2023 BEST Robotics - Refugee Crisis Challenge

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Polycraft World Refugees arriving at Polycraft Island have little more than the clothes on their backs, but impoverishment was not their plight even a few months ago in their motherlands and fatherlands. Those arriving hail from all parts of Polycraft World society, from bankers and lawyers to scientists and school teachers. At first they will be happy simply for a safe place to live, but they soon strive to establish a new life and new home to raise their families and build a vibrant community. Dirt homes and a toilet are better than nothing, but it will take advances in your Housing technology and the infrastructure of your Village Plot for the refugees to see your island as a place for a thriving community for the 21st century... instead of a pit stop on the way to other islands where people might be much happier.

Are you a 3D Printing expert?
Do you love demolition?
Do you love recycling?
Can you engineer a massive settlement in a tight space to house those in need?
Can you unlock the secrets of Polycraft Island?

Polycraft World and your Villagers need you!

See the Current Challenge Scores for all teams:

Coming soon!

The Challenge

Your team of Polycraft Island Engineers has a tall order ahead. Your mission...should you choose to accept it...is to build the best and most advanced Village possible for fleeing Polycraft World Refugees to live and thrive. The more dwellings you build on your Village Plot and the happier the refugees become that settle there, the higher your Challenge Score. Not that only the Challenge Score matters to humanitarian engineers such as you and your team as you bring out the BEST in others.

Houses for arriving refugees must be built on the Village Plot, and start at Technology Level One (dirt houses with hay bale beds). As more refugees get comfortable and happy living at a specific technology level, they will become ready and willing to help you advance your burgeoning society's manufacturing capabilities to a higher technology level enabling and unlocking better housing materials, enhanced (and more comfortable Beds), and better community buildings. If you can reach all the way to Technology Level Eight, your refugees will be thriving in a modern community with 6-story Carbon Fiber Homes, silk beds, nylon beds, art galleries, and more!

It all starts when you build your first dirt house with a hay bale bed. As you progress through the Challenge, powerful tools and items help increase the speed with which you can terraform the world and mold it to your will. Power Tools are special pieces of equipment that can be discovered by clever explorer/hunters. Building a large Village can be sped up significantly with a 3D Scanner and a 3D Printer.

Remember: Your team of Engineers has a total of 6 weeks to raise your Technology Level and engineer the best Village possible!

Getting Started

This Section contains valuable information about:

  • Signing Up
  • Challenge Gameplay Mechanics
  • Scoring Information

It also includes useful tips for new and veteran Minecraft players alike.

Your Village Plot

This 48 block x 48 block portion is the only part of the island that can contain valid housing and amenities. Several important concepts are related to your Village


A Structure Validator program runs every few seconds while you are on your Village Plot. It provides feedback on when you have built structures that conform to rules of the Current Age at the current Technology Level. Houses follow specific design rules and if built correctly, their beds house Villagers and increase Population Capacity.

Community Buildings

A thriving community has more than bedrooms and houses. The first thing your Refugees will want access to, naturally, is a Toilet. And as the Village becomes more and more advanced they will be delighted to have access to other specialty buildings that help them meet their neighbors, utilize their professional skills, and take care of their families. How close your Refugees are to Community Buildings has a big impact on their Happiness.

Challenge Score

The Challenge Scoring Section describes in complex detail how your team will be awarded points for settling and entertaining Villagers and maximizing your Challenge Score and round-specific Bonus Points.

Progressing Through the Ages

There are 8 Technology Levels that you will progress through as your village advances.

  • Dirt Age : Need to house 16 Villagers in Dirt Houses and build a Bathroom and a Storeroom to progress.
  • Wood Age : Need to house 32 Villagers in Wood Houses and build a Workshop to progress.
  • Stone Age : Need to house 48 Villagers in Stone Houses and build a Laboratory to progress.
  • Polexiglas Age : Need to house 64 Villagers in Polexiglas Houses and build a Commissary to progress.
  • ABS Age : Need to house 80 Villagers in ABS Brick Houses and build a Library to progress.
  • Bronze Age : Need to house 96 Villagers in Bronze Houses and build a School to progress.
  • Steel Age : Need to house 112 Villagers in Stainless Steel Houses and build a Clinic to progress.
  • Carbon Fiber Age : Need to house 128 Villagers in Carbon Fiber Houses and build a Art Gallery to progress.

We'd love to see how your village progresses. Please share creative, impressive and/or funny screenshots with us on our social media (links in the sidebar)!

Population Capacity

As you grow, your Population Capacity will hit thresholds that let you advance to new Technology Levels and move from your Current Age the the next age. There are 8 total ages for players to progress through. Note: you can still have valid structures from previous Ages that lead to productive Villagers in the current Age. They just don't pack quite as densely.


