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Tesseract

Timed online trivia game.

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I know this is somewhat low-tech for these forums, but here goes: I am thinking of building an on-line trivia game (in Flash) for $client. Gameplay would work as follows: -an announcement goes out to active site users that during the full 24-hour day of [dd-mm-yyyy], a contest will be held at www.thewebsite.com, wherein users can compete for prizes in the HARDEST TRIVIA GAME EVAR -user must be logged in to the site and on the game page to play -after reading the instructions, the user presses "START" -the first (multiple choice) question comes up. User must answer it as quickly as possible. -answering a question causes the next question to appear immediately. -after e.g. 20 questions, the game ends, and the user is given his/her score and average time, and ranking out of [n] players. -scoring is a function of number of correct answers and average time per answer. -a single user may play the game multiple times, but only the first time counts for ranking. Alternately, ranking is based on the average score across all gameplays. -questions come from a pool of perhaps hundreds of questions, so duplicate questions across multiple gameplays would be unlikely. -highest ranked user(s) earn $bling My questions are as follows: 1. Is it fair that multiple users in a contest are not all answering precisely the same questions? The corollary here being that the questions would be previewed by administrators to make sure they are all of a similar level of difficulty. 2. Is the time-as-scoring-factor enough to keep people from Googling answers to questions? 3. Is the large pool of questions enough to keep one user from watching over another user's shoulder to steal the correct answers? 4. Am I forgetting anything? I appreciate your input in this. I need to have a bulletproof(ish) design doc before I approach $client.

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Quote:
Original post by Tesseract
1. Is it fair that multiple users in a contest are not all answering precisely the same questions? The corollary here being that the questions would be previewed by administrators to make sure they are all of a similar level of difficulty.


Fair? No. I may have known 100% of "his" answers but only 10% of "mine". Obviously, however you have taken this approach to stop dual account cheaters from previewing the questions.

To be honest, however, your solution does absolutely nothing from preventing me from making as many accounts as I want and to just keep trying until I get a good score.

Quote:
Original post by Tesseract
2. Is the time-as-scoring-factor enough to keep people from Googling answers to questions?


Maybe. It depends on how heavily you weight correct v. short time. Obviously, not-correct counts for zero points. There's some kind of tradeoff curve there where it's better for me to google in some circumstances.

Quote:
Original post by Tesseract
3. Is the large pool of questions enough to keep one user from watching over another user's shoulder to steal the correct answers?


ish. Again there's no way to prevent me from making 100s of accounts. If I obsess about this competition (and someone will) I will make as many accounts as necessary so that I get duplicates. The competition here is between your obsession to create questions and some user's obsession for "free" money. I think the latter will always outweigh the former (on the internet).

Quote:
Original post by Tesseract
4. Am I forgetting anything?


What's important here is how the advertising system on the website counts traffic. Does it try to distinguish between "unique" users. If so, your game needs to use the same system for the creation of game accounts.

Also, how do you let user's know that someone is actually winning money? I'd imagine that the biggest difficulty with this system is that everyone (me included) just assumes these things are an advertising scam to draw eyeballs.

-me

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Thanks for the input, Palidine. I have modded you up!

I think that the 24 hour window in which a user can play will limit the multiple accounts scenario. Also, I don't see the $bling as being of such a high value that Joe User will suddenly turn into Joe H4x0r and devote an entire day to trying to win (for example) a $25.00 gift certificate. Of course, I could be putting too much faith in the mental stability of the average user.

Quote:
What's important here is how the advertising system on the website counts traffic. Does it try to distinguish between "unique" users. If so, your game needs to use the same system for the creation of game accounts.

Good question. The user needs to have an account at the website in order to play. Being signed in to the site is what allows the game page to be accessed in the first place.

Quote:
Also, how do you let user's know that someone is actually winning money? I'd imagine that the biggest difficulty with this system is that everyone (me included) just assumes these things are an advertising scam to draw eyeballs.

I would imagine that the announcements of the impending game would only go out to existing site users, and the results would be posted where the general public could see. I can't speak for the client in this, but I prefer a "pull" approach over a "push" approach to drawing visitors. Also, the prize wouldn't necessarily be monetary in nature.

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