Hello! So this is how I believe it works after reading the rules thoroughly. I'm going to address your questions in order.Can anyone tell me how gaps are measured and how you gain points from gaps? Do you only measure horizontal distance(parallel with the ground?), do you measure vertical and horizontal distance? Or is the gap just measured directly from where the marble leaves the track to where it hits the track again? Also, how are points calculated?
So, the gap is measured only with respect to the track, not the vehicle flight path.Can anyone tell me how gaps are measured and how you gain points from gaps? Do you only measure horizontal distance(parallel with the ground?) YES, ref bolded words in rules above, do you measure vertical and horizontal distance NO? Or is the gap just measured directly from where the marble leaves the track to where it hits the track again NO, ref underlined words above?<SNIP>
Vehicle has to pass the gap unsupported through the air to the next part of the track to gain the score on that run. The bonus is calculated per rule 5.e above and based ONLY on the track gap measurement, not the distance the vehicle was in the air. So a minimum bonus for a gap would be 25 points 5cm X 5 pts/cm and climb in 5 pt jumps. A 5.0 to 5.9999(how good is the ES's gage?) gap would still get 25 points. From 6.0 to 6.99999(etc) would get 30 points. And so on. Additional gaps would be scored separately, up to 5 gaps (that's in the part of rule 3.i I didn't quote).<SNIP>Also, how are points calculated?
Your math regarding the two hypothetical roller coasters is correct.Has anyone crunched all the numbers for scoring yet? The gap score is the only part of the total score without a ceiling, so I imagine the best coasters will have the most gap distance.
Since the max height is 80cm, the height score will fall in a range of 20 - 100 points. That seems to mean, if you can achieve at least 80 points via gaps, you should go for it. That's only 12cm of horizontal jumping. Is this logic correct? Consider two hypothetical machines with perfect time scores - the first is only 1cm tall (somehow), but no gaps: 99 height points, 0 gap points. Another is max height, but has a single 16cm "ski jump" gap: that's 20 height points + 80 gap points. Is that accurate?
My students haven't worked on any prototypes at all, so I'm not sure how much tougher it is to build one large gap instead of several smaller ones, but I'd imagine the bigger gap would be easier to manage... Thoughts?
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