jackbox.tv is collection of quirky, gameshow style, party games. Originally it was intended to be played locally, but thanks to “technology” it’s possible to play the game with players all over the place.
What is jackbox.tv?
jackbox.tv is a series of party video games sold in “packs”. Some games are trivia based, some rely on players writing answers to questions and prompts, some are just mini-puzzles and activities.
Each player uses a web-enabled device (phones are great, but you can just as easily play from a browser window) to play along, answer questions, vote on answers, and so on.
The main “game show” happens on one screen only - usually a separate computer screen that all players in the same room can see.
This is where is can get slightly tricky with the remote players.
Just playing, not hosting
You get the easiest steps in this gaming experience:
- make sure you have Discord installed
- make sure you’ve been invited to the appropriate Discord server
- make sure you’ve joined the server
- join any channels as directed by the host
- visit jackbox.tv on your web-enabled device
- when the session starts, enter the magic code (and your name) to join the game
Almost all video conferencing applications offer some form of screen-sharing, allowing all participants to view the main presentation.
Very few of these offer audio sharing directly from the apps. It’s possible to have the host turn up their speaker volume and have it play over their microphone, but this gets distorted and annoying quite quickly.
Some jackbox games aren’t completely dependent on audio, and players can respond to the on-screen questions.
Some games might benefit from one person taking on the role of “host presenter” and reading out the on-screen text for everyone.
Some games are unplayable if you can’t hear the audio.
… with audio
There are strange and crazy tools out there that will allow the host to do amazing things with the audio on their machine, making the game audio available over normal screen-sharing.
A small investigation revealed that you can avoid this extra step by using Discord as your screen-sharing source via their Go Live feature ( Windows Only)
Once the host has started streaming you can click on their username in the voice channel, you’ll see the option to watch the stream.
… with player webcams
During our mini-testing it looked like participants were also given the option of streaming their video/webcam to the session.
This means you can all join the game, and see the loos on other people’s faces when they see the answers that have been submitted. Often the funniest part of the game.
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