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The King of Party Games - Jackbox Games Interview

Jackbox Games' Allard Laban and Brook Breit talk to us about their favourite party games, how they keep Jackbox fresh, and being the Switzerland of edginess.

Audio transcription

"Great to meet you both. Hello. Hello as well. So we're here to just talk Jackbox. I guess just an open form kind of fun one. I thought we'd just talk about everything to do with Jackbox because it's 10 years, 2014 to 2024. I've been playing since the first party pack."

"It's quite one of my like favorite series to just keep going back to and I just thought I'd ask you guys sort of open about your journey with Jackbox, sort of what's your sort of favorite memories maybe from the IP, stuff that sort of you've liked the most and what led you to this point?
Oh wow. Well I guess my journey started probably the longest ago."

"So my relationship started in 1995 with the brand. I was working at a company called Berkeley Systems. I don't know if you've ever heard of them. They did the flying toaster, screensavers, people from the 90s. We're loving it. People from the 90s are loving it.
I guess I'm from the 90s. But anyway, Harry Gottlieb was the founder of Jellyvision at that time. Oh, it was actually called Learn Television at that time."

"He came into Berkeley Systems and was pitching this idea of this game show, but there was no graphics. It was just text. It was a hypercard stack and it still worked.
It was amazing. It was kind of like interactive radio, if anything. And I quickly got assigned to the job of being the art director for that. So I think that was the spring of 1995."

"And we shipped it that year, the first You Don't Know Jack, in October. And it was a death march.
It was like we were working a bazillion hours just trying to get it out. But it came out and the rest is history from there. I went to work for Disney after that for about five years.
And then I went back to Jellyvision because my boss asked me to make Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which was a popular British franchise. Made it stateside. And we worked with Michael Davey's team to kind of bring that to life as a CD-ROM game. And yeah, that was with Jellyvision back then as well. So that kind of brought me back to Jellyvision in Chicago from LA. And I've been here ever since. This could be like the entire length of the interview talking about it. So I will just wrap it up by saying we went through a few different changes at Jellyvision. We started a different company called Jellyvision Lab. Then we kind of broke away from Jellyvision entirely as Jackbox Games. Relaunched You Don't Know Jack 2011. And that was kind of the start of the game company again. And we rebranded as Jackbox at that point."

"And I don't know. We hit rock bottom. We thought we were going to close at one point around the 2014-2013 era until we released that first fibbage. And that kind of led to the first party pack because we saw that it was kind of people were playing online. People were playing together on Twitch. And then we realized that we hit upon something that could really bring people together, not just on the couch but also online. And that's kind of the beginning of the saga of Jackbox and all of the different games that we made. I say a saga, but it's actually been pretty chill. Every year we kind of get together. We come up with games. And it's maybe the funnest job ever. So I don't know. Brooke, you still having fun? I was hired in I think 2018."

"I come from the world of Chicago comedy, which a lot of our editorial staff has roots there. And you can kind of tell from the voice of the game and kind of the editorial has a lot of comedy roots. So I got hired as a content writer for Party Pack 5 and then just kind of stayed on and was pitching games and writing and then kind of worked my way to being a creative director."

"And currently a bit of a creative director and product manager. But yeah, it's been exciting to kind of jump in halfway essentially in the history of the packs, jumping in at five and seeing kind of just even the mini evolution and growth of how things are from when I joined.
But it's an incredible place to work. And the people really make it. And I think that's why we have so much fun is because like Allard said, we're coming together and we play the games all the time, especially while we're developing them. And that's a bit of the magic too is we're like, are we having fun? Which is a good sign that things are going well. And if we're not, we're going to change something to make sure that we're having fun."

"So you guys talked a bit about that, about it being the most fun place to work and how like, you know, you just come in and you just throw ideas around. Is that sort of what goes in?
We don't come in anymore, we're all remote.
It's hybrid. It's hybrid. Yeah."

"I would say it's hybrid, but probably remote first for a lot of people.
So you're throwing these ideas around. Is that just sort of the, it's, is there any sort of like fine structure to what goes into each sort of pack? Or do you just sort of say, well, this is what we find fun. This is what I want to try. This is sort of an idea that I have."

"And also as a sort of jumping off point from that, I guess is at what point do you sort of put them into game form? And at what point are you sort of throwing ideas around and do you have like a physical, I was thinking like, you know, physical ideas of how these games might work firsthand and then going into that. Just sort of fascinated by the process of creation, I guess."

