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Messages - RFS

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Robots Showcase / Re: Twilight Foundry Robotics II
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:46:36 PM »
This will probably be my final update on my robots for quite some time. Twilight Foundry Robotics has disbanded, and we've withdrawn our entries from DARC 1.4 happening next weekend. This arguably leaves only me as the sole member of the team, and I do not possess the skills or talent needed to bring an idea from concept to fruition with an end result whose quality I would be satisfied with.

The short of it is that nobody who was left on the team really gets along with each other that well anymore, and as such no progress can feasibly be made. (That and the fact that there has been no change since the hurricane and we still do not have a proper place to work on our projects.)

A lot of people have come and gone since the team formed in 2001, but what it ultimately came down to was just simple personal chemistry. Coming back from retirement to build Kill Switch 5 earlier this year was nothing short of an act of God, and even though we managed to build and compete with two more robots afterward the environment and atmosphere under which these robots were created was not one that I would personally consider "positive". The paradigm had shifted and the air in the workshop was stale with disagreement and contempt. That and alcohol. Lots of ****ing alcohol.

I acknowledge that sometimes it's better to just let things go. I am very saddened this is how my team's legacy ends for now, but that's just how life is sometimes. I am humbled and honored to have been able to design and build robots and compete with them with as many wonderful people as I have in the sixteen years it's been since my friends and I formed Twilight Foundry Robotics. We've built over two dozen different robots, been to 12 robot combat events, and won one championship. We've built bots that have been showcased in curriculum buzz reels for things ranging from LEGO Mindstorms to colleges. We've designed mobile props for web shows and light-up costume pieces for convention cosplays. It has been a hell of a ride, and I truly hope someday the Foundry can come back because I know there's so much more for us to create and do.

Thank you all for having been supportive of our endeavors for all these years.

Discussion / Re: Robot Arena 3
« on: October 23, 2017, 04:04:05 PM »

life's gotta be sad when you realise the only coverage your game is going to get absolutely anywhere is a jerma video of it repeatedly falling apart online

Pretty great video. I never got to play multiplayer RA3 because it just did not work for me, glad to see that it's hilariously broken like the rest of the game.

Also if any of you were on the fence about RA3 or wanted to experience it for yourself but not pay $20 for it, the game is on sale until Halloween for $6.79. --

Robots Showcase / Re: Team S.M.I.D.S.Y
« on: October 21, 2017, 10:20:26 PM »
Didn't know SMIDSY was still actively competing. For some reason I thought the robot ended up becoming High-5 from Robot Wars? Not sure why I was thinking that. In any case I've got a soft spot for old competitors still in the game. :)

Robots Showcase / Re: Twilight Foundry Robotics II
« on: October 13, 2017, 10:07:50 PM »
Small update. Been doing some nominal work and cleaning of parts on Global Domination. In the meantime I submitted an official request for weight bonus consideration for the robot to Dallas Area Robot Combat. DARC uses the current SPARC ruleset which offers a 50% weight bonus for "non-wheeled" robots. In my request I sent in photos and a description of the robot and pointed out that it "includes wheels" but the wheels are not ultimately the end point of its locomotion system and thus this would technically classify it as "non-wheeled". The main distinction for something that's non-wheeled but not a walker outright is that its method of movement includes some kind of circular motion or force that aren't ground-touching wheels, in this case the wheels on the inner "module" robot satisfy this definition.

Well, I got word back this afternoon and Global Domination has officially been awarded a 50% weight bonus!  :bigsmile: So I've got a full extra half pound to work with now. This is really going to help out a ton as I finish up the robot because I had some concerns that as it stands we'd be weighing in at approximately 1.25 pounds in the robot's current state.

I really hope the robot wins at least one fight. My plans are to retire it after the event in December and return the robot to its original builder inside of a nice display case and it would be really neat to send it home with a little "WINNER" medallion in said case. Otherwise I might just compete with it until it wins a fight and then retire it, assuming it doesn't get totally destroyed.

