Closing time for puzzles earlier - opinions sought

Case number:699969-989600
Topic:General
Opened by:spmm
Status:Closed
Type:Suggestion
Opened on:Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 14:04
Last modified:Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 11:13

Just wondered what the general take was on closing the puzzles at least an hour earlier?
Nine am on a working day is not the most convenient time for me in the southern hemisphere and some people in Europe.
Even in the US people are are rushing off to bed so discussion is usually limited.

As we now have a bit of a get together across all teams and soloists to check out the best solutions and view screen shots, it would perhaps be worthwhile to reconsider time options if that is possible.

Also these puzzle close sessions may be helpful for beginners who do not feel comfortable asking questions in general chat, or are in different time zones and may never hear from a veteran player - always good to hear how people arrived at their solution and the work they put in.

The addition of the countdown clock is really helpful I find.

(Sat, 04/23/2011 - 14:04  |  8 comments)


Joined: 04/19/2009

I would like to see a range of closing times for all puzzles that are not month long ones (it seems that there are very small changes on those at the end).

There will never be an ideal closing time when we all come from different time zones around the world. It would seem fairest to vary them...

Joined: 06/17/2010

For my time zone it can be even up to 3-4 hrs earlier :) Now I have 1am deadline.

phi16's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 38 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/23/2008

Since the game is global, one end-time does not work for all. Selecting the close-time choices are:

1. One that will benefit the most users. Position the 7 pm close-time in the center of the most users, e.g. New York.
2. Vary the close-time. The result of this might be that the close-time event, discussion and meeting of all players, will happen less with fewer players.
3. Vary the close-time by player. This would have the result, like closing voting booths in national elections, of having some players know results before others. For some that will be a huge issue. For others, like myself, that wouldn't matter. It would also detract from the discussion and vigor players have for the last hours of play.
4. Try out some other close-times, just as an experiment. Who knows? There might be beneficial unintended consequences.
5. Do nothing. It's not a perfect world.

But, here is also another suggestion that I would like to propose:

Time puzzle play. A player is only given a certain amount of time, e.g. You would see a Puzzle listed as: "Puzzle 414 - 72 hours; finish by 5/15/11 at 12:00." That is, the player has 72 hours of active folding to be used as he or she sees fit. Submit finished puzzles by the 15th of May.

Players can try puzzles over, and over until they learn how to do the best job in a give amount of time.

The benefit would be that players also begin to think about economy of effort. Running endless scripts that work slowly and incrementally for days on end are probably nothing even remotely similar to the natural forces at work that we are trying to discover. Especially when they are making random moves that cannot be recorded. I vote we begin to think about the economy of effort. A properly folded protein should be done (knowing what to do, of course) in a flash. Let's find out how.

Joined: 12/27/2010
Groups: None

In response to phi16's final comment: I have noticed that top players, Mark in particular, seem to get very good structure quite quickly and score very highly. However, we aren't all able to do that and I am not sure that restricting playing time beyond the restrictions imposed by the time limit will cause an "evolutionary pressure" to be more effective. It might.

However, it is not clear to me, despite the comments of Zoran on the subject, which solutions are considered valuable nor how they were obtained. Were they even high scoring? Is there even a pattern or is it just luck?

Joined: 12/06/2008
Groups: Contenders

Cycle the closing times of successive puzzles through the entire twenty-four hours of a day, to be fair to all.

For example, 23:00 UT as closing time on puzzle A, then 21:00 UT on puzzle B, 19:00 UT on puzzle C, 17:00 UT on puzzle D, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Joined: 06/17/2010

We have 4 "major" time zones? Every hour is not a best idea imo :)

beta_helix's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 49 min ago. Offline
Joined: 05/09/2008
Groups: None
Status: Open » Open

For now, we'll try to vary the closing times (without shortening the time a puzzle is up).

There may not be any method to the madness, and the Exploration Puzzles will probably keep the "regular" closing time since they are so short already.

You can see already that Puzzle 415 ends at 13:00 GMT: http://fold.it/portal/node/989645

spmm's picture
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 17 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 08/05/2010
Groups: Void Crushers
Status: Open » Closed

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