Full Rules

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This game involves answering trivia questions, solving hangman style puzzles, and solving scrambles. A clock starts at 60 minutes and ticks down while playing, stopping frequently. This allows the full 60 minutes of play that makes the game length about four hours. If anyone reading this wants to know the details of when the clocks start and stop, see the Clocks section.

This page repeats and expands quick rules and looks overwhelming. Players that follow the prompts will do fine. This page attempts to cover everything with the objective of resolving conflicts, hopefully before they start. This is a live game. Anything can happen, both good and bad: The host could make a mistake; there can be unknown bugs in the script; players don't fall for trickery; they get a question right when the host feels that few people will know the answer, et cetera.

The information is in sections. The Important Rules section covers rules that are vital to the game. Game Text and Game Play talk about the game's text and format. The sections after give more details not covered in the Game Play section.

Contents

  1. Pre-Game
  2. Important Rules
  3. Game Text
  4. Game Play
    1. Rounds
    2. Round Two
    3. Puzzle Round
    4. Question Round
    5. Grand Finale
  5. Game Ends
  6. Scrambles
    1. As Control Picks
    2. As Questions
  7. Questions
    1. Categories
    2. Levels
    3. Trickery
    4. Multiple Answers
    5. Educated Guess
    6. Educated Guess and Multiple Answer
    7. Bonus Questions
    8. Bonus Answers
  8. Puzzles
    1. Speed Round
  9. Idling
  10. Clocks
    1. Starting
    2. Stopping
    3. Clocks during Speed Round
    4. Bonus Clock
  11. Host Mistakes
    1. Wrong Category and Level
    2. Repeats a Question
    3. Botches a Question
    4. Tossing/Canceling a Question
    5. Post Game Corrections
  12. Scoring
    1. Score Bonuses
    2. Bonus Clock
    3. Questions
      1. Educated Guess Questions
    4. Winning Streaks
      1. Overall
      2. Individual
      3. How Educated Guess Questions Affect Winning Streaks
    5. Puzzles
      1. Value of Puzzles
    6. Scrambles
    7. Jackpot
    8. Detailed Examples
  13. Bonus Round
  14. Statistics Tracked
  15. Misbehavior
  16. Host Playing

Pre-Game

In an attempt to get players to come and on time, subscribers to the notification mailing list get three completely random questions the night before a game. Players have until the game's start to rack their brains to come up with the correct answers, especially by looking them up. Do not submit answers to the questions until game time. They will not count. Store the answers elsewhere, like in a text file or even by replying to the email without sending it ever.

When the game officially starts, players will get an opportunity to submit their answers using one line per question in the order asked. If a player doesn't submit answers in the proper order, processing will take longer and may result in incorrectly processed answers. It's important to have answers ready when arriving to the game, because the prompt appears suddenly after starting the game.

The answers to the questions will appear in the newsletter sent sometime after the game, not in the channel. Players will only know how many points they earned. The reason is to get players to sign up for the newsletter.

Important Rules

It is time to repeat and expand the important rules:

  1. Answers do not require correct spelling or capitalization; however, the host needs to be able to recognize answers. Players get bonus points for correct spelling when indicated in answers. The script tries to match guesses to scrambles and puzzles, awarding bonus points when making matches.
  2. The host must receive answers first. Please do not argue about this. Lag is the time it takes for text to travel from one computer to another, and it fluctuates constantly. A player's answer that shows first on their screen isn't a guarantee of being the first. Because of lag fluctuations, it's difficult to accurately measure who is first in real time. Otherwise, it's a waiting game. (Pun not intended there.) The host and players have no control over lag; however, players can minimize lag by connecting to the same server as the host. The topic of the channel says which server to connect to, but some connection platforms may not give the option of changing servers. (See the Access page for details.)
  3. It is important to read the question and follow the prompts. Infrequently, some questions are tricky, and some choices in multiple choice questions attempt to make players laugh, cause confusion, or both. Do not assume each question or choice is meant to be tricky. In fact, more often than not, questions have no intentional form of trickery. The goal is to get players to think and maybe laugh. The Trickery section has guidelines.
  4. Using a last name only is not correct unless the question says otherwise. When players answer only the last name, the host will ask to be more specific. Additionally, names do not require middle names; however, they are if it results in a completely different person. An example involves the three presidents of the Church that share the name Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith, Jr.; Joseph F. Smith; and Joseph Fielding Smith. If the answer is Joseph F. Smith, but the player puts Joseph Smith, it is incorrect; however, the host will ask to be more specific. (Joseph Smith by itself implies Junior due to him being more famous.)
  5. Players can look up answers. Be aware of the time limits involved. This is one of the reasons why questions have two parts. Even if there was a rule about players not being able to look up answers, the host couldn't enforce it.
  6. There should be no teams; however, the host cannot and will not enforce this. Teams have advantages over individual players. Ideally, it's one person per connection. Of course, this doesn't matter if all players agree to something different.
  7. Finally, have fun.

Game Text

Text displays in colors: purple, red, blue, and black with no background colors. Automated script messages appear in purple with red marking text that can change each time the message appears. Blue text is for automated action messages that appear in brackets. Black combines pre-written text and live text from the host. Brief explanations are one example of black text. Bold text appears for emphasis and for commands.

The goal is for this game to move as fast as possible with a script automating as much as possible while still having that human element. There is a lot of text that appears during the game; however, sending many lines at one time can trigger flood protection. The host programmed the script to delay messages to avoid overwhelming players and prevent flood detections. Players will see how long before a prompt or a question with designated messages in between, if any. (For more details on flood protection in IRC, please look up IRC flood protection in a search engine.)