Also, Global Domination is the FIRST robot in the history of DARC (and I believe it's predecessor SWARC from a decade ago) to be awarded a weight bonus!  :gawe:

Real Robotics Discussion / Re: Robot Wars - Series Ten Discussion Thread
« on: October 12, 2017, 06:09:17 PM »
In no particular order, I voted for:

1. Aftershock -- Landed tons of solid blows last series and it took Carbide to literally shear its armor off and throw it through the wall to stop it. I'm thinking back to how utterly demolished Aftershock left Sabretooth last series and it looks like there's a lot of opportunities to do it again this time around.
2. Terrorhurtz -- I feel like John Reid has been long overdue to come up out from behind and surprise everyone. Supposedly its armor has been upgraded to something 1.2 cm thick? In any case it's beaten Carbide before and with the right driving skill can do it again. Beta was all over Tombstone at BattleBots.
3. Eruption -- Voted in because it was last series' runner-up. IMO, Eruption is a better flipper than Apollo and has a better driver, better armor, and overall a better design. Carbide vs. Eruption was very close and with the modified tournament setup for this series I think it could go all the way.
4. Carbide -- Obligatory re-vote for the current champion for no real reason. We're also currently living in the age of the horizontal spinner where bots like Carbide and Tombstone are dominating the scene.
5. Donald Thump -- WILL MEME MAGIC STRIKE AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Site News and Feedback / Receiving weird error when posting/logging in.
« on: October 12, 2017, 05:56:26 PM »

Sometimes whenever I try to post or log in I will receive this error page.

It looks like it references a plugin called "Bad Behavior", and if this is something that has been activated on my account then you have all of my keks because I'm ****ing RFS.  :dumb)

Robots Showcase / Re: Twilight Foundry Robotics II
« on: October 12, 2017, 05:12:13 PM »
Is that Super Turbo Baby Puncher in a Hamster Ball? reminds me of Team Pyramids old bot "The Phaoroahs Hamster Ball Of Death" or something like that.

The original Super Turbo Baby Puncher has a busted gearbox and has been retired. The little module inside the ball of Global Domination is something totally different (and we were planning on modifying another one for use to rebuild STBP but that ended up never happening). Global Domination runs using a "skateboard" variant of the Fly Wheels RC toy, which I've come to find out were actually quite limited in release and are very hard to find today... meaning replacement parts are going to be difficult to obtain. A 3-pound rebuild of STBP has been on deck for a while as "S.T.B.P." because I'm not 15 years old anymore and lolsorandom names like "Super Turbo Baby Puncher" aren't the pinnacle of comedy to me anymore.  :dumb)

I'm really only pursuing Global Domination as an antweight in honor of the friend who built it. He drew up the plans in 2005 for a local event that sadly never came to be so the robot has been sitting in the workshop collecting dust for the past 12 years. The module doesn't run very well and there's still some work that needs to be done on it, though I'm concerned that it's going to end up being over one pound. I lost my digital scale in the storm so I can't weigh it to see where it's at currently. :(

Real Robotics Discussion / Re: Robot Wars - Series Ten Discussion Thread
« on: October 12, 2017, 04:59:14 PM »
I was able to view the trailer just fine and A) I don't pay the BBC my TV tax and B) that's because I live in the USA.

I also just want to say lmao at the stupid spike hazard breaking not once but twice in that trailer. I've been calling those things a joke since series 8.

Real Robotics Discussion / Re: Robot Wars - Series Ten Discussion Thread
« on: October 05, 2017, 05:57:38 PM »
Round 6: Wildcard Battle: All five robots to lose in the Heat Final, and all five robots to win in the 3rd Place Wildcard battle are placed into one ten-way battle with no time limit. The last robot standing will become the sixth competitor in the Grand Final.

jesus christ

I'm pretty sure I have the whole set of those grip-activated robots and the little rev-up toys they made (including Bad Attitude, which was released at the very end of the toy line and wasn't available for long). I didn't have the money to get all of the toys so things like the keychains and RC toys I had to pass on.

Real Robotics Discussion / Re: Robot Wars - Series Ten Discussion Thread
« on: October 02, 2017, 10:02:11 AM »
So do you think Carbide will become the next Chaos 2, being the second robot to ever successfully defend their crown? Or will the new field of competitors prove too strong a match for them? Poll added to the top, cast your vote.

I hope not. I don't have anything against robots like Carbide and Tombstone or their teams but I'm getting real tired of horizontal bar spinners beating everything all the time.

Real Robotics Discussion / Re: Robot Wars - Series Ten Discussion Thread
« on: October 01, 2017, 05:56:44 PM »
Yeah the new Carbide trailer is no good. It's basically just a clip show of hits set to Johnny Cash, like I said on Reddit hell I could've done that on my own and uploaded it just to mess with people. I was at least hoping for a non-spoiler trailer that shows some of the series 10 competitors, is that too much to ask? :(

Robots Showcase / Re: Twilight Foundry Robotics II
« on: October 01, 2017, 05:43:43 PM »
We're doing alright. :) Though a minor update, the parts I recovered from The Phoenix ended up getting wet again during a recent rain storm and the battery sat in water until it turned into a brown sludge which got all over everything and ruined the digital scale we use to weigh our robots with. Hilariously, and surprisingly, Phoenix's drive and weapon motors once again cheated death and didn't get ruined. Sooo... I've got another battery in the mail. Thankfully in the year of our Lord 2017, NiMH batteries are dirt cheap.

