As Mike Bilder of Jackbox Games explained to BeefJack, the exploration of ‘Together Play’ in You Don’t Know Jack Party is in fact a broader vision for the company.
As wired controllers remain tethered to trivia games like Buzz, You Don’t Know Jack Party makes a statement that this need for close proximity is a thing of the past.
Opting completely out of such demands, the latest mobile-bound iteration of the witty series turns iOS and Android devices into controllers while a separate iPhone or iPad serves as a primary display device. Alternatively, players can make use of Apple TV through Apple AirPlay (both schemes shown below).
In either context, it’s an accessible way of bringing the sassy humour of You Don’t Know Jack to the living room setting, and with minimal assembly and hassle required, provided you have tech-savvy friends.
The base package features all the bells and whistles of the console versions and includes a total of 31 episodes, which general manager Mike Bilder clarified will mean “from 12-15 minutes” of content per episode. We were also told that five episode packs will be added at a later date to extend gameplay further.
The team at Jackbox Games sees this as a “very innovative” direction, not only for the series, but really the genre at large. Why Jackbox Games was motivated to explore a more open rendition of the game has to do with the playstyle they dub as ‘Together Play.’ Also going by other definitions, this umbrella of social terminology is not new, but how Jackbox Games has realized this is, to a certain extent.
“We believe the games we make are conducive to this type of gameplay,” Bilder said in reflection of the team’s current development focus. “YDKJ Party is our first attempt at this on the iOS platform,” he continued, “but we have additional IP planned that will utilize this technology and allow many people to play using mobile devices as controllers.”
YDKJ Party comes a few months after the release of You Don’t Know Jack on Ouya, which Jackbox Games also told us they’ve been pleased with. “For the install base of OUYA, we’re happy with both the interest in our app and the conversion rate.”
In a thinly-veiled admission that the system is still off from optimal standards, Bilder concluded by saying: “We hope the OUYA platform continues to grow its user base and even more players get to experience YDKJ on OUYA.”