Help test the NOVA tutorials for Eterna

The NOVA puzzle tutorials we have long been waiting for, has just gone active. You can test them out at the NOVA lab site. They will be integrated in our side of the game later too.

Nando found the link: NOVA Labs - RNA VirtuaLab

He also pointed out that the account option is for US only. But if you are not in the US, like me, you can pick the option Guest.

Feel free to try out the tutorials and help expose if there are any bugs left. Please report here if you find any.

Update: If you are playing on a guest pass, it won’t save your progress when you log out and log back on again. You can make an account with an artificial zip code. 10001 for New York works for me.

I found a bug: Mousewheel, which can be used to zoom in/zoom out in normal EteRNA, apparently doesn’t work in NOVALabs.

In this level: (Trial 1, Level 4/6)

You can get stuck if you change U to A, since you have only ‘swap’ to use, and you can change U to A because the level starts you with ‘A’ selected.

Thanks so much, Eli and Red-- this is really helpful.

When you catch a bug, please include your OS and browser-- that will help us iron out problems across systems.

Red-- what browser were you on when the mousewheel didn’t work?

Congratulations to the team, this is really solid and beautiful work! Nice job! :smiley:

I went through the tutorial as a Guest, on Mavericks OSX, Safari 7.0.3


hahahaha, great writing / sense of humor:

helpful to have a boost constraint to confirm practice:

nice animations show what we are doing and why:

nice translucent overlay frames giving additional info:

energy description helpful:

Questions / Bugs:

when you solve this one there are no rays of light or bubbles / solve animation:

can’t click on hints button, have to click on words to toggle:

can’t click on switch button, have to click on numbers to toggle:

For me, mousewheel works to zoom in/out but also scrolls the whole page. Win8.1 Chrome (latest version). Additionally, I either can barely fit or can’t fit the whole game area into my screen (Chrome, regular zoom, 15.6")

Is there any way for me to get points on my EteRNA account from the labs? :stuck_out_tongue:

good catch!

On the first puzzle of trial 2, Self-Copying RNA, it has you boost the loops. This is great, except it forces you to try to boost the multiloops.

Boosting multiloops is different than normal loops, right? So, we shouldn’t teach people to do that?

I share Meechl sentiment. Multiloop-Boosting is marginally useful, and it has an absurdly big chance of producing additional misfolds.

OS: Win 7 / Firefox

Additionally, I think that mentioning blocking would be useful.

We’re looking into this, thanks!

That’s a good point. We’re looking to see if there’s a way to prevent painting there. The puzzle does currently instruct people to use the undo button if they accidentally paint that base, but that’s far from ideal.

Thanks for all of your kind comments!

As for the bugs:

  1. That is just the intro to the puzzle, so it’s not meant to be rewarded with rays and lights, but I see why it would be odd.

  2. Good point-- we’re looking into making the hitbox larger.

  3. Same as 2.

This is so helpful-- thanks for playing through!

Thanks for the information on the scrolling.

We’re discussing with the Eterna team whether we can give Eterna players points instead of just carrying them over into a new account. Good to know that you want them!

“Boosting multiloops is different than normal loops, right?” < – this is why it doesn’t fit in that particular tutorial. Turn the adjacent pair and suddenly the boost is not boosting, or is even raising the energy, depending on surrounding shapes. To teach it requires its own lesson

I actually had exactly that in an early version of the game-- a puzzle dedicated to teaching multiloops. Play-testers were confused by it though, and it resulted in them being more confused about boosts in general (it was just too much information too quickly, so it didn’t make the final cut).

It sounds like the consensus is that the mutliloops in this puzzle should be locked down/not pointed to as a boost point, is that right? The confusing I’m trying to avoid is players then assuming that multiloops can’t be boosted at all. To RedSpah’s point, maybe that’s a better thing than them trying to boost incorrectly.

Thanks for all of the discussion on this point!

Agreed that blocking would have been useful, but it’s one of those things I just wasn’t able to fit in, unfortunately. If we ever make a sequel maybe I can get that in there :slight_smile:

Just to put this out there- the NOVA game is not by any means meant to replace all of the excellent guides that players have written over the last few years. My hope is that those will continue to be a great resource as players get further immersed in Eterna.

Another thing: Lags.

I’ve tested few things, and got these results:

I’ve compared (Trial 2 2/6)(200 bases) to one of ~200 base puzzles on Eterna in terms of lag.

The one thing is painfully clear: NOVA Puzzles lag MUCH more than EteRNA puzzles of comparable size.

The lag is 2-fold, it occurs when moving the puzzle around, which doesn’t happen on eterna with exception of the biggest puzzles.

It also occurs in more usual way, when changing bases. 200 base NOVA puzzle had similar lag to 400-500 base EteRNA puzzle.

OS: Win 7 / Firefox

Programs in the BG: Steam, one movie on YT, one EteRNA puzzle open, one NOVA puzzle open.

Interesting-- I haven’t seen this before. A few questions:

  1. Were you experiencing the same amount of lag yesterday when you were testing? Or does it seem worse today?
  2. Is it improved when you switch to low performance mode in the settings (gear icon in the lower right corner).


I don’t recall everything - but I’m sure the was some lag, but I’d guess less than today.

Oh, and that was measured on low performance mode already.

Got it, thanks. We’ll look into this and see if there’s anything we can do to increase the speed.

In the meantime, I’d be very interested to hear if others are experiencing similar lag/similar lag relative to Eterna.