better sense of perspective/goals

Case number:699969-990684
Opened by:The Scrod Delusion
Opened on:Monday, October 3, 2011 - 13:21
Last modified:Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 06:49

I'm sure this must have come up before, but if the purpose of this game is attract human brains to work on these problems, then I think more energy should be spent on the first impression the game presents.

Gamers will be more interested in achievements and goals, and the game could certainly use more explicit feedback along those lines. Additionally, modern gamers rarely read the manuals packaged with games, and are used to the in-game tutorial explaining the basics.

The tutorials are an odd combination of extremely simplistic and utterly baffling. I'm sure this comes from a great familiarity with the material, and the difficulty in putting oneself in the place of a player who has no idea what any of these means or the degree of importance any given item has.

For example, as far as I can tell, the wiggle function is extraordinarily important in the process. Pretty much all the other features facilitate more successful wiggling. However, within the tutorial, wiggling is explained without the appropriate context. It seems like just another button on the control panel.

(Of course, if I'm reading the situation wrong, then I'm even more in the dark about how things are supposed to work.)

I would imagine the other target audience to be those who want to volunteer their time to make the world a better place (or at least advance human knowledge). I realize no one's going to be ready to cure cancer after a couple of hours of play, but some sense of WHY you're doing the things you're doing should be apparent.

Once you get through the tutorial, there are science puzzles available, but most seem to be already solved. For the advancement-minded individual these would seem to be a waste of time. If the training is necessary to create worthwhile contributors, that's fair, but it should be explained within the context of the game. "Once you complete a few of these, you'll be this much closer to actually being useful."

Or you could at least explain that data is being gathered on how new gamers react to the system, and that data itself is valid.

Without context delivered within the game, however, it all seems kind of pointless.

A clearly-defined rewards-based system would both deliver the psychological reinforcement to keep players playing and will inform the higher-minded player as to what is actually going on.

I realize many will consider these elements to be cosmetic or trivial, but it seems to me that whole purpose is to bring in as much brain power as possible. Much of what I suggest would require no changes to the game engine, merely more explanatory messages and menus.

At any rate, I wish you all luck, for everyone's sake.

(Mon, 10/03/2011 - 13:21  |  1 comment)

spmm's picture
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Joined: 08/05/2010
Groups: Void Crushers

---Once you get through the tutorial, there are science puzzles available, but most seem to be already solved. -----
The 'why' question does seem to come up a lot and people think that the already formed proteins are all fully solved.
Perhaps we should refer these questions to the ''Goals of foldit'' in the faq page


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