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jeff101's picture
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I have been trying to think of ways to make Foldit more appealing.
One thing I think would help is if people could play it for a few minutes at a time
and still feel like their contribution matters. How can this be done?

First, many popular games are very simple and have rounds that last only a few minutes.
Then, when people have a few minutes to spare, they can always fit in a round or two.
Once people start playing, some will lose track of time and end up playing many rounds of the game.
When you add up all the time they spend each day, month, or year playing the game,
it can add up to a surprisingly large amount.

Games like www.neopets.com and FarmVille are good examples:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neopets
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmville

Many more people have a few minutes at a time to spare than several hours at a time to spare.

If you can think of anything to make Foldit more appealing on shorter time scales,
please post or e-mail about it.

jeff101's picture
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"Random" evolver mode that even soloists can play

One idea along these lines is to have for each puzzle in Foldit an evolver mode that even players not in groups can do.
It could work as follows:

In the saved structures menu, there could be an option called "random" that would let the Foldit site
pick an initial structure at random based on all the structures all players have explored so far.
The Foldit site could pick these structures from parts of the parameter space that need more exploration.
If the user can improve enough on the given initial structure, the user gets on the evolver score board.

I suppose if the user doesn't like the given initial structure,
the user can click on "random" again until a suitable initial structure is chosen.
Perhaps Foldit could limit the initial structures to ones below a certain score level
so that a lucky user won't get dealt the best-scoring structure so far using the "random" button.

jeff101's picture
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Related Feedback Case

The above is also discussed at http://fold.it/portal/node/993167

jeff101's picture
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Puzzle rankings for different numbers of total moves

Another idea is to have Foldit keep track of moves done so far on a puzzle
and report this to the user as the game goes.
There could be separate rankings for best score in under 300 moves,
best score in under 1,000 moves, best score in under 3,000 moves,
best score in under 10,000 moves, best score in under 30,000 moves, etc.
This would let people who don't have much time to play the game
see how their scores compare with others over similar scoring periods.

jeff101's picture
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http://fold.it/portal/node/99

http://fold.it/portal/node/991666 discusses similar things.

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
How about a minigame sort of

How about a minigame sort of thing, just working on something small?

jeff101's picture
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More Related Feedback Cases

http://fold.it/portal/node/993168 discusses rankings based on the total number of moves used to reach the best structure.

http://fold.it/portal/node/993177 discusses puzzles with less residues to optimize.
This could be puzzles with a small total number of residues.
This could also be puzzles with a large total number of residues,
but only a small number of these residues can be optimized.

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Puzzle rankings idea

Have different rankings based on how long a person has worked on a puzzle. So busier folders who begin a puzzle two days before closing aren't ranked so low compared to the folders who started the moment the puzzle opened.

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
Take a look at

Take a look at eteRNA.cmu.edu. They have "challenges" Where you have to compleate the puzzle, kind of like tutorials, but you have to use all your knowledge to find the right way. Then there is the lab, which is like the main puzzles that are worked on to get synthesized. There are also player puzzles, designed by players. Perhaps something like that would be good?

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
I have talked to someone who

I have talked to someone who folded before, but hasen't done anything in a while because it is too time consuming and needs a very good computer. Not all of us have brand new computers and hours to play foldit.

Joined: 04/09/2012
Groups: Go Science
Intro Puzzles

As some one who is relatively new to Foldit, I too find it quite time consuming - especially the intro puzzles. If these could be made a bit shorter and 'punchier' that would be great! Also, it feels a bit daunting knowing that I have to work my way through 32 intro puzzles before I should really be playing the proper game. I've done 17, but this has taken me quite a long time...

Having shorter puzzles alongside the longer challenges may make the game more appealing, and you may get people committed to Foldit for a bit longer if they can just dip in and out and still feel like they are doing something worthwhile.

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
Yes, kind of like eteRNA.

Yes, kind of like eteRNA.

Angus's picture
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2 choices

It sounds like you have two choices - you can play FoldIt or you can play eteRNA - whichever suits your available time and resources.

I don't see a need to make one a mirror of the other.

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
Not really. Foldit is a

Not really. Foldit is a protein shape minipulation tool. eteRNA is about RNA makeup. I mainly do foldit, but I do some eteRNA on the side, scince I can do a little here and there. Also, I have scripts I can use for foldit.

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I do not see how we can solve

I do not see how we can solve complex real problems without a minimum of training and personal involvement.

If someone finds a few hours spent solving tutorials too long, there is little chance he takes pleasure in playing Foldit.

If you only have a few minutes to play, Phylo seems to me more appropriate than Foldit but even Phylo is still long to tame.

Competition in limited number of movements could be fun and could alleviate the growing importance of recipes and power of computer.
But
- can we solve real problems in a limited set of movements?
- Foldit is made of diversity, limitation on the way to play will make him less interressing.

See also http://fold.it/portal/node/991666

Joined: 04/15/2012
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That was @Angus. I guess

That was @Angus. I guess Foldit just has so much you can do, it takes a while to etach. In essence, it dosen't seem like much though. I guess if you can't do the tutorials, you wouldn't like the regular puzzles either. I mean, they are 6-8 days at a time, and to really do well, you have to use just about all of that available time.

Angus's picture
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Tutorials

I would expect that if someone can't complete the tutorials in maybe 8 hours of work, you might not have the aptitude for this.

jeff101's picture
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Pay for Foldit players

See Zoran's comments at 14:17 in http://fold.it/portal/node/992849 a June 1 2012 developer chat about patents coming from Foldit discoveries. There he says "the UW developers have committed to assign all proceeds from patents back into the development of the foldit community" and "the foldit players as IP owners are free to choose how they would use their own proceeds".

Joined: 04/15/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
The point isn't personal gain

The point isn't personal gain here. We are folding either: A) for high ranks (not usually), B) for a difference and scientific development, C) for fun, or D) a mix. I guess it would be a good incentive, but it's not the best place for the money to go. I would think most plaers would prefer for the money to go for science and continual foldit research and development.

jeff101's picture
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How to spend Foldit profits

I bet many would like the profits to go into improving the game, like hiring more people to implement the many Feedbacks that have already been posted.

Joined: 06/17/2010
My foldit

is running almost 24/7... do I get a prize? :P

jeff101's picture
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I enjoyed puzzle 630

I enjoyed puzzle 630, the Quick Frozen Cutpoint Puzzle (http://fold.it/portal/node/993498). Even though you couldn't move everything in it, you could move enough things to make the puzzle interesting, and it got me to think about how sheets can bond to each other and arrange themselves. It would be neat to do other puzzles like this, perhaps some involving mixtures of helices and sheets.

Did puzzle 630, with all its frozen parts, fold faster than an unfrozen protein of the same length would? If so, this could be a good way to make puzzles that can be solved more quickly. Freezing sections as in puzzle 630 could also let us solve larger proteins in the time it takes to solve a normal-length puzzle.

Joined: 02/10/2014
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annie

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