There's been a bit of discussion over the past couple of days (feedback thread: http://fold.it/portal/node/985991) on how to best teach newer players about the basics of competition puzzles. We, the devs, have an idea or two for how to implement this (gathered from suggestions from users), and we would like to receive your feedback, or better yet, other ideas that the community has. We would like feedback both from newer players who have just jumped into the game, and veterans who have been teaching beginners for a long time.
In the feedback post, I said we would post beginner puzzles that would last for a month, with a new one coming up every other week. These puzzles would be available only to those with less than 15 or 150 points and would be simpler proteins that would be easier to improve than the regular competition puzzles. One such puzzle (Beginner Puzzle 1: Mouse) was posted yesterday. The downside to this approach, as LennStar pointed out, is that expert players are less capable of assisting newer players in the beginner puzzles. So we've got a second idea:
There would be two permanent beginner puzzles. Each puzzle would be available for competition for those with less than some number of points (say, 150). Every week, points would be given out and the scoreboard would be reset. The puzzle would also be available to those who have more than 150 points, but the scoreboard would never reset and points would never be given out. Experts would be able to see the structure and assist new players, but not have to spend time competing on these puzzles.
Let us know what you think! Our veteran players have always been crucial to initiating new players, so we'd like to know how you think the initiation process can be smoother.
The Dev Team