We're Jackbox Games. We used to mostly be known for making YOU DON'T KNOW JACK. Now we're known for our yearly Jackbox Party Packs. The Jackbox Party Pack 3 (with games Quiplash 2, Trivia Murder Party, Tee K.O., Guesspionage and Fakin' It) is out today! Here's who is answering questions: Mike Bilder (mbilds) CEO of Jackbox Games Allard Laban (toemite) VP of Creative Evan Jacover (evanjacover) VP of Engineering and director of Guesspionage Andy Poland (crabbydad) Sound and Music Designer Arnie Niekamp (misterarnie) Director of Drawful, Trivia Murder Party and Fakin' It.


Comments: 731 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

Bear_Psychologist62 karma

Does Pizza Skull have crust or toppings on him or is he just a fusion of bone and cheese pizza?

Nuttholebutthole44 karma

He probably doesn't want to talk about Foon stuff


That's because this is fake Arnie. The Arnie stuck in Foon talks about how there's someone taking his place I belivee it might be a robot who likes fitness. I don't remember the actual words.

misterarnie59 karma

I'm not sure even Pizza Skull fully understands how Pizza Skull works. Also, I am a real human person with a job and a podcast and in no way a robot sent to hide things from the world. Who wants to talk about fitness?!

carlosftw127 karma

More questions popped into me head:

Roughly how many prompts are in Quiplash 2, and how many questions on Trivia Murder Party? Do the games keep track of which questions have been asked from game to game?

misterarnie31 karma

I don't know off the top of my head question numbers. I know Trivia Murder Party has well over 1,000 regular questions but that doesn't count final round and special weird question types. All of our games track what questions you've seen and shoudln't serve up repeats until you've seen everything (with some exceptions). One of the challenges of popularly streamed games is that you see questions on different streams and it can make the games seem smaller because you see repeats so much faster. TMP is a ridiculously large game to just be part of a Pack of five games and has a ton of content, but at the same time I wish there was time to put in even more, because, again, people will see repeat questions when they hop from stream to stream.

digitalmediaworld24 karma

Have you thought of breaking into the board game market with some physical versions of your Jackbox Games? I think a couple of them could work pretty well (Quiplash/Murder Trivia Party comes to mind).

misterarnie35 karma

You know we were actually talking about this distantly and hypothetically yesterday, as we start to think about what to tackle in the next year. We love tabletop games and often pull more inspiration from tabletop games than from other video games. That said, it's a small miracle that we're able to make the sheer quantity of video games we make each year with such a small-ish team, so I'm not sure we could add much more and still survive.

ThisMayBeMike17 karma

Big fan of your games. Me, family and friends love gathering at my house, playing your game on Xbox One. We're super stoked for the new game!

What do you think, make your games stand out compared to other party games? The humour of the game isn't for everybody - how do you guys balance it when you come up with ideas?

Which games from the 3 party boxes do you guys play with your own friends and family?

Lastly.. Which games from the boxes were the hits and misses? Personally i enjoy the Bidiot game, but everyone else i play with seems to dislike it.

misterarnie31 karma

A lot of questions, but I'll tackle a few. 1. I think it's probably fair that our humor isn't for everyone, but I think having out own distinct voice is a big reason why our games stand out. Also, since Fibbage, we've moved more towards finding ways to let the people "in the room" be funny, less than us being funny and you enjoying it (although, TMP is moving somewhat back towards a "the game is funny at you" type game, like YDKJ). 2. I think each Pack has breakout games and games that are less widely loved. Party Pack 2 especially has a few games that some people love and some people hate. But oddly, they're not always the same games. Most people really like Quiplash and Fibbage 2, but after that, everyone seems to disagree. Some people love Earwax and others don't. Many people find Bidiots disappointing because it's a little too cereberal to be a party game (especially compared to Drawful) but I've had a lot of people come up and tell me it's their favorite, and they really love the deep and tricky gameplay. That said, I honestly think Party Pack 3 is our strongest Pack by far. I legitimately love all the games and think there's something new and very cool in each of them. Some will ultimately shake out as the less talked about (Fakin' It for instance is at the disadvantge of not being able to be played "via" Twitch so will probably be seen less than the other games in that way) but I think it's an insanely robust Pack.

jimbobhas9 karma

Literally just bought the party pack 3 and organised a night to play it this weekend.

Are there any Easter eggs included in any of your games?

