Design Notes for macOS Game Show Programs

I am only a novice Macintosh programmer, but I would like to see more TV-style games for macOS or iOS. Here are some suggestions for adapting game shows for macOS; I have begun developing concept images for specific game shows.
  1. Where appropriate, macOS and iOS game shows should (1) have a source of downloadable update files, (2) get questions and puzzles from a frequently updated online database or (3) allow users to create and import their own questions or puzzles. Games that use knowledge questions and categories should be designed for compatibility with category files and question files created with Kevin DeVizia’s Tic⁠Tac⁠Trivia! Editor or Vinco. The games should resemble the actual shows and take full advantage of Macintosh graphic capabilities.
  2. Male and female characters, if they appear on the screen, should be 256×256 pixels and roughly equal in number. Hosts, contestants and panelists may be either cartoon figures, customizable as in Lexi-Cross, or realistic figures rendered with Poser or DAZ Studio. Celebrity sprites should be in two sizes: 64×64 pixels for panel games, such as All-Star Blitz, Battlestars, the Tom Kennedy version of Break the Bank, The Hollywood Squares and Match Game, and 256×256 pixels for games like Chain Reaction and Super Password. Naturally, the use of fictitious “celebrity guests” is preferred, to maximize repeat play value and to respect the privacy of real celebrities.
  3. Given the mouse-driven Mac interface, game show applications should be less dependent on the keyboard (except for typing answers) than their MS-DOS equivalents. Because some questions have variant answers that are equally valid (e.g., for “Which U.S. president was fifth cousin to Teddy?” do you accept Franklin Roosevelt but reject FDR?), only two methods are viable for knowledge quizzes: Make all questions multiple choice, especially in a game for one player against the computer, or require that the quizmaster use questions printed in books or on cards. An auto-complete function for text input may be too difficult to program in Stencyl. In the interest of fairness, knowledge questions should be carefully researched.
  4. Most of my games would be cash-only formats, simply because merchandise prizes do not have constant retail prices or easily determined fair market prices. For macOS and iOS versions of specific game shows:
  5. Related to the previous item: Game show ports to iOS could award in-game virtual coins, as in What’s the Pic? and similar games. The player would save the virtual coins and spend them on packs of new questions or puzzles, or redeem them for coupon codes from online retailers. Once awarded, virtual coins would be accessible from a special “wallet” app on the player’s Mac or iDevice.
  6. John Ricci Jr.’s MS-DOS implementation of High Rollers, which I used to play using the Blue Label Power Emulator by Lismore Software Systems, gives players a choice between using questions included with the game and playing in MC Mode, in which one player is the host and two other players are contestants. MC Mode requires that the host have printed questions and an actual pair of dice.
  7. The Ricci versions of Bullseye and The Joker’s Wild do not include trivia questions. Instead, these games have category changer utilities so players can choose categories for which they have question books. Hence, three people (host and two contestants) are needed for a game. The Joker’s Wild provides 18 category icons, but some useful category icons are absent: For instance, a television set would be suitable for categories relating to television programs. Also, because it is an MS-DOS game, the category changer in The Joker’s Wild does not let you see all of the icons at once.
  8. The GameTek version of Press Your Luck had six contestant characters, three male and three female. Players could control some and select others as computer opponents.

At present I have made my own concept images for macOS and iOS versions of these game shows. My assumption is that players would choose from a pool of in-game contestant characters as in the GameTek games, but Facebook avatars may also be used. My current software includes Poser 11.1 Pro, DAZ Studio 4.10, Stencyl, Inkscape and Kreative PowerPaint.

I can provide contestant characters and other graphics (not necessarily identical to the actual game show sets), as well as questions and puzzles, to any Macintosh programmer willing to help me program the actual games.
Return to site index
James H. Vipond