Twenty years ago…

My first game show was at A-Kon in Dallas back in 1999. With A-Kon happening this weekend, I thought I’d take a moment to reminisce on that first show.

The first Anime Match Game featured a panel that included voice actor Tiffany Grant, translators Anna Exter and Neil Nadelman, ANIMERICA writer Geoff Tebbetts, Justin Sevakis, who had just launched Anime News Network, and Rodney Caston, who would go on to co-create the Megatokyo webcomic.

Ruby Boiko, cosplaying as a frame-perfect Hsien-ko from the Darkstalkers franchise, was my lovely assistant and the official judge for the day.

I hauled my desktop PC to the convention to provide the music and sound effects for the show, and had spent most of an inkjet printer cartridge creating nameplates for the celebrity panel. There is video of the game out there somewhere in the dusty archives of A-Kons past, but I’ve only ever seen one clip, where a rotten answer turned into a win for a contestant on this question:

“Mihoshi is SOOOOO dumb (audience: “HOW DUMB IS SHE?!”) that when she was invited to the Galaxy Police’s Ball, she asked if she would need to bring her _______ .”

I was expecting sports-related answers. I wasn’t expecting the contestant to respond with “condoms.” I REALLY wasn’t expecting Tiffany to respond with “her diaphragm.” Which we matched. And that 1-0 win stuck.

Prizes were furnished by my pocket and consisted of cash, cash and more cash. I think we gave away twenty bucks that day?

After the show I was introduced to up-and-coming actors Brett Weaver and Jessica Calvello, who would have their turns on Match Game over the next several years and would go on to have fun careers in the industry themselves.

I’d continue to host Anime Match Game at A-Kon for the next six conventions, adding new twists and tech each time.  Since that first show I went on to host hundreds more at conventions all over the world. But it all started in a hot panel room in Dallas in 1999.

 

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Recent software additions

Since Match Game was added last month, I have added new presentation software to the Etsy store: Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Sale of the Century and Bullseye.

Press Your Luck comes in two different varieties: a standalone version that features prizes culled from recent game shows, and a version that you can have me customize with your own board configurations and prizes. If you purchase the standalone version first, you can add my customization to it at a later time with this link.

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The software for Card Sharks includes the podiums where you can host your own Hi-Lo questions and a scoreboard for the Money Cards. This software works as a supplement for your own giant playing cards (and can even be used for the new version of the show). You can find the link to the Card Sharks software here.

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Sale of the Century uses the “Winner’s Board” I created specifically for a one-off event, since the original game show required games to straggle as the player proceeded down the path towards the grand prize. You can find Sale of the Century here.

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Finally, the very first game show software I wrote for my return to conventions in 2009 is available in the Etsy shop. It will allow you to host a game of Bullseye, the short-lived but memorable B+E game of knowledge and daring. You can get Bullseye here.

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Software bits and bobs

I’ve been taking a few custom orders for software and have added some components that might be of interest.  All of these are available in my Etsy store for purchase.

First of all, I’ve made my faceoff podium from Family Feud available. You can use this as a simple 2-player keyboard buzzer for your own game or presentation. Find it here.

Second, I’ve created a scoreboard that emulates the look and feel of the contestants’ podium from “The Chase.” You can find it here.

I’ve also got a generic 4-player scoreboard that you can use for most any trivia game, with a selection of fonts to suit your need. That’s available here.

Finally, I’ve made a ladder similar to the one that was used on “Greed.” It has fully customizable text you can use for your own trivia tournament games. Find it here.

I’m in the process of uploading more things, so make sure to check out the shop for new listings!

Software megapost

A few of you have been asking about specific titles, so I thought I’d take some time to make a post about what software is available, what I’m working on to be available, and what probably isn’t going to be made available.

First: What’s already available for purchase now in my Etsy store:

All-Star Blitz
Blockbusters
Chain Reaction
Concentration
Hollywood Squares
Pointless Game Board

Second: What’s currently available but hasn’t yet been put in the Etsy store:

Card Sharks (main game and Money Cards scoreboard only)
Definition
Farkle (need to write a rules bible for this before it goes on Etsy)
Panel Quiz Attack 25 (scoreboard and buzzers only, no puzzles)
Play Your Cards Right (main game and Points for Prizes scoreboard only)
Sale of the Century (need to figure out customization options for the Fame Game)
Strikeout (need to write a rules bible)

Third: Software I need to tweak before it’s ready:

Bullseye (need to make the “visual” screen read outside images)
Family Feud (need to make the “families” opening screen editable and add faceoff)
Joker’s Wild (need to make the “visual” screen read outside images)
Match Game (need to remake the Super Match round)
Pyramid (need to alter a graphic)
Super Password (need to convert from yen to dollars)
Three on a Match (need to make it read outside text files)
Tic Tac Dough (need to make the “visual” screen read outside images)
Wheel of Fortune puzzle board (need to make it read outside text files)

Finally: Software that probably won’t be made available and reasons why:

Jeopardy! (There are a million Powerpoints out there much easier to run.)
Know Your Role (Everything’s hard-coded and not worth the time to make ready.)
Line ‘Em Up (Everything is hard-coded into the .fla program.)
Pointless main game (Hard-coded and made from scratch for every show.)
Pokémon Game Show (I’m crazy but I’m not insane.)
Ponyville Derby (Hard-coded and not worth the time to make ready.)
Press Your Luck (Everything of note is hard-coded into the .fla program.)
Stop the Music! (Requires too many external files to be easy to use)
The Price is Right (I made this from scratch for every show.)
Wheel of Fortune wheel/scoreboard (Too much is hard-coded in the .fla.)

Some of the software in the final category might be available for a one-time use. I’ve talked to a few of you already about this.

If you have any questions you can feel free to contact me through social media or directly at jgwicker at gmail dot com.