Bad news: External hard drive failure

Really sad to report this, but one of my external hard drives bit the dust today. The sounds coming from it tell me it’s likely a mechanical issue with the drive itself.  If that turns out to be the problem, I’ve lost a lot of pre-edited footage. Basically everything from one camera for every show I’ve filmed over the past two years, and a lot of other footage from the same time frame.

If it’s the sort of issue that Best Buy Geek Squad (as an example) charges $1500 to fix, then that footage is just going to have to be lost.

I can complete Tic Tac Dough’s edit, as I had already converted everything I needed there and that footage is on my main PC drive, and I believe Tsubasacon’s Wheel of Fortune should be good to go as well, since the camera whose footage got moved over was already dead before we filmed that one.

Going forward, I will look at what footage I have available to see if there are any other videos that are feasible, but chances are after Tic Tac and Wheel I’m going to be unable to put up anything other than newly-shot game show videos.

I will be reaching out to see if any tech-savvy friends might want to take a stab at it. If that’s you, let me know.

Why “Pointless” is a Pokémon game


Now that the video featuring the new game show in the lineup, Pointless, is up, I’ve been getting some questions about it. Specifically, why I chose to make it Pokémon-themed, and if I have plans of making a version that isn’t.

During 2013, the year when Pokémon Game Show debuted, it was met with rave reviews from almost every con it was played. It was a novel concept that tied together many facets of the Pokémon universe and it usually had large audiences.  A Youtube video from one of the games is to date the only viral video my channel’s ever had, and it finally gave me something that appealed to fans of all ages.

Around the end of 2014 and throughout 2015, some major flaws in the game were beginning to surface through comments made on and off my social media. Most of these comments had to do with the contestants who appeared on each show.  One of the tenets I’ve always adhered to with this game is that I assume most of the room knows enough about Pokémon to answer the questions put forth to gain control of the game board. Therefore the contestant selection process is a random draw (which you can manipulate a bit by having legitimate Pokémon merchandise on your person or by cosplaying as something related to the franchise).

Unfortunately, when you use a random selection process, you sometimes wind up with a group of contestants that you might not have gone with had you done a more traditional screening process. While the random draw is the most fair way to do things, it isn’t necessary going to put the best product out there.

Sometimes this is for the best. Some of the most memorable contestants (in a good way) were ones that came out of nowhere and endeared themselves to the audience, both online and off.

Sometimes, unfortunately, the opposite happens. All of the following have happened at one point or another on the game:

  • A shy contestant who was dared to attempt a draw from her friends wound up becoming so embarrassed that they cried when their time on the show was over
  • A contestant who had untreated ADHD (and told me so prior to the show) was very disruptive during the game, and when this contestant won half the audience got up and left in disgust
  • Despite not answering a single question correctly, due to the luck factor of the game they wound up defeating the Champion
  • All four contestants failed to buzz in on more than 50% of the questions, even the ones that the average fan would consider basic knowledge
  • A contestant who didn’t want to play wound up on the show and proceeded to sit in their position, looking bored and aggravating a few people in the audience who wanted to play but didn’t get in (and told me about it afterwards)

While all this was happening, I was slowly putting together a fandom version of Pointless. I had about a dozen questions in various states of completeness, and was finding it difficult to get enough people surveyed to make anything happen.  I also found it harder and harder to find good quiz contestants at the smaller and younger conventions, so had I been able to complete a Pointless set, I figured it would need to be saved for a convention of at least ten thousand people, to ensure I had an interested and knowledgeable contestant pool.

Early last year something clicked, and I realized that if I combined both of these situations together, I had the potential to make a new show. To the people who were tired of watching the same luck-based game with a very poor chance of being included on it, I could give a game where skill level and knowledge were the deciding factors. For the not-quite-so-large conventions I wind up doing more often than not, I could likely find a contestant pool that would be adequate if that contestant pool were for a Pokémon-themed game.

Hence the decision to change Pointless from a fandom theme to a Pokémon theme. And it worked.

It has also given me an outlet to interact with fans in a way I’d never tried before. With my vendor/artist table, whose main purpose is to survey the 100 necessary people for each Pointless question, I now have the ability to provide fun activities for fans all throughout the convention. It also gives me a great way to advertise my games at the show, my Youtube channel and my other social media.  This new opportunity has reignited a spark that was starting to flicker a bit, and I’m loving getting to hang out on the convention floor in a harmless, fun way.

Would I eventually consider a more general version of the show?  Possibly, but I would need to have three or four conventions with survey panels of more than 50 people in attendance to fully prepare one game.  And I’d have to be careful at which convention we played it, to ensure I could find four crack teams to play the game.  If you’re a convention runner of an event in excess of ten thousand and would like to see it at your show instead of a Pokémon-themed one, I’d be willing to listen.

In the meantime, please enjoy Pointless. Next time you’ll see it will be early February, as its next playing won’t be until the end of January.

Thanks for reading!

Fact Sheet: Pointless

Pointless debuted at Tsubasacon in 2016. Planning for the game began as early as 2012. It was originally designed as a general trivia game but a year ago was switched to be a replacement for Pokémon Game Show at larger conventions.

The game is based on the British television show of the same name. Prior to the convention, each question is asked of 100 people, giving them 100 seconds to supply as many answers as possible. Those questions are then asked to the contestants, who must give correct answers that they believe were said by as few of those 100 people as possible. Imagine Family Feud, but in reverse.  Contestants are tasked to come up with obscure answers that give low scores, and the teams with the high scores are eliminated at the end of each round.

The winning team receives a “trophy” for each player. Those trophies started as rare Pokémon merchandise, but will eventually become a custom badge similiar in design to the badges given by gym leaders in the video game.  I am working with a popular convention and Etsy artist to design these badges, and they should make their debut sometime late this winter.


This game requires 120 minutes including setup time.  It requires the use of at least one projector and screen (VGA/HDMI and minijack).  The optimal setup utilizes two separate projectors and two screens. Power is requested onstage. A minimum of three microphones (six is preferred) is requested. Recommended stage layout includes one long table at stage right for the contestants, a small table at stage left for the designated co-host (Pointless friend) and a lectern (and additional small cocktail-sized table) for the host. There are a total of ten onstage participants: eight contestants divided into four teams, as well as host and co-host.

Preferred title for the schedule:

Greggo’s New Pokémon Game Show: Pointless

Program book description:

Are you ready for a new twist on Pokémon trivia? Greggo’s new game show asks questions that were put to 100 people prior to the show, and the object of the game is for contestants to come up with the answers those people DIDN’T say. The more obscure your answers, the lower you’ll score…and that’s the point of Pointless! If you’d like to be a contestant, make sure you’re there at the beginning and make sure you have a teammate!  There will be some play-in questions that our potential contestants will need to answer in order to make it onto the show!

Prize support:

This game offers a “jackpot” that the winning team splits if they win the final round. It is recommended to have some Pokémon prizes available for us to utilize in the prize coffers where the contestants spend their jackpot winnings.

New video: Pointless software demo!

Figured you guys might want to take a look at the finished software for the Pointless game board, which will be making its debut at Tsubasacon.

Everything functions as it should. I might add bells and whistles to it before the debut depending on how I’m able to finish the eight thousand other things on my plate.

Anyway, enjoy!