That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: The Hit List

By | February 24, 2015

tomdavidhitlistTuesday 24th Feb, 4:30pm,

Well more of an exciting runthrough, but it’s got proper TV people working on it and a set and everything.

You may remember Tom Scott doing a live Youtube show called First Person Quiz last year, this is a v2.0 of that with a view to actual real television.

Again a contestant in studio will be racing the internet to find as many answers as possible to David B’s questions but we’ve been told to expect a lot of format tweaks. Personally I have some question marks as to how it would work with an audience of millions, so it will be very interesting to see how it all comes across this afternoon.

I’ll put the video back here if an edited one goes up. 

There might also be a practice go earlier in the afternoon, so make sure you keep it locked to @hitlistquiz on Twitter for the latest details.

19 thoughts on “That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: The Hit List

    1. David B

      Thanks for those who played the rehearsal. Main show stream is now up –

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Pretty good fun, my Mum texted me to say she enjoyed it. I think it’s going to suffer from typical money tree conservatism, unless somehow the internet is too thick to get more than one answer. I probably wouldn’t bother offering it as a gamble under these conditions, to be honest. Also, whilst I get the targets thing and its understated elegance, I wonder how many people will find it ‘a bit maths’.

    What’s in it for viewers, or are they doing it just to deny contestants money?

    What happens if Twitter crashes?

    If you get on television, how do you work out how many Tweets are required per answer? And how do you factor in that the delay is closer to five-seven seconds and not thirty?

  2. David B

    The viewers would have their own game of scoring leader board points to win prizes or even get a place on the show.

    The real show would probably have a dedicated app. There may be a small group of people in a back room playing with modified rules if our link to the outside world went down.

    We’re still judging the right difficulty levels but it is approximately 0.5% of all active users = number of audience hits required.

    Real telly can put back in the delay if it’s too short. We’re just using whatever the natural youtube delay is bit there is equipment (as used on Big Brother) that can give you whatever delay you want.

  3. Alex S

    Any way of watching this after the event? Would love to see what’s changed but the stream links are just coming up as being private.

  4. Steve

    The more I think about it, wouldn’t using an established major social network like Twitter be more reliable than trying to host the load of data on one’s own private servers? If it all hits the fan, at least the blame can be placed somewhere else, rather than having to absorb all the blame for a less-than-perfect app. Granted, the powers that be might not be too happy about people exploiting their services like that.

    For Alex (or anyone else who missed it until the video goes live again), here are the major changes I noticed:
    –Two players work as a team. In each 90-second round, one player answers the first 30 seconds, the other player takes the next 30 seconds, and they work together for the last 30 seconds. This basically means the internet has 60 seconds to get answers in.
    –Instead of only the first internet player to submit a correct answer locking it out, now it takes multiple people getting the same answer to lock it out. In the rehearsal, when there were fewer online players, it took 4 to lock out an answer, but during the main games it took 5. David explained the ratios above. This makes for some interesting graphics, where a red bar will start to fill up for the partially-claimed answers, but the studio contestants can lock the answers back on their side if they can beat the bar. At the end of each round, one (random?) name is displayed for each of the locked-out answers.
    –Probably the biggest change is the addition of a money tree. If I remember correctly, the players start on a blank step 1, with steps 2 and 3 also blank. Step 4 is worth 10 pounds, 5 is worth 25, and 6 is worth 100.
    –Players are also given three “target numbers” to reach, starting at 3, 4, and 5. At the start of each question, the studio players have to call out a target number. If they fail to lock out that many answers, they don’t move up the money tree, and the target number is lost. If they’re successful, they move up one step, and they get a new target number equal to the number of answers the internet locked out. For example, if you call and successfully lock out 4 answers in the first round, and the internet only gets 2 of them, you can choose between 2, 3, and 5 in the next round. At one point, Tom states that an internet score of 1 answer is the lowest possible, but I wonder what would happen in the rare case of nul points. Option for a completely free round?
    –In addition to mentioning successful internet contestants each round, they occasionally show a leaderboard with the top three people who have submitted the most right answers overall.

