Q: Why drone gaming and not drone racing?
A: Drone racing is fun but leaves a lot on the table. There is no team, no strategy and no critical thinking. Courses are either too easy for advanced pilots or too hard for beginners. There is no sweet spot. In terms of strategy, you just fly as fast as you can. It gets repetitive and participants lose interest. Drone gaming has everything drone racing has plus more. Pilots still need to fly fast and accurate but skills are more varied. With Drone Clan Wars, teammates need a coordinated strategy. We call this a battle plan. They need to change strategies during the match. A coach is useful to call audibles on the ever changing match situation. Since the game has achievement levels, competitors with a wide range of abilities can have a rewarding experience. You hear comments like "I made to Level 2 but I'm sure I can get to Level 3 next time". Players have a sense of accomplishment and a clear cut vision of what they need to focus on to get to the next level.
Q: I don’t have any of the sophisticated obstacles. How do I practice?
A: Obstacles fall into three types: static (fly through a hole), contact (bumps and pads) and moving. Static challenges like portals are easily made from hula hoops, cardboard boxes, chairs and gym mats. Contact objects can be made from plastic cups (fly into them and knock them off a table) or a bumping into a drawing on a board (this is another reason we require blade guards, it makes bumping possible). Moving objects is where the creativity starts. Hanging a weighted hula hoop on a spring is a simple moving portal.
Q: I see the “Scotty” is in the middle of the course during match play. Is this safe?
A: The equipment requirements are such that you can fly a drone at full speed into someone's face it won’t hurt anything. The heaviest drone is 60 grams (2 ounces) and has blade guards. Contrast that to a little leaguer taking a line drive baseball to the face. Ouch! However, you can elect to not have anyone on the field during flying. Safety glasses are also suggested for Scotties.
Q: Can different teams / Clans share equipment?
A: Absolutely! In fact, this is a HUGE advantage over typical Robot competitions. With Robots, the team is really the machines so a lot of players don’t get to compete. Drone Clan Wars is just the opposite. It is performance first, technology second. So two micro drones can be used for 20 participants. Having backup machines is highly encouraged however. We recommend three drones per team. But you could compete with one drone.
Q: Is there an educational component?
A: GoDroneX spent a considerable amount of time talking to educators and their approach to STEM and drone technology implementation. Our philosophy is different than a typical robot competition. There is more skill needed to fly a drone than to operate a robot. We flipped the paradigm. Robotics is a build first, compete second methodology. Drone Clan Wars is a compete first, build second approach. We want participants to engage quickly. The inherent nature of lightweight drone crashing quickly brings in the mechanical nature. See our STEM page for more info.