Dynamite Duel was the first BEST Robotics game with a game story which later led to challenges with a consistent connection to an industry or educational theme.
It was also the first game with only 2 teams in each head-to-head match. Most BEST games feature 4 teams in each match.
It was the first game to implement a big physics challenge for the robots, the inclined plane. Center of gravity was an important concept to understand in this game if you didn’t want your robot to go tumbling down the ramp!
Dynamite Duel Game Story
This was our first theme/story game so we were going for humor not facts. At the time CD’s were popular. Music CD’s had made vinyl records obsolete. So we said the mine was an abanded Vinyl mine (yes we knew vinyl is not mined, as I said we were going for humor) but the abandoned mine still contained old dynamite from the mining operation. Those dynamite sticks needed to be retrieved and placed in explosion proof buckets so they could be safely disposed of. Inside the mine was a taped together bundle of 3 sticks with all the rest of the TNT sticks in a sealed crate in the middle of the field. Blowing open the crate and spilling the sticks of dynamite started each game. I made a fake TNT plunger box to “blow” open the crate for every game on our field. We even had a local politician blow open the box several times! Some of the dynamite sticks were unstable and thus heavy (no scientific reason). Students gathered the TNT sticks by having robots gather the sticks, climb up the ramp, out of the mine, and place them in the explosion proof buckets. Of course the game was to gather more sticks by weight and place them in your bucket than the other team placed in their bucket. Since the buckets were on a giant balance the heaviest bucket tipped the scales toward that side and went lower. It also made it harder for the other team to place TNT sticks in their bucket since it was now higher.
Following the 1997 Dynamite Duel game, every game design thereafter had some connection to an industry or educational theme. Themes were often selected based on recent/current events that made the challenge very relevant. Click here to find out more about BEST Industry Themes during the last 30 years.