Our team is really excited to dive into the new game: Starstruck.

As I mentioned in my very first post, one of last year’s online challenge entrants provides an excellent framework for analyzing any new VEX Robotics game: VEX Robotics Guide to Effective Game Analysis.

I highly recommend watching this helpful video yourself, but here’s a breakdown of their methodology:

  1. Watch the video of the new game
  2. Read the game manual (updated 2/2/17) and appendices (A – Field Specifications; B – Robot Skills)
  3. Read the manual again, this time making annotations on the important aspects of the game
    • how to score
    • build restrictions
  4. Read the manual again
    • highlight & understand all the ways to score points
    • most common way to score
    • most rewarding way to score
    • Do this for programming skills & driver skills manuals as well


    • how to de-score
    • how to keep your opponents from de-scoring you
    • Make lists of all of these things above for engineering notebook
  5. Break down the game into simple tasks that lead to winning matches
    • determine the most optimal, efficient, and reliable ways to win based on #3 and #4
    • make a list of all the ways to deny points, no matter how obscure they may be
  6. Make a list of all the building & design limitations
    • size constraints
    • motors/pneumatics
    • special rules that nullify or modify the above restrictions
  7. Determine what tasks the robot should be able to do
    • define clear objectives of what you want the robot to do (e.g., drive, pick up balls, shoot balls)
    • put objectives in one column of a table
    • in the next column, list quantitative abilities for each objective (how fast, how many balls, etc.)
  8. Make an overall schedule of work between now and your first competition.

Good luck!