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Beatles Trivia App
25 February 2014
1.22am
PeterWeatherby
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At some point, this may need to be moved into the "Pimp Your Stuff" section, but since I have nothing concrete to "pimp" just yet, I'm starting out here.

I'm in the process of developing a Beatles Trivia App for the mobile phone, partly because I just want to give myself the challenge, and partly because the existing apps on the market just aren't all that great.

So I'm crowd-sourcing for some input here. If you were inclined to download a trivia app like this, what would be your motivating factor(s)? Should it tend more towards "expert level" questions (e.g., "Who played the piano solo on 'In My Life'?"), or more towards newbies who are just getting to know the Beatles (e.g., "What member of the Beatles played left-handed?")?

I want to load up the app with literally thousands of questions to avoid tons of repeats, but aside from having lots of question content, what (in your opinion) would make this app worth having?

Not a bit like Cagney.
25 February 2014
1.37am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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Well, I'd start by having both those types of questions, and some in the middle as well. 

Levels:

Hamburg (easy questions)

Abbey Road (middle questions)

Apple Rooftop (hard questions).

or something like that. You could have "seven levels"a-hard-days-night-george-10

I'm thinking even the In My Life question could be in the middle, along with harder stuff about albums and stuff

Then  the really hard one could be something like, what does the "seven wonders" lyric in And Your Bird Can Sing refer to? And stuff about the solo careers and pre-Beatles stuff. Like hardcore knowledge.

This sounds really cool, especially if you have enough questions. My main problem with current apps is a) there's about 50 questions, then they repeat. b) they look bad, and unprofessional, and c) they obviously aren't created by Beatle experts like us, so they're really easy for people like us, who care enough to post more than 200+ times on a Beatles forum.

I'd suggest updating it every so often to add questions, as well. That way it never runs out, and you could eventually have a massive database of questions. 

Just suggestions

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25 February 2014
2.04am
PeterWeatherby
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Thanks so much for the feedback! I really like the idea of labeling the levels of difficulty according to periods in the Beatles' career.

I'm thinking that I might even categorize a bunch of the questions by album, so the user can tap on an album cover and get a slew of questions related to that particular release.

Not a bit like Cagney.
25 February 2014
2.08am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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PeterWeatherby said
Thanks so much for the feedback! I really like the idea of labeling the levels of difficulty according to periods in the Beatles' career.

I'm thinking that I might even categorize a bunch of the questions by album, so the user can tap on an album cover and get a slew of questions related to that particular release.

Well, I can't pretend I didn't take a cue there from this very forum's ranking system.ahdn_ringo_09

But I'm glad you appreciated the feedback.

Oh, and what's funny, is I was actually going to say something about sorting questions by time period but I didn't want to make so many suggestions in one post! Haha, great minds think alike I guessahdn_ringo_09 It's a good idea, anyway. 

I'm available for feedback at any time.

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25 February 2014
2.08am
PeterWeatherby
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IveJustSeenAFaceo said

My main problem with current apps is a) there's about 50 questions, then they repeat. b) they look bad, and unprofessional, and c) they obviously aren't created by Beatle experts like us, so they're really easy for people like us, who care enough to post more than 200+ times on a Beatles forum.

This is precisely why I might be inclined to dispense with the super-easy stuff and focus more on mid-to-high difficulty questions. I'm just trying to anticipate: who's more likely to download an app like this? A newcomer who knows only the bare minimum, or die-hard fans who want to challenge themselves and maybe learn a few things along the way?

One thing is for sure: on the correct answers, I intend to supply explanations and further reading suggestions. I think that will give the app some real added value, for someone to be able to say, "Oh, I didn't know that, and I've never heard of that book/video, but I think I'll go out and buy it."

Not a bit like Cagney.
25 February 2014
2.16am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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PeterWeatherby said

IveJustSeenAFaceo said

My main problem with current apps is a) there's about 50 questions, then they repeat. b) they look bad, and unprofessional, and c) they obviously aren't created by Beatle experts like us, so they're really easy for people like us, who care enough to post more than 200+ times on a Beatles forum.

This is precisely why I might be inclined to dispense with the super-easy stuff and focus more on mid-to-high difficulty questions. I'm just trying to anticipate: who's more likely to download an app like this? A newcomer who knows only the bare minimum, or die-hard fans who want to challenge themselves and maybe learn a few things along the way?

One thing is for sure: on the correct answers, I intend to supply explanations and further reading suggestions. I think that will give the app some real added value, for someone to be able to say, "Oh, I didn't know that, and I've never heard of that book/video, but I think I'll go out and buy it."

One of the added reading options should be this place! 

But, I'd say you could put in the easy stuff anyway, because it'd probably be pretty easy (who wrote… who sings… what song…).

Oh, and I just thought of something. The easier levels could be similar or the same questions as a medium level, but the easy ones could be multiple choice, and the harder ones, the person has to actually type in the answer, to avoid guesses.

