How about including some known, VERY simple proteins and asking people to optimize the protein (in other words, to reach the final solution). When they need help, show the final structure for the protein and let them look it over so they may learn why some folds work better than others. In doing this, I think people will get a better idea of why you should push/pull, rotate, etc in certain place and certain substructures instead of others. In turn, I think it'll make for better and faster work in getting the proteins that are posted to actually work on, to their best form. Without these basic exercises it's difficult. I've already come across people who have completed the tutorials but still say that they are basically clueless about how to best go about solving some of these protein structures that are posted in the game. In essence the learning curve is too steep. In my opinion, it would really help a lot to do those kinds of exercises in order to make the learning curve more gentle.
Here's an idea: why not keep a few simple proteins as "Level 9-x" of the tutorial? Preferably, each major type of puzzle could be covered:
- Standard puzzle (just fold it into the highest score you can)
- Exploration puzzle
- Quest to the native puzzle
- Design puzzles: Mutation only / rebuild an entire loop
- Alignment Puzzle
- De novo Puzzle
- Symmetry Puzzle
- Electron Density Puzzle
- Cutpoint Puzzle
+1 to this idea. The devs may want to consider having some permanent unknowns for these; gives folders something else to strive for.
Now that foldit has become a more complex game with many more features, I think infjamc's suggestion has merit
Well, there could be more easy proteins, and there could also be more intro puzzles for beginners too. and you could add another category (other than intro puzzles, science puzzles, and contests). One category could be like, a whole category of puzzles on different DNA molecules.
Agreed - good idea.
I remember when I had just started folding - once I had finished the tutorials, I loaded the beginner science puzzle and was absolutely overwhelmed by it. It definitely would have helped to have a chance to start with something smaller and simpler - would have been much smoother of a transition.
remenber to read the foldit wiki for many good ideas and examples :)
it would be nice if we could find someone to do this, rileya?
We do cover some of the basic puzzle types in the tutorials, but perhaps not in enough detail. They're mainly there to help you understand the basic point of those puzzle types.
I agree that the shift from intro puzzles to science puzzles is a little harsh. That's part of the reason we have the beginner puzzles, which are usually smaller and simpler, but even those aren't enough.
We have been experimenting with a different way of framing the intro puzzles such that they show you a fake scoreboard where your objective is to place say, 10th or better. You could imagine that the 1st place would be much harder, letting people continue on if they're interested in pushing their skills a little further. Right now it's very "well I completed it, time for the next puzzle", and you dont have to develop any advanced techniques to pass the intro levels.