Week 27 Folding Proteins

18 Mar 2020


Last week and half of this week I was recovering from a cold so didn’t get anything done in that time.

The last thing I was doing was investigating audio technologies so Frans, who’s starting in April, can decide if he wants to use XACT or FMOD. I’d verified XACT works on both Mac and Windows although sound development can only be done on Windows. By the end of Sunday I had FMOD working on both Mac and Windows. FMOD Studio can connect to the running game and make live-edits to the sounds in-game. I’ve verified that then building the banks and replacing them in a build also works. This means Frans can work independently and doesn’t have to faff about building from source.

I’m looking forward to working with Frans but I’m going to have to make some changes in behaviour to accommodate him. I want to provide him with clear goals while encouraging creative freedom. First thing I did was pull out a sprint board and backlog in Trello. The backlog I filled with the major features I hope to achieve in the upcoming months along with a selection of bugs I’ve pulled out of all my other overflowing Trello boards. Now I’m fixing as many bugs as possible before Frans starts.

On Tuesday I got into a bit of a funk about the corona-virus and ended up installing Folding@home, Rosetta@home and Foldit. It feels like I’m spitting in the face of a globe-spanning hurricane. That’s probably not the most appropriate metaphor. Foldit makes a decent job of gamifying the process and I’m half-way through the tutorial. It feels like a really good fit for VR because it involves understanding and manipulating 3D shapes and there have been a few attempts at this with other protein folding programs. However, with a crowd-sourcing program like this the value VR brings is limited by the number of people who have VR setups, so probably not worth it yet.

The official Dwerg Saga website has been live for two weeks now but I’ve not had any sign-ups for the monthly email. Not having analytics on the site I don’t know if this is because I’m not getting any traffic or if it’s because no one is interested in a game that teaches something about oneself. The results from the questionnaire for players of The Sims has let me know that 85% of players have created a sim like themselves. From one conversation I’ve had with such a player, their goal was experimenting with aspirations rather than understanding themselves.

I’ve not been able to play-test the stockpiles but I’ve settled on using the threat of Direwolves to give the introductory tutorial greater meaning for the player. For the next week I’ll be fixing bugs, attempting the Foldit corona-virus puzzle and developing the Direwolves.

- Jock

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