Game Play

After the pre-game questions, the first step in the game is to determine who gets control using a scramble, which is one word or a phrase containing no more than three words, excluding articles, conjunctions, and some prepositions. Whoever solves the scramble first gets points and control, and then it will be time for round one. (If nobody gets the initial scramble correct, nobody will have control.) The main thing for the player in control is choosing the category and level of the next question.

Rounds

The game plays in rounds that involves solving one hangman style puzzle with 10 minutes on a clock called puzzle. The puzzle clock marks when to shift focus to the puzzle to solve it quickly and called a speed round. The following list is the steps of play during a round:

  1. The host selects a puzzle and shows it along with its category and point value. The category only appears in the channel once. Type !cat in the channel to see it again. (If a player asks the host what the category is, the host will say to type !cat.)
  2. The next step is the selection of the category and level for the first/next question called a control pick by the player in control:
  3. Part one of a question: The host selects a question, the script announces one is coming in X seconds, then the script displays it along with its point value. Using an estimate of how fast people read, there's a pause in three-second increments to give players a chance to read the question. After the pause, players have 25 seconds to post one answer on one line.
  4. Did a player get the question right?
  5. Part two of a question: When no player gets the question right, the point value cuts in half, and a free for all occurs for 35 seconds, allowing players to guess as often as they desire, one line at a time.
  6. Did a player get the question correct?
  7. The player that got the question right first gets an opportunity to guess a letter.
  8. Is the letter in the puzzle?
  9. This is the end of a question. Go back to step two until one of the following events:
  10. When a player loses control, what happens next depends on the number of players in the channel:
  11. The round usually ends when a player solves the puzzle:
  12. A speed round occurs to solve any puzzle in progress. What happens depends on any events in progress:
  13. Is there time on the game clock?

Try to solve puzzles, guess letters, and make selections as fast as possible. This allows more questions and puzzles.

Ideally, games happen in one session. Because of the game's length, there is a minimum of one break after finishing a round once the game clock ticks below 30 minutes. Preferably, breaks occur between rounds.

Round Two

Round two offers the player in control the choice of the following:

If the player chooses either Question Round or Puzzle Round, round four will be the other one. If the player chooses neither, rounds two and four will be regular rounds. This makes having control vital when round one finishes.

Puzzle Round

A puzzle round is solving as many puzzles as possible in ten minutes. Here are the steps for the puzzle round:

  1. The host will select a puzzle and display it like a regular puzzle. See step one above.
  2. A speed round will start after a pause.
  3. When the puzzle finishes, usually by solving, go back to step one if there's time left on the puzzle clock. The player that solves the puzzle first will get control and will start the next puzzle.

Question Round

A question round is answering as many questions as possible in ten minutes. Follow the steps in the Rounds section above but skip the letter guess opportunities. The round ends when the puzzle clock expires and after finishing any question in progress.

Grand Finale

If a round starts with less than ten minutes on the game clock, it's the final puzzle and called the Grand Finale, which means a lengthier puzzle. Any player that solves this puzzle before the game clock expires will earn bonus points, and the rest of the game will be questions only.

Game Ends

The game ends when the game clock expires and after finishing any question and puzzle in progress in that order. Whoever has the most points at the end gets a bonus round. Some time after the game, the host sends a newsletter about the game and updates the stats page, including the high score lists. More details on the Statistics page.

The next sections expand things not discussed above.

Scrambles

The game uses scrambles to determine who gets control, but they can also appear as questions. Scrambles can be one word or a phrase. For phrase scrambles, there is no partial credit. It's all or nothing. The following are the rules that all scrambles have:

Here's how they differ when used to determine who gets control and as a question:

As Control Picks

Example One: Player A solves the scramble first but misspells it, and Player B makes a match. Both players get points for solving the scramble, Player B gets bonus points for the match, and Player A gets control.

Example Two: Player A solves the scramble first but misspells it and then makes a match on a future line before the host can verify it's correct. Player A will get control, the scramble's point value once, and the bonus once.

As Questions

Scrambles as questions blend rules for questions and control picks:

Questions

For information about the formatting of questions, including how sources appear, see the Works Cited page.

Scrambles can appear as questions, which combine the rules for control picks and questions. The section above covers scrambles.

One important aspect about questions is that a question can override rules for that question only. For example, a question could ask for a first name or last name only, which overrides the full names rule.

It's possible the host can run out of questions for the selected category and level. If that happens, the player in control decides to increase the level by one, decrease the level by one, or change to random.

This section deals with questions, starting with categories and levels. After that, some guidelines about trickery. Next, there are four types of questions: Multiple Answers, Educated Guess, both, and Bonus. Finally, the last section deals with bonus answers.

Categories

Questions come in categories. Choosing a category and a level involves the [!pick] <category> <level> command. (Notice that !pick is in brackets, which means it's optional. Do not include the brackets.) The player in control can just type the letter(s) shown in parentheses and then a level. For example, the player wants a level four question from the Book of Mormon: The command is [!pick] bm 4. (Notice that the command doesn't have a capital letter.) Here are the categories for the game with what to type to select that category appearing in parentheses:

Categories in italics mean they can appear in the question itself regardless of the chosen category.

Red text means they contain scrambles. Unlike regular questions, the word scramble itself doesn't display the category.

Note: Wild and Random are separate categories. Wild has questions that do not fit elsewhere, and random chooses from any category. Wild and Bible categories, however, do not add bonus points.

Levels

Levels determine the type of question asked, not its point value. The following list describes the types of questions:

  1. True/false, yes/no questions: Questions with two possible answers. Choose one.
  2. Multiple choice: Questions with three or more choices. Choose one.
  3. Indirect multiple choice: These questions have choices but do not appear. The number can be as low as two and as high as . . . There's no formal limit.
  4. No choices, direct or indirect: Questions have absolutely no choices.
  5. Two answers, multiple choice: Questions have a minimum of three choices. Choose two of them.
  6. Two answers, no multiple choice: Questions have two correct answers with no choices.
  7. Three answers, multiple choice: Questions have at least four choices. Choose three of them.
  8. Three answers, no choices: Questions have three correct answers with no choices.

