2019 FIRST Launch and my guess at the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition game

caveat: well, not much of a guess… just a general theme I suppose
FIRST’s new release at the 2018 Houston Championship: FIRST Launch 2019: All Systems Go

As the cheers at the 2018 FIRST Championship Houston faded for the winners of the final match of FIRST POWER UP, FIRST released one of their biggest bombshells yet: the names and themes of the next year’s games, all at one go. The group, dubbed FIRST Launch, is a unification of all four programs under one theme. But, what I’m interested in is the FRC game — Destination: Deep Space. Before the game is announced, many guesses are made as to the game’s mechanics. Before the release of STEAMworks for instance, it was thought that the game would involve flight. Before POWER UP, the community was thinking about stairs, PAC-MAN, a myriad retro games. But these guesses are always proven wrong come kickoff. But before the release of the details of Deep Space, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring of my guesses at what Deep Space will entail.

The Name Reveal

When the names were revealed, an animation was played for each game. In my opinion, it was a fantastic way of revealing the game names — it looked nice, it revealed the games well, it drew interest as a “special announcement,” and it unified all four games by putting them one after the other. However, as a part of the design for each game, along with the program name and game logo, was a little icon that changed for each reveal.

FIRST Lego League Jr., and the moon featured in Mission Moon

For example, Mission Moon’s graphic featured a FLL Jr. Green variant of the moon as seen in the logo. The icon represented the game — it was a moon game, with a moon icon. This can also be seen with the other games.

FIRST Lego League, and a rocket (moving in the video) flying into space
FIRST Tech Challenge, and the rover creating said ruckus

So what does the FIRST Robotics Competition game reveal show?

Another rocket.

However, this rocket appears more complex than the one shown for the FLL game.

In addition, the rocket does not merely appear. It animates, with the fins of the rocket rotating around it. The nose cone and fins also appear separate from the rocket.

The logo also shows the very beginnings of a rocket launch. As it animates, the orange rocket moves from the bottom to the top, and the text is covered with grey, background-covered smoke… or exhaust

Thus, my prediction for the 2019 FRC game is one featuring rocket building. The fins and nose cone need to be acquired by teams as game pieces, and they need to be assembled in order to build a rocket ready for liftoff by the end of the match.

A work in progress rocket in front of a Boeing manufacturing plant, found on Google Images

A rocket building theme would also fit with the sponsor for the game, Boeing. Boeing is in the business of building rockets, with its race against SpaceX to reach Mars (which is a destination pretty deep into space…). A game about the assembly of rockets would be pretty good in terms of strengthening Boeing’s brand, showing that they support STEM and aerospace education. They’d be showing the process of building rockets for the next generation, training new engineers to build new Boeing innovations.

I’ll probably come up with more things, but this is all I can think of (or care to write about) for now. All things considered, the next year of FIRST looks like it’ll be the greatest one yet.

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