"Yeah, it really, it's evolved over time. In the beginning, of course, when we were going in, there was a lot of paper and pencil testing. And that, I mean, I do kind of miss that because there's a rapid iteration. You can do a play test and be like, that felt a little off. Why don't we try it again with this and, you know, quickly scribble on all the little bits of paper that we've cut up to make the changes. It's evolved a bit now that we're using jam boards and murals and all these different types of, you know, business apps that we're making stupid games in."

"And that's been pretty good, you know, in terms of transition, but I do miss that sort of tactile, all in the same room kind of fun, but we've adapted, you know.
I think it's a bridge. There's a bridge to it, though, of like, I know we've pitched games via just a shared doc, which I think feels akin to the paper testing of writing on scraps of paper and sitting around a table. We've also, yeah, been pitching like in the lowest sense, like not not the some games are pitched in prototype form, especially depending on where they come from, because ideas come from anywhere in the company. So we have artists, engineers, editorial, you know, a bunch of different folks just coming up with nuggets of ideas and going, is this something?
And like, let's just get a bunch of people together, whether virtually or around a table to say, like, is there something here and then developing it from there. So I would say it is rare and correct me if I'm wrong, Allard, that something comes in fully formed. It's usually a mechanic or an idea. And some ideas have bounced around for years. Like we've had things be pitched because there's usually a green light committee. And to answer your question, too, about what we're looking for when we're using the kind of party pack model, there are different types of games like you want to fill that like five game something for everyone. You know, is there a writing game? Is there a drawing game? Is there some kind of social deduction? Is there trivia? And so we are working towards filling those, you know, buckets, basically. But it's not so constrictive to be like, it has to be exactly like this. It's more like, is it something that fulfills this kind of mode or this kind of game? So if we know we already have like a viable drawing game, then we're probably not going to be bringing more of those for this that particular development cycle. But we break our own rules, too. I mean, there's there's elements and mechanics that work their way into and I feel like there's always some game that's a bit of a wild card that we're like, well, we don't know exactly it kind of fits in this category in this category."

"And we're having a lot of fun with it. So there's a lot of fun risk taking in that way, too, to see how we can break out of those types as well as fulfilling like the classic types of games.
There's sort of a, you know, a cocktail that's sort of kind of created with every party pack, right? In terms of we've got a little bit of that, we got a little bit of this."

"So the window of pitches kind of starts to close as we've got two or three different games that have been approved. And then we're like, OK, what's the next game going to be?
We've got another pitch that has a drawing in it. Do we want to do a two drawing pack?
So there's lively, lively debate around that stuff. But it's usually it's kind of like the funnest game wins, you know, at the end of the day, we listen, like literally listen to like how people are playing to see if they're laughing or talking or what kind of emotions people are having while playing. And that drives a lot of decision making. Part of gut feeling and also, you know, knowing what our fans kind of like and are asking for. That's another part of it as well."

"Just a quick question for you. Who's that on your knee?
This is Arthur. He's a weirdo. He started crying at me for no reason.
He wants to talk about the development process.
On the development process. I could not do that with the dog I have is a massive German shepherd. So he does try and get on my knee, but he's."

"Period level.
We've just seen the announcement of the Naughty Pack. I'm not going to ask you to reveal anything major. I was just interested in how you approach something that is sort of marketing itself as like the sort of not safe for work pack, you know, the after dark Jackbox pack, when if I know me and my friends in like Quiplash or TKO, things get will get sort of rough and dirty, you know."

"Quite often. So how does sort of the Naughty Pack push itself apart from what the sort of disgusting things that people will normally come up with in a Quiplash answer?
Well, you're you're tapping into it exactly. We know that this is something like a way that a lot of folks enjoy our games, whether or not we're setting you up to be filthy or you're doing that yourself. That's the joy. And we often like create the mechanics and the way the games play to let players take it where they want to take it. Like, what's fun for your friend group?
How are you all playing? Like what's bringing you joy like that? We often think of it as like a diving board. It's like, are we setting people up to then jump in the way that it's going to be fun and successful for you? So then we asked ourselves, like, well, what if we're also kind of digging into that theming and making it more adult and giving ourselves the space of a mature rating to allow ourselves to go places that we haven't gone with previous party packs because of making sure we have that family friendly mode or things that people can opt into? And we said, well, again, like what if we kind of say we're going to market this as this is for adults?
And what does that mean? And then that opened up the creative process of how we're approaching these games, how we're setting players up with the same Jackbox philosophies and mechanics, but just kind of embracing the adultness of it more purposefully."