Bear in mind that the number of questions for levels five through eight are low.

Some questions do not directly say how many answers it requires. This is why choosing a random level adds points. It makes it more difficult.

The levels for scrambles are three, because there may be multiple words or phrases that fit but aren't given, let alone written. There are no multiple choice versions due to complexity in creating choices, let alone ones that match the scrambled word or phrase.

Trickery

Occasionally, some questions and even choices have the intention of tricking players. The goal is to get players to think and read the question; however, it's possible for it to get ridiculous, which is the point of this section. The reason for trickery is to add difficulty and fun with the hope of players not falling for it. The host will not brag or boast when fooling players and may congratulate players that don't fall for the trick. (Boasting is rude.) It also gets players to think. (Yes, the think part appears twice on purpose.) Here are some guidelines:

These are guidelines or objectives. People view things differently. The host may not think it's cruel, but a player might.

Sidebar: There will not be any questions regarding who became pope of the Catholic church. That is outside the scope of this trivia game; however, there is a question about a convert to the Church that worked under three popes. So far, that's the only 1,000 point question that requires three answers. (More on scoring later.) The last guideline above appeared because of that question.

Multiple Answers

Levels five through eight require two or three correct answers with the following differences:

Educated Guess

Inspired by an old game show called Card Sharks with Bob Eubanks, these questions have numbers for answers. Not everyone remembers numbers. When playing other trivia games, these questions get frustrating when trying to answer, even with hints. In the first version of this game, the host made guessing patterns illegal and lost players when finding guessing patterns that didn't exist. Creating an Educated Guess style of question eliminates multiple guessing and hopefully minimizes the frustration of not knowing the answers.

These questions only occur on levels three, four, six, and eight. The following list are the differences:

For example, a question asks for how long a king ruled. Three players post answers of three, 15 months, and 345 days. The correct answer is one year, one month. The second answer converts to one year and three months, and the last answer converts to about 11 months. Looking to see who is the closest, the third answer of 345 days is closest and would get the points. Players that don't include a unit a measure go with years. This allows players to type less, but it comes with risks, one of which being that the host may not include the measurement the player had in mind.

Another example is one player answers three, a second player answers seven, and the correct answer is five. They're both two away, which is a tie. Both players get the points with the person posting first getting control and a letter guess opportunity. If both players put three, the player that posted first would get the points, however, because it's the same incorrect answer. Finally, if two players put three, and one other put seven; the first player to post three will tie with the player that put seven.

Educated Guess and Multiple Answer

Rules blend in the following ways:

For example, there's a three answer question with answers of 38, 44, and 35. Two players submitted answers: One player answered 25, 35, and 45. The second player answered 45, 30, and 50. Player One is the closest on two answers, and Player Two is the closest on one. (See Detailed Examples for further details, including why order matters.)

Bonus Questions

There may be one bonus question each round. It's at a specific time that will remain a secret. When it's time for one, the script announces it seconds before displaying the question. Bonus questions differ from normal in that the player in control gets one line to answer the question. If the player gets the question right, play proceeds normally. If not, a free for all still occurs, and the player that got the first shot may submit more answers. In other words, the player in control gets one guess without having to worry about the other players. For multiple answer questions, the player still earns credit for each correct answer if the player doesn't get them all.

Players, be careful here. The script will say who gets to answer, so it's important to pay attention. The host will ignore answers from other players. Furthermore, the player that can answer may steal the other player's answer and get credit if correct. Stealing answers can upset other players. The morality of stealing answers goes to the players.

Bonus Answers

Occasionally, a question has two correct answers but count as one. If a player gives a bonus answer, that player will earn the indicated bonus in addition to the regular points.

For example, there's one question where the correct answer to a question is Elias, which is a different form of the prophet Elijah. If a player answers Elias, that player is correct. Players that answer Elijah will earn the indicated bonus in addition to the regular points. (To those that wonder what the question is, the only way to find out is to play. It may show up.)

Furthermore, some multiple answer questions will have bonus answers. These are questions with more than three answers. The host feels that players won't use some answers to get the question correct and thus marked them as bonus answers. Players that use the bonus answers to get the question correct earn the indicated bonus. Players earn the bonus even if they don't get the whole question correct.

Puzzles

Each round is solving a hangman style puzzle with a minimum of four words, ignoring articles, conjunctions, and most prepositions. The following is an alphabetical list of words that do not count: a, an, and, as, but, by, for, from, in, into, nor, of, on, or, so, the, to, unto, and with. That's the same list for scrambles. "For" is both a conjunction and a preposition, so it doesn't count no matter what one calls it. Hyphenated words count as one. All numbers in puzzles display completely spelled out, especially those greater than ten.

For any that are curious, here are most of the categories:

Most punctuation marks appear in puzzles: quotation marks, commas, periods, colons, semicolons, hyphens, apostrophes, slashes (used in song lyrics to mark the next line), and even an exclamation point. These marks will appear in the puzzle as is, not spelled out.

When players submit guesses using the !puz command, the script does two checks for matches: The first match attempt makes no changes. If that doesn't match, the script then strips punctuation marks, including hyphens and apostrophes, and tries to match again. If there's a match after removing the punctuation marks, the player receives less bonus points. If there's no match, the script will say there's no match and that the host may respond. The host will look it over if it looks like a guess and then respond.

Caution: Be careful when trying to match the puzzle. If one letter or one punctuation mark is wrong or missing, the script won't match the guess. Players have until the host finds a correct answer to submit corrections in an attempt to match their guesses. It's too late when the host awards the points manually.