And I don't know how hard this would be, but a multiplayer mode where you could play with other people who have the app could be great in addition to the normal mode. But again, I don't know how hard that would be to implement.

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25 February 2014
2.40am
Mincer Ray
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I would buy it and play it

 

H

"I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil."  - Bobby Kennedy

25 February 2014
4.08am
4or5Magicians
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I wish I had a smartphone, but alas. I'm into games, and actually getting into designing some myself though so I'll happily provide some feedback. I'm not familiar with your experience in app/game development (being such a newb here), so don't take my tone as preachy. I tend to "turn off my mind, relax, and float down stream" when I write, and it comes out the way it comes out. a-hard-days-night-john-6

First, Faceo wins this thread for suggesting that there be 7 levels (I love that story). Definitely try to do that.

You might want to try setting up categories of some sort for the questions a la Trivial Pursuit. Or have different types of questions so it's not just "Blah song has blah blah yadda yadda blah. Who did blah?" with a list of answers after it every time. Maybe have matching questions where you have to match a name to a fact about that person, or fill in the blank with a missing word or line from a song lyric or something. Maybe some questions will give you X seconds to answer, or to answer several questions in a row or something. Mix it up a little and you go from having an app that's interesting to having an app that's FUN and interesting.

Think gameplay. This ties in with the last topic, but it's big enough for a new paragraph, I think. Will players get a random question each time, draw a "card", spin a wheel, fill in a form, slide a ball across the screen, etc? If you're using different "levels", you could have questions presented as mini games unique to that level. Maybe the question's in Mr. Kite's circus level are all reminiscent of carnival games, the Magical Mystery level could take place on the road and use that as a theme, etc. There's no shortage of Beatley imagery that you could possibly use as inspiration without infringing on any intellectual property (more on that in a second). At any rate, providing a unique experience could help set your app apart from the not-so-memorable ones.

Use the platform to your advantage. Smart phones get a lot of flak for having bad controls (there's only so much you can do with a touch screen), but that very aspect of phones allows you to make a unique experience from it. Sliding things around the screen. Tapping certain answers in the correct order. Using multi-touch input to… I dunno… zoom in/out or rotate things. Do what every other game developer does – find out what some other app did that you thought was awesome, then do it better!

The biggest drawback I can see with some of my suggestions is Apple slapping you with a cease and desist. You'll have to make things Beatles-inspired enough to make sense, but generic enough that they don't have grounds to sue. So no iconic imagery (even if it would be awesome to have questions based on, like, a really zoomed in album cover, or a picture of someone that starts out pixelated and gets clearer after a few seconds). But there's still plenty that can be done. Best of luck!

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 At least that's a few things that would make me excited to buy a Beatles trivia app. ahdn_paul_06a-hard-days-night-george-10 <-- Paul and George cause I hadn't used their smilies yet.

 

25 February 2014
12.24pm
meanmistermustard
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My history of Beatles Trivia Apps was one i downloaded from iTunes that had about 50 questions that anyone who had a basic grasp of the band could get right, it also didn't look good and got dull pretty quickly. I personally would like a trivia app to be harder as it goes along, instead of having different grades of difficulty that you can just jump into from the start. 

I'd say be sensible not paranoid when you build it. Apple wont sue if there is no music or footage that belongs to them and its made clear its not officially endorsed, licensed, has anything to do with Apple, The Beatles, Universal and the rest. The trouble with images is someone else might take offence at using what belongs to them and get pernickety. Album covers i've even seen on unofficial apps, websites, calenders and Apple doesnt bother to call the lawyers and issue cease and desist papers but it depends on what mood they are in and the profile of the product. 

Regarding the questions you'll either have to make it clear its not aimed at "fans" who don't who which one Paul is or include such questions as otherwise users will rate the app low marks, which will affect how many folk download. In my opinion have both, why exclude part of the market for little reason? You can pick up Beatles trivia question books incredibly cheap and they might be a help, and get someone who knows their stuff to look over the questions before you add them. Errors happens and will annoy folk.

Adverts – are you displaying them onscreen for revenue in a free download and offering a paid ad-free option? 

And make it fun to use so as 4or5magicians said utilise the functions of mobiles, ipads and make it more than press the right option. Might sound a stupid comment but most quiz apps are so deadly dull you're bored after 10 minutes.

And good luck.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
25 February 2014
1.26pm
PeterWeatherby
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Wow, tons of great suggestions here. Thanks, everyone. MMM, I especially like the idea of keeping track of a user's scores and making the questions increasingly harder based on that.

The reason why most of these trivia apps are multiple choice and tap-the-right-option is because that's the far more accurate way to build the app in terms of being able to check answers. It's fairly easy to tell the app that "Option C" is correct, whereas if the question is a type-your-own-answer deal, it's harder to see that the user really meant "George Harrison" when they flubbed up and typed "Geroge Harisson."

