I Have So Many Questions

by Ethan Dirks


Plot Guru relies on a foundation of three valuable assets: the app itself (design, code, etc), our users, and the questions. Let's talk about that last one a bit.

As you likely know by this point, Plot Guru is an app that sends out questions to groups of friend as they watch streaming television together. These questions sync up with the events happening on their TV screen. Sounds pretty simple – but this process raises a number of unique challenges we've had to address through trial and error.

For example, what sort of tone should the questions have? Serious? Funny? Straightforward? Conversational? Surely we can't use the same tone for House of Cards as we would for Adventure Time.

And speaking of House of Cards and Adventure Time, this brings up the concept of spoilers. It's surprisingly easy to write a question that spoils major events, especially since we've limited the responses to four possible answer choices. For a show like House of Cards, this can have a disastrous effect; for a show like Adventure Time, maybe it's not such a big deal. Or maybe it is? That's the challenge.

Let's end this with a talk on difficulty. There shouldn't be one obvious answer to each question – that'd be no fun. But at the same time, not all answer choices should appear equally valid; if you understand the show and characters, you should have an edge in making predictions. Of course, that is until we bring up the concept of trick questions, nonsensical questions, and questions where there's more than one answer. There's got to be an element of unpredictability, or the game gets stale.

So as you can see, there's a lot to consider when writing questions. It's not just as easy as watching a show and jotting a few things down. It's got to be strategic – calculated, yet somehow fun and spontaneous. It's why we view our questions as such a valuable asset.

We've taken this all into account to make sure you and your friends are in for a delightful experience.


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