Another Caution: Failure to use the !puz command may result in the script not attempting to match the guess. (Sidebar: The host couldn't get the script to trigger a guess without the !puz command when desired, so the host decided to leave it as is and encourage the command's use.)

Each puzzle has a point value that decreases with each letter guessed and revealed. Players that guess vowels lose points, which is the only time a player loses points. The script tracks the number of consonants in the puzzle. When the number of consonants hit zero, a message appears once that says there are no more consonants. At that point, players can guess vowels at no cost to their score. However, the script doesn't track the number of vowels in a puzzle; therefore, players won't know when a puzzle runs out of vowels. Most puzzles have all the vowels in them anyway.

Players guess letters by typing [!guess] <letter> in the channel when prompted. (The brackets indicate that it's optional. The script assumes the next line received from the player in control is a guess and uses the first letter.)

Because players do not have to correctly spell a puzzle, it's possible for two players to get points for solving the puzzle. When the script makes a match, it waits for the host to verify the player was first. Regardless, both players get points for solving the puzzle. The player making the match gets a bonus, and the player that was first gets control.

If the same player solves the puzzle and then matches another guess before the host can confirm it, the player will only get the puzzle's point value and bonus once.

If all the letters to the puzzle display, everyone automatically solves the puzzle. There's no competitive advantage to each player getting points, so any points and any bonuses will go to the jackpot instead, which is usually higher than the puzzle's value. The goal is for players to solve the puzzle as soon as possible. Of course, there's the possibility that players cannot solve the puzzle until revealing the last letter. Control does not change when revealing the puzzle.

Speed Round

A speed round shifts focus to solving the puzzle fast. The script goes down the nickname list, giving each player an opportunity to guess a letter, starting with the player in control and skipping idle players. The puzzle will not display again until a player finds a letter. Players can make guesses to the puzzle at any time. Speed round ends when solving the puzzle, when revealing all letters, when players stop guessing, or when the buzzer sounds for a letter guess with only one player playing.

Be careful here. If there's only one player, and the buzzer sounds for not guessing a letter, speed round ends, and the player has 90 seconds to submit as many guesses as possible to solve the puzzle. If the player doesn't solve the puzzle, the round ends with an unsolved puzzle.

Caution: The host can stop the speed round at any time when no one is guessing letters. If all the players are idling, the guessing automatically stops. The host then decides to end the round or game.

A clock called bonus starts at five minutes and ticks down like the puzzle and game clock. Time left after solving the puzzle goes to the jackpot.

Sidebar: Nickname lists on IRC are alphabetical by mode. It displays operators first (@) followed by voiced people (+). People with no mode set appear on the bottom. Going into details about operators and voicing is beyond the scope of this page; however, the script uses voicing to indicate who has control. The objective during a speed round is for the list to be completely alphabetical for all players. The script will remove the plus sign before starting speed round and then restore it once the puzzle finishes, usually by solving. The reason for this is so players will know when it's their turn and to be ready for their next letter guess.

Idling

Players that don't talk in the channel for five minutes are idling. The following happens to players that idle:

Important: Note the wording of the automatic clock stoppage. Idle players must get their answer to the host in part one before the host displays the correct answer in order for it to count. Idle players don't affect part two, because part two ends with either the buzzer or the first player to post the correct answer.

The host wants players in the channel that play; however, the host will not kick people out of the channel for idling. The objective is to not reward players for idling; unfortunately, this has the added side effect of affecting other players' scores. Idle players can remove the idle mark by simply saying anything in the channel.

Clocks

This section talks about the starting and stopping of the clocks used in the game. If anyone doesn't want to know these specifics, feel free to skip this section.

The game has four main clocks: game, puzzle, bonus, and one with the informal name of temp. The game clock starts at 60 minutes, and the puzzle clock starts at 10 minutes when beginning a round. The temp clock is the time to answer questions, make selections, et cetera. Previous players compared the clock to a football game, except the clock stops between all plays.

When clocks start, the temp clock will always have time on it. The other three clocks will tick down when there's time on them.

Starting

The clocks start for the following events:

The game clock doesn't tick down when prompting players for answers to the pre-game questions. Pre-game questions are a bonus.

Stopping

The next set of lists indicate when the clock stops. For each set, it's the one that occurs first.

  1. A player matches a scramble. Clock stoppage varies:
  2. The host displays the answer when finding a correct answer.
  3. The buzzer sounds.
  1. A player makes a valid category and level selection for the first/next question.
  2. The buzzer sounds while waiting for a selection. The player will then lose control. See step 10 in the Rounds section.
  1. During part one of questions, all players give their one answer, ignoring idle players. The script detects this, announces it, and then stops the clock.
  2. The buzzer sounds.
  1. During part two of questions, the clock stops when the host displays the correct answer after seeing it.
  2. The buzzer sounds. Either no player got it right, or the host didn't see a correct answer in time.
  1. A player makes a valid letter guess.
  2. The buzzer sounds while waiting for a player to guess a letter.
  1. The player makes a choice regarding round two.
  2. The buzzer sounds.

Clocks during Speed Round

For speed rounds, the first list is when the clock starts, and the second list is when the clock stops.

  1. The script prompts the first player for a letter when starting speed round.
  2. When a player finds a letter, the clock starts when the updated puzzle displays.
  3. When a player doesn't find a letter, the clock starts when the next player gets the prompt for a letter.
  4. The script asks for final puzzle guesses after stopping a speed round due to a single player not guessing a letter in time.
  1. A player makes a valid letter guess during a speed round. There are pauses to display the updated puzzle so having the clock run while waiting for the information doesn't seem fair.
  2. A player matches the puzzle during a speed round or final puzzle guess prompt.
  3. The host manually awards points when seeing a correct puzzle guess during a speed round or final puzzle guess prompt.
  4. The host or script stops a speed round, usually due to players not guessing letters or all players idling.

