Nanocrafter is a scientific discovery game about synthetic biology. Use pieces of DNA to build everything from computer circuits to nanoscale machines, and help advance scientific research with your inventions!
We're not just winners for the usual reasons, but we've also been honored with an award this week from the 2014 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (SGS&C). Our team won in the category of “Best Serious Game, Special Emphasis Category, Use of Social Media”.
We're bringing some changes along with our new challenges this week, so let's dive right in and find out the scoop.
Our expert level challenges have been tweaked in difficulty slightly, and in addition, we're now giving you more time to work on them. While our regular challenges cycle out approximately every two weeks (give or take a day or two), we're leaving each of our expert challenges up for four whole weeks from this challenge going forward. That's more time to create excellent solutions and still be able to work on the normal difficulty challenges with ease.
As we cruise into the holiday season, it's clear our developers have travel on the brain with the expert challenge "Highway Interchange". Steer those strands around and come up with a clever solution to form multi-way junctions. Will you find this challenge to your speed, or cause a multi-strand pile up instead? Let us know if you have any questions over in the forum.
Our other three challenges are diverse this round, to say the least.
The current drawing challenge lets you bring out your holiday best and fill our world with snowflakes. It doesn't snow very often here at the University, so we're having to make do with your entries. If things get particularly dire and warm weather wise, I may cut a few of the best patterns out and post them to Twitter. Be sure to make them pretty and precious, because I'll be giving giving you all the credit here.
Next, our developers invite us to take a round trip by creating a system that undergoes at least three reactions, then comes back around by reversing them all the way to the initial state.
Finally, we have a challenge called "Parsimony". If you can create three totally independent reactions using as few distinct colors as you can, we want to see it.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! And good luck!
Curious about some of the upcoming changes to Nanocrafter, and our new website coming your way? Come on by Computing Open House this Saturday at the University of Washington from 1-5pm and celebrate the start of Computer Science Education Week and computer pioneer Grace Hopper's birthday. We're planning on having members of the team there and one of our machines dedicated to Nanocrafter so you can tinker around and ask us questions! We look forward to seeing you there!
One of the best things about announcing new challenges (like we did earlier this week) is getting the opportunity to recognize our previous round's winners. Let's take a look at these hard working community members now:
Since yesterday was a holiday here at Nanocrafter Central, we decided to push our challenges to today. That means you have one less day this challenge round to work on things. Here are the brainteasers we have cooked up for you this time:
Our drawing challenges remain one of our hottest competitions. This round, we want you to "Draw a Fractal!" and use the pieces to draw something that looks similar at different zoom levels.
Can you build "A Better Mousetrap", or will you squeak by? For this challenge, we would like to see you release the star only after completing at least two other reactions in your solution.
In our last challenge, "Resistance is Futile", you need to build four or more unique molecules with a concentration of one that assimilate into a single molecule of higher concentration.
For this round of Expert Challenges, we bring you one called "Short Changed", in which we're hoping to see you build one or more logic gates that are constructed exclusively from short domains. Also, we'd like some feedback from our Expert players - we're considering changing our challenge schedule to provide super tough challenges on a monthly, rather than every other week basis. What do you think? Post your thoughts over in the forum!
We have a brand new update for you - if you are following our Twitter and Facebook page you may have seen some preview shots. While our new world is currently scheduled for midweek, we've already pushed out our update, including enhancements to the UI.
Do not hesitate to post about any bugs you may find or ask about any questions in our forum section.
If you've just heard of us through the Games For Health 14 Conference - welcome! Dive right in and if you have any questions, be sure to ask in our forums. We love having newcomers around our small and growing community.
We have four new spooktacular challenges for this round to keep your skills sharp.
Draw something spooky! - Treat your community to some art by drawing something spooky for Halloween!
NOP - Build something that does nothing when play is pressed. The more complex the better! For fun, debate if NOP is simply missing an E at the end, or stands for something over on the forums.
Coin Toss - We don't have heads or tails, but we do have different colors, so build a system that releases either the green or the purple piece with equal likelihood.
Expert: 1-N-1 - Create a single molecule that transforms into multiple (at least three) molecules, before condensing back into a single molecule.
Good luck - we can't wait to see what you come up with.
Have a look at our Help Page for the game manual and helpful tips.
Who are we?
The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington focuses on solving hard problems facing humanity today in a game based environment. Our focus is on scientific discovery games, games that discover optimal learning pathways for STEM education, cognitive skill training games, games that promote human creativity, games that explore collective over individual intelligence, and many more.