    Overall, i had fun playing it. I like the mechanic of getting back a new target number equal to your opponents’ progress, as it makes for a more balanced game; being successful with a small number means there’s a greater chance of having to face a harder large number later. As David pointed out to me on Twitter after the show, it also gives everyone a reason to keep guessing even after the target has been reached.

    There was only one major technical problem, in which the graphics failed at the start of a round. This might not’ve been too bad, except for me at least, Youtube also had a hiccup at the moment the round started, so I didn’t find out the category until way too late into the round. In the end, it was chalked up as another contestant advantage, which is fair, but I still felt a bit jilted by how it played out. In my mind, I had to eat crow for at least one (if not two) technical errors that weren’t my fault.

    But yeah, it was still very fun. I’m hoping it comes back again in some form soon.

    1. David B

      C4 did use Twitter for a David Mitchell panel game recently so it is possible, but that wasn’t mission critical to the running of the show. I think we’d want to have our fate in our own hands. You would also get better user feedback from a dedicated app.

      A 0 target is technically possible, which would mean a free pass to any subsequent question. The computer can cope with that scenario but equally it would be logical also to insist that the smallest target you can have is 1. Either way works.

      We lost internet in the studio for half a second which caused both the graphical display and the YT feed to lag. Sorry for the inconvenience but hope it didn’t ruin your enjoyment too much.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        In point of fact, you might have accidentally hit an improvement via improper gameplay – the Bottom round where Youtube cut out and we couldn’t actually see the category at home was quite fun – maybe once or twice a show deliberately add in a mystery category (Round 3, say) that they can see in the studio but the internet has to work out from their guesses? It might make it a bit easier for the contestants to actually win something.

        I know at least one person was trying to play at working out the category using only the answers being given out on Twitter.

        1. Steve

          I took a stab with “Rear Window” because I heard them saying “rear” a bunch of times. Eh-ehh.

        2. David B

          Someone was telling us afterwards that there is an informal game on Twitter played by those watching MPDrop of who can work out what the question is going to be after having seen the four options.

        3. Matt Clemson

          The ‘guess the category’ idea puts me somewhat in mind of Talkabout. That does strike me as an interesting approach, with a corollary: What if the time limit was determined by the Internet guessing the category? When (sufficient people from) the Internet guessed, the round is over. Contestants would be in a position of trying to make guesses while also trying to mislead the Internet players, but their *successful* guesses give the Internet players *concrete* clues.

          Perhaps that’s a bit overcomplex for this sort of game… but I quite like the idea! Might be something to try as a home game sometime…

          Out of interest, were the Internet scores gained by being the first guesser, by being one of the first n guessers, or by being any guesser?

          1. David B

            This time around, the listed names were the first guesser, unless they had an ‘inappropriate’ Twitter handle in which case it was changed to a random guesser. In the future, it would probably have to be a random name by default because different people will receive the video pictures at slightly different times depending on how they’re watching, so being first isn’t necessarily very fair.

            While I’m here, one player wrote us some question tension bed music WHILE the show was happening. That’s true interactivity for you!

  5. Alex McMillan

    Any chance of putting the pilot online? I only got to see the very end as I was in lectures

    1. David B

      Due to a number of operational issues, we won’t have a copy to put up for quite a while. For one, the tape is 45Gb!

      1. Alex S

        YouTube keeps a copy of the stream on their servers so it can just be made public rather than private in the video settings, although I appreciate you may not want to release the full uncut stream for whatever reasons the team has.

  6. Jon

    I don’t want to seem like I feel entitled, but it’s annoying seeing this video embedded and not being able to see it. Was working at the time of broadcast but naively thought I’d be able to see it at some point that even. It surely can’t require that much post that it can’t now be put up? It was broadcast live after all so it’s not like that much can be done after the event.

  7. David B

    Someone’s done an amazing analysis on all the responses:

    Two things to note: he’s allowed responses for the full 90 seconds whereas in practice the submission windows for internet players is only 60-70 seconds due to the broadcast delay. Also, you only got leaderboard points for answers that had not been revealed which is why his final user scores are higher and different to our official one.


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