"So that's I mean, there's there's the thing we have announced is there's three games, and then we will be announcing what those are down the road. But I mean, it's it's a lot of fun.
I mean, I as someone who is working very intimately, pun intended, on it, I I'm very excited for people to play this product because we've really like the whole company has put put a lot into it. And we're excited. It just feels like something a little different for us."

"Yeah, it's a it's a bit of a bit of a we had to do a little bit of introspection on the brand because it's like we already are kind of edgy. But I feel like we kind of realize that we are more of a Switzerland of of edgy like take it where you need to take it.
That's a book. Yeah, that's the that's the headline."

"But I don't know about the follow up is I don't know where we are now.
You know, we're like in the backstreets of some city now, it's a little bit more edgy.
But at the same time, we wanted to be respectful to so like we're we didn't really want to you know, there's some other party game companies that have sort of, you know, really, really edgy kind of reputations. And we didn't really want to like follow that lead. We wanted to kind of own it in our own way. And Brooke has done an amazing job of just kind of like, you know, looking at the big picture and seeing what content works and what content is believable coming out of our mouths, you know, and it's it's I think it's genius. It's really I'm very excited to so the team, the team are killing it with this one. So yeah, I think like again, there's a there's been a real concerted effort, like Allard said, to not punch down in our jokes and then also have in our jokes and then also have it feel like as best we can. It's an inclusive sense of naughtiness, raunchiness, like debauchery, things that just feel like we're all in on it and having fun. Yeah, it's it's all about giving permission. And before we were kind of like, you know, do what you want to do. But now we're like, Yeah, we all know what's going on here."

"Leave it to your friends to punch down at each other. I think it's like, if I don't mean my friends, we're the ones punching down. We'll do that. Exactly the diving board.
So this is a sort of way I think of like the Naughty Pack is definitely a way of like keeping Jackbox fresh because it doesn't feel like it doesn't feel like 10 years in a way of like the party packs and things like that. It always feels like there's there's always there."

"My beard is under air.
But how do you guys sort of go about keeping things fresh? And do you sort of we have seen sequels, although they do feel quite rare considering the amount of games that have been put in a party pack. When do you decide it's sort of time to go for something that's been done before, like a Quick Blast 2 or a TKO 2? And when is it time to just completely, you know, jump into something fresh? And how do you keep that freshness going?
I think, you know, we, there are some brands and some games that we kind of want to stick to very closely, like EMP, Trivia Murder Party, is a very, for us, it's like a very valuable brand."

"So we want to kind of grow that world and the bits of that world very thoughtfully.
Because, I don't know, there's, we're really enjoying kind of building up to that.
Enjoying kind of building that world up. And our games are not big world building games at all.
They're just party games. But that one in particular, we want to kind of craft in a very careful way. And then there's games like Fibbage, which, you know, has kind of evolved in very big steps in terms of the look and the feel. The gameplay and the content, however, have always been very solid. They've always been kind of the same. Like that's the sort of editorial voice. It's really the brand part of that game. So we kind of let ourselves be free with some things in some games and not in others. The choice as to what game should be in the next pack, we're listening a lot to our fans. You know, we do a customer feedback survey every year. And, you know, the reason that TKO2 made a return in Party Pack 10 was because of the overwhelming demand of our players. They just were dying for it. So we're like, okay, let's do it. Yeah. And I think again, like the sequels, when they've appeared in previous packs, like those have been pitched like a new IP. So often it is somebody with a passion or I've got a take on this. I've got a new mechanic. I've got a new final round. There's a new thing to it or its content that that gets kind of brought to internally. We essentially have like a green light committee that will assemble and there's some permanent type members and rotating members to keep that fresh as well with some different perspectives from the studio on what we should be pursuing. But I think it really is like the brains of the folks making the games."

"It's like, what are we excited about? What feels like the right time to revisit something in conjunction? Yeah. With what the players are asking for. And we're keeping an eye on analytics as well. Like we see what the most played games are, like what the most rooms opened, things like that. And so that plays into our decision-making as well as the internal ideas."

