Saturday, January 20, 2018

Making the PickSome solution clearer and providing faster access to duels

We're really happy to welcome ever more trivia gamers to Quizcover and to see in our statistics that the average number of questions played per user per day is in the 40-50 range! That is definitely more than we expected and speaks to the game's addictiveness.

So far we haven't advertised the game very aggressively (just limited experiments) because we're working on a playable ad (preview) as well as a couple of improvements to the app itself:

  1. Some people believe there are mistakes in our questions only because of a misunderstanding of how PickSome scoring works. We'll change the game to avoid those misconceptions going forward.

    PickSome (multiple answers are right) is one of the question types that Quizcover offers above and beyond the traditional "PickOne" (one answer is right). Here's an example:

    "Which of these countries still have the British 'Union Jack' on their own flag?"

    The countries listed are Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Ireland. Tow of them do: Australia and New Zealand. The other three don't.

    As the related Wikia page explains, the rule is that you get points for each item that you correctly select (such as for selecting Australia or New Zealand) and--which we're going to change--the ones you correctly don't select. For example, not selecting Canada also earns you points so far (January 20), and the idea was that your decision not to select it was a correct one, so it should be rewarded. After all, we must deduct points if you selected something you shouldn't have selected, or if you didn't select something though you should have. So it seemed far that you also got two chances to earn points: by selecting (where appropriate), and by not selecting (where appropriate).

    If you select a button, it turns orange. If you leave it unselected, it stays gray. So for the gray ones (the ones you didn't think are part of the correct answer to the question), there were two possible reactions by the game at scoring time:

    The part that people usually understood was the red X on "New Zealand": New Zealand's flag does sport the "Union Jack" in the upper left corner, so a failure to select New Zealand is undoubtedly a mistake.

    What apparently confused a number of people is that, in the above example, Canada gets a green checkmark even though its Maple Leaf flag doesn't contain the Union Jack. That's because a green checkmark on a gray button means: you made the right call by not selecting it. But we realize that this is counterintuitive and sometimes misinterpreted. It was actually possible to obtain clarification by clicking on the scorecard icon in the upper right-hand corner:

    The scorecards explain the four different PickSome scenarios: correct orange items; incorrect orange items; correct gray items; and incorrect gray items.

    But clarity and intuitiveness are of the essence, so we're just going to change this aspect of our game. Gray buttons that are correctly left gray won't earn you points, and they won't get checkmarks or any other symbol. They'll just fade out.
  2. Most of our efforts these days are going into the multiplayer part. The most recent change we made is that you can now play all of your 12 duel questions in a row without having to wait for your opponent. In a forthcoming update, you'll have to hit a button on the home screen and you'll be off playing a random duel. You'll get to start even before your opponent has been found. We know that some people who really like to play Quizcover against others felt that the feature was almost hidden. Very soon it's going to get prominent exposure.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Press release: Quizcover revolutionizes trivia gaming with more and better question types


Available on the U.S.App Store now:
Quizcover revolutionizes trivia gaming
with more and better question types

Knowledge is more playable than ever: on top of the traditional "Pick One" question type, Quizcover comes with the new, more interactive and more flexible "Pick Some" and "Match Two" types, and integrates this level of diversity into a rich framework of contests and challenges.

January 3, 2018 – Available for iOS on the U.S. App Store now, Quizcover innovates the most fundamental aspects of trivia gaming:
  • how the game presents questions,
  • how players enter their answers,
  • how the answers are evaluated, and
  • what kinds of help players can get from boosters. 
Trivia games have always been popular, but other products lacked the level of diversity Quizcover provides. Besides the traditional trivia question type (one answer is right, three are wrong), Quizcover offers two question types that are more engaging, put related facts into context, and earn players points even with partially correct answers:
  • Pick Some: multiple answers to the same question (such as multiple Super Bowl MVPs or Oscar winners)
  • Match Two: form pairs (such as "California–Sacramento" or "Democratic–John F. Kennedy") 

Quizista, the indie games company that spent more than three years to change trivia gaming forever, integrated Quizcover's three question types into a rich framework of contests and challenges:
  • points and levels;
  • duels with friends (invitations via Facebook, email, messenger services) and random opponents;
  • rankings of different levels of granularity (from worldwide to city, from all-time to daily);
  • streaks (series of questions on which a user scored at least one point each) and superstreaks (series of questions on which a user scored all winnable points);
  • achievements; and
  • personal records.
True to its slogan ("Fun time well spent."), Quizcover also has something to offer to those players who are keenly interested in acquiring knowledge along the way or whose curiosity is sparked by a name or term that comes up in the game: info texts that appear after questions, and bookmarkable links (typically several links per question).

"Quizcover is a whole new experience for those of us who like to play with facts and knowledge but dislike the monotony of old-fashioned trivia games," said Florian Mueller, Quizista's founder and CEO. "From the outset we wanted to redefine the genre and revolutionize our microcosm the way the iPhone did in its infinitely larger field ten years ago." Mueller is named in the credits of three of the most successful computer game franchises in history: Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. He is also known to many in the iOS community by virtue of his FOSS Patents blog, which covers intellectual property, antitrust and policy matters involving Apple and other mobile device makers.

At this stage, Quizcover's content is primarily tailored to a U.S. audience and people around the globe with a strong interest in everything American. Over time, users in different regions of the world will see different selections of content.