In other news I've been making progress on clearing out debris and cleaning/testing old robot parts. This weekend I dug up all of the parts to an old robot built by my friend Jason in 2005. He's no longer a part of Twilight Foundry since he's moved away and I guess he just forgot he had parts at the workshop so he left it behind. I took some time to take it all apart and clean it up and after a little bit of TLC it came back to life. Formerly named "Hamsterball of Doom", I present to you: Global Domination

One look at this robot and you kind of understand what the concept is. It has no weapon and it rolls around by the power of the little module inside of it. I'm not sure if there's some mechanical problems or what but the module doesn't seem to want to move freely inside the ball. I'm thinking I might need a slightly larger ball and may need to carve some of the rubber down on the wheels so it sits in there better. The current ball has some indentations inside of it that the center module gets stuck on so once I get that fixed hopefully this robot will be easier to control.

I don't anticipate winning any fights with it, as this was designed as a proof of concept 12 years ago. I'm thinking about bringing it to DARC Robot Rebellion 1.4 in December and entering it in my friend's honor so his bot can finally see the inside of an arena. Plus, this all just ties back into how I feel salvaging crap after the hurricane. These things were almost lost forever so I feel like these old machines deserve to see the light of day again. That said, it should be a good crowd pleaser and I'm looking forward to getting it restored to 100% for the event.

Discussion / Re: Robot Arena 3
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:49:37 PM »
lmao that nobody even bothered to sh**post in this thread on the anniversary of the game's release.  :beer:

Truly a wonderful game. Rest in power, RA3.

Discussion / Re: Which bot are you most proud of?
« on: September 26, 2017, 04:19:53 PM »
Gotta be Thumperizer. I stand by my claim that I've never built anything better in the 14 years it's been since I built it in RA2. One of these days I'm going to make a real life version too.

Discussion / Re: Robot Arena 1 add ons
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:53:54 AM »
As far as I know the only add-on for RA1 is the official patch which adds the Chainsaw. While running the game with the patch I believe entering your robot's name as "cheatbot" and pressing the Enter key will also unlock the Switchblade weapon and Notorious B.O.T. tires for you to use. The Switchblade doesn't have a Bot Lab graphic, and the new tires re-use the mini rubber wheel graphic I think.

It's been a while but the most I remember seeing was someone made a tweak that made a few of the hidden items available. There's this forklift weapon that was never used cause the physics of the game don't allow it to work. And they never coded a way for it to work or something. There's a couple other components that are hidden I think but none of them really work or are worth trying to get ingame. I don't remember the tweak or if it's still around somewhere, but it's really not all that worth it tbh. I think the most I ever saw was a load of skins that are probably lost to the depths of time.

I want to say that was AW from AceUplink that tweaked the hidden items (Forklift, Wood armor, etc). But none of them work because there is no code for them, only menu graphics. The forklift is the only one with an in-game render and attachment points, but since the game has basically no physics the forklift doesn't do anything.

Site News and Feedback / Re: Life as admin...
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:30:03 AM »
Website administration is the worst thing on the planet and this is exactly why I don't do it anymore.  :dumb)

Robots Showcase / Re: Twilight Foundry Robotics II
« on: September 23, 2017, 08:48:49 PM »
Hi, I've been neglecting this thread for reasons unknown. Since my last update I've built two robots and retired one of them. Here's an update post of sorts. I apologize in advance for how long it is.


Telefrag at DARC Robot Rebellion 1.2

Telefrag disassembled for repair in hotel room. (DARC Robot Rebellion 1.3)

Telefrag is a fairyweight robot that weighs 149.4 grams, building it was almost a nightmare. Before we feverishly started hacking it apart to save weight Telefrag weighed approximately 200 grams, 33% overweight. It's a wedge with tank tracks, similar to our beetleweight Kill Switch. We were originally going to name this robot something to the extent of "Micro Switch" or "Kill Switch Jr." but nothing really stuck. Due to the size and shape of its chassis we also felt the robot didn't look enough like a scaled-down Kill Switch to carry the name. We settled on Telefrag, a DOOM video game reference, and gave it an appropriate matching paint job (the teleport effect from DOOM).

The robot was built from a small RC hobby tank, stripped down to its bare bones. The robot is extremely powerful as it's running motors identical to what you'd see in a Tamiya gearbox or RC BattleBots toy from back in the day. It's quick, it's powerful, and you can easily beat it by rolling it onto its side (we're working on that but we only have .6 of a gram to work with).


