Foldit Remote Control

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Hey everyone,

Get ready for a new way to play Foldit!

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been working on a way for Foldit to be available on more platforms. As you are aware, the game is highly computational in nature, constantly being updated to use the latest scientific tools to most accurately score proteins. This represents a challenge in bringing the game to low power, portable devices. The solution that we have come up with opens up the possibility for Foldit to be played on many devices, without affecting one aspect of the game: using the best computational tools available.

Say hello to Remote Control, a streaming system that allows you to play fully featured Foldit on your tablet or smartphone.

How does it work? Essentially, Remote Control connects the computational power of your computer to your smartphone or tablet. Run Foldit on your computer, then open up the new Remote Control panel under the social tab to open up your computer for connection. Download the Foldit app on your Android tablet or smartphone (Android is our first platform, iOS is not currently supported) and type in the IP address of your computer to connect for a complete Foldit experience.

Why did we decide to implement Foldit on Android as a streaming system? This opens up several possibilities beyond Android. The overhead is less for bringing remote play to more platforms in the future. There is the opportunity to natively stream Foldit to multiple devices at once; think next-generation classroom interactivity, with an entire classroom able to view their teacher’s protein on their own device. All in all, it eliminates most barriers of porting to new platforms, and gives us more flexibility to focus on revolutionizing the gameplay and science itself, rather than the platform details.

Now more than ever, we would love to hear your ideas and feedback! Check out the preview below, and stay tuned for the upcoming release.

( Posted by  jeffpyke 90 1808  |  Tue, 02/25/2014 - 03:12  |  15 comments )
spmm's picture
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Looks like a very interesting initiative and in the demo seems responsive.
It should work well for the use case you mentioned of a classroom situation but I doubt it would be considered 'a complete foldit experience' by most regular players many of whom use hot keys, to do things, in conjunction with some very precise mouse moves, for example selecting a non-contiguous set of segments.
This version seems to require using your own computer to fold so just adding more (not sure how much)overhead to already stressed systems?

Being able to do something else and monitor the folding computer and perhaps change scripts may be fun on the bus, but I am not quite sure how the security would work to protect my home network and devices.

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Very true...

playing the game precisely can be a little bit more difficult on a touchscreen device. We will probably take touchscreen input use-case into account when designing new game interface elements in the future. Regular players may find the remote control useful to change scripts or monitor the folding protein on the bus as you mentioned, which can be fun and convenient. This also opens up another avenue for new players to discover the game through Google Play, the Android app store.

Joined: 04/19/2009
How is this different from Teamviewer and LogMeIn?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but I have been using both of those to control my Foldit clients away from home on my iPad and out of state computer - for 4 years. Our team has used Teamviewer for demos for over 3 years.

Yes, with remote control, you can easily run scripts, do saves and shares, demos, etc. But for hand work? No way. Even using my large screen computer out of state with plenty of real estate, that doesn't work.

So what is the advantage of a dedicated remote control app over the remote control programs already around for a few years?

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Good question!

I also asked myself this question when we decided to implement this. Remote desktop programs are similar to the remote control functionality that we have implemented. I'm sure that some users may still find it more practical to use a remote desktop solution to play Foldit on the go. However, the built-in functionality allows for a couple of advantages. We can respond to multi-touch gestures that are designed to make gameplay feel more natural on a touchscreen device and allow easier setup for users who are not familiar with remote desktop applications, for example.

Joined: 05/19/2009
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Who is using auntdeen's account ?

Auntdeen passed away quite some time ago, who is using her account ?

Joined: 05/19/2009
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Only now noticed that the posts are from 2014, my apologies.

I apologize for the confusion, only now saw that all of this was posted in 2014.

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How is this supposed to

How is this supposed to navigate the NAT or IP masquerading to be able to access a PC on a private network behind a public facing IP ?

Simplest example is a PC behind a cable modem - the IP address of the PC is not accessible from the internet side.

It doesn't seem very practical.

Joined: 11/12/2013
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Starting to use this feature

When is this feature going to be included in the publicly distributed Foldit! software? I am extremely interested in using it for my class now!

Thank you, great idea!

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That is so very useful..
You guys are targeting ~20% of your overall demographic with this; of which probably ~50% already had their own solution, which they will continue to use (i.e. teamviewer).
So I'm curious, since you (probably) have staff working on making stuff like this (and this) functional; how is this helping the Baker lab and FoldIt's supposedly scientific curriculum ?
Wouldn't those resources be better spent on making FoldIt a better, stabler 'game' again ?

Look into the veteran players' feedbacks and comments to improve your 'game', instead of wasting resources on stuff like this.
Stop trying to hop onto the smartphone/tablet popularity train, and focus on fixing/improving what is already in place.

Joined: 04/15/2012
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It is very common to have separate teams working on different areas. For example, in one game, people thought that resources either had to be going towards letting new geographic areas play or fixing bugs. However, the reality is that there are two different teams. Granted, this is a different team and a different game, but the same concept can still apply.

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Aa trainer game

One way of making this really useful would be to create a game which explored the different aas and how they work together with a combination of backbone and sidechains. Even showing the existing stick and ball views and how they change for different score. Many players with a science background know this already, lots of people don't.
It may even be possible to do highly trimmed design or docking puzzles, these are mostly locked already.

Just a thought, I'd play it on the ithings :D

Joined: 04/11/2013
This could be useful. In my

This could be useful. In my case I have aborted using one of these streamers...Splashtop I think. Its a bit slow. The screens also hurt my eyes terribly with any reasonable length of play. If this steams better though it may be worth it.

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Kindle Fire

I want that for my Kindle Fire!

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How do I disable this functionality ?

I want to disable this, how do I go about doing that ?

- Are you using broadcast, multicast, point-to-point ? How many hops ? How do you log into the foldit client ? How did you secure this ? How did you encrypt the data going in and out of the client ? Can people gain access to files or the operating system in case the phone gets stolen or lost ?

Joined: 05/19/2009
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2014 ?!

How can it be that this was posted in 2014 ?!

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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, RosettaCommons