Your Happiness modifier (of each Villager) will help you score big points each Age, but abysmal Happiness won't stop you from moving on to a new age. Do you bull rush dissatisfied Villagers to more advanced ages and try to appease a large, dense populace or take your time during each age and max out Villager happiness along the way? The choice is yours in a tight space, on a tight timeline...and your Challenge Score will reflect how well your decisions pan out.

Technology Level

The Population Capacity and Happiness of your Village are influenced by your current Technology Level. Each technology level unlocks a new type of Housing Material, new levels of Village Beds to go in those homes, and new Community Buildings for your Polycraft World Refugees to use. As you progress to more and more advanced technologies, stronger materials, a 3D Printer and 3D Scanner can support building larger and larger structures, faster and faster. Building a large Village can be sped up significantly with a 3D Printer, but demolition of a large Village can be a cumbersome process. Power Tools are special pieces of equipment that mightily speed up this process, but they can only be acquired by cunning problem solvers...

Useful Commands

Purpose Command Description
Get help '/help' This command will pop-up some guidance and information about other useful commands
Get your Coordinates Press p Users can press 'p' in game to pop up location and private property information on the top left of their screen.
Message your Team Type t Typing 't' will open chat. Typing a message in chat and pressing 'Enter' will send messages to all other users on the server. Users can also type useful commands here.
Open the Community Analytics Screen in your Village Plot Press c Users can press 'c' in game to see additional information about the relative location of different Community Buildings.
Open the Challenge Score Analytics Screen in your Village Plot Press v Users can press 'v' in game to see additional information about your current Technology Level and about Peak Age Scores.
Teleport to your Team Property '/teamspace' or '~tp pp' These commands will teleport a user to the team's private property. Users must be in a private property to use this command.
Teleport to UTD '/goto utd' or '~tp utd' These commands will teleport a user to the center of UTD, Polycraft World's spawn point from another private property.
Teleport to a Mining Base Camp '~tp pp 1000 -1000' This command can be used to teleport from one private property to another. Base camps for mining specific Biomes are available if you teleport to the Base Camp's coordinates. However, the base camp private property landing zone is small and you must return this area to teleport back. The wilds surrounding base camps are rich in resources, but are not private properties, so you can't teleport unless you in the Base Camp landing zone (16 x 16 blocks, bedrock to sky).


Figure 1: This picture shows the basic distillation tree. As you increase your technology level, you may need more advanced recipes not listed here.

As you build more houses and upgrade your Technology Level, you will gain access to new machines that will greatly increase your efficiency. Use pumps and pipes to automate these machines and develop your own construction factory!

Tech Level Name Description
1 Tree Tap The tree tap can be placed on logs and used to harvest PolyIsoPrene pellets
2 Machining Mill Use the Machining Mill to create molds and dies for gaskets, hoses, and more
2 Extruder Turns raw materials into fibers and cords
2 Injection Molder Processes plastic materials into blocks, Running Shoes, scuba equipment, and more
2 3D Scanner Scans a cubic area and creates a blueprint to be used by the 3D Printer
2 3D Printer Uses a blueprint, fuel, and blocks to 3D print any structure, even multi-story buildings
3 Distillation Column Can be used to separate chemicals (most notably crude oil into their base components
3 Condenser Used to harvest Nitrogen and salt water
3 Chemical Processor Combines chemicals into more complex materials
4 Industrial Oven Save time and fuel by smelting 9 items at once with the Industrial Oven
4 Gaslamp Illuminates a large area around it depending on the fuel used
4 Flood Light Illuminates a larger, flat area around it depending on the fuel used
4 Spotlight Shines a very powerful beam of light in a single direction
4 Steam Cracker Used to process fuels, distillates and other materials
4 Plastic Chest Holds more than twice the blocks of a normal chest, and will auto up-cycle materials (e.g. 64 vials into a beaker)
5 Merox Treatment Unit Used to process fuels, distillates and other materials
7 Oil Derrick Harvests crude oil from oil field blocks
7 Flow Regulator Can be used to split items coming from a mixed-pipe into item-specific flows
7 Pump Transports chemicals, goods and other items through pipes and Polycraft and Minecraft inventories

Polycraft Recycling and Waste Scavenger Hunt

Follow treasure maps and solve riddles as you attempt to complete the Polycraft Recycling and Waste Scavenger Hunt. You will find rewards such as Power Tools and useful materials along the way. This scavenger hunt will put your puzzle solving skills to the test!

Patches and Bug Fixes

Nothing to see here folks!

Useful Internal Links

Polycraft World Main Page | Refugee Crisis Challenge | Polycraft Island | Polycraft Village | Village Plot | Villagers | Housing | Community Buildings | Happiness | Population Capacity | 3D Printer | 3D Scanner | Challenge Score | Beds | Technology Level | Scavenger Hunt | 2023 Challenge cheat sheet