Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday Night Trivia in the PeopleWithMS Chat

Last Updated:  05/7/2011 21:30

There are some really good organized trivia sites, with tournaments, leagues, and competitions.  However, it is all too complicated for the informal way  Trivia needs to be run at PWMS to meet user needs. 

Here is how to format your own trivia questions and answers, with our Trivia Formatting How-To Page  

It's easy to format and post a quick Trivia Puzzler and baffle others. Then post the answer a little bit later after seeing a few responses.

For a more organized game, use this guide to format up the Q&A ahead of time.  That makes it easy for players to read and follow.  Then announce it in the Trivia room and talk it up a bit ahead of time in the chat room lobby.  Hopefully get a good turnout. 

Finding Trivia Questions

A couple of the best sites I've found for trivia are:

Once you find some good questions & answers, you are going to need to copy them into a local file and reformat them so they can be used in chat.  That whole process is described below.  

Copying a Trivia Question or Answer Page

Having found a fun quiz, the next step is to copy the quiz and reformat it into a useful format for presentation in PeopleWithMS Chat. 

The copying part is pretty easy.  Lefty Click & Hold to start marking a question page at the start of the question list, drag your mouse to the bottom and release at the end of the block to finish the marking the list of questions.  Then use CTRL-C to copy the block into your computer's buffer.  (You can try a Righty-Click and pick the Copy command, it might work for you) 

Pasting a Trivia Question or Answer Page to a Local File

Pasting the set of questions and answers into an editing tool has a few more wrinkles.  In theory, here's what is done.  Open your tool, like WordPad, and create a new document.  CTRL-V to paste the copied material.  What happens depends on the target environment.  In a simple tool like WordPad, it'll paste without formatting.  This is what you want!  In fancier tools, it may paste the HTML formatted content, even including pictures and such, which becomes a messy situation.   Sometimes these fancier environments also include an option to " Paste Without Formatting", often via a Righty-Click.  Do that if you can, to avoid some misery.

Remember that you need to post the question set, and then the answer set together in the same document !

Editing Tools

Simple editing tools like Notepad, WordPad, etc. with simple Search and Replace are sufficient.  Chat only supports a few HTML formatting commands.  Fancier HTML tools like FrontPage, Composer, or KompoZer offer many more capabilities than can ever be used in-line in chat.  They might help with the reformatting process, but in the end, are not seen by anyone else.  So if you have them, you can use them with some greater efficiency, but not a major improvement. 

Testing The Basics

Once you have pasted something into your target tool, you want to save and test.  Go into the Trivia chatroom.  Copy your question from your file using CTRL-V.  In the Yellow Chat Text Area, CTRL-V to paste the question in.  SEND.  Does it show up as expected ?

Now use one of the color macros described immediately below as the first step.  Then paste in the above again.  SEND.  Does it show up with an initial red triangle and change the text color to the selected color ?  

Formatting a Question

Formatting a question is a two part process. 

First, paste the question in after one of the text strings below.  This starts the line with a and changes the text color of the question to the one shown. 

<img src="http://peoplewithms.com/images/a1right.gif" width="21" height="21"><b><font color="#003300"> GREEN TEXT
<img src="http://peoplewithms.com/images/a1right.gif" width="21" height="21"><b><font color="#990000"> RED TEXT
<img src="http://peoplewithms.com/images/a1right.gif" width="21" height="21"><b><font color="#000099"> BLUE TEXT

nb - these are the color macros you can call up with a right click in the yellow text area of chat. 
It's somewhat easier to have them preformatted in your personal file ahead of time.

, depending upon the question type, combine the above with one of the below.  

<font=CC0000><b>  True or False ?</b></font>
  <br><font color="#CC0000">A)     <br>B)     <br>C)     <br>D) 

For a multiple choice question , insert the possible answers after the letters.
The Part One Question and Part Two Possible Answers should be in one run-on line for clarity.

<font=CC0000><b>  True or False ?</b></font>
  <br><font color="#CC0000">A)     <br>B)     <br>C)     <br>

Third, you paste the multiple choices into the proper places in the statement above.

Your raw formatted question would then end up looking like one of the following:

  • Who is Han Solo's first mate on the Millennium Falcon?  <br><font color="#CC0000">A)  Chewbacca   <br>B)  Yoda   <br>C)  R2-D2      <br>D)  Darth Vader
  •  <img src="http://peoplewithms.com/images/a1right.gif" width="21" height="21"><b><font color="#003300"> Who is Han Solo's first mate on the Millennium Falcon?  <br><font color="#CC0000">A)  Chewbacca   <br>B)  Yoda   <br>C)  R2-D2      <br>D)  Darth Vader

Ideally you'd see something like this in chat:

Who is Han Solo's first mate on the Millennium Falcon?
A)   Chewbacca 
B)   Yoda 
C)   R2-D2   
D)   Darth Vader
It is easy for players to see Question and
Possible Answers
when they are
in colors
on new lines

Formatting an Answer

Answers are usually prefixed with a " The correct answer is ..."  But often have some crap between that and the detailed answer that has to be deleted.  So you will want to do the whole set of answers batchwise to quickly delete all the extraneous content.

You could use the above color macros, but it might be easier to just call them up while in the game, and paste in the answer.  The key thing is to make sure that you have previously formatted a distinct starting 'FALSE' or 'A) The correct answer is . . .'

Putting It All Together

The above simply gets a set of questions and a following set of answers into a single document.  And explains how to format an individual question or answer. 

But you need to do it more efficiently.  To do this, get your raw question and answer sets together.  Copy the " <br><font color="#CC0000">A)     <br>B)     <br>C)     <br>D)  " onto the end of every question on all the pages, all at once.  Then it only takes five minutes at most.  Then go back and cut and paste the answers from the bottom of each page list into correct place just below the finished question.

With the answers, starting from the top, combine the short answer with the more detailed explanation, cutting out any extraneous information along the way. 

Now cut a few answers and paste  them up at the top.  Juggle them around to  make the answers follow the questions.  Rinse and repeat until the whole set is done. 

You may find annoying lines in each question or answer, such as;  " Explanation "  "No hint available for this question" "View Image" etc.  - Search and replace the lot in one pass on all your trivia pages.  Then it is really fast. 

More Trivia Topic, Formatting, and Game Management Hints

If you are using a fancier editing tool that will display colors, marking all the questions in a block in green, and the answers in red or blue makes it easier when you re-combine them. 

Scoring is easier if you have a preprinted sheet with 25 or so rows for answers and perhaps 16 columns for player names.  As each player answers a question, record it on the line.  You can highlight the correct answers with a marker.  You'll quickly know if somebody missed or didn't answer, and be able to prompt them. 

You want to be prepared in the event a persons misses a question (java troubles).  It's easier that it seems.  The Up Arrow key will recall the prior question(s), so first UP ONE for the question just posed.  Add the following at the end of the question line;  <br>*** REPEAT FOR NAME ***   Hopefully only the person that missed the first time will answer !

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