Bonus Clock

The bonus clock rewards players for choosing quickly, but players will not see the clock. There are three times when time goes on the bonus clock:

  1. A player gets a prompt to guess a letter during regular play.
  2. A player gets a prompt to choose a category and level for the next question.
  3. A speed round starts.

For the first two options, the clock gets 30 seconds and starts when the script prompts the player and stops when either the player is successful, or the buzzer sounds. When a player is successful, the player scores points for time left on the clock. However, if the buzzer sounds, ignore any time left on the clock.

Speed rounds are different. The bonus clock gets five minutes at the beginning and ticks down like the other clocks in this game. What happens to the time left when speed round ends depends on how the round ends:

Host Mistakes

This section covers corrections for the times when the host makes a mistake that affects the outcome. The game is live, so there's a possibility of unexpected outcomes, and the host will do everything possible to make sure things are correct. The following list is some possible errors:

Next up is rules for corrections:

Wrong Category and Level

When the host chooses from the wrong category and/or level, the question is invalid; however, the host wants to offer a choice. Before offering that choice, the host will play the question like there wasn't a mistake.

It's too late if anyone notices the mistake after finishing the question and moving on, which is after the host awards points for the question or the player in control gets a prompt to choose the category and level of the next question. There's no post game correction for this one.

If the player or majority decide to keep the question, play proceeds normally, and the host will repeat the selected category and level for the next question.

Repeats a Question

If the host repeats a question from the same game, the question is automatically invalid, and the host will cancel it. For this one, there's no vote. The host marks questions during play; however, it's possible that the host will forget to mark a question and may repeat it. Different types don't count as repeating. The host may forget to replace the question in the clipboard. There's also the possibility that the host doesn't notice.

The bonus round is a different story. One of the round's perks is repeating questions; however, the host will try not to repeat a question in the same bonus round. The only time the host will toss a question during the bonus round is if the host repeats a question back to back.

Botches a Question

Generally speaking, if the host messes up a question, the host will cancel it. Some possibilities include displaying the answer too soon, marking a question correct when the player got it wrong, and accepting a correct answer from the wrong player during part one of a bonus question. Hopefully, catching the error happens at game time, but it's possible the host may not notice the error until after the game. The following list is corrections that don't involve canceling a question:

Tossing/Canceling a Question

When the host tosses a question, the host will add time used back to the clock and adjust the script's stats. The host will then choose a different question. For multiple answer questions, players that got correct answers will still get credit for them. Unfortunately, it won't include the all answer bonus.

Post Game Corrections

The host may notice a mistake after the game and will make the necessary corrections and announce it in the newsletter. Hopefully, mistakes do not affect the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, the host cannot adjust any clocks, because it's too late.

Scoring

Games without scores are less fun. The top three scoring methods are questions, puzzles, and jackpots, preferably in that order. Players earn a vast majority of points in this game, including the jackpot. The script shows players' scores during play. Usually, when a player gets points, the score appears on the same line in parentheses. For questions, however, scores display once after awarding all points to avoid confusion. The next sections cover score bonuses, questions, winning streaks, puzzles, scrambles, the jackpot, and detailed examples.

Score Bonuses

Players receive a bonus for having certain numbers in their scores:

It's possible to get both bonuses. (The host meant for these to be funny and to have some fun regarding superstition. Remember that 13 is a good number.) To avoid infinitely awarding them, this bonus occurs at the following times during the game:

Bonus Clock

Each second left on the bonus clock: 1

If it's for choosing the next category and level or for guessing a letter, the player gets the bonus. For speed rounds, it goes to the jackpot.

Questions

Point values are between 50 and 1,000 in 10 point increments per correct answer. The most common increment is 50. The maximum points for one question is 3,000 before bonuses. The level does not set its point value, nor is there a number of points per level. The host sets point values based on criteria discussed later.

The following list shows all possible bonuses when dealing with questions:

Players get the correct spelling bonus when mentioned in an answer to a question. This bonus is per word.

The following list shows point values for each level:

Remember that these are guidelines with level of difficulty as a factor. Of course, with any trivia-type games, it's mostly arbitrarily. Questions the host thinks are easy may be hard for some players and vise versa.

  1. 50 to 150 -- The most common value is 100.
  2. 200 to 500
  3. 300 to 750
  4. 400 to 1,000
  5. 50 to 500
  6. 400 to 1,000
  7. 50 to 500
  8. 400 to 1,000

Level of difficulty is the criteria for level one questions. Levels two, five, and seven, however, start at half the value of the equivalent no choice question and then change based on number of choices and difficulty. Levels three, four, six, and eight are a combination of difficulty and amount of information needed.

Educated Guess Questions

The script divides the points by 10 and then restores it if someone gets it right. For multiple answers, it displays the total points and breaks it down by number of correct answers and number of the closest answers.

Winning Streaks

There are two kinds of winning streaks: overall and individual. After that, the next topic talks about how educated guess questions affect those streaks.

Overall

This bonus is for players that are first in getting correct answers.

The streak bonus is each time the streak continues.

If a player that's not on a streak gets a correct answer while a different player is on a streak, the new player gets the bonus for breaking the streak.

What the--? A bonus with a minus? Yes, a minus. Each game tracks a record for the longest streak, and this bonus is for breaking the record with an emphasis on breaking the record the fewest number of times. In other words, players get more points for breaking the record one time with a higher record instead of one at a time. Unfortunately, the bonus goes away if the record gets to about 20. This is a limitation of the formula.

Examples appear in the Detailed Examples section.

Individual

Individual Winning Streak: 25 X streak number

Each player can have their own winning streak, because more than one player can score points for each question. Like the overall streak above, players earn this bonus at three in a row until missing a question. Unfortunately, a bonus question will end individual streaks.

How Educated Guess Questions Affect Winning Streaks

When players are the closest in these questions, it counts as a correct answer, allowing streaks to continue.