Quizcover is a free-to-play app. Premium offerings are optionally available: real-world money can be converted into in-game coins and then be spent on boosters, retries, or skips. Avid gamers can also take a VIP subscription (one free booster per question) and/or Second Chance subscription (one free retry per question). The game also provides free boosters to users as part of its tutorial, for reaching higher levels, and as a reward for inviting friends or visiting the game's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Quizista invented the customer-friendly Booster Back mechanism (see, which ensures that Quizcover users get an immediate booster refund if they fail to score on a question despite having used boosters. They can then use those boosters on other questions. Quizista would like to encourage other game makers to adopt the same approach.

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For a comparison between Quizcover and the two trivia game apps that led the U.S. App Store charts in earlier years, please check out the following document (PDF):

Quizcover product website:

For further information, please contact Quizista:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fun time well spent

The rationale behind the official Quizcover slogan--"Fun time well spent"--is that trivia quiz games offer two benefits: a good trivia game will provide entertainment ("fun time") and, on top of gameplay, you get information ("time well spent"). That information may just be interesting and enlightening. It may even prove useful in a professional or educational context.

Trivia games are the most popular game genre to come with a tangible benefit above and beyond gameplay. The only other "instructive" genre that I could think of would be flight simulators, but the related learning curve is steep and the audience is small compared to how many people play trivia games.

On different kinds of platforms (consoles, PC, smartphones), I've played games of all genres. Strategy games (I had the pleasure and honor of being involved with the marketing efforts for Warcraft II and Starcraft I). Role-playing games (Diablo). Sports games. Shoot 'em up games. Car-racing games. Casual games (I've mastered 1,400 levels of Candy Crush and built a level 78 Hay Day farm). But if I could bring only one kind of game to a deserted island, it would certainly be a trivia game, in no small part because of that extra benefit of learning about interesting and useful facts along the way.

As I said in the previous post (the first one on this blog), our objective is to set a new standard for both parts of "infotainment": information and entertainment. More fun and, on top, more information.

Boosters, duels, levels, rankings, bonus points for streaks and similar features enhance gameplay, but after you're done playing a question, you optionally have access to further information in the form of short explanations and bookmarkable links to Wikipedia articles:

We have yet to identify a conflict between entertainment and information, but if we ever did, rest assured we'd definitely optimize for gameplay. That's the #1 priority.

Quizcover's additional question types--Match Two and Pick Some--are more interactive and more informative than the traditional Pick One type (one answer is right, three are wrong). There's no shortage of Pick One questions in our game: for many facts, that traditional trivia question type makes a lot of sense or may even be the only suitable format. But there are many facts that can be presented in ways that are both more fun and more informative than having to pick one right answer from four options.

For an example, conventional trivia games that are limited to the Pick One type can only ask separate questions about the equator, the prime meridian, the tropical circles, and the polar circle. The question type forces them to fragment the knowledge since those questions are unlikely to come up in short succession. By contrast, Quizcover has a Match Two question that presents all four circles around the Earth at the same time:

You get to drag and drop the smaller items (0° longitude, 0° latitude, 23° latitude, 66° latitude) into the container boxes below (tropical circle, prime meridian, equator, polar circle). That kind of interface is much more iPhone-like than just tapping on a single answer, which you could already have done with a Nokia phone in the 1990s (you could have pressed a number key to choose an option).

A Match Two question is solved step by step. For example, if you know that the equator has 0°  latitude, the number of container boxes available for the remaining three items is reduced to three. With the next one you know, you're down to two, and if you know everything else (or simply make the right guesses), the last one will fall into place.

By combining multiple facts in a single question, we can give you more booster options without simply answering the entire question for you (which would be a total spoiler). For example, the Reveal booster (magician's hat) tells you in which container a particular item belongs:

Alternatively or additionally to the Reveal booster, you can use the Hint booster (light bulb) to assign colors to all items as shown in the screenshot further above. The colors provide an important clue: blue and orange objects can't possibly belong together, which greatly reduces the number of possible combinations but still doesn't answer the entire question.

It's not just about the tactical implications of multi-fact questions. In the end you also learn a lot more when multiple related facts (typically four, like in both screenshots) are presented together.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Starting the Quizcover Blog

On this blog you will find
  • news and announcements relating to the Quizcover mobile app (initially available for iOS; an Android version will follow in 2018) and
  • thoughts on mobile games in general and the trivia game genre in particular.
What we try to achieve with Quizcover is nothing short of a revolution of the trivia quiz genre. By adding more and more question types (while also supporting the traditional PickOne type, where one answer is right and three are wrong), we intend to make knowledge more playable than ever and to put an end to the monotony of conventional trivia games that only have one question type (one answer is right, three are wrong).

We want Quizcover to set a new standard for infotainment, and we mean both parts of the word:
  • "info": after many questions, explanations are provided; and almost all questions come with one or (typically) multiple links to Wikipedia (which you can bookmark and read later)
  • "(enter)tainment": more than anything, we want Quizcover to be a game that offers more tactical options (new boosters) than traditional trivia games and comes with the most comprehensive set of contests and challenges.
Stay tuned as we're getting ready to launch Quizcover in the U.S. market. At this stage, the content of the game is very U.S.-centric especially in such fields as sports, geography, and history/politics (though we'll increasingly differentiate our content by region).