Game Design

At the competition the robots compete by playing a game which tests their capabilities and provides a spectacle for guests (and the competitors). We have assessment criteria for proposed games.

The game played on any given year is designed well before Kickstart, though we hold back the publication of any details about the game in order to both maintain suspense and ensure that teams are all starting from the same starting point.

We may update the rules during the course of the competition year, the rules document has a public version number and a section listing the amendments made in order to support this.

Game Selection Process

We should aim to allow any volunteer to contribute an idea for a game and for the process of doing so to be enjoyable for all.

The process typically looks like this:

  1. Call for submissions, where we invite everyone to submit ideas for game ideas (be they whole games or mechanics which might be interesting)

  2. Feedback on those submissions, where general discussions happen about the ideas with reference to the assessment criteria, using a mixture of mailing lists, Slack and in-person or video-call meetings.

During this stage, whole games are formed out of the proposed ideas. It typical for semi-formal rulebooks to now be written up, as this helps force thinking through the details of the game and uncovers unknowns.

  1. Selection of the chosen game, by the volunteers involved in the discussions

  2. Refinement of the chosen game, by the volunteers involved in the discussions

At the start of the process deadlines for each stage will be set, typically allowing a few weeks for each stage (except for the selection, which happens at the end of the feedback stage).


The rules themselves are maintained as a LaTeX project in a private repository on GitHub. Typically once the game is decided a single volunteer (often, but not always, the volunteer whose idea it originally was) will write up the formal rules for the game as a pull request against that repository.