Full Auto at DARC Robot Rebellion 1.2

With Kill Switch currently being rebuilt into it's 6.0 edition we wanted to put together something in the interim to compete with. I bought four motors of unknown make from AliExpress to make a 4-wheel drive pusher/rammer built around a metal desk organizer I found at a thrift store. That and a galvanized shutter brace that we'd sharpen to a point and use like a train plow. I had recently come across a Facebook page for "demo derbies" with scrap RC cars and this inspired me to make my own with a combat twist.

Unfortunately the motors we bought for Full Auto were garbage and were slow as hell, even though they were rated for 6V and we ran them at 12V, and put our transmitter on its "high" setting. Still, we'd come this far with the build and we wanted to see it through regardless. We gave Full Auto a great paint job and brought it to the event.

(PS: Those wheels on the outside of Full Auto are fake and are there for show.)


Here's a video of me gabbing about my robots with some fight footage and recapping in the middle of it.

Telefrag went 3-1 and finished in second place. We got a neat little trophy for it.

Full Auto went 1-2 and did not place in its division.

Damage done to Full Auto during Robot Rebellion 1.2.


Twilight Foundry HQ, post-Harvey.

On August 25th, 2017 hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane smack dab on Rockport, TX. This sh**ty little fishing town just so happens to be where I live, and the destruction was incredible. According to the city, approximately 30% of the buildings in Rockport were destroyed by Harvey. Another 35-40% of them were damaged so severely that they have been condemned by the city and will need to be demolished and rebuilt (assuming the property owners want to do that, otherwise they will just be demolished). That's 70% of the city completely destroyed.

We did not do so well during this storm, as the photo above shows. That's the building where I lived and worked. That's where all of our robots for the past 17 years have been built, and it's gone. Damages are in the tens of thousands of dollars each in regards to property damage and personal losses. I lost most of my music collection, movie poster collection, collection of herpetology/paleontology books, video game magazine collection, and much more. We nearly lost our collection of old bots as well; some were severely water damaged but when all was said and done everything was eventually accounted for.

With no workshop however, bot building has come to an end for now.


Twilight Foundry Robotics at Robot Rebellion 1.2.

Robot Rebellion 1.3 was set to take place just a couple of weeks after Harvey hit and once I saw the damage done to the workshop I posted a photo to the DARC Facebook group and said "that's it, we're done". I had no plans to attend RR 1.3, however I quickly grew sick and ****ing tired of the drama and bullsh** taking place in Rockport and after getting an earful of BS from some asshole at work over something that was out of my control I just up and left and decided at the last minute to drive up to Dallas the day before the event.

I only had one robot, Telefrag, and it was only going to be me present at the event since everyone else was busy dealing with clean-up and rebuilding things. Thankfully we suffered very little damage to Telefrag at RR 1.2 so repairs were easy enough for me to carry out in the hotel room I was staying in and after tightening some screws and cleaning the tank treads Telefrag was ready to go. Worryingly Telefrag and its radio got some water damage during the story but everything still worked.

Some changes were made to the fairyweight arena that didn't sit well with me because they basically invalidated Telefrag's design. Walls were added to ALL pits in the arena as opposed to just half of them, and because of this Telefrag's effectiveness in the arena was greatly diminished. We had moments were we'd be on the verge of winning by ring out had the new walls not been there, and then ended up losing the match in the end. :(

Telefrag went 1-2 at Robot Rebellion 1.3 and finished 4th of 8 robots.


The Phoenix, post-Harvey.

When Harvey hit, we were in the process of working on yet another new beetleweight named Wild Ride. We'd gotten as far as assembling the base parts (drive motors, weapon motor, battery, etc) and left it on the workshop table. When the building collapsed the robot was knocked off of the table and crushed underneath a window air conditioner unit. We recovered the parts, tested them, and decided that it would be appropriate to rename the robot to The Phoenix.

Phoenix's design is similar to Robot Wars competitor PP3D, two wheels out to the side with an undercutting horizontal blade. I wish I could give you better insight as to the motors and parts we're using for this robot, but they're all salvage parts that I know nothing about! Phoenix's drive motors I believe are Chinese knock-offs of the popular "B-series" beetle motors and the weapon motor is driven by an RC car motor attached to a propeller gearbox taken from a crashed RC plane. It all works and looks good on paper, but we're expecting it to probably break in battle.

Discussion / Re: Favourite Robot Arena 2 AI Packs
« on: April 20, 2017, 11:19:21 AM »
Shoutouts to OP for having great taste in AI packs.  :beer:

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