Which game do you recommend we play first on Saturday?

misterarnie29 karma

Easter eggs are more fun to discover. That said, Trivia Murder Party is packed with all kinds of weird suprising stuff. That was the joy of making it, the premise made it a fun joke-machine. I know Tee K.O. also has a lot of fun odd little touches tucked around in several corners. Guesspionage maybe has a Magic Tavern easter egg (as does Drawful 2, I think). As for older Easter Eggs, if you type in the name "Jackbox" in Bidiots (in JBPP2) you get a Jackhead shaped paddle. And if you type in "Arnie" you get me yelling "Arnie!" whenever you bid. I think the same goes for putting in "Wat." And many of the normal paddles trigger when you put in certain names. So, for instance, we've gotten complaints from Toms and Thomases that they ALWAYS get the train paddle.

PicRestoration9 karma

You had a You Don't Know Jack game on the Playstation 1. I swear to this day there was a question about Walter Karig and the book 'Zotz!'. I cannot find a database if that question really existed or I'm crazy. Did you guys really have a question like that on the game?


crabbydad15 karma

We have a database of the old questions but it's in Filemaker Pro and I don't have a copy of that anymore. I'll try to open it and do a "Zotz" search.

misterarnie8 karma

Classic Zotz search.

rydash9 karma

How do you react when someone refers to you as, say, "Jack-in-the-box Games"? Or is this problem just limited to every one of my relatives?

toemite6 karma

Factoid #1: Another name in the running to replace "Jellyvision Games" was "Jack Head Games". Factoid #2: Tim Sniffen, Jackbox alum and comedy genius came up with Jackbox Games. It's his fault.

misterarnie7 karma

I voted for Jackhead Games but everyone worried it sounded too dirty (you know, unlike Jackbox).

misterarnie6 karma

I think most of us are going to step away for a bit to avoid blindness. But don't hesitate to add more questions if you have them, we'll check in periodically throughout the day if folks are still into it.

apoofanickymama6 karma

What is the background of the primary creative minds behind the team?

misterarnie17 karma

I've been at Jackbox (formerly Jellyvision) for 11 years. But my background is mostly a combination of my (underused) creative writing M.F.A. and a lot of time in the Chicago improv community.

Toz58245 karma

Where do you guys get your devilishly handsome good looks? ;)

misterarnie7 karma

From stock photos.

jsach34 karma

Hey! Couple Questions...

  1. When will we get an eraser in Drawful?

  2. Any chance of the YDKJ gameshow coming back?

  3. Any plans for a new standalone YDKJ game? The Wii game gets a little boring after you played the whole thing 20 times.

misterarnie18 karma

Drawful will never have an eraser as long as I have a say!! The lack of an eraser is a design choice. Drawful is so much more fun when the drawings include mistakes. The fun stuff happens when you start looking at that weird extra line that's not supposed to be there and it inspires different, weirder answers. Tee K.O., however, in the Jackbox Party Pack 3, is a very different kind of drawing game and does include the ability to erase and more fine-tuned art tools. As for a new YDKJ, we have every intention of doing more, we just don't know when exactly.

lordbeef4 karma

What's an obviously incorrect way to spell Jackbox Games?

evanjacover10 karma


evanjacover9 karma

(By the way, I love Jellyvision. Just causes a lot of confusion.)

misterarnie7 karma

But, still, it is THE MOST wrong way to spell Jackbox Games.

spartan1144 karma

What's a bag of nixons? That single Drawful prompt made all my friends swear off of ever playing it again.

Aside from that, your games are incredible and come out at every family gathering. They have provided an endless amount of inside jokes and memories. Thank you for the outstanding product!

misterarnie16 karma

As the person who wrote 90% of the prompts for the first Drawful (and it was a descent into insanity) the main goal was to make the prompts so weird that almost ANYTHING the players entered COULD be right. I think the idea behind of "bag of nixons" was that maybe someone would draw a bag of Richard Nixons and then someone playing would think the correct answer was "bag of d***s" but the real answer would be "bag of nixons." There are actually several prompts that are designed to be similar to common expressions but somewhat off. And that's why there are even a few intentionally misspelled prompts in the first Drawful (that the host mentions are misspelled on purpose afterwards, but no one every hears those). Again, the idea is, ANYTHING could be a prompt. And that makes the game better. Sometimes a brief momentary pain can still make the overall game better. But... I've been wrong before.

HappyPollen3 karma

Hey guys! Big longtime Jellyvision/Jackbox fan and immediately got PP3 last night. Haven't broken into it too much, but I do have a few questions.

When we played TMP, we got the minigame where you either attack a player, defend from another player, or go for the pile of cash. I checked the rules (available at triviamurderpartyrulez.blogspot.com please visit, the host needs the hits) and was just wondering what would happen in the event that every player attacked or defended. Would everyone die simultaneously, similar to everyone going for cash?

