wheels are only BW motors and pretty much just exist to help with turning against the gyro from the weapon. The srimech has been retained while the drive setup is absolutely ridiculous as some of you in the discord may have seen, though it actually works fine. Happy with this thing now

 

2
Off-Topic Discussion / On GTM's Reputation with Other Communities
« on: September 15, 2019, 05:38:53 AM »
So yesterday there was some discussion in the GTMCS discord about the (declining) state of GTM, the reasons behind this, and what can be done to prevent the decline of the forums specifically. In order to try and figure out each of these, I created a fairly basic survey which I distributed in 3 other prominent communities which are to at least some extent based around playing RA2, which asked the members of these communities if they've visited GTM, if no why not, and what they liked and disliked/thought could be improved about GTM. The responses to the survey are featured in an excel document here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LK_8x79TNiPgHB3S1v-KubUgtmV5LOfn

I also posted some preliminary findings from these responses. These findings aren't meant to be the be-all and end-all conclusion drawn from the survey, but rather they're just there to encourage discussion. Hopefully this discussion can lead to some kind of action which makes the forum more attractive to people and just overall improves the unity and happiness of the RA2 community overall.

Feel free to discuss this below. The whole point of this is to try and get people talking about what can be done moving forward

3
DSL-IRL Heavyweight 800kg
IRL packs, CF etc allowed
Robogames Arena
Best of 5
Bildschirm to host

4
Challenge Board / TheRoboteer vs Hoppin [IRL Challenge belt] (Hoppin Wins)
« on: November 18, 2018, 05:14:01 PM »
DSL-IRL HW
CF allowed
BFE allowed
Flats and Overkill motors only from CB2
Best of 3
RW2016 arena
Bildschirm to Host

5
Tutorials and Tips / IRL - A Beginner's Guide
« on: November 09, 2018, 09:58:14 AM »
I've always been irked by the fact that there's no real one-stop shop that new members can come to to learn about exactly what IRL building is all about, as I think it would allay a lot of the confusion about exactly what is and isn't IRL legal that we sometimes see from new members. This guide will aim to solve that.

To start at the very beginning, there are three main building styles in Robot Arena 2. One is Unrealistic. This ruleset encourages players to create the most effective robot that they possibly can in Robot Arena 2, with no regard for appearance or realism. This build style is most often seen in Stock, unmodified Robot Arena 2.

Then there is what’s known as “Standard”. This ruleset introduces some elements of realism, but has the main aim still being effectiveness. Robots in this ruleset are not allowed to break the laws of physics like in Unrealistic, but are still allowed to do things that wouldn’t be possible in the real world in the name of effectiveness. This is most often seen in DSL or Ironforge.

Then, there is the style that this guide will cover. IRL. The main aim in this style is to create something that looks like what you might see on shows such as Battlebots or Robot Wars, and also to create something that just overall looks cool. Effectiveness isn’t totally eliminated from consideration in IRL. But it should come after realism and looks in this style of building. Generally this style is done in DSL-IRL 2.4, a link to which can be found here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/downloads/?sa=view;down=547

As a result of this, IRL has fairly strict rules about what is and is not allowed when building. There is one EXTREMELY important thing to note before I start going over the rules of IRL building though:

IRL BUILDING HAS INHERENT ELEMENTS OF SUBJECTIVITY. A BOT MAY GET ACCEPTED INTO ONE IRL TOURNAMENT BUT GET REJECTED FROM ANOTHER. THIS IS JUST THE NATURE OF THE RULESET AND THERE'S NO POINT COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.

This subjectivity stems from the fact that IRL as a build style is as much about following the ‘spirit’ of the ruleset as it is about following the letter of the law. Hosts may reject a robot, even if it could technically be done in real life, if they feel it doesn’t follow the spirit of the rules by focusing on looks and realism before effectiveness. If effectiveness is your main goal, then Standard or Unrealistic building may be more your cup of tea.

That said, recently there have been steps to standardise the ruleset that IRL tournaments use, so as to try to keep the standard of building as high as possible across all IRL tournaments. This ruleset can be found here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/personal-tournaments/2020-tournament-season/

Now that that's out of the way we'll start with the most basic tenets of IRL building. Some of these may seem like common sense to more experienced builders of IRL but it's totally understandable if a new member doesn't pick them up straight away.

