How Is Folding Proteins Fun?

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The whole game is set up as a leaderboard competitions, so while the players are actually given protein shaped structure to work with, and in the game they're able to directly manipulate the parts of the protein so take the pieces and move them around and see how they fit together, and while they're doing that, they're given a score, so there's a the scoring function that we got from the biochemist that we were working with, and it's sort of based on the fundamental principles of protein structure.

It's not based knowing the answer, because we don't know the answer to most of the problems, but it can take a protein structure and give you a number that tells you how good that particular structure is, how likely this could be the right shape, in some sense. And so as the players are interacting with the protein, they can see their score, if it goes up, they are then finding a better shape, and as they do that, they can actually see a leader board of all the other players, who are trying to solve that particular protein structure as well, and so they can always see how well they're doing against everyone else, and their goal is to try to get to first place but it's not just competitive, it's also collaborative and the players are able to form groups, where they can exchange their solutions so, once you worked on a particular structure for a while, you can actually upload that to the server where the other members in your group can actually then download it and pick up work where you left off.