DON’T KNOW JACK has its fans on Facebook, is a SPIKE TV Video Game Award
winner, and is now available on the App store. Gregory Castle, senior manager,
product marketing, at Autodesk spent some time with Jellyvision Games Engineers
Ben Jacobs and Pascal Pochol to discuss the latest release and how Autodesk software
helped to bring this brainy social title to mobile gamers.
Congratulations on the recent launch and VGA win. Can you tell us about your
role in developing YOU DON’T KNOW JACK?
A: (Jacobs) I am the lead engineer on the iOS
version of YDKJ. That includes iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iTelevision and
iRefrigerator versions. Oops, was I not supposed to mention that?
A: (Pochol) I worked as the lead on the Android
version but also helped squeeze the iOS version until it fit and ran on the
older devices that we support.
GC: Tell us about YOU DON’T KNOW JACK. What makes
it so addicting?
A: (Pochol) I'm sure many people have many answers
to that question. The writers are extremely talented and always come up with
something new, twisted, and side-splittingly funny. Tom's voice over is
incredible, so just listening to the questions is a very enjoyable experience.
There are so many traps that you're more likely to fall into, especially if you
know the answer that makes you slap yourself over the head for pressing the
wrong button because you didn't pay attention to a “not” in the question or
“more” etc. Let's face it,you can be the smartest man on earth, and it'll still
make fun of you; I guess that's addicting to most.
A: (Jacobs) : The content. The fact that even when
you answer a question wrong, you get a laugh out of it. The multiplayer aspect
has always been what drew me to the game. I love that moment when you realize
you know an answer and then find out all your dumb friends don’t.
GC: YOU DON’T
KNOW JACK is now available on iOS. What new features can gamers expect on the
A: (Jacobs) : We wanted to keep the game as close to
the Facebook version as possible, feature-wise. However, it’s not just a
straight port; the user interface is completely optimized for mobile. There are
other mobile-specific features, like being able to play the game without a
Facebook login, that make it unique. I think the best experience you can have
with YDKJ is playing it on an iPad. It feels like you’re playing on a little
GC: Your team used Autodesk Scaleform in a unique
way to bring YDKJ to iOS and Android. Can you walk us through how you used the
A: (Pochol) That is quite simple really. The game is
100% done in Flash, which Scaleform runs for us. We added a handful of native
callbacks to display the videos in the background and communicate with the
servers, for example.
A: (Jacobs) Scaleform let us use Flash where it was
appropriate, and native code where it wasn’t. Our artists could work in an
environment that they were familiar with, but we could still integrate in any
iOS or Android library that we wanted. This left the door open for us to use
the native Facebook integration, and native e-commerce dialogs, while still
making the game primarily using Flash.
GC: What Autodesk
Scaleform features drew you to use the software to launch the brand on mobile
A: (Pochol) Being multiplatform, so we could get the
game on both iOS and Android, was the biggest draw for us. We already had the
Facebook game done in Flash that we could leverage. We had a prototype playing
episodes on both platforms running rather quickly.
Jellyvision Games team now has experience releasing titles on all major
platforms, from consoles and PCs and now mobile. Do you have any tips for other
mobile developers out there on how to get the most out of their technology?
A: (Pochol) Don't reinvent the wheel: find a good
multiplatform game engine that fits your need and go from there. After we made
the first version in native iOS and Android, we decided to port the Facebook
version instead. Even though we had previous experience with Scaleform with the
console game that we released a couple of years ago, we looked at many game
engines before settling with Scaleform again for iOS and Android.
A: (Jacobs) I like Pascal’s answer. Pretend I said
GC: Should we be
looking forward to seeing YDKJ on other mobile platforms?
A: (Jacobs) As soon as the Android version is
released, we look forward to our fans asking us to port it to new and
increasingly obscure platforms!
what’s your favorite question in YDKJ?
A: (Jacobs) Cookie would never forgive me if I
answered that question.
To challenge your friends and test your knowledge, checkout
the game at: https://www.youdontknowjack.com/