Sketchbook puzzles allow players only a certain number of moves, for example 250. Most tools, such as shake and wiggle, count as one move each time they are used, regardless of how long they run. Opening a cutpoint counts as a move, but closing it again does not. Adding or removing bands does not affect the move count.

Once the move count goes to zero, further changes to the protein are not counted toward the puzzle results. A negative move count indicates too many moves, and causes the score to become invalid, with a red line through it.

Undoing a change (such as shake or wiggle) also adjusts the move count upward. The move count is saved along with any manual or automatic saves (see Save Solution). When teammates open a group-shared solution, they inherit the last player's move count.

Sketchbook are based on the idea that the first steps of a puzzle, which usually including hand folding, are the most important.

Move CountsEdit

Understating exactly what counts as a "move" is important in sketchbook puzzles.

Foldit has always counted moves, mainly as a way to measure how much work players are doing when developing solutions. Foldit awards achievements like "Baby Steps", "Step Routine", "Moving Up", and "Professional Mover" based on the number of moves a player has made.

Sketchbook puzzles probably count move the same way that Foldit does in any type of puzzle.

The sections below describe the basics of move counting.

Move ToolEdit

Each use of the Move tool counts as a move. This may actually work against the stated objective of sketchbook puzzles, since it tends to discourage hand folding. Each small move of all or part of the protein counts, so the number of moves in a sketchbook puzzle can drop quickly. Players often use cutpoints to break a protein into sections, then move each section into place using the move tool.

The move tool is only available through the user interface, there is no direct equivalent in a recipe.

Wiggle, Shake, MutateEdit

Aside from the move tool, Wiggle and Shake are of course key to any Foldit puzzle, and Mutate is part of any design puzzle.

Wiggle and Shake each count as a move, no matter how long they run or what is selected.

So wiggling the entire protein costs one move, but wiggling just one segment also costs a move. The local wiggle variation of wiggle works the same way, as does shake.

Mutating one segment to a specific amino acid costs a move. Using the "mutate all" tool or the equivalent in a recipe also costs one move, regardless of how long the tool runs.

Shake, wiggle, and mutate only cost a move when the score changes, meaning that something actually moved. While this is fair, sometimes the score change is very small.

Banding, Freezing, CutpointsEdit

Creating, modifying, and deleting bands is free. Freezes are also free.

Opening a cutpoint counts a move, but closing a cutpoint is free.

Remix (and Rebuild)Edit

The Remix tool counts as one move, regardless of how many remix positions it finds.

The Rebuild tool is disabled on most recent design puzzles. It seems to be free, which makes sense, since it doesn't do anything. Rebuild previously cost on move on puzzles where it was enabled.

Idealize SS and IdealizeEdit

The Idealize SS (idealize secondary structure) tool is often used to create idealized helixes and sheets early in a design. Each use of Idealize SS counts as a move. The Idealize SS tool is only available in the user interface, there is no recipe equivalent.

The Idealize tool adjusts backbone angles of two or more segments. Each idealize counts as a move. The idealize tool is probably most often used in recipes, but it can also be used manually in the user interface. Unlike shake, wiggle, and mutate, idealize seems to cost a move even if the score does not change. (The score is normally displayed with three decimal places, so it's possible that tiny changes are happening each time.)

Secondary structureEdit

In general, changing the secondary structure is free, regardless of how many segments are changed.

The "save secondary secondary" (control-shift-9) tool is free, as is the recipe equivalent save.SaveSecondaryStructure. The tool saves the current secondary structure setting of all segments.

The "load secondary structure" (control-9) tool costs a move, and so does the recipe equivalent save.LoadSecondaryStructure(). This is despite the fact that restoring the secondary structure settings doesn't move any part of the protein or change the score. Also, the tool costs a move even is none of the secondary structure changes. Recipes can get around this by changing the secondary structure of each segment, which is free.

Saving and restoringEdit

Saving and restoring using quickload slots is free, either manually or via a recipe. Quickloading a slot of course restores the move count to what it was when the pose was saved.

Manually saving a solution similarly preserves the move count, and doesn't cost anything. The equivalent recipe function save.SaveSolution is also free. Restoring either a manual or recipe save is free.

Sidechain manipulationEdit

The Sidechain Picker tool costs a move. Manually dragging a sidechain to a new position also costs a move. In the selection interface, selecting a single segment and using the right and left arrow keys also moves the sidechain, also costing a move each time. This is true even if the segment is glycine, which has no sidechain.

The recipe function rotamer.SetRotamer also moves a sidechain, and also costs a move.

Rama map, BlueprintEdit

Viewing the Rama Map is free, but moving a segment to a new position costs a move.

Applying a building block in the Blueprint tool costs a move. Removing a building block is free.


The rest of user interface and recipe functions are believed to be free.

The recipe Move Tester can be used to test recipe functions. Since there isn't a recipe function that tells you how many moves are left, testing involving running Move Tester and observing whether the move count changes after each function is called. The Move Tester web page lists the functions known to cost a move.

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