"So it's kind of like a mishmash of what makes the most sense. And then again, like depending on, I'm thinking in the past, like Allard bringing to the table, Drawful Animate saying like, let's revisit this very familiar IP in a new way. And then that becomes kind of the anchor, like the first thing in that particular pack. And then we build out from there of what else we want to explore. Right. And we literally call it the anchor title. Yeah."

"Sort of, I wanted to get your guys' opinion on sort of in terms of a design. How much do you believe that sort of the competitive edge matters in like a Jackbox title? Because I've always found when playing that even though we're all having fun, it matters who wins and who loses. So I just wanted to sort of say, you know, is that something that you're thinking about in that competitiveness as well as the pure casual party experience? It is. It depends on who you ask in the company. And that is important."

"And that is like, but we consider both. Like we are truly trying to like keep in mind these different player profiles that are based on people within our own company as well, because we will play a game. And for me, like I am so casual. I am like, I am I having fun?
I don't care. You see people who also play for the likes, they say it or they're like, I'm not going to win. So I'm just doing jokes like I'm just trying to get noticed that way."

"But then we have folks that I truly appreciate their perspective when I'm working on a game that say like, well, how are we getting these points? Like, how do I, you know, like kind of we're in. So we're trying to keep all of those people in mind and not like skewing it fully one way or another to be like this is because it's a party game. It's meant to be social, but the mechanics and the points have to make sense and the motivations have to be clear."

"So if you are the kind of player that are like keeping track of that and knowing what you need to do to get those points, we want to make sure that is as simple and clear as possible.
And then also, we don't want to burden you with all of that information if it doesn't matter to you and if you are just answering the questions and voting and having a good time. So we really do try to keep as many players as we can think of who are interacting with these games in mind to make sure that the tools are there to like get what you need to play the game."

"The first case of this was You Don't Know Jack in 1995. We had been testing it and people were loving it. And then we got this real big pushback from the focus group testing, which was why is there no scoreboard at the end? And we literally didn't even think about it because the game was famously, it's so fun to you don't even have to win. It's so wacky. Who cares about winning?
And then we realized, oh, people really do care about winning and people are competitive."

"And so the scoreboard was kind of a last minute kind of jerry-rig kind of stuck it in there because people do care. So that has been a lesson that we've sort of learned the whole time.
Figuring out how to do scoring well in some of our games is a challenge because some of it is very gray area. It's all about feels and what's making you laugh. So it is something that we do tend to focus on. Maybe not enough, but maybe just enough. I don't know. Depends on the game."

"Yeah. I can look at all the games and be like, oh, what was I thinking about the scoring? But yeah, I always look forward. I found as I've played Jackbox over the years that it's never felt like a trend. Like we see a lot of other party games, especially I think in recent years during COVID, there was a lot of people sort of finding party games and then sort of losing interest in them after a couple of months. And during COVID Jackbox for me was like a way to keep in touch with friends and sort of keep those relationships going over years of not being able to see each other in person. And yet it never felt like it was just something that we were just doing for now. We still play, as I say, like I think last week we were cursing each other out for Quiplash and stuff like that. So it's something that has lasted for years and years and years. And it's like a staple of a lot of people's friendships. And I was just wondering how you sort of think Jackbox has sort of become immune to that. We've had 10 years and as I say, it doesn't feel like that long at all. That's a good question. I don't think we really follow a lot of the trends."

"I mean, we're not... I'm super cool, Allard. I don't know what you're talking about.
I'm the one in the black t-shirt.
No.
Like grayish underneath."

"I mean, I'm a total fashion whore. But the fact that we're in Chicago and not, say, Silicon Valley or some other big tech hub, we're not really... And I'm going to get dinged for this, but I don't think that we're at the center of any game industry, really. There are great game companies in Chicago and we do have great relationships with them, but there's not like what I call a big gaming community here. And it's not like we're... The big cultural influence in Chicago is improv comedy and performance. And I think that is probably the thing that is driving the tone and the style of our games the most. It's worked for us for over 30 years now, and I don't think that will stop. Working out of Chicago and working with the talent here, because I think that is kind of the thing that makes us different than everybody else."

"And I think I agree that when you said your friends come back to especially something like a Quiplash, any of the games where we're hoping to provide players to create their own experiences, like TKO, we're not making the shirts. We're giving you the tools to brand it for you and your friends. It's like, we want you to be the stars of the show. And that is a very improv comedy philosophy, is like kind of setting other people up for success or for the punchline."

