Joyent Powers Up: Family Feud

February 11, 2011 - by jacksonwest

Counting down to the Game Developers Conference, we’ll be highlighting one game a day powered by Joyent technology. Partly for an excuse to play games at work, sure, but also because our customers have developed some really fun, cool titles!

Anyone of a certain age who occasionally held a thermometer up to a lightbulb while mom wasn't looking in order to stay home, make a mess in the kitchen and watch daytime television will certainly be familiar with Family Feud. Since 1976 it has proven popular across multiple networks, with a number of hosts and spawned plenty of home-game adaptations, including the popular Facebook version from Backstage Technologies that boasts well over four million monthly users.

The game has all the elements from the show you would expect, except maybe an animated Steve Harvey avatar in one of his trademark outrageous suits and breaking out in the occasional dance step. For those unfamiliar, the producers have polled an audience to offer answers to a question. Then you have to think what the likely answers are, and your points are based on matching your answers to those from the audience -- the more popular, the more points.

I have to say, the engine driving the answer matching is pretty good. When asked "What are some reasons a man might end up in his wife's doghouse," I typed "cheating" which counted for points when it matched "infidelity" -- which was the number one response from the audience. No surprises there! You can play a couple of episodes a day, or as many as you like by buying packages of episodes to play.

For a quick game, and to rack up some quick points, you can play the "tournament" version, where you get to answer five questions in rapid succession, and whoever gets the most points wins. Of course, I managed to get beaten by two children and a baby (or, more likely, their parents) in my first tournament, which suggests that I may have made the right life decision in spending more days at school than home sick and counting on using my personal Family Feud research conducted on the couch in my pajamas to earn me big winnings down the road.


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