High Stakes Productions, LLC is a small startup that builds games that encourage and reward the acquisition of knowledge. Our first releases are trivia games. High Stakes Politics, our first game, launched right before the 2012 US presidential elections and engaged thousands of gamers in the election process. It's been recently updated for the 2014 midterm elections. High Stakes Baseball just launched in May 2014 and delves into one's understanding of our nation's pastime, including the seismic shift in strategic thinking spurred by the rise of sabermetrics.
High Stakes Politics and High Stakes Baseball represent completely different subject matters, but share the same game elements that measure and impart knowledge. You won't find reams of questions on obscure facts- that's just not us. Rather, you will encounter questions that reveal one's understanding and familiarity of the subject. As you answer questions, you have three ways to score.
The fundamental statistic is your Knowledge Rating. Your Rating starts at zero and rises as you answer questions correctly, up to a maximum of 100. Most likely your Rating will level off below that to a number that accurately reflects your knowledge of the subject. To give you an idea, 80 is REALLY good, and out of the thousands who have played our games NO ONE has reached 100É
After you answer your first question, the game gives you virtual coins for betting on the next question. If you answer it correctly, you win the bet. If you're wrong, you lose your bet. If you lose all your coins, no worries. You can earn coins by answering poll questions, inviting friends to the game, or just laying down some "Uncle Sam." How many coins you can bet depends on your Knowledge Rating. Life is interconnected.
Along the way you'll earn achievements. Achievements are earned for great performances, like answering ten questions in a row correctly. The number of achievements you earn is another great measure of your knowledge in a subject area.
With all of these stats the game can put a lot of pressure on you. Image you have 10,000 coins riding on a question that would be your tenth correct answer in a row, resulting in your 20th AchievementÉbut you don't know the answer. Not to fret! Just burn a Power PAC that will help you by narrowing the choices or seeing how other gamers answered the question. Hey- it's High Stakes but we don't throw you into the butt-kicking party one leggedÉ
In honor of full disclosure, you must know that we store your answers and game stats on our servers. This is done so you don't get duplicate questions and we can bring you some of the features of the game. For instance, we have leaderboards that compare your stats to others. Also, the Power PAC that shows you how other people answered a particular question won't work without the stored data. We also store your poll answers if you decide to participate and earn some coins. On occasion we will report aggregate statistics on certain questions, but these reports will not expose your individual personal data (what little we have) or answer history. In other words, all data is "anonymized."
Still reading? Then let's here's a tidbit about the game mechanics of your Knowledge Rating- it is actually split into two components: a base component that takes into account all the questions you ever answered, and a temporal component that is calculated from the questions you answered in the past month. So, if you don't answer questions for a month the temporal component contribution goes to zero and your Knowlege Rating goes down. Also, the accuracy calculation is weighted by question difficulty. If you answer a difficult question correctly it will increase your Knowledge Rating more. If you get a difficult question wrong your rating won't take as big of a hit. The time time it takes to answer a question also affects how quickly you gain Knowledge Rating in the beginning, but it doesn't have an affect on your long-term Knowledge Rating. Accuracy is much more important than speed!
Enough words. You'll encounter plenty of them as you play the game. We hope you enjoy the games as much as we enjoyed putting all this together. If you like it, help us to spread the word.
Shout-outs from the press: