WHAT IS ROUTES?

Routes is a game, a documentary, an online mystery and a load of flash minigames. Routes is all about genetics. Routes was played live between January and March of 2009, and you can still play and watch most of it here, on this website. Find out more in About Routes.

HOW DO I PLAY?

You can play the flash games Breeder, Sneeze, DNA Heroes and Ginger Dawn till your fingers give out. The more you play, the higher you (probably) score. (All the games are listed at routesgame.com/games.)

Or you can follow the mystery at the heart of Routes...

WHY REGISTER?

If you register you'll be able to download your very own organism and breed with your mates. Download a Breeder Widget and add it to your social network of choice (Bebo/Myspace/Facebook etc.)

HOW DO I SCORE?

You can score points by playing Breeder: you get points for breeding your organism, points when someone breeds with your creature, and extra points for reaching your breeding goal state. You get a limited number of chances to breed each day, but they build up over time if you miss a day playing.

Sneeze: you get points for each person you infect, and a score bonus for every percentage of the population you infect in each level.

DNA Heroes: You get points for the number of base pairs you create accurately, and fewer points for the close-but-no-cigar base pairs. You also get a points multiplier if you get a string of accurate hits in a row. You get 234 chances to make a base pair on hard, 252 chances on medium, and 121 targets on easy: harder levels have more targets, but they're much harder to hit.

Ginger Dawn: you get points for every ginger baby born, and bonus points for any time left on the clock at the end of level once you've reached your goal.

Bonus points: Bonus points to boost your overall score can be won by replaying Sneeze, DNA Heroes, Ginger Dawn and Breeder to beat your own high score, and watching the videos.

WHAT IS 'TALK'?

Talk is the place where we published the best comments and discussion about Routes, during its eight-week live run. Some players created blogs, formed groups, solved puzzles and cracked codes. When they did, we gave them props in the talk area.

IS ALL THE 'CATCH SCHOENBERG'S KILLER' STUFF A GAME?

It is indeed. You have stumbled upon the mystery at the heart of Routes, an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) which began with the discovery of the body of eminent geneticist - and consultant to routesgame.com - Professor Markus Schoenberg in a hotel room in Peru.

The mystery was first solved in March 2009, but you can still watch the story unravel and read the blogs of Schoenberg's neice Rachel Burren and freelance journalist Matt Blacker.

(Unfortunately Rachel's gone to Sydney and Matt's looking for his next scoop, so you can follow the game but you won't be able to interact with them - or any of the other characters.)

Here are some useful links to get you started:

Rachel's blog: rachcon1.com
Matt's blog: mattblacker.co.uk
Fluffy's YouTube: youtube.com/fluffybickles

WHO'S KATHERINE RYAN?

Katherine is an award-winning comedian, originally from Canada but now based in London. She suffers from lupus (a chronic autoimmune disease) and has beaten cancer.
She's also very funny.
Tracing her genome for Routes revealed much about her past and future - including why she's had these illnesses.

WHAT'S THE WELLCOME TRUST?

Routes was produced in association with the Wellcome Trust, an independent charity that funds research to improve human and animal health. It is the UK's largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research. Find out more at wellcome.ac.uk

WHEN WAS ROUTES LIVE?

Routes was played live between January-March 2009.

I'M A TEACHER. HOW CAN I USE THIS IN CLASS?

Routes has been used by teachers to help teach science, and we are overjoyed to hear about teachers using the project in this way. You are free to use the videos, and games. We're always interested to hear how our projects are used by teachers, so do please let us know your thoughts on the game. You can leave a comment on our blog

CREDITS

THE DOCUMENTARY

Filmed, Edited and Directed by Barry J Gibb

THE MYSTERY and GAME

Matt Blacker Dan Gingell
Rachel Burren Lydia Larson
Bicks Madeleine George
Fluffy Ben Wilson
Duncan Woodburn Philip Delancy
Markus Schoenberg Chris Barritt
Alison Streatwell Helena Cullinan
Susan O'Leary Rachel Gibson
Cesar Barrera Alejandro Sesma
Aalia Nazim Amber Rose Revah
Fiona Burren Janet Behan
Aalia's Dad Jeff Mirza
Aalia's Mum Neelam Bakshi
Frontier Genetics Henry Everett
Original Idea and Story by Tom Edge
Script Editor Rupert Russell
Additional Writing Ali Cronin
ARG Designer Andrea Philips
Art Director Chris Barnes
Flash Game Design Playerthree
Web Development Lingobee
Video Editor Guy Hellier
Camera Damian Daniels,
Samuel Jackson,
Phil Barthropp,
Claudio Cadman,
Nathan Waters,
Chris Dunford,
Jim Ashcroft
Sound Cormac Torhill
Make-Up & Wardrobe Tina Young-Routier,
Julia Wade
Music Co-ordinator Pitch&Sync
Art Director David Rosen
Production Assistant Mind's Eye Marinella Abondatti
Production Manager Mind's Eye Isi Gruenewald
Producer Max Yeoman
Director Charlie Phillips
Events Co-ordinator Tassos Stevens
Events Manager Lou Oldfield
Schools Liaison Charlotte Lamb
Marketing strategy Paul Shearman
PR Rebecca Ladbury
Games Advisor for Channel 4 Margaret Robertson
Project Manager for Channel 4 Azka Malik
Executive Producer for Channel 4 Jo Roach
Executive Producer for the Wellcome Trust Dr. Amy Sanders
Executive Assistant Lizzie Cooper
Production Assistant and motion graphics Duncan Campbell
Producer Kim Plowright
Executive Producers Mike Bennett
Mark Mckeown