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Monday, October 02, 2006

Discordi

Discordi is a free-to-download remake of an old multiplayer online game that went by the name of "What's The Big Idea", which was later renamed to "Cosmic Consensus". The gang over at Blue Box Network have done a great job of recreating the game under the new name Discordi.

The game is simple to play; you answer questions. There are 3 types of questions that get asked, multiple choice, fill in the blank, and creating lists of 3 items. All players currently in the game answer the question simultaneously and must do so before the timer expires. The game as a whole feels like a mashup between You Don't Know Jack and Family Feud.

The goal to each question/answer period is to try and pick the answer that the majority of the players will choose.

For example, if the question was "Who is the most annoying Star Wars character?" you might have to choose between "Jar-jar Binks", "Wicket", and "Young Anakin".


If you select "Jar-Jar" along with the majority of the players, then you move your way up the ziggurat 1 or more steps at a time. The overall end-goal is to accumulate the most IQ points before someone ascends to the heavens. Whoever has the most accumulated IQ points by the time someone ascends wins the game.

The game's "board" is of the form of a Ziggurat. Each layer/step of the ziggurat has a property that either may or may not benefit you when you land on it. Most steps either add or subtract IQ points for landing on it, but other steps make you miss a turn, zap you back to the bottom step of the ziggurat, or even allow you to skip some steps.

They also mix things up by having random Storm-events occur that can knock you down a few steps, result you losing IQ points, or both! Luckily you can spend some of your hard-earned IQ points to buy insurance to protect you against the incoming Storm.

To make the game more interesting than answering a questionnaire, the questions are usually zany and offbeat enough to make you chuckle at the possible answers. The developer was smart enough to allow players to submit their own questions to be added to the game... but I am awaiting feedback on this because it appears to be unavailable at the moment. Once they get this working again, I think it is a great way to keep the game fresh and current.

The game still has a round of advertisements each round... but before you throw your arms up in the air in disgust, let me tell you that some of these commercials are downright hilarious, if not disturbing. Some of us were eagerly waiting to see some commercials a second time because they were so disturbing and weird the first time that you wanted to see it again. I have to say that I thought this was a genius to make commercials in your game 'fit' - they had the same zany attitude the game presents you with, and they don't last more than a dozen or so seconds.

Sadly the game is currently suffering from lack of popularity these days. Back in the day the game was crazy-popular. There were always several games taking place, and most of these were usually near-full 24/7. When I first downloaded the game I was disappointed to see that there were no players at all currently playing. I had to resort to finding people I knew to play with... which still turned out to be a really good time. There were 9 of us playing at one point, however I can remember the days when there would be 20+ players in a single game.

I have a feeling that the game would be much more popular if it were remade in Java and hosted by a site that would give the game more exposure- right now its not only hard to find the game (unless you are looking for it, as I was). This simple, entertaining little game has such great potential I would hate to see not get played. If you are interested let me know and we can try to organize a game sometime in the near future.

Aggro note: Discordi was fun to play and a nice way to take a little break from MMO'ing while still participating in group activity with online friends. However, it might not have been fun if I wasn't on Vent with a group of people because: A. You need a good amount of people to play and B. There's no in-game chat interface. So if I just ran across the game on my own, I'd be unable to play at all until there were enough players. And then I couldn't talk to the other players when they were there, which really cuts back on the sense of community. I'm guessing there's no in-game chat feature to prevent collusion, but who would really take it that seriously?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Chad said...

I was a big fan of What's the Big Idea way back when, and I just happened across Discordi. Alas, there's only ONE player in the Valhalla room, and now I wait with him. :-(

I know this post is kinda old, but anyway, I'm down for some Discordi. Hit me up if you're getting a game together or anything.

--Chad
phrozenfire@hotmail.com

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have 9 friends?

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you said, game has no chat interface... that is inexcusable!

1:12 AM  
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