"And that's what Quiplash is. It's like, we want to set you up, but you all are making the punchlines, like you're hitting the jokes, like you're doing things that make it special and memorable for you. And I think that that hopefully is something that helps us, yeah, stand out to say like, and again, the different types of games, like one of our favorite things is when we release games and then you're seeing the kind of buzz around it and everybody has a favorite and a least favorite and they're different across the board, that that feels good to us because we're trying to be like, well, you know, we really do want to provide different experiences for different groups of people. And, you know, we are going to find different groups of people will gravitate towards different things. And so I think for us, like that goes back to the keeping it fresh. Like we're just constantly going like, oh, what's next? Like what would be exciting? What would be fun? And it isn't necessarily based on trends. It's sort of, you know, how are we playing? Like how like what feels like a fun way to engage that we haven't before or exploring a new way in?
You talked a bit there about like sort of letting the community sort of be their own sort of thing. It's almost like, you know, you're letting the, like you're sending your kids off to college in a way, you know, sort of letting them go off, explore the world as they will. You've given them the tools to prepare. Is that how you guys sort of view the overall relationship with your community? As I find it's quite different from some other games where you'll see a lot of sort of work on, well, because Jackbox is releasing something entirely new every year for the past 10 years. It's not really like another sort of, I can't even say whether it's live service because it's something entirely, it's own beast really, isn't it? How do you guys view your relationship with the community? I guess it's sort of the gist of that."

"Well, you know, we tried a little bit of DLC and different kinds of models with our games.
We realized, I mean, we've even tried like free-to-play. We tried, you know, you don't know Jack on Facebook. We tried some social mobile games. We did something called Word Putts, which was a, you know, sort of a Scrabble meets Mini Putt kind of game, which is actually kind of fun. I miss it. But we realized like that's, it was really hard. It was really hard to make that work. You have to spend a lot of money, you know, advertising things just to get a few people to play. And if you're lucky, you can make a nickel off of each player, you know. It's an unforgiving business, the mobile free-to-play business. So we moved to premium and that allowed us to kind of build content and sell it as we made it, right? So we got into a rhythm of just releasing our games as, you know, packs. And this, I don't know, it worked out well for us financially. It's a sustainable model for us. And I don't know, in terms of how that works with the community, I think it created a pattern, like an expectation, you know. Every year people are expecting us to come out with another pack and that every year the hype gets just a little bit more, you know. Like, what are they going to do this year? And then of course, you know, we're either blowing people's minds or we're letting people down. But there's usually one or two games in that pack that, you know, is going to resonate with somebody. So like Brooke just said, everyone's got a different tier list in terms of what their favorite game is. And we listen to everybody about what their favorites are and what they're not. So that goes into the mix as we're deciding what games to greenlight for the next year. And I think we also, like a lot of us, when we release products, we're watching streams, we're watching people play them, we're reading the reviews, the comments, the things to just see how they're landing. And it is a good relationship in that we're grateful that, I think with the replayability of a lot of our games, we've had some like standing power that even if something gets released that wasn't your favorite as like something you played before, that back catalog still stands up and people can still go back to it. It's not like the, you know, you've already done it, so you can't go back and play this. It's like you can kind of, the fans have allowed us to try new things and hit some of it, like Allard said, with like success and like, ooh, this is an upgrade. We love this. Ooh, we did not love this as much. But we're trying to take those risks to see if there's something there and if people are enjoying it."

"But knowing that like, yeah, it's been 10 years, like we have a lot of games that people can mix and match and fall back on and revisit and then look forward to the next thing and have a new favorite. So I think that we're grateful for that. Like, I don't know, it's like a circular relationship of like, it's not like we're replacing anything. We're just adding more to the mix that people can go back to and play. So that's very exciting. And I think gives us the room to try new things. Because we're not replacing anything. We're just adding to like our full catalog."

"It also just reduces the pressure of greenlighting things as well. You know, if like the choice between like doing a standalone and a pack, you know, when you're doing a standalone, you really got to we got to we're really committing to this. We got to really believe in having multi-pack gives us a little bit of breathing room and we can be like, well, this is a weird game, but let's let's put it in there. It's some of us love it. I mean, we generally all like it. Yes. Well, it wouldn't get greenlit if there wasn't. Yeah, people have we have veto powers, like people are just like, does everyone get one hard veto? Is it sort of like, you know, it's not official, but I've seen people put their foot down."

