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Joined: 12/20/2007
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Great work guys.  Particularly for a first beta release.  I'm really impressed.  A few bugs (most very minor) and comments.

My System: Windows XP, Service Pack 2.  Video Card: ATI


  • Game crashed while dragging the backbone and then pressing the D key again.
  • Sound is not working
  • Window should not open maximized
  • App Needs an icon
  • Cut and paste should work - e.g CTRL C and CTRL V for entering suggestions.
  • Save should remember the directory where you last saved a file.


  • Need a means to change password in the game.  A remember password checkbox would be nice too.
  • Logged out and logged back in and my undo history was gone.  Is it possible to preserve recent history?  My session crashed right after I made a big change and I lost best score and can't get back to that score.
  • I got stuck in a state where the wiggle tool kept turning back on.  I was pressing different keys to find shortcut keys prior to this happening but not sure if that caused it.  I will try to reproduce.
  • A visual indicator telling me what mode I am in would be nice.
  • The history and score windows could be made as pinnable flyouts to improve screen real-estate.
  • - Where is the hydrophobic Sidechain view shown in video?  Was that replaced with CPK?  If so, how can that view help us?
  • Lock colors could be more distinct
  • When using the dragging operation and you pull on the the backbone, thoe point at which the backbone pivots seems somewhat arbitrary.  Is there anyway to better specify which backbone segment rotates when dragging?
  • When you mouse over an amino acid an information window should give you it's current status and some suggestions as to how you could improve it.
  • What is the initial conformation shown to for a protein? Is that the best found so far by other players or does everyone get the same starting fold?  If it is somehow optimal, it would be nice if I could get back to it.  It would be nice if a handful of starting configurations could be selected from.  Some that were found by software that were fairly optimal.  Right now, if I make major changes by dragging the backbone, and then wiggle the backbone, my protein completely denatures.  Blah!
  • Mouse control.  Put more options off the mouse clicks.  For example:  Left mouse button should rotate or move.  Wheel should zoom.  Right mouse button click should pop up a menu allowing you to select modes, actions and views.
  • Hot Keys.  Make all of these single keystrokes with the left hand so I don't have to take my hand off the mouse.  Better yet, let the player assign them.
  • Gameplay.  Need to find ways to make the game more fun.  No ideas come to mind but I'll ponder this as I play more

Thanks, I'll play more and see what else I can come up with.


zoran's picture
User offline. Last seen 9 years 15 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 11/10/2007
Groups: Window Group
Thanks for the detailed

Thanks for the detailed comments, Jim.  Great stuff.

Joined: 11/12/2007
initial fold

What is the initial conformation shown to for a protein? Is that the best found so far by other players or does everyone get the same starting fold?

For now, everyone gets the same initial conformation, which is close to the best known conformation for each puzzle, but has some sidechains off, and some distortion of the backbone.

ksemm5's picture
User offline. Last seen 12 years 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 01/05/2008
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First thoughts
  • FANTASTIC, don't stop working on this!

  • My comments are very general at this point I hope to provide more detailed feedback after playing for a while

  • I would strongly recommend looking at the work of Luis von Ahn http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~biglou/ . While his work is not in your field his game development has interesting similar aspects. In particular take a look at http://recaptcha.net/, http://www.espgame.org/ and http://www.peekaboom.org/.

  • I assume your first goal is to solve the folding problem, I would suggest making the game as entertaining/fun as possible your second goal (great start by the way) – more players would seem to increase the probability of hitting upon useful 'roads not taken'

  • My kids (girl age 12 and boy age 10) picked the game up VERY quickly and seem to enjoy it

  • Their strategies evolve on a very common sense course (good to get going but perhaps not so good for stumbling on a diamond in the rough); they have not used the backbone tool yet

  • Any improvements in the 3D visualization would be greatly appreciated, it seemed difficult to judge the relative depth in many situations requiring a lot of rotation and zoom; would it be possible to use shadowing if its not already there

  • Are you planning to analyze 'group dynamics'? Are many players doing the same things? These could be useful clues to help 'train' the players and may also revel patterns that game players seem so adept at finding.

  • I think the really beauty hear is that unlike most other games no one knows what the answer, top score, or path are (not even the games creators) but there is an answer and the landscape of the game unfolds <pun :-)> as you play.

Joined: 11/12/2007

Thank you for the comments and encouragement. We are currently specifically working on strategies to improve the 3D rendering of the protein. If these work out, you should see them in an update soon.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons