Risky Business

Risky Business

Risky Business : Test Your Trivia Knowledge!


Overview of Risky Business

Risky Business is the game that started it all! It was created in 1993 as an online, IRC version of the TV show Jeopardy! When lawyers at Sony found out about the game and sent me a cease and desist letter, the name and format of the game changed to Risky Business. Unlike TV game shows that are limited to a handful of TV contestants, the game is open to anyone on IRC. Additionally, your game show host is not a slick celebrity, but instead a witty bot named RobBot. Unlike humans, Rob requires no sleep nor rest and hosts the game 24 hours a day.

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

Contestants must be quick; RobBot will give questions in six categories worth either 400,500,600,700, or 800 dollars. The first player to provide the correct answer wins the money. However, if you are wrong, you lose the money! You may have to compete with up to as many as 25 players at once. Only those well versed in esoteric trivia shall prevail!

Interspersed throughout the game are two special questions. When these questions are hit, the last player to provide a correct answer is given the choice of either making a wager or attempting to steal.

If wager is chosen, the player may bet up to either her current winnings or the value of the questions (whichever is larger). If the player correctly answers the question, then the player wins the amount wagered. If incorrect, the player loses the amount wagered.

If steal is chosen, then the player may choose another contestant from which to attempt to steal from. All of the money held by the other contestant is up for grabs. However, the odds are weighted against the thief. Both the thief and the victim will be presented with the question and must privately message their answers to RobBot. If both the thief and the victim are correct, then nothing happens. If both the thief and the victim are incorrect, then the thief loses the amount he attempted to steal while the victim loses nothing. If the thief is incorrect and the victim is correct, then the thief loses the amount and the victim wins the amount. Finally, if the thief is correct and the victim is incorrect, then the thief steals the amount and the victim loses the amount.

At the end of the game, all players with a positive score are allowed to wager up to as much money as they have collected. The answers are privately collected by RobBot. The winner is the player with the most money.

How To Play

Throughout the game, RobBot 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. To do this, use the word "Rob" as the first word in your sentence. RobBot will interpret whatever follows as either a command or an answer.

The following is a short game transcript:

RobBot: Question 1 of 30: Who was the world's tallest man, at 8'11"?
Gordo: Hmm, I don't know...pass!
Spoohead: me too
Goober: rob robert wadlow
RobBot: Goober: That is correct!  Winning 400, your score is now 400.
Spoohead: I'm hungry, rob 
RobBot: Pass the ho-ho's!

In this short segment, players may chat to each other on the channel as long as they do not use "rob" to preface their sentence. When "rob" is used, what follows is interpreted as an answer. In this case, Goober has correctly answered the question.

At times you will also have to privately /msg RobBot your answers or wagers. Simply follow the on-screen prompts.

RobBot also has the capability for limited conversations. He will respond if he see's "rob" appear somewhere in the sentence but is not the first word in the sentence. He has a vocabulary of over a thousand words, so he can say quite a few things!

Game Bot Commands

The commands that RobBot recognizes are listed below. These
commands may be stated publicly on the channel or in a private message without the word "rob" in front.

  • rob show question - Displays the current question.
  • rob show categories - Displays the current category.
  • rob show comment - Displays comment regarding the current category.
  • rob we give up - Use to concede question and move on to the next. If other players want to wait, you should not use this command until 30 seconds have elapsed.
  • rob show scores - Displays scores for the current game.
  • rob show top wins - Displays players with the top 10 wins of all time.
  • rob show top scores - Displays players with the top 10 scores of all time.
  • rob show stats nick - Displays wins and top score of nick.

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 it. 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 material (i.e., copied straight out of a book or program).

Before you go ahead and submit a category, consider the guidelines below. Right now about 30-40% 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 Riskybus.

  • Write your questions so that they do not become outdated. For example, "What is the current population of India?" will become outdated next year. If you are giving a question such as this, be sure to qualify it with the date, "What is the population of India in 1997?"
  • Remember to spell check your category and check for accuracy.
  • Make sure your category is in the right format. The format is described below. Categories that are not in the proper format will most likely be thrown out.

    The format for categories is described below. The first line describes the category. Then, use alternating lines for questions and answers. The | symbols is used to separate alternate answers. The sample category actually contains the instructions for the category format. Mail your categories to kenrick@acm.org in plain text format. For the subject, give the name of the category and the word "RiskyBus".

    The first line is a comment line that describes the category.
    This is question one. It must be less than 79 characters long.
    answer to questions are also less than 79 characters long
    This is question two. Can answers contain some punctuation?
    Can answers contain " or '?
    Alternate answers are separated by the | character. Understand?
    How many question/answer pairs minimum should there be per category?
    at least thirty|30|thirty
    How should numerical answers be entered?
    How do you format answers containing people's names?
    first_name last_name|last_name
    Avoid questions with ambiguous or multiple answers?
    Did you spell check and verify the validity of the answers?

    Please note that it may take a while for your category to be entered.

    Related Links

    Risky Business IRC Game Copyright 1993-2009 Kenrick Mock