Monday, February 18, 2013

Sometimes the Final Answer matters.

In the world of Jeopardy! One junior player recently made news with his bold final answer. He didn't know the answer to the question, but he knew enough to take a big risk and his gamble paid off.

Jeopardy! typically gives you a set point value for answers you get correct and deducts as much for incorrect answers. The wager--or final--question allows a contestant to essentially set the point value for the final question. If they have 1000 points (dollars in Jeopardy!) and wager nothing, they can neither lose nor gain points. If they wager everything, they may have a big gain or they may lose everything.

In Leonard Cooper's case, he wagered nothing--guessing that he wouldn't know the answer, but neither would his competitors. He ended up being the Jeopardy! Champion and his triumphant, confident answer made headlines: "WHO is some guy in Normandy....But I just won $75,000!"

In Gameshow Pro 5, the Final Answer game has Jeopardy!-style game play, so a final answer can make or break a game. There are both benefits to including a final question and reasons not to do so.

To include a Final Question:
  • Adds an element of excitement to the final round 
  • Is a great way to "cap off" a game
  • Keeps everyone in the game; even if the scores are very uneven, the final question can be an equalizer
  • Adds variety to the game play apart from multiple choice questions
  • Adds an element of chance and risk
Not to include a Final Question:
  • Consistent hard work or right answers during the game can be blown by risk aversion
  • The player with the most knowledge doesn't always win
  • Adds an element of chance and risk that aren't always appealing

Thursday, February 14, 2013

When is a little competition TOO much competition?

When your audience is really getting into your game show, that's generally a good thing. The teams are cohesive and working together, the adrenaline is flowing, emotion is high...but sometimes things get a bit, well, out of control.

We were recently hosting a game show event and coaching the game show host on how to get the teams pumped up. There are several ways to do this:

1. Get teams cheering (call out teams/team names and ask them if they're ready to play/if they're going to win)

2. Recap scores

3. Reveal prizes

4. Raise the stakes

But when we started playing the game show, we found that our worries about getting the audience into the game were completely unfounded. The audience was coming off 7 hours of training and content, and they were *ready* to compete and ready to play. (It didn't hurt that they were sales people and competitive by nature.) It was a little overwhelming. Our concern about getting them cheering quickly turned into concern for our neighboring rooms.

So when things get a little too rowdy, what can you do? Here are some tips:

1. Slow down the game play. Take a moment to get to know the team captains.

2. Ask more involved questions. Go outside multiple-choice/rapid-fire questions and get into a meatier open-ended question scenario.

3. Keep prizes small. We find that keeping prizes small doesn't usually mitigate the enthusiasm, but it does keep the competition from getting nasty.

4. Turn down the volume. Sometimes just asking for half-volume can keep the energy up while keeping the disruption down.