Hey there! You may have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity around Quiznetic lately and I apologize for that! I’ve been working super hard on version 1.7. There’s a lot of changes! If you don’t know already, Quiznetic isn’t actually a company. It’s a business (well it wasn’t before but it technically will be after this update) operated by one person – me! That’s right, my name’s Tim and I’m a passionate programmer just trying to build awesome stuff. So being a one-man team is tricky. There’s a LOT of stuff to do. Which is why 1.7 has taken so long to make. In fact, I’m in the process of rewriting the entire codebase because its turned into a bit of a mess which makes it a nightmare to maintain. This is a common problem in software engineering and I’m pretty new to the whole software maintenance thing. Originally I was going to do this all before I released 1.7 but I didn’t realize how much time it would take. Quiznetic is ~27000 lines of code now which is crazy! So for now I’m just gonna rewrite stuff as I make changes to it- i.e. if I need to add a feature to the player script, I’ll try and clean that up a bit, and then I’ll deploy it to the live version.
At a glance
So what’s in version 1.7? Here’s a list if you’re in a hurry:
- Improved Game Manager and Active Games screens to now show previews of the games like on the public games page- active game previews even shows the player avatars in it!
- Replaced the dice with a random number generator thingy
- Team mode
- Player avatars
- Quiznetic Plus
- Avatar Collections
- Game timer
- Increased capacity to 50 players per game
I’m planning on adding more features to Quiznetic Plus in the future (thinking about teleportation spaces?) so it certainly won’t stop there. I’ll also be adding more to normal Quiznetic, such as options to prevent the correct answer showing as soon as a player submits their answer, which was requested by someone. If there’s something you want added, please don’t hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve improved the Game Manager and Active Games UIs so they now show previews of the games. When you go on active games it will show where all the players are as if you’d taken a screenshot of your current game state.
I thought this would be a pretty cool feature to add which would make students feel they had more control over how many spaces they’d move. (It doesn’t really, unless you can see things in slow motion or have extremely fast reaction times). Tap the generator once to start the numbers spinning, tap it again to stop at a number! No doubt players will always be trying to hit that six!
Team mode was originally going to be a Plus feature but I decided against it because it’s a big feature and I’d rather have lots of people using it so the effort felt more worth it. It is designed to encourage collaboration among students by getting them to work together answering the questions. The questions are moved through at a pace set by the teacher rather than each student. Each question is like a round where either team can win and move their avatar forwards on the game board. I really wanted this to be able to work with current games so its still the same premise of a game board.
You can read more about how team mode works here.
I’ve wanted to add something like this for so long now! Even at the very beginning when I first started Quiznetic, there was a feature where students would sign up and the teacher would designate pictures to each student as their avatar by searching for their username. I eventually removed this to keep it simple so students didn’t need an account. The player avatars feature is similar but instead of uploading a picture for each student, the teacher can choose between 10 different avatar images. These will be a different color for each player.
Why did I make Quiznetic Plus you ask? Why not give it all for free? Well I considered adding all this stuff to normal Quiznetic, but when would things stop and I move on to something else? I’m no longer at sixth form so I don’t get to use Quiznetic myself in classroom environments anymore, so I could easily just stop working on it and let it gather dust. There’s a lot of work and time commitment involved and I’ve been doing it all for no gain on my side (other than the learning and satisfaction of creating something people are actually using). However I have often been thinking about turning it into a small side business as then I’d have a more compelling reason to keep working on it and I’d learn new skills in other areas.
Anyway here’s the features I’ve added (and more to come!):
I thought maybe the 10 avatars was a bit too restrictive and I wanted to offer some sort of uploading functionality. Originally I let the user upload a single image as the avatar and different players would be distinguished by their colored border around it. But that didn’t feel very good. I then had an awesome idea of avatar collections (I may change the name in the future). Here’s how they work:
- User can create an avatar collection before launching the game and upload a bunch of images to it which will be the avatars
- Then when they come to launch the game they can choose a collection
- When a player joins the game they are shown all the avatars in the collection and can choose which one they want to be
- There is also advanced options to choose whether to automatically assign avatars to players and whether players should be able to have the same avatar or not
You can click on a collection to see the avatars you’ve uploaded to it. Here you can delete avatars or add more:
When you launch a game you can choose a collection and decide whether you want students to be able to choose their avatars or not and whether they can have the same avatar as other students.
On the players screen they will see their avatar at the top:
Avatars can be used on both team mode and classic mode. They add a whole new element of fun to both game modes!
The whole idea is it allows you to theme your game even further by making things like a star wars themed collection where each player is a particular ship or a collection for your class where each student gets their photo as their avatar. It opens up so many possibilities!
I think I did a pretty good job of this feature as it seems to work well and cope with different scenarios like adding and removing 30 seconds, pausing and stopping, etc. This is only for classic games (the traditional single player ones) as it doesn’t make sense in team mode. The teacher can set the timer from the control panel at the side of the screen and can adjust it at any point. Once it gets to 3 seconds, an overlay will appear on the game screen counting down 3…2…1…Time’s up! and will stop all students from answering. If you need to add more time then you can through the control panel and students will be able to continue with the questions.
Increased capacity to 50 players
I once received an email from someone asking about this so I know that at least one person wants it! It does look pretty crowded when you have 50 players on one space but in most cases it evens out quite quickly. This capacity also applies to team mode; each team will have a capacity of 50÷n members where n is the number of teams.
How much will Plus cost?
For the first month of release, prices will be $9.99 for a year of Plus and then $19.99/year after that. After the 10th April it will stay at $19.99/year.
Hope you like it!
Anyway, if you’re a fan of Quiznetic then please do consider upgrading to Plus! It would help me out a lot and I bet you’ll enjoy the extra features!
Tim @ Quiznetic