Component Choice:
One of the first things new players to DSL (and by extension IRL) must learn, is that certain components are suitable for certain jobs. Nowhere is this more true than with motors. Compared to stock Robot Arena 2, DSL splits motors into two categories: weapon motors, and drive motors. Builders must use motors which are suitable for the job in hand if they are to make an efficient and effective robot. Using say, a weapon motor for drive, or vice versa will result in either a slow, sluggish robot, or an underpowered weapon, so this is something that builders must commit to memory to guide their motor choices when building. Below is a table containing all of the spin motors in DSL, and whether they fall under the drive, or weapon motor categories.

 


Below is an example of a motor being used incorrectly. Motors such as the piglet are often attractive as drive motors to new players due to their light weight which allows them to spend more weight on armour and weaponry, but in actuality this usage of piglet motors is extremely inefficient, and will result in a sluggish robot which struggles to defend itself against machines which use proper drive motors. Likewise is true for using drive motors to power a weapon such as a disc, though this is less commonly seen.

 


Spinner Supports:

In IRL building, there is also the rule that all spinners, vertical or horizontal, must have adequate supports for the weapon axle. This is one of the most commonly overlooked rules of IRL building by newbies, but is also one of the few rules in IRL that can have little argument over it. Below are examples of a properly supported VS and HS by RedAce:

 


As you can see, both bots have rigid, triangular supports for their weapons made out of extenders. It's also important to note that the axle of the motor that he has used is supported by these extenders. This is possible thanks to component freedom, which is widely legal in IRL tournaments, and allows for the collision mesh of the extender and the motor axle to intersect, enabling the creation of proper supports.

Below are two examples of inadequate supports that would not be legal in IRL building. In the left example the motor has no supports at all as the axle is floating in mid air supported only by the motor chain (which obviously would not provide any support were this real life). In the right example the weapon has SOME support, but it is not at all adequate. The single extender would buckle as soon as the weapon hit anything in a real combat scenario, which means that this setup would not be legal.

 


It is also important to note that weapon motors must also be adequately protected and supported. RedAce's VS has some of its weapon motor exposed, but it is mounted well out of the way of any potential hits from opposing machines, and has a majority of it placed within the chassis, providing protection to it.

Wedge Design:
Wedge design is another point of contention in IRL building. An effective wedge can be absolutely crucial for bot designs like flippers and certain vertical spinners, so creating a wedge that is effective, but also realistic is of paramount importance. The kind of wedges which are often seen in Standard and Unrealistic building are very effective, but are generally not allowed in IRL building. Below is an example of a type of wedge which would be perfectly legal in Standard or Unrealistic, but is not allowed in IRL building

 


This wedge is very effective at getting under opponents, but it makes use of extremely thin, totally unsupported sheets of metal, which would buckle on first contact with an opposing machine in a real life combat scenario. We can apply some of the principles of wedge design used in Standard or unrealistic building to achieve similar wedge effectiveness while remaining IRL legal through various means. One popular method is to use wedgelets, as in the example below.

 


We can see in this example that the robot has 2 thick wedgelets extending out of the front of the robot in order to assist in getting under other machines. It is important top note that while obviously different from the example of an illegal wedge, it does use many of the same principles. For example, the wedgelets are each mounted on a metal hinge, and said hinge has been mounted in such a way that it is very low down in the robot, and the angle of the wedgelets are minimised. The reason that this setup for a wedge is legal where the previous example is not is because the wedgelets are sufficiently thick that they would not bend on contact with another machine like the wedge in the first example would.

That said, there is one scenario where thin sheets such as those in the first example are legal in IRL building. This scenario is a "dustpan" wedge, which has been seen on real robots such as S.O.B from Battlebots. Below is an example of a dustpan in Robot Arena 2

 


Here, Hoppin has used the thin skirt panels, but has used armour panels on the side to provide support and stiffness to them. This means that this setup is legal, as it mirrors setups seen on real life bots such as S.O.B

 


Another popular method that has recently gained traction for wedges is the use of a panel and a wedge edge. This method trades some durability possessed by wedgelets for potentially better wedging ability if done right. An example of a robot that uses this wedge method can be seen below:

 



Again, this method should use the same principles of wedge design mentioned earlier:

-   Mounting the hinge low down in the robot (but not so low down that it pokes out of the bottom of the machine and raises its ground clearance)
 


-   If using the skirt hinge, only using the centre attachment point (especially applicable if using wedgelets, where the two outer attachment points may look tempting to allow you to get 2 wedgelets while only having to use a single hinge component), as the outer attachment points have terrible wedging ability and will prevent you from getting under opponents effectively.
 