Two and three answer questions are different, however. To continue a streak, a player must be close or correct for all required answers.

Examples: For a two answer question, a player gets the closest on one but not on the second. The player will get points for the one answer but will not continue the streak, because the player wasn't the closest on both.

If a player gets closest on one and correct on the second, the player continues their streak, because the player was closest or correct for both answers.

Finally, for a three answer question, if a player is correct on one answer, the closest on another, but neither on the third; the player will lose any streaks in progress. However, the player still gets points for being the closest on one and full value for the correct answer.

Puzzles

If a player guesses a vowel that still has consonants in it, the player loses 500 points, but then the player will get 50 points for each letter found, if any. This is the only time players lose points in this game. It's to discourage their use, but puzzles are difficult to solve without them. If a player doesn't have 500 points, they can't guess a vowel.

The clock leftover bonuses would go to the jackpot when revealing the entire puzzle, and they don't apply during Puzzle Round.

It's impossible to get the maximum points for the puzzle clock and game clock bonuses, because a player cannot solve the puzzle until finding a letter, and a player cannot guess a letter to the puzzle until getting a question correct.

Value of Puzzles

Calculating the starting value of a puzzle is below:

  1. Start at 6,500, 250 for each letter in the alphabet.
  2. Add the values of each consonant.
  3. Go through each vowel. If the vowel is in the puzzle, add 1,000. The number is irrelevant. For example, do not add 1,000 points for each A in the puzzle.

An example appears in the Detailed Examples section.

The value decreases for each of the following:

Guessing a vowel that's not in the puzzle only decreases the puzzle's value by 250 instead of 1,250. (Of course, remember that players still lose 500 points for guessing a vowel, even if the vowel doesn't appear in the puzzle.)

Scrambles

The steps to calculate a scramble's value appear below:

  1. Add the value of each letter, ignoring vowels.
  2. Divide result by four and round to the nearest ten.
  3. Add 50 points for each word. It doesn't matter if the word is a conjunction, article, or preposition.
  4. If the point value at this point is below 200 points or above 1,000 points, the word or phrase does not appear.
  5. Add up to 250 points based on perceived level of difficulty and length of word or phrase.

Two examples appear in the Detailed Examples section.

For control picks, points go to the first player that solves the word or phrase first. Matching makes it possible for two players to get the points; one will get the bonus for matching.

For questions, who gets the points depends on which part. In part one, each player that solves the word or phrase gets the points; however, in part two, only the first player gets the points. Once again, matching in part two makes it possible for two players to get the points.

Jackpot

The jackpot has two purposes:

  1. Relieve some frustration of not knowing the answers to questions, scrambles, and puzzles.
  2. There should be a reward for having more questions and puzzles. It's difficult to determine who would get these points.

When playing other trivia games over IRC, some have a jackpot, too, that usually increases with each incorrect question. The script awards it randomly, but if no one got that question correct, no one gets the jackpot. That is irritating. Because of that, there is a guarantee that the script will award the jackpot at least once a game. There's no guarantee on the number of times a player gets it; however, the goal is multiple times and before the value gets really high. ("Really high" doesn't have a formal number.)

The jackpot starts at 1,000 per player at time of reset, not including players that idle. It starts at 500 if all players are idling. The value increases from the following events:

Italics in the above list means the script will delay officially adding the points until later and won't even say why. The goal is to reduce the number of messages the script sends.

Of course, there's no time bonuses during Puzzle Round.

The number of points for unsolved puzzles is intentionally low to encourage players to solve them. Additionally, revealing the entire puzzle is usually higher than the puzzle value at the time of reveal to encourage revealing all the letters. (This ignores the possibility that players may not know the puzzle until revealing the last letter.)

Players get entries to get the jackpot when they answer questions, solve puzzles, and solve scrambles. The script awards the jackpot randomly with the random part being the most important aspect. The host doesn't know when the script will award it and has no control over who gets it and when. Being the first player doesn't guarantee the jackpot; however, for questions, being the first player gets better odds. Players get entries in the following ways:

The script awards it randomly and saying exactly how makes this more complicated than it already is. The probability depends on the following factors: (If this is too much information, skip to the paragraph after the list.)

When the game ends, the jackpot goes to whomever solves the final puzzle. However, if players reveal the entire final puzzle, the jackpot goes to a random player that isn't idling at the time of the reveal. Finally, if there's no puzzle in progress at the game's end, it goes to the player in control. If no player is in control, go back to the last question that any player got right. Whoever got that question right first will get the jackpot.

Detailed Examples

In an effort to ease the possible feeling of too much information or feeling overwhelmed, all detailed examples go here. To avoid confusion with duplicate headings, there are no subheadings.

The first two tables show the all answer bonus and random bonuses based on a question that's worth 500 and the maximum 1,000:

All Answer Bonus (25%)
1 Total 2 Total 3 Total
500 125 625 250 1,250 375 1,875
1,000 250 1,250 500 2,500 750 3,750
Bonus Answers
500 1,000
20% 100 200
25% 125 250
Random Bonuses
Cat Total Level Total Both Total
Percent 10 20 40
500
1 50 550 100 600 200 700
All Answer Bonus *140 690 150 750 175 875
2 100 1,100 200 1,200 400 1,400
All Answer Bonus 275 1,375 300 1,500 350 1,750
3 150 1,650 300 1,800 600 2,100
All Answer Bonus *415 2,065 450 2,250 525 2,625
1,000
1 100 1,100 200 1,200 400 1,400
All Answer Bonus 275 1,375 300 1,500 350 1,750
2 200 2,200 400 2,400 800 2,800
All Answer Bonus 550 2,750 600 3,000 700 3,500
3 300 3,300 600 3,600 1,200 4,200
All Answer Bonus 825 4,125 900 4,500 1,050 5,250

Cat = Category
* Rounded to the nearest 5.
Numbers in italics indicate the number of points going to the jackpot.
Not showing the bonus answer calculations. Add 20 or 25% to the numbers in italics.

