72 hour of amazing hell is over, now it's your turn!

Ok, so if you've been under a rock for the last week, you may have missed this, here's a recap...

Starting last Thursday, we began participation in a contest with 12 teams across the country, competing in the Red Bull Creation Contest.  At 5pm Thursday evening, they gave us this directive:

In the next 72 each shop must build a game.  It must be playable by the attendees of the World Maker Fair in New York City in September.  The Game design must have a winner, it must fit into a 7.5'x7.5'x8' crate and weigh no more than 2000lbs.

With that information in hand, and about 30 volunteers from around Southern California, we began to design.  In rapid fire brainstorming, we came up with so many good ideas it was hard to dial it down to one.  We did, and It was called BATTLE GOLF.

Two head to head players compete on opposite sides of a mini golf-like obstacle.  The goal of the game is to have captured the most number of holes at the end of the time period (2 mins), each side has 5 holes.  There's a catch though, the holes on each side are connected electronically and only one player can 'own' a hole at a time, if the opposite player makes a hole, it ejects the ball out of the first players hole.  That's the offense.

We decided to add a little more game.  Defense.  On the game board are 4 targets, these connect electronically to popup blockers on the opposing players board, when it's struck, it lifts a blocker in front of the hole preventing the opponent from either taking ownership of a hole or kicking you out of your hole!

This is Battle Golf!

Well, 72 hours later, we'd built it.  Our game wasn't perfect when the time was up.  We had to make some hard choices.  But in the end, we built the game we wanted, it looked great, it worked and we were excited.

We presented our game to an online crowd of hundreds over a live streaming link, we went last so they'd looked at the 11 other submissions before ours and we had some amazing competition.  There was a submarine simulator, there was a head-to-head labyrinth style game with trap doors and magnets throughout the game surface, a few games that spun around the players who were required to perform without vomiting and many other amazing inventions.  Our competition IS steep.

Notice I said IS, not was.  This game isn't over!!  There are two ways to be judged and win in this contest.  The first is team choice, all 12 teams submit their vote for the best entry, winner take all so to speak.  The second way is people's choice, on July 25th (two days from now), Red Bull will open up the voting on their (creative but sometimes annoying, I know, sorry) creation web page, http://creation.redbullusa.com/  They'll be showing short 60 second videos submitted by each team and you can vote (once?) for the team that you like.

Did I mention 23b WON people's choice last year?  We reached out to you guys, our friends and families and asked you to Like our entry on facebook, we asked you to ask YOUR friends and families, we asked you to ask them to ask THEIR friends and families…  You get the idea.  Well, you guys rose to the challenge and we took away the prize, a $6000 Lincoln welder that we use ALL the time here in our shop and was deployed pretty heavily during the contest.   We need you to do this again!  We need you to go to the Red Bull Creation Contest page, choose 23b AS HARD AS YOU CAN.  Then, tell all of your friends and families you'll never talk to them again if they don't choose us, then they have to threaten their friends and families with a life of loneliness and solidarity (never talk to them again!), and so on, and so on. 

We're going up against two teams that have a tremendous audience, hackaday and instructables, we REALLY need to step up this game.  We can't rely on simple harassment alone, we need you guys to help us get the word out!  Facebook, youtube, reddit, twitter, G+, slashdot etc.  POST POST POST, COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT!

Now we think you should vote for us, we think think we built a winning game and we THINK you guys like us and want us to win, but there's another reason.  We're the only team that opened our doors to community at large, we put out the call, come to 23b and help us build!  We had an overwhelming response!  I would guess between 60-80 people came and went during the course of the challenge, a hardcore group of about 20 NEVER STOPPED WORKING the entire time, we ate, slept, showered and lived at the shop for the entire 72 hours.  Most of this group would get about 3 hours of sleep a night, wake up, chug an energy drink and get back to work.  We were fed and taken care of by a team of people making food and generally keeping us alive. 

We worked side by side with people we'd never laid eyes on before, total strangers, pitching in and making this happen.  This place was rock star central, the talent was AMAZING.  We had people doing the carpentry work, wiring, circuit design, micro controller programming, game play design, MC's and art, welders, cutters, gluers, painters and solderers.  Everybody was amazing.

So, finally, a MASSIVE thanks to the Southern California Makers/Hackers/Robotics/Artists, you guys rose to the challenge, we couldn't have done this without you!  YOU ARE WE!  Help us, ALL OF US, take this contest to the GROUND, give it a noogie and make it cry a little.  Let's put team 23b on the top of the podium, watch the Red Bull Creation web page, vote for us.  Between NOW and the close of voting (haven't been told when that is), drum up support for us!

Go on now, DRUM!!!!!!!!

Go see pictures here:  http://23brbc.imgur.com/all/


  1. Oh, if you tweet this, include the hastags #rbcreation #23bshop and #redbullcreation

  2. Didn't the LA Robotics Club have something to do with this too? Or am I confused? Maybe they were on a different team..

  3. The L.A. Robotics Society was nice enough to send over a bunch of people to give advice, cleanup, solder, etc as needed. Thanks you Annika!