-   Minimising the angle of your wedge piece so that opponents don't have to climb up a steep slope when you get under them.
 


If done correctly all of this should result in a highly effective wedge, regardless of whether you use wedgelets, a panel and wedge edge, a dustpan, or even some other design. A good test of wedging ability is to try to get under the large lockers in the testing arena of the botlab. If you're able to do that, your wedge should be more than good enough for a tournament.

Weapon Restrictions:
This is an extremely contentious point in IRL building, and is the source of much of the debate that surrounds the meta. There are some restrictions placed on both weapon types and quantities in IRL building, though these restrictions vary from tournament to tournament. In general though 'weapon spam' as it is known, is either disallowed, or looked down upon in IRL building, as it goes against the spirit of the ruleset that was mentioned at the start of this guide. Peoples' definitions of what constitutes 'weapon spam' vary. Some tournaments will place a hard limit on the number of teeth that a weapon such as a spinner can have. It is best to simply try to follow the rules of any tournament you enter, and make your own mind up about what you feel constitutes weapon spam over time.

Additionally, we do see some limitations on bot types that are allowed in IRL building. The "popup" bot type which aims to hit an opponent from below with a large number of weapons attached to burst motors or pistons, and is extremely popular in both Standard and Unrealistic building, is generally not allowed in IRL, as such a weapon setup would cause next to no damage in a real-world scenario.

Finally, there is the matter of flippers, and how many burst motors they're allowed to have. The number of burst motors allowed on flippers varies from tournament to tournament, like the limits on teeth, but these days the most common limits are 2 or 3 bursts for a flipper. Above 3 bursts on a flipper is extremely rare to be allowed, and even 3 is sometimes illegal in some tournaments. Ensure that you read the tournament's rules carefully before entering.

Internals:
You may think that as long as your bot looks realistic from the outside then you are good-to-go, but this is not the case. There are important restrictions placed on a robot's internals just as there are on the externals. Many new players assume that since component freedom is generally legal in IRL building, that it is also legal to intersect all components inside each other to create the most compact bot possible. This is untrue. IRL follows similar rules to Standard building in this regard. A component may only intersect with another where a slot could feasibly be cut in real life. This means that components such as motors, batteries, air tanks and control boards may not intersect with one another. However, static, non-electrical/mechanical components such as extenders may intersect with other components, including control boards, motors etc, so long as a slot/hole could be cut to accommodate them in real life. Additionally, moving parts may under no circumstances intersect with other moving parts.

Below is an example of a weapon setup which would not be legal. From the outside of the bot, all looks fine, but when we look inside, we can see that the weapon bar will cut straight through the weapon motor as soon as it spins, which renders this setup illegal in IRL building.

 


Here is another example of unacceptable clipping in IRL building. Here, we can see that the drive motors intersect with the weapon motor. While this may help get a more compact bot, it is not acceptable in IRL building, as there is no way a slot could be cut through the weapon motor in order to accommodate the drive motors.

 


Below is an example of clipping that would be deemed acceptable in IRL building. The extender is colliding slightly with the weapon motor, but because an extender is simply a solid hunk of metal, unlike a motor, a slot could be cut out of the extender to accommodate the clipping with the motor were this a real robot, which means that clipping of this nature is deemed acceptable in IRL building.

 


Extenderbots and OBJ2RA2:
These are two terms that may be confusing to new members, but that are growing ever more prevalent in IRL building. An extenderbot is a robot which has little to no chassis (often they will make use of a "pixel chassis" which is contained within an extender anchor, which provides a base to build off of. This chassis is available here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/gallery/?sa=view;pic=5769), and is made up almost entirely out of extenders and armour plates, making use of the component freedom mod to break the "rule of 7" (in default Robot Arena 2 you can only have a maximum of 7 components in a chain) and to place extenders and panels in places that you would otherwise not be able to. This has several advantages and disadvantages. An advantage of extenderbots is that you can achieve shapes that would be impossible to achieve with the default chassis creator in Robot Arena 2. Below is an example of an extenderbot with such a shape:

 


Furthermore, the fact that extenderbots are made out of breakable components allows for more realistic destruction than traditional robots (or chassisbots as they are also known), with chunks of robots being able to be ripped off, and internals such as motors becoming exposed. Such destruction comes with a major drawback though. Damaging extenderbots places a lot of strain on the outdated physics engine of Robot Arena 2, which can lead to crashing or 'havok explosions' (bots magically pinging across the arena unpredictably despite seemingly having no forces acting on them).That said, there have been recent improvements in this area, with a 'crash patch' being developed by Geice that prevents the game from crashing and minimises havok explosions by altering the weights of certain parts to make them more stable. This patch is available here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/downloads/?sa=view;down=540

Another option to minimise crashing and havoking is OBJ2RA2. This is a relatively new technology pioneered by Apanx, and enables you to import any .obj file as a chassis into Robot Arena 2. This allows for similar complex chassis shapes to extenderbots (though it lacks the more realistic destruction) while placing less strain on the physics engine. Because it is such a new development it has lacked the widespread adoption that extenderbots have seen, and it is also somewhat complicated and difficult to grasp for many members, but those who do make use of it have produced some fantastic results

 


Component Legality and Cheatbot2:
Many IRL tournaments allow the use of 'cheatbot2' components. cheatbot2 (commonly known simply as CB2) is a feature in Robot Arena 2 where you can name your robot 'cheatbot2' in order to access a plethora of hidden, sometimes extremely powerful components. Many IRL tournaments only allow certain cheatbot2 components, as many of them are extremely unbalanced and not suitable for tournament use. Make sure to read each tournament's rules on cheatbot2 components carefully before using them in order to ensure your robots are not rejected.

Bot File Editing:
The last point I will touch upon in this guide is bot file editing. Despite the daunting name this process is relatively easy, with guides how to perform various tasks using bot file editing (commonly referred to as BFE) here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/tutorials-and-tips/guide-to-the-bot-file-(re-up)/ , here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/tutorials-and-tips/bfe-a-beginner's-guide/ and here: https://gametechmods.com/forums/general-support/how-to-edit-a-botfile-to-make-it's-burst-motor-have-an-180-degree-arc/msg646794/#msg646794 .

BFE allows builders to do a plethora of things that are not normally possible in the game, such as create a chassis lower than the normal minimum height achievable, move components around after they have been placed, or change the colour or material of a component after it has been placed. BFE is often legal in IRL tournaments, though some limit what it can be used for. Again, be sure to read the rules of the tournament before building your robot to avoid getting rejected.

Summary:
I hope this guide proves useful in at least dispelling some of the myths around IRL, and cluing new members in on exactly what it's about so that there's less confusion when new people join. Many thanks to RedAce, Hoppin and Tashic for allowing me to use some of their bots as examples in this guide.

6
DSL-IRL
HW 600-800
Cheatbot 2 Illegal
BFE legal for chassis height only
Component Freedom Legal
Robogames Arena
First to 3

Hoppin to host

7


Welcome one and all to TheRoboteer's Amazingly Planned Scrimmage. Below are the splashes for the robots that have been entered (There are 25 as Tashic and PrimevalMamba's machines will be fighting it out for the last place in a soon-to-be-released video). Brackets and Videos for fights will be up soon but for now here are the bots!

Splashes (Warning: Losts of large pictures!):

Brackets:

Videos:

8


Creating this topic to gauge interest for this potential tourrney I'm planning. Basically gonna be an IRL Cruiserweight tournament with extremely strict enforcement of DSL-IRL standards with the goal being to have as close and unpredictable tournament as possible. I've drafted up a possible ruleset here. Would be nice to get some feedback on what needs adjusting, adding or changing.

RULES:

Meta: DSL IRL (Strictly enforced, meaning no weaponspam or borderline DSL-S bots that don't even try to look good or realistic.)

Weight Class: Cruiserweight (400-600KG)

DSC's component packs (1, 2 & 3) legal and encouraged

Component Freedom, BFE and OBJ2RA2 all alowed for IRL purposes. Any uses of these tools that I feel go against the spirit of IRL will be banned

Tracked robots get no weight bonus. Walkers are banned.

