Style Guide#

Don’t deal in absolutes.

  • Only a Sith deals in absolutes

  • Use pros/cons lists to compare options

  • Explain WHY something is good or bad

    • For example, we all know Tetrix V2 Motors are bad. But don’t just say they’re bad, say: “Tetrix V2 motors are underpowered and often burn in a few seconds under stall, which is why they are not generally recommended. They also do not have built in encoders. We would highly recommend purchasing RS-550/RS-555 class motors being sold by goBILDA, REV, and AndyMark instead.”

    • Similarly, we know the goBILDA motors are generally good. But explain why they are good, e.g. “goBILDA Yellow Jacket Planetary motors are generally recommended if you need a 6mm D/8mm REX output shaft motor, and especially if you use goBILDA as your primary build system. These motors have a robust gearbox that generally can handle a decent amount of shock load (but they still must be supported in high torque situations) and conveniently face mount into goBILDA parts. Additionally, goBILDA motors do not require the use of a level shifter to use its encoders with the REV control system for flexibility. Please note that you will need to adapt the bullet connectors to the REV control system power cables, and the goBILDA motor power cables are not removable, unlike the REV Robotics motors.”

  • Still emphasize that teams are free to explore and innovate, but help set realistic expectations (see the following point)

Game Manual 0 is a guide from a competitive standpoint.

  • Try to leave out stuff that doesn’t work well and is unpopular; if it is popular it is worth explaining the disadvantages (see H-drive vs ball drive; explaining H-drive, as a relatively popular and simple drivetrain makes sense, but ball drive, a drivetrain that barely exists and is ridiculously complicated makes no sense to bring up)

  • Try to leave opinions out as much as possible. Do not speak authoritatively on stuff you do not have first-hand experience with whenever possible

  • Keep in mind that FTC design trends are temporary and transient

    • Just because something is popular one season doesn’t mean it’s the end all be all. There was a time when 6-wheel drives and coaxial swerve drives were all the rage, but that doesn’t mean that we should recommend them in Game Manual 0. Try your best to think about why something is popular, and what benefits in design, function, and execution they actually bring to the table.

Consider that not all teams have the resources to purchase the most optimal parts for their design.

  • This means that we should give recommendations on how to mitigate issues with poor quality parts.

    • For example: TETRIX structure has a bad reputation for bending at times, at least compared to other build systems compared to REV, goBILDA and Actobotics. Therefore, we recommend adding extra support when building in TETRIX compared to other systems (this means including extra crossbars and adding standoffs inside channel to increase rigidity).

Include pictures/videos whenever possible.

  • Adding examples of mechanisms really helps with knowledge transfer.

    • Credit the teams: Caption Format is: [Team Number] [Team Name], (Relevant Accomplishment), [Season], (description)

      • []s mean all the time, ()s means when relevant

      • If you have multiple pictures by the same part from the same team only credit them on the last one to avoid repetition.

      • Examples

        • 11115 Gluten Free, Finalist Alliance Captain (Detroit), Relic Recovery, springloaded

        • 8417 ‘Lectric Legends, Rover Ruckus, TPU intake flaps

        • 7236 Recharged Green, Rover Ruckus, Misumi SAR3

Adhere to brand standards when possible.

  • Abide by FIRST® Trademark guidelines, available here

    • The first instance of FIRST and FTC on a page should include ® (i.e, FIRST®)

    • Always capitalize and italize the name FIRST

    • Do NOT use a possessive on the FIRST name (e.g, FIRST’s)

  • It’s gm0 not GM0 damn it; look at the logo.

  • This also applies to team names: spell them how they are officially spelled

You can use “you” when writing, when it makes writing less awkward. However, try avoiding excessively using it.