Directed play is one of the best ways to teach and learn. Plus it's fun. Here are 4 game ideas to play using Flybrix. Some of these games have been adapted from art class exercises, some are made up out of thin air, and some are twists on games we played in gym class years ago. The point is, with the right structure, learning and teaching practical skills like: teamwork, communication, cooperation and creativity alongside tech is fun and easy with Flybrix. With that... Here's game number one!
"Cross The Line"
This is a relay game designed to test challengers piloting, building and problem solving skills. There are a range of variations of this game to accommodate fewer players or a limited number of kits.
Setup: Two teams. Each challenger builds their airframes. There is a line indicating the starting point for challengers. Depending on how challenging you want to make it, there’s another line or a target on the floor a distance away from the starting point. (*hint, really light simple designs may fly faster and be reconstructed quicker in the event of a crash)
Once each challenger completes a successful landing— and you can determine what a successful landing is. Is it landing in a heap? Or is it landing with the airframe fully in tact?
The object is for each team member to pilot their airframe effectively from the starting point and land it past the opposite line or in the target before the other team.
Here are some other ideas for how to make this challenge your own:
- Only one controller per team so binding and arming are part of the challenge.
- Limits on the number of batteries each team can use. So once there’s a successful landing the battery has to be shuttled back to the next challenger. Game ends when batteries are dead.
- One “Fix it person”. Say a challenger crashes before they hit the target, another team member is the only one who can reconstruct or rejigger the airframe build in a hurry to get their teammate back in the air to try again.
- Time it! The number of successful landings in a certain amount of time wins.
- Divide and conquer. Maybe you have a particularly good pilot, and another talented fix-it person, and really fast builder, and a fast runner? Let the teams decide who is in what role to maximize the number of successful landings etc.
You get the idea. Riff on what you want to optimize for. Cooperation, teamwork, specialization? Even with two people you can set this game up to accomplish “all time records” and see if you can beat your last scores.
"The Black Box Design Challenge"
The goal of this challenge is to see and show how people can come up with wildly different airframe designs using the same LEGO pieces. This challenge requires more LEGO than come in the kit.
Everyone in the challenge gets the same number and shapes of LEGO. If you’re getting fancy, weigh your bricks to come in at around 50 grams or so. That way when you attach the motors, PCB and battery, you’ll be able to fly your design.
Create the “black box” by blocking off what others can see you and the other challengers are building. We’ve been known to grab things that are handy like standing up books or using a shoe box for black box privacy barriers.
Build airframes in secret. When the challengers are done, have a show and tell! Like a traditional art critique, talk about the advantages, disadvantages of each person’s design. Ask questions from the challengers why they made the decisions they did, and have the group comment on what they like, don’t like or areas they could improve… Then of course see if the designs fly!
This is a game designed to practice controlled flying and strategic building. Of course you don’t have to make a battle out of it, but it’s sometimes fun to see who dominates!
Pairs of players create their airframes, whatever design they want to make that flies. People quickly learn how to build to sustain hits and defend their motors.
When players airframes are ready, tie equal length strings to the bottom of the flyers (out of the way of the motors, of course) There are hook LEGO pieces that work really well for attaching the leash.
On the other side of the leash, attach a weight that the airframe can’t lift off the ground. You can even tie the strings to table legs, or chair backs, jars etc. Whatever is handy.
Now that the flight is constrained, players can practice maneuvering their airframes to attack or retreat and battle each other in the air. The challenger who’s airframe stays flying the longest wins.
"Pass the Potato"
Don’t ask where the name of this came from. We just made it up.
The goal of this challenge is to spur collaboration and cooperation.
Everyone in the challenge sits in a circle or around a table etc. Put a big pile of LEGO in the center.
Set a timer for interval timing. Experiment with how much time works for your group.
The first interval, everyone goes for the pile of LEGO and starts to build an airframe. Buzz! Time’s up… Pass your work-in-progress airframe to the right. Then start the next interval. Everyone has a new airframe to add-to. Time’s up… Pass the airframe to the right. You get the picture. After 3 or 4 passes, give the airframes back to the person who started with it. Let them see how other people riffed on their design and where it ended up. Now, it’s tine to see if they fly. Add the motors, flight control board and battery! Maybe they fly, maybe they don’t. It gets more silly and exciting when the time is tight!
You can rev on this game in a number of ways, Perhaps most of the airframes don’t fly for various reasons. Go through the pass the potato process again with the wonky designs with the directive of changing the airframe to make it possible for them to fly. Rapid problem solving can be really fun when you’re optimizing for flight.
This challenge gets to be particularly hilarious when you try to sabotage each other by making design decisions that would never fly because - well, physics. Being handed a complete wreck of a design and figuring out how to make it work is pretty fun. Loads of lulz with this particular game.