1 entry per person to begin with. Will be expanded if the tournament does not generate significant interest

Multibots banned

Swiss-Army Bots (Robots with interchangable weapon configs) banned to prevent a repeat of the Robogames fiasco surrounding them.

Matches will be run a maximum of 3 times. If a bot is judged to be causing the match to break (whether through havoks or some other glitch) after these 3 runs, it will automatically forfeit the fight.

Thwackbots (regardless of .py) and flamerbots that use eternalflame (Regardless of .py) are all banned. If you send me a flamerbot that uses eternalflame I will change the AI regardless of how many fuel tanks it has.

Robots may be updated until the splash is posted.

Robots will be judged on Damage, Aggression and Control, With Aggression being of most value, followed by Damage.

I reserve the right to reject robots based on the above rules, or if I feel that it does not fit with the DSL-IRL meta standards that this tournament is using

If a bot is unable to be AIed, the opportunity to replace the bot will be given. If this is not done in a timely fashion, a byebot will be used instead

Bots will be classified as "weaponspamming" (and therefore will be rejected) if they: Use more than 4 large typhoon teeth, use more than 1 replica disc, use more than 2 burst motors for a flipper (With the exception of Beta bursts and Large VDMA R/P bursts, where the limit will be 1), or generally abuse any damaging
component by fitting an unrealistically large number of them.


FORMAT:

The arena used will be the RW2016 Studio

The tournament will use a single-elimination format

No upper limit on total entries, if less than 8 bots are entered though the tournament will not be able to be run

In the event of an odd number of participants joining, byebots (which are yet to be decided) will be used

My Entry:

CHEATBOT2 PARTS:

Legal Cheatbot2 parts for this tournament are:

Flatmotor

Slow Flatmotor

ENTRIES:
(Black = Recieved and Awaiting Evaluation, Green = Accepted, Red = Rejected)
Hoppin - Shrapnel
PrimevalMamba - Rapture
DemonOfTomorrow - Crusader
MrBK445 - Shooting Star
Daddydjent - Ultradisk 2
Guldenflame - Revolution
TGM - Return of Panic Attack
Pokebro14 - Gladioator
KillerTurtleG - Death is Drumming Class C
Dragonsteincole - White Faced Hornet
kaiser112183 - Wraith 2
TheOrcCorp - General Orcatraz MK2
Mystic2000 - Dark Maw
Pokebro14 - Robo Crab
Mattiator - The Pacifire
NeonCalypso - Jalapeno Ant
JDG37 - Trevor the Ctrtl
Virus Bomb - Illumination
RedAce - Rampage
Xanosz - Poly Disaster
Badnik96 - Asmodeus
F1Krazy - Millwall Brick
FOTEPX - Sun of Osiris
Evil Toaster - Steve

9
Challenge Board / DemonOfTomorrow vs TheRoboteer (TheRoboteer Wins)
« on: April 17, 2017, 02:14:05 PM »
CW
DSL 2.2 IRL
RW Arena
Best of 3
CF, BFE legal
CB2 illegal
Host: RedAce

10
Challenge Board / Avalanche vs TheRoboteer (Avalanche Wins)
« on: February 22, 2017, 02:42:09 PM »
Rules:
DSL 2.2 HW IRL (400-800)
CF Allowed
BFE Allowed
Robot Wars Arena
Cheatbot2 Banned
First to 3 wins

Host:
DemonOfTomorrow

11
Discussion / Portable RA2
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:51:48 PM »


So I was watching this video from LinusTechTips about a portable windows PC that can do some reasonable gaming, and it made me wonder. Snice he's able to play Batman Arkham Asylum at reasonable framerates, and the machine is windows based, what's to stop someone from loading RA2 up on it and having a portable way to play?

Obviously RA2's interface isn't very controller friendly, but hey, it could still be a lot of fun.

12
DSL TC Showcases / TheRoboteer's Hit or Miss DSL Showcase
« on: October 08, 2016, 12:22:19 PM »
Been lurking here for a while now and finally decided to do a post.

First bot is called Tommib III. It is a VS. Weapon is powered by an EEL Perm-132. Srimechs are powered by Slow Mag Snappers. Drive is 2X fast NPCs. Definitely a lot of room for improvement (Chassis is quite large) so I'm looking for feedback on how to improve.


Internals


Externals




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