The host can process multiple answer and educated guess answers in two ways: One, the host could put the highest number in a player's answer to the highest number in the answer, the smallest answer to the smallest number in the answer, and the remaining number to the middle. Two, the host could process them in order. This part talks about the outcome of an educated guess question with three answers and the two methods of processing the answers. Using the first method, the host will put each set of answers in order from smallest to largest. To hopefully make it easier to understand, the following table sorts and displays the answers for easier comparison:

Method One: Sorted Three Answer Educated Guess Example
Correct 35 38 44
Player One 25 35 45
Player Two 30 45 50

(Is this confusing yet? Don't worry, the host had difficulty processing the answers and had to write them down and then sort them.)

The bold numbers indicate the closest answer and who gets credit. Player One was the closest on two answers, and Player Two was the closest on one.

For method two, here's the data in a table to hopefully make it easier to understand:

Method Two: Three Answer Educated Guess Example
Correct 38 44 35
Player One 25 35 45
Player Two 45 30 50

Once again, the bold numbers indicate the closest answer and who gets credit. Player One was the closest on two, and Player Two was the closest on one.

Fortunately, the two methods do not change the outcome where Player One got two, and Player Two got one. Method one, however, takes the longest to process. It took writing the answers down and putting them in a table to fully process it.

The following table shows examples of an overall streak with question numbers for rows and number of players for columns:

Overall Streak Bonuses
Streak 4 Total 5 Total
4 700 (1) 1,300 (2) 1,000 (3) 1,900 (4)
5 800 (5) 2,100 (6) 1,100 (7) 3,000 (8)

(1) 100 X 4 = 400. 5 - 3 = 2 X 100 = 200. 2 - 1 = 1 X 100 = 100. 1 - 0 = 0. 400 + 200 + 100
(2) 700 + 600
(3) 100 X 4 = 400. 6 - 3 = 3 X 100 = 300. 3 - 1 = 2 X 100 = 200. 2 - 1 = 1 X 100 = 100. 1 - 1 = 0. 400 + 300 + 200 + 100
(4) 1,000 + 900
(5) 100 X 5 = 500. 5 - 3 = 2 X 100 = 200. 2 - 1 = 1 X 100 = 100. 1 - 1 = 0. 500 + 200 + 100
(6) 800 + 700 + 600
(7) 100 X 5 = 500. 6 - 3 = 3 X 100 = 300. 3 - 1 = 2 X 100 = 200. 2 - 1 = 1 X 100 = 100. 1 - 1 = 0. 500 + 300 + 200 + 100
(8) 1,100 + 1,000 + 900

When calculating the number of players bonus, notice that the calculation starts at one above the number of players. This is because the count includes the host.

Correct Spelling Bonus Example Using Deuteronomy:

The next table shows the bonus for breaking the overall record: The first column indicates if the record break is all at once or one number at a time; the second column shows the number of questions the player just got in a row; the third column was the previous record; and the fourth column is the bonus.

Breaking Overall Record Bonus
New Old Bonus
Once 10 3 13,000 (1)
One at a Time 10 3 9,100 (2)
Once 8 5 5,200 (3)
Once 20 19 0 (4)
Once 20 3 32,000 (5)

(1) 10 - 3 = 7 X 2000 = 14,000. 10 X 100 = 1,000. 14,000 - 1,000
(2) Formula's very long.
(3) 8 - 5 = 3 X 2,000 = 6,000. 8 X 100 = 800. 6,000 - 800
(4) 20 - 19 = 1 X 2,000 = 2,000. 20 X 100 = 2,000. 2,000 - 2,000
(5) 20 - 3 = 17 X 2,000 = 34,000. 20 X 100 = 2,000. 34,000 - 2,000

Individual streaks: A player that gets seven questions in a row will get 175 points (25 X 7) in addition to the bonuses for questions three to six that total 625 points (25 X 6 = 150. 25 X 5 = 125. 25 X 4 = 100. 25 X 3 = 75. 175 + 150 + 125 + 100 + 75).

Here's an example for puzzle values: Moses did NOT put animals into an ark.

Using the same puzzle above, calculate the correct spelling bonus:

Word scramble example for "Russel M Nelson":

  1. Add the value of each consonant: 3 L's for 450, 1 M for 200, 2 N's for 200, 1 R for 100, 3 S's for 300. Total: 1,250.
  2. Divide by 4: 312.25 = 310.
  3. Add 150 for three words. Total: 460.

Finally, the next table shows the bonus points when a player solves a puzzle with three minutes left on the puzzle clock:

Puzzle Clock Bonus
Player Jackpot
Solving 1,800 (1) 1,050 (2)
Revealing* 0 2,850 (3)

* Revealing the entire puzzle diverts the points to the jackpot.
(1) 60 X 3 = 180 X 10
(2) 6,000 - 1,800 = 4,200 divide by 4
(3) 1,800 + 1,050

Bonus example: "The Melchizedek Priesthood and the Keys"

  1. Add the value of each consonant. Going left to right: 1 C for 150, 3 D's for 450, 4 H's for 800, 1 L for 150, 2 K's for 600, 1 M for 200, 1 N for 100, 1 P for 200, 1 R for 100, 2 S's for 200, 3 T's for 300, 1 Y for 250, 1 Z for 500. Total: 4,000.
  2. Divide by 4: 1,000.
  3. Add 300 for six words. Total: 1,300
  4. The official word count is three due to ignoring "the" and "and". However, this won't appear due to the value being over 1,000.

Bonus Round

When the game officially ends, which is after the game clock expires and finishing any question and puzzle in progress in that order, the player with the highest score has a chance to play a bonus round to add more points.