I've been thinking a lot about the multiplayer option as well, because I do think that's what makes a trivia app more fun – even with the most awesome questions and cool interface, I'm not inclined to play a trivia app by myself. I'll play it in a group setting for fun, or with a family member, or whatever. So I've been messing with a few different ideas:

1) The ability to post your score to Facebook
2) Making it more like "see how many questions you can answer in 2 minutes" instead of setting a fixed number of questions for each round. Why only answer 20 questions if you can get through 50 in a fixed amount of time?
3) Adding the option to play it with friends like the game "Catch Phrase," where a word or a phrase pops up and the user has to get his team to guess the word/phrase by describing it, while a timer counts down. Whoever is left holding the phone when the timer goes off loses that round.

Once I get something like a "beta" version finished, I'd be happy to email it privately to some folks here for testing and feedback!

Not a bit like Cagney.
25 February 2014
1.31pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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Sounds pretty great! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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25 February 2014
1.34pm
fabfouremily
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It sounds like you have some really good ideas for this, good luck! I'll be happy to trial it for you, if you like.

I agree with the comments that it should get harder as you go on, as it'll keeps testing you and your knowledge. And if you can somehow make it so you do more than just tap on the right answer, then I think that would stop you from getting really bored with it.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

25 February 2014
3.48pm
theWALRUSisPATRICK
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I don't think this will help you out in any way, but maybe a source of inspiration. I recently downloaded an app called "QuizUp" and there's a Beatles category with some great questions. I think it's worth anybody's time that posts on here with an iphone.

26 February 2014
4.51pm
Matt Busby
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I see you've got lots of good suggestions.  I'd just like to say if you do a decent job, I'd definitely buy it.  I'm really into trivia and this would be a good way to both test my knowledge and learn.  Well, I'd buy it if you do android.  If you only do Iphone, I can't use it.

Half of what I say is meaningless...
26 February 2014
5.21pm
PeterWeatherby
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MattBusby said

I see you've got lots of good suggestions.  I'd just like to say if you do a decent job, I'd definitely buy it.  I'm really into trivia and this would be a good way to both test my knowledge and learn.  Well, I'd buy it if you do android.  If you only do Iphone, I can't use it.

Interesting you should bring that up. At this point, I can only do Android. I don't have the necessary equipment to generate iPhone apps. But who knows? Maybe when it's all finished, I'll find someone even on this forum who can do the iPhone conversion for me!

Not a bit like Cagney.
26 February 2014
6.22pm
PeterWeatherby
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BTW, I know there have been some issues lately with the forum server, and I'm hoping that's why my conversation with mja in this thread disappeared. I was disappointed to see it had gone missing … I was enjoying our interactions.

Not a bit like Cagney.
26 February 2014
6.57pm
Ron Nasty
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Unfortunately, Joe had to do a rollback today after some problems, and quite a few posts were lost.

On the discussion about How Do You Do It, I would say any discussion after the Love Me Do 4/11 September sessions were not really about whether the 2nd single would be HDYDI or Please Please Me, but were about whether it would be HDYDI or a Lennon/McCartney song.

In fact, the biggest threat to PPM being their 2nd single was the fact that it was considered as the b-side to LMD briefly. The 11 September version on Anthology was found on an acetate that had LMD as a-side with PPM as the b-side. GM rejected the idea and went with PS I Love You instead. He did so because he believed it was a good song that they could do better. So GM did recognise its potential.

HDYDI was dropped completely, not even to be considered as an album track, on/or around 16 November (ten days before their session for their 2nd single) because The Beatles did not think the song fitted their style.

The reality remains that the only single it was seriously considered for was their debut single.

On George's black eye, he neither had it at the PPM album session or single session. He received it on or around 22 August, as a result of the furore surrounding Pete's sacking. Dezo Hoffman photographed them in the studio while they recorded How Do You Do It and Love Me Do on 4 September. He would not still have a black eye he received at the end of August at the end of November, three months later.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
26 February 2014
9.37pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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PeterWeatherby said

MattBusby said

I see you've got lots of good suggestions.  I'd just like to say if you do a decent job, I'd definitely buy it.  I'm really into trivia and this would be a good way to both test my knowledge and learn.  Well, I'd buy it if you do android.  If you only do Iphone, I can't use it.

Interesting you should bring that up. At this point, I can only do Android. I don't have the necessary equipment to generate iPhone apps. But who knows? Maybe when it's all finished, I'll find someone even on this forum who can do the iPhone conversion for me!

Well crap.

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26 February 2014
9.42pm
fabfouremily
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Agh I haven't got an Android anything. I was looking forward to trying this, as well…

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

27 February 2014
2.17am
unknown
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fabfouremily said
Agh I haven't got an Android anything. I was looking forward to trying this, as well…

Same

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