Ridiculist: Team Trivia


Overview of Ridiculist

Ridiculist is a team trivia game hosted by a bot named Ribot. First written in 1994 as Outburst, the game changed to Chaos and then to Ridiculist when implemented for Talk City. In Ridiculist, you must join one of two teams. Ribot will provide a category - such as, "Things a Policeman Says" - and players must type in answers that fit the category; e.g., "Stop or I'll shoot" or "freeze". Ribot will preselect ten answers out of its database. The first player to give an answer that the bot has selected will earn point for his team. Competition may be fierce, so you must be quick! However, you can always count on your teammates for support. The first team to reach 30 points wins the game. You will need to be quick and have enough knowledge about a category
to give many possible answers if you want to win!

To play, use any IRC client and point your server to botosaurus.com, port 6667 or port 6660 and join #ridiculist.

If there is sufficient interest we can restart a tournament version of the game.

How To Play

Throughout the game, Ribot will tell you what you need to do. If you watch for his messages, then you will be able to play fine. In general, you will be sending answers to the bot on the channel.

The following is a short game transcript:

Ribot: The current category comment reads: Name types of parrots
Spoohead: cockatoo
Goober: cockatiel
Spoohead: cockatiel
MeatWhiz: macaw

In this short segment, players simply type answers that fit the category. Note that in this example, only Goober would get credit for "cockatiel" if that is an answer, since Goober gave this answer first. After a minute has elapsed, Ribot will announce the answers, who gave what answer, and show the updated scores. There is no deduction for incorrect answers or answers not selected by Ribot.

Every once in a while, RiBot will select one of three special rounds of game play:

  • Double Round - double points are earned, but you have half as much time to give your answers.
  • Equality Round - only the first five answers are accepted from each player, so choose your answers carefully!
  • Champion Round (currently disabled) - before the round starts, each player votes for one champion. The player on each team that receives the most votes will be that team's champion. Only answers from the champion will be recognized.

Game Bot Commands

The commands that Ribot recognizes are listed below. These
commands may be stated publicly on the channel or in a private message without the prefix "rb".

  • rb join team 1 - Join team 1.
  • rb join team 2 - Join team 2.
  • rb show categories - Displays the current category.
  • rb show comment - Displays comment regarding the current category.
  • rb show scores - Displays scores for the current game.
  • rb name team blah - Names your team blah.

Ribot does not keep track of scores since this is a team game and not an individual game. The following command is accepted in private messages only:

  • /note message - Stores message in a log file. Use this to send in bug fixes or other messages of things that should be fixed. I will periodically read through the log file and process the information.

How can I submit categories?

If you have a new category you would like to send in, we welcome such categories. However please note that once your category is mailed to me, it becomes my property. If you plan to use your material commercially then you may want to think twice before submitting a category. Also by submitting a category, you are agreeing that the material being submitted is not already copyright (i.e., is not copied straight out of a book or other such media).

Before you go ahead and submit a category, consider the guidelines below. Right now about 40-50% of the categories submitted are thrown away for one or more of the reasons listed.

  • Keep your category free of profanity.
  • Make sure your category does not already exist. You should not submit a category unless you have played long enough to feel confident that your category is not already in the game.
  • Do not make your category ridiculously easy or ridiculously obscure. We are trying to remove categories that also become rapidly outdated (e.g., about
    other players), categories about obscure bands, or categories that require personal information. Your category should be somewhat general; if it is not suitable for a TV game show, it is probably not suitable for Ridiculist.

  • Write your questions so that they do not become outdated. For example, "Name Sacramento Kings Players" will become outdated next year. If you are giving a question such as this, be sure to qualify it with the date, "Name Sacramento Kings Players in 2009"
  • Include at least 20 answer per category.
  • Remember to spell check your category and check for accuracy.
  • Make sure your category is in the right format. A sample is shown below. Categories that are not in the proper format will most likely be thrown out.

    Mail your categories to kenrick@acm.org in plain text format. For the subject, give the name of the category and the word "Ridiculist".

    The first line is a comment that describes the category. Category answers follow and must be less than 79 characters long and must not contain ' or ". Separate alternate answers with the | character, with no spaces around the | symbol. When applicable, spell out and give numerical answers, e.g. "ten|10". When there are multiple alternate answers, the leftmost answer is displayed by the bot. This means the leftmost answer should be most descriptive. Avoid questions with ambiguous or multiple answers and spell check and verify the validity of your answers.
    Here is a short sample. Your real category should have at least twenty answers:

    Category: Soft Drinks
    Comment: Name popular soft drinks and soft drink people
    mountain dew
    coca cola|coke
    wacky root beer
    mr. pibb|mr pibb
    7-up|seven up|7up
    John Pemberton (inventor of Coke)|Pemberton

    Please note that my queue of new categories is big so it may take a while for your category to be entered.

    Related Links

    Ridiculist IRC Game Copyright 1994 - 2009 Kenrick Mock, Talk City Inc.