An Enhanced Story

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We’ve had a fantastic group of high school students and graduate students steer the design of MAX5 this summer. One of the reccurring themes has been to make the game more emotionally compelling through the use of an expanded narrative.  We’re including a map to track progress and show multi-media snapshots of the deadly flu outbreaks as they occur in-game; we’ll also be introducing several new characters.

Exploring the Lab

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We’ve created one of the rooms for an introductory scene in the Advanced Future Research Lab. This includes an interactive computer interface where players receive messages from other scientists and lab agents.

The Future of Genetic Sequencing in MAX5

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Since MAX5 takes place twenty years into the future, we want the game to reflect the future of DNA sequencing techniques.  Sequencing a sample is a way to discover the order of the nucleotide bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, or A,G,C,T) within a molecule of DNA. Companies are developing ways to sequence DNA more quickly with greater throughput (requiring less power for greater results).

We recently updated the game to better reflect the steps needed to sequence DNA:

1) Since viruses are dependent on a host for replication, the first step the player will need to take is isolating the viral DNA from any sample collected (be it saliva, tissue, or sewer samples). This process also separates the cellular materials from the DNA

2) The second step is to separate viral DNA from host DNA

3) Once the player has purified viral DNA, it can be sequenced and the order of AGCTs is determined.


Starting Development of MAX5

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We have started initial development of MaxFive, a game based around a futuristic crime scene investigation scenario in which players are part of an international lab and must collaborate in teams to take on the roles of forensics experts, computing experts, and scientists, to solve clues and recover data to stop a bio-terrorist organization. We are excited to have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the development of the game.

Development Engine & Platform:  We will be using Unity3D as the game engine and the game will be developed for online PC playing.

We will be posting development updates, so stay tuned.