Also fuck/marry/kill between Cookie, Schmitty, and Buzz.

misterarnie4 karma

I THINK everyone dies in that instance. Mark Turowetz, my codirector, is the one that did the really deep dive on the Arena minigame in TMP. And in some ways it's slightly "broken" but we decided we still like it and included it and took all of Mark's overcomplicated rules and put them on that website. But yes, if everyone takes the money, everyone dies, if everyone defends and didn't need to they all die for being cowards and if everyone attacks... I guess the people who GET attacked die, and if they all magically attack each other with no overlap, they all die. We do try to avoid everyone dying immediately in a game, but you know, sometimes it happens. There's a lot of inherrent randomness in TMP, and some of it we tried to wrangle, and some of it we let be random because it seemed to fit the theme.

apoofanickymama3 karma

What's the process look like for developing prompts in games like Quiplash? After all the technology and interface is fully developed, how do you guys "get to work" on writing the prompts?

misterarnie4 karma

We have a proprietary tool that we write our questions into for all our games. For, say, Quiplash, it's mostly just a process of having our writers write A LOT of prompts, and the editor/director on the game whittling those down, giving feedback on what works/what doesn't. It's fairly straightforward, honestly.


What does the "pitching" process for a Party Pack look like? And how many ideas normally get suggested/turned down?

evanjacover3 karma

Dozens of ideas get suggested and turned down. Fakin' It got turned down, probably 5 times. Then everyone yells and feels shame. Then we make some games.

misterarnie5 karma

Yeah, we spend a good chunk of the year, pitching and playtesting lots of game internally before narrowing it down. The original idea for Fakin' It actually predated Drawful. A few of us just kept iterating on it and bringing it back because we knew there was a really cool game there, it just took us a while to crack it. Trivia Murder was pitched for Party Pack 2 and just barely didn't make it. We paper test and do basic prototypes of dozens of games and then narrow it down by what gets the best reaction, what we're most excited about working on and what helps to best balance out a Pack.

TomOnABoat2 karma

Are there any versions of the games or plans for versions for other regions?

For example, in Fibbage, the American slant to the phrases makes it very obvious which is the correct answer when played here in England.

misterarnie5 karma

The problem of America-centric quesitons is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. We know we have many fans of our games around the world and that it's a bummer to get lots of trivia questions or references that mean nothing to you. So when do editorial review on, say, Trivia Murder Party, I first try to push for more international queistons, and to limit questions about US geography and American History. But at the same time, pop culture trivia is very fun and sort of a cornerstone of what we do going back to YDKJ. For a while we worked so hard to only focus on pop culture references that we felt EVERYONE would get that it started to feel like we were watering our voice down significantly. So, for me, I try to work to encourage more variety in the content while still embracing thigns that I think are funny or interesting that maybe aren't for everyone. As for version in other regions, someone might have answered this somewhere else, but the writing challenge for something like that is immense. Basically, we'd need a whole other team to write a localized version of the game, one that truly understood that region, and right now at least, that's not feasible (and, yes, I know, someone might say, "I'll do it!" but it's more complicated than that). My pat answer usually is, if we hit mega-phenomenon status, that's something we'd definitely look into.

Totallynotme082 karma

Why Cookie?

misterarnie4 karma

Is this Existential Cookie Monster?

YoshiChief2 karma

Silly question, but I've seen 5 categories in Fakin it. Is there a 6th? Cause if there is, I haven't seen it in streams!

For reference I've seen hands, pointing, numbers, faces, and writing!

misterarnie3 karma

There were actually a number of categories we just didn't have time to test and implement. There was on particularly that we thought we'd probably get to, which is why there is an extra orange character in the game that never pops up as a category mascot. We just ran out of time to add more stuff. I'd love it if Fakin' It caught enough to the extent that we'd do a Fakin' It 2 because there's a lot of stuff you can do with the premise and we've really only scratched the surface.

TheOddLinguist2 karma

I remember you mentioning that Trivia Murder Party and Fakin' It evolved from game ideas that have been floating around for a while now. How about Guesspionage and Tee K.O.? Were they newly designed for this pack or refinements of past ideas?

toemite5 karma

Both Tee K.O. and Guesspionage were developed in last year's prototype phase.

misterarnie5 karma

Yeah, Guesspionage was pretty new. Tee K.O. was loosely based on an idea I'd thought of pitching for PP2, and showed it to one of our engineers who just wasn't really into it so I shelved the idea for a bit. As Party Pack 3 pitching was getting close to being done I was looking back through some old ideas and thinking about how it would be nice to have a drawing game (and one more creative player input game) so I dragged it back out and we experimented with it for a while. And then Ryan DiGiorgi directed it and made it into something awesome.