Two minutes go on a clock. The clock ticks after showing a question and stops when the player posts an answer. The level of the questions starts at one and increases on a correct answer and decreases on an incorrect answer. With each question, the script adds time based on question's length, the same pause during the regular game. Answering a question early takes two seconds off the clock from the point before asking the question. For example, the clock is set at two minutes. The first question's pause is six seconds, which increases it to 2:06. If the player submits their answer before the clock ticks back down to two minutes, it's early, and the clock will adjust to 1:58.

Answering a level eight question correctly earns a bonus and resets the level back to one. The other thing that makes this a true bonus is that any question in the database is fair game, especially questions already used, same session or previous sessions. Educated Guess questions change to regular questions. There are no hints during scrambles. The categories are completely at random with no bonus. The round ends when the clock expires. Here's the scoring for the bonus round:

Ideally, questions that appeared in the same game shouldn't appear again in the bonus round. The only time the host will toss a bonus question, however, is when a question repeats twice in a row, due to forgetting to choose a different question.

If the host goes the wrong direction when changing levels after a question, there's only a correction if the player gets the next question wrong.

Statistics Tracked

The script tracks how many questions a player gets right and how many questions are correct overall with an average point value per question that shows in the stats file for the game. More information on the stats page.

A note regarding educated guess questions and correct answers: In order for the answer to be correct, the player must be correct on all required answers. Being closest doesn't count. This is different than streaks.

Misbehavior

Players that misbehave may result in a ban, a kick, or both. A ban happens before kicking. A ban prevents a player from talking in the channel until removed; however, the player cannot re-enter the channel if the player leaves the channel before the ban's removal. If the player waits out the ban, the player can continue playing the game and/or re-enter the channel. A kick/ban prevents that player from coming back into the channel, both temporary and permanent. The following is the rules that can result in a timed ban, kick, or both:

Getting a ban/kick without a timer results in the host throwing out any points earned.

Misbehavior during the bonus round is different:

Host Playing

This section is last, because it's only an option when there's only one player attending the game. Script testing inspired the host to offer to play. The host wrote most of the questions. Even though the host cannot possibly memorize every answer to a question written, it doesn't change the fact that there is an advantage. This means the host has some rules to lower the advantage:

  1. First, the host will delay looking up a correct answer as long as possible. Once the host sees the correct answer, the host will stop guessing. It would be cheating if the host typed the correct answer after seeing the answer.
  2. When selecting questions, the host will not use a question if seeing the question and/or answer before asking it. The host will just choose a different question. The host will do everything possible to avoid reading a question, a word scramble, or a puzzle during the selection process. This may result in duplicate questions.
  3. During normal game play, the script displays the correct puzzle and scrambles. If the host plays, the host will hide those answers.
  4. For puzzles, when a player submits what looks like a legitimate guess to a puzzle that doesn't match, the host will look up the answer to verify it being correct. Once the host sees the correct puzzle, the host will no longer make guesses to the puzzle, especially letters. Additionally, the host will mark himself idle during speed rounds, so the script will skip him during play.
  5. The host will select categories and levels randomly using dice rolls. The reason is to remove possible strategy.
  6. The host will wait at least two seconds before answering questions or scrambles, which starts after any pauses. For part two, the host will only answer if he hasn't seen the correct answer yet.
  7. Multiple choice questions are also different. If a multiple choice question goes to part two on levels one and two, the host will answer the other choices to get the correct answer, usually in the order listed. However, the host will wait about three seconds between answers and, of course, wait three seconds before guessing. For levels five and seven, the host will flip coins to emulate answering other choices and will start flipping after starting part two.
  8. The host will not play in any bonus rounds. The main reason for the host playing is to give someone else an opponent if nobody else shows up.
  9. The host will also try to go as fast as possible by making selections quickly to allow more questions, scrambles, and puzzles.
  10. If the host starts playing a game, the host will play for the full game, even if other players join the game late. Additionally, the host will say that he is playing and with restrictions but won't go into a lot of detail to save time.

When playing full games to test the script, questions, and whatnot, the main goal is to usually look for bugs in the script. The full parameters of each test isn't really necessary, but the rules when the host plays is very similar. For scrambles and puzzles, the host rarely looks at the answer, because the host tries to match correct answers to test the matching feature of the script.

Additionally, the host makes mistakes during play, usually by not reading the question. That's why there's such an emphasis on reading the question and following the prompts.

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Site © 2018-2022 by Jeremy Adderley. All graphics used are copyright respective owners, who have given me permission to use them by giving credit.

Background picture from BoxedArt.
Line and banner graphics obtained from Celine's Original GIF's. (The link no longer works.)

Game format and questions written by me are copyright 2017-2022 by Jeremy Adderley. Feel free to use the game's format and questions as long as no money exchanges hands. Please give credit. Questions written by others are properly credited in the answers. Please send an e-mail to request permission and/or make payment(s) for their use when it involves money.

So far, I wrote most of the questions, so I'm adding a disclaimer that I do not talk about the questions with anyone that I feel may end up playing the game, especially my wife. This is so they can play, and other players don't feel those people have an edge over them.

Mailing Lists

There are two mailing lists: newsletter and notify. They're separate just in case a person only wants one. The newsletter contains a summary of the game, including scores of everyone who played, corrections to scores, updates to the game, and even high score lists. The notify list announces the time for the next game; however, the most important aspect is asking three random questions the day before the game session. Answering these three questions before the game officially starts will earn points. The three random questions will only appear in the notify list.

There is a page on Facebook about the game, and I post when the next game will be and updates to the site/game.

Privacy Policy

The only purpose for collecting email addresses is for sending newsletters and announcements for the next game. They are not sold in any form. Any real names collected will not appear on this site, unless they contributed something that deserves credit.