What is going on?

Case number:699969-993887
Opened by:duselmann
Opened on:Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 06:40
Last modified:Friday, November 16, 2012 - 19:27

This is to be constructive feedback - not a rip - I think what you are doing here is absolutely wonderful. Besides, others have clearly been able to intuit fantastic solutions. I do not expect a reply. This is more for your edification than mine.

The popup help should get out of the way. It was in my way most of the time.

On the mac when I try to zoom in it more often zooms out. (and zooming out work correctly)

The server should be more responsive or I should be able to work on the next puzzle while the program uploads results in the background.

I find the scoring rather unintuitive. I make a move and the structure gets better (by score) then I move it some more and it gets worse. So I put it back where it was the points go down again. What does that mean? I was rotating a section to hide the hydrophobic. In this case the movements are rather precies, as oppose to a move/drag (which could be difficult ,if not impossible, to return to a previous position). So, I rotate one direction and it gets better, too much it gets worse, but then it is worse again when I rotate it back to were it was better just before. Even if not in the exact same position the score was going up the entire time in the initial direction. Why would it go down when rotating back? Anyhow, wash rinse repeat until I have zero points. What is happening here? I had to reset and do the same thing several times until it actually worked but it did not feel like I accomplished any thing. The popup help kept getting in the way telling me all I had to to was tweek but it was not working.

The next issue I had was with the restructure puzzle. I changed the structure and presumed a shake and wiggle would nestle it in as it did to 8200-ish. (Later I noticed the help also indicate the same thing). However, it only brought the score up to 8200 of 8600. Grabbing it an moving it, then wash rinse repeat and the score when up eventually nudged to just over 8400. Each time It looked the same to my untrained eye and but went up a few points. This was boring, unintuitive, and not fun. I quite to give this feedback.

These things do not make sense to me. That and the slow contact with your server are a huge turnoff.

(Thu, 11/15/2012 - 06:40  |  4 comments)

beta_helix's picture
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Welcome to Foldit and thank you for your feedback.

We apologize for the slowness of the server, as we mentioned on our front page:

this is due to the influx of new players from the feature on PBS tonight.

jflat06's picture
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The scoring is based on the Rosetta Energy Function (Rosetta is the piece of software that Foldit is built on top of, and is used for modelling proteins and other small molecules).

This energy function tries to decide how good of a fold you've come up with. Since protein folding is very complex, so is this energy function - and it doesn't always act in predictable or intuitive ways. It helps to think of the rules that govern protein folding as more like guidelines. If you follow the rules, you're more likely to have a higher score.

As for the restructuring puzzle, it seems you may have missed a step. I believe you are supposed to use the tweak tool on that level after changing the structure.

Joined: 11/15/2012
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I have a similar experience as the OP. (I'm using the linux version)

here are my observations:

the help bubbles are in the way quite a bit and become annoying. The hints on the model were not as bothersome as the ones on the tool bar or the one in the upper rh corner. it's like they're demanding you click on them to proceed.

server delay times are a huge turn off. makes one wonder if things are working or not as there is no indication that a command was accepted.

I had the app crash several times, typically after clicking on the option to continue to the next puzzle.

after completion of tutorial #12 (?) it sent me to the puzzle section with out explanation.
it is confusing, as it tells you along the way there are 32 (?) tutorials to go through.
you really need at least #13 to have some sort of idea of what to do in the first puzzle.
I was able to find the rest of the beginner tutorials by chance.
Before finding the additional tutorials, I was very frustrated. All you know is that you're supposed to match the puzzle to the pattern. w/o the explanation of how to use some of the tools that comes in #13, it is very frustrating and almost futile to try and match something with the infinite possibilities you can manipulate.

there is a lack of explanation along the way of what you're supposed to do and or why. Most info
seems to be pretty vague when it is provided. I believe that the people writing the tutorial are VERY familiar with what the program does and why, but that information is not imparted in the software.

the rendering of the tool icons is off when there are two rows of tools. if you select a tool in the top row, the stop icon appears on top of the icon on the bottom row. if you click where the stop icon should be, it does stop the tool.

the user chat is nice, the people are very friendly and knowledgeable. :)

to clarify, this is my observation and experience.
I found the beginning tasks of manipulation to gain the target score (or higher) as challenging and rewarding; the puzzles killed that experience (by the time I learned of where the follow on tutorials were and their contents).

I do like your mission though, and was excited to get started with it. I wonder if others have similar observations and/or if there are some who get frustrated with the experience and give up (I did note quite a bit of frustration from beginners in the chat area, while on-line).

tamirh's picture
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Joined: 05/11/2012
Status: Open » Open

Thanks for all of the input. Feedback like this helps us a great deal.

As for the issues with the tutorial levels, we know some of them are not really intuitive. We are currently working on improvements to the tutorial levels. One of them is using a better interface and the other improvements are to the levels and instructions themselves. Hopefully by the time the next wave of users comes we will have these done (=


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