The Act of Playing (04)

You Don’t Know Jack is a relaunch of a classic trivia game. But in fact, it being on a console is the only major difference between the late 90s original and the reboot. Now, there are two routes this can go down: the developer can make it shovelware, not caring to add featuresbecause features cost money OR the developer can focus on experience over features, something vastly more subtle. Jellyvision chose the latter.

Here’s an example: the rarely used Xbox “Big Button” controller was packed with SceneIt! but isn’t entirely a market penetrated device. I plugged mine in and it worked! This makes YDKJ a nice segue from SceneIt! or vice-versa. Now base support is one thing, but not only do the button diagrams change on the screen if you are playing with these controllers, but the audio clues do as well! That’s an attention to detail that fixates on the experience of playing versus back-of-the-box features. It actively repudiates the quantity vs. quality metric that many studios use: “How many different kinds of crops are in your farming game?” I’ve had a similar question asked of me.

A logical producer focusing on the task-level will say: how many SceneIt! players will also be YDKJ players? 10,000 at most?

How users play your game needs to be focused on in conjunction with what they are playing. The two live in tandem and you cannot ignore the how over the what.

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