Devprev Tutorial Redesign Feedback Dump

Case number:699969-2004201
Opened by:DoctorSockrates
Opened on:Friday, September 15, 2017 - 22:14
Last modified:Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 07:44

Hi folks, Sock here.
smortier requested a PM for feedback on the tutorial redesign additions in devprev so I went ahead and replayed the tutorial from the beginning with the new additions and took notes as thoughts came to mind. After sending those to her, she responded that jflat suggested I transfer these notes here for others to see and chime in on. So, below are those notes in their entirety, straight copy pasted from the PM I sent. Enjoy.


Blueprint tutorials and conditions are good so far, not fully fleshed out quite yet I'd say but a good introduction. Should encourage players to use structure mode in tandem with blueprint mode to create a protein all their own in 5-3. The whole thing with building blocks not being able to be removed is unfortunate, but is a consequence of how the game works I'm guessing. Ctrl=Z is your friend I suppose.

Still need tutorials on
- Rama dragging
- How to actually use cut and paste effectively, a technique has no good value unless you see it. I remember one person in black belt folding using cut and paste and laying out chunks of the protein like knolled out Legos for assembly.
- Recipes
- Guided strategies on puzzle types; think beginner puzzle tier but with a few blurbs of text beforehand that explains how to approach these puzzles rather than just throwing you to the wolves.

ALSO: I did replay the whole tutorial in its entirety when checking out the devprev build and I've realized something. There's a LOT of features in Foldit that get underused/unused when I play. Notes in no particular order below.

Not once have I had to mess with DNA in the weeklies that I've been able to play, and I can't recall any instances of me using sequences in science puzzles. That one exploration condition isn't really something I see either nor do I see native guides in weeklies. Electron density is another wayside feature too. Not to mention electron density is really salt inducing because of the score gate and not a lot of people really "get" how to work with those. I think the whole idea was to kinda wiggle the camera and wiggle the slider but it's still super finicky on score and it took me a few tries to crack the threshold (~100 points under for most of my wiggle stabilizations)

Remix is barely used in typical hand folding, rebuild isn't even mentioned, both are "recipe fodder" typically. Functions that don't really come up in hand folding, leave players scratching their heads as to why they exist, but are used in recipes to help poke at new solutions.

Idealize SS is used, "Idealize" is also recipe fodder.

6-4: CI tutorial is huge and I forgot it existed but it failed to explain wiggle power and what that does. Veteran folders told me about medium wiggle power pushes that get tons of extra score.

10-2: Super laggy. Maybe my buddy's old CPU is actually a downgrade, I'm not sure, but all I know is my game turned into a PowerPoint presentation when I wiggled sidechains.

I forget way too often that double shift-clicking 2ndary structures freezes the whole thing, that's pretty useful and should be reminded. Speaking of freezing it's never really explicitly taught that freezing a single segment and dragging whatever's on the other side (like a hinge) is a good tactic.

Sheet flipping isn't really used either. If Foldit wasn't an open ended research sandbox game and like a traditional puzzle game, I could see sheet flipping be a great move in say, a 5-move sketchbook puzzle with 1 set solution, but as it stands, it doesn't add anything to the game. Helix turning is still marginally useful but usually gets undone by wiggling anyways.

Features in 7-1 and 7-3 are just gone after the intro puzzles.

Final note: I like how 5-3 was sort of a "final boss" of the section. A rather underwhelming and open ended final boss, but that sort of level that synthesizes techniques into some combined challenge is neat and reinforced what I learned. I know it's impossible to get my raw impressions since I've weaned myself into experienced folder territory, but I can still see where my uninterested friends would lose interest or struggle if they played this.

(Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:14  |  3 comments)

Susume's picture
User offline. Last seen 1 week 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 10/02/2011

Great feedback, S0cks!

Here is my feedback so far, also pasted from a PM conversation:

In new devprev, in design puzzle 1427, I notice filters are now called conditions - but only in some places.

Below the score it says "Conditions satisfied: 1 of 1," but when you open the drop down there are 6 filter/condition thingies listed.

Under Residue IE, the button says "Run Condition," but the text says "Filter passes."

Under Toggle Conditions button, text says either "All filters have been run" or "Re-run filters to get credit."

I think conditions is a more informative word than filters, but it needs to be consistent.

Joined: 05/19/2017
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Nice catch, I agree that 'condition' is a way better word than 'filter' (especially when Snapchat exists).
A consistency pass to change instances of "filter" to "condition" is probably the way to go, devs.

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 hours 5 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012

I went ahead and added the new levels to the Intro Puzzles page on the wiki:

I'm not sure the new Conditions and Blueprint levels are too helpful. They involve unrealistic scenarios that won't be found in science puzzles. Level 8-2, "More Building Blocks", is just plain wrong, you of course *can* delete a building block.

Here are my notes on the new levels. In addition to the other problems, the help popups really need some work. Some of them are really unhelpful, and others have spelling and grammar errors.

Level 5: Conditions

* The conditions covered in this level aren't normally used in Foldit puzzles
+ limiting the number of hydrogen bonds doesn't seem realistic
+ in some cases, limiting disulfide bonds may be desirable, but still haven't seen a puzzle with this condition
+ 5-3 has an exploration condition, which hasn't been used in a long time
* Completing these levels doesn't depend on improving the fold, random glop is good enough

* Level 5-1
+ "Make four Bonds" should be "Make Four Bonds" for consistency
+ "hydrogenbonds" should be "hydrogen bonds" in the first popup
+ instead of "conditions text" say "conditions satisfied dropdown" in the second popup
+ "toggles conditions" should be "toggle conditions" in the third popup

* Level 5-2
+ "red texts" should be "red text" in the second popup
+ "eliminate all the 3" should be "eliminate all three" in the third popup
+ "this one over here" should be "the one shown here" in the third popup

Level 8: Blueprint

* Blueprint is normally used in design puzzles, which are discussed in the next level...
* None of the tutorials involves any actual folding
* 8-2 seems to be based on a faulty assumption about how the blueprint tool works
* 8-3 combines building blocks and hydrogen bonds in a non-intuitive way

* Level 8-1
+ "This protein seems a bit wonky" is not really helpful in the first popup.
+ "by putting up components - Building Blocks" should be "by using components called Building Blocks" in the fourth popup
+ Fifth popup is baffling, with stuff like "discrete patterns of protein backbone". Perhaps say "Building blocks are known good shapes for the loop sections that connect sheets and helixes."
+ "On the right side" should be "On the left side" in the sixth popup.

* Level 8-2
+ The premise of this one is flawed. It *is* possible to remove a building block. Just drag the building block off the sequence. The technique of adding a different building block is not viable, you must be able to remove building blocks and their associated invisible constraints at some point.
+ "Lets add" should be "let's add" in the second popup.
+ "onto the blueprint" should be "to the blueprint" in the third popup
+ "remove the building block off of it" should be "remove the building block" in the third popup
+ In the fourth popup, adding a building block is not necessary. Building blocks can be removed by dragging.
+ "in it's place" should be "in its place" in fifth popup
+ The puzzle can be completed by adding a building block, dragging the building block away, and shaking. Dragging the building block is disabled until the third popup.

* Level 8-3
+ The intent of this puzzle is unclear. Building blocks and hydrogen bonds are not really related. Adding several building blocks and shaking and wiggling seems to be enough to solve the puzzle.


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