Activities/Cells

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Cells game.png

Background

Aliens have abducted two each of six species from Earth. All are currently held captive on a spaceship returning to the alien home-planet, with each species in a different cell. Your goal is to have one of each type of species escape to the center of the ship. A group of unique individuals, one for each species, will give you the strength you need to overpower the alien guards and release everyone. Not all escape attempts will be successful, and animals might have to be captured again to allow another to species to escape. Can you organize the escape from the alien ship and return to Earth?

This game is based on the mechanisms present in gene regulatory networks, which help a biological cell respond to changes in its environment dynamically. The board is basically a circular bacterial DNA strand, the guards are RNA polymerase, the captives are transcribed RNA sequences which become promoters and repressors for other transcription sites, and escaped captives actually become proteins in the cell. Of course, it all has to be abstracted somewhat to make an interesting puzzle, but I hope it gets across some of the basic concepts of positive and negative feedback loops. More info about gene regulatory networks can be found at http://doegenomestolife.org/science/generegulatorynetwork.shtml http://cnx.rice.edu/content/m12383/latest/

Instructions

Each round, you will choose who will first attract the guards by clicking on that cell. Guards will start their examinations in that cell, then examine each cell clockwise. When examined, a species could try to escape. The guards will then search the secret hideouts for attempted escapes. After the guards have visited all cells once and exited, you have the choice to return any escaped prisoners to their hideout location by clicking on the individual prisoners in the center. Keep taking turns until there is one of each captive species in the central Escape Area.

Full Rules can be found at - http://www.piecepack.org/rules/CellManagement.pdf

Contributors

Cell Management being developed at Centenary College of Louisiana by Mark Goadrich and Nolan Baker.

Dependencies

Cell Management is built with Pygame using the Pygame wrapper SugarGame wrapper.

To Do List

Cell Management is a long way from finished.

To Become Beta
- update graphics to fit the story better
- fix ending to display win screen
- add ability to start new game
- clicking is important, change images when focused
To Become Release
- add option for other size boards 4, 6, 8
- add sound (because what's space without sound)
- add ability to save/load games