"But the thing is, there's, you know, there's always another round, right? So something like, well, there's a few examples like faking it and maybe a murder party. Those were all given a red light multiple times before they actually were greenlit. And it just took some small changes in how we framed them, how we thought about them. And some, you know, even like small scoring changes could make something go from a red light to a green light. So, you know, as many, you know, as many games as we have created, we have two times that in the back and, you know, things that have are interesting ideas, but just did not get greenlit. So we have kind of a backlog of a lot of games, but that's not saying that we just always draw from that. We come up with new games every year. So it's, yeah, it's fun process. It's my favorite part of the process. Also, that gives me a little stress."

"Brooke, as you know, as you said before, you're very cool, very trendy.
Super cool. Yeah. I just want to make sure that's on the record that I'm very cool.
I'll put that in bold.
Good, please."

"Make sure that Brooke is really cool.
Alex is wearing a black t-shirt.
Now I was just going to ask, do you guys sort of try and like, maybe sort of foresee any upcoming trends within sort of the wider way people play party games?
Like I think Jackbox is sort of a pioneer of getting the party game on your phone and everyone being able to play even if only one person owns it. So do you see sort of maybe foreseeing in your heads where party games might go next and try and build games around that? Or do you stick with the tried and true formula?
I think we do a little bit of everything that like a lot of us, again, just will play all kinds of games. And we talk about that on the regular too. So not exclusive to party games, but I think since working here, I didn't play as many video games until I started working at Jackbox. And then I was just fascinated to play different types of games to go, what do I love about this experience that I feel like could fit into the party game world?
And so we love to draw inspiration from just games, you know, like, like, how are people playing? What are the cool games that people love? And is there something there that it's not like a one to one, but like some mechanic or some experience that we feel like would fit within our world of games too? Because again, like, party games are their own kind of thing, because there's a little bit like of a lower barrier to entry, you know, especially with only one person needing to own it, and then people can join. So like, you know, and that that is our hope too, is like somebody has a good time at someone else's house. And then they're like, oh, I should get this for myself. And then how do I do it? So it's like, there's, there's always those and we do try to like provide because it's like, we love that people come from everywhere, and kind of different levels of experience with, with games. But that is our goal is to make it easy to just jump in, play, have a good time. And then hopefully, it's something you'll want to keep doing. So to that end, I think we're always trying to figure out, yeah, how can we get it to even more people? How can we make it even easier to just jump into one of our games, that again, might not be the same for like a classic video game experience. And so we're constantly talking about what that might be, or what's next. But yeah, I think we also know what we do very well. So it's it's a mix of going like, how far can we step outside of what we already know, like people like from us and that we do well? And can we somehow do both? You know, can we try something new in addition to providing the classic experience that people like? So I think we're growing enough that our minds are on what what can we do and just trying to figure out what that looks like for us. So yeah, we're always trying to look ahead as to like, what, what, yeah, what we could dip our toes into."

"Yeah. I distinctly remember the day, like, it was like Party Pack two, and someone was like, are we still gonna be making these like Party Pack 10? I was like, nah, kidding. And you know, it's so funny, because I feel like we're better prepped now than we've ever been to continue making party games. I do think though, you know, there's a focus on now how can we make the how can we raise the level of the craft, you know, of making party games? How can we raise the level of the game mechanic and game design in our games without excluding how accessible they are? Like, that's the thing, like we have a certain, we're like nicely in the pocket of something that you have a lot of fun playing, your parents would have a lot of fun playing, your kids, you know, if they're cool, would have a lot of fun playing. And it's, it's that sort of balance of like, bringing up the craft and the game design without, you know, making it too, you know, too complicated, too many rules. You know, the nice game, the nice thing about our games is hopefully, when you get into them, it's self explanatory in terms of how you play, we do little tutorials, whatnot. But it's not like someone has to sit there with the box top and read out what the instructions are for the game. We won't, we don't want to get to that point. But we do want to raise the level of gamesmanship in our games and over the next few years. And we also want to improve, you know, the fidelity of our games, so they can continue into the future. Like, I, we're now kind of looking back at our games and saying, how can we kind of keep them alive? Because our back catalog is a big part of like, success of our country, or our country."

"Glory to Jackbox Nation.
Yes.
No, it's like, you know, how do we support the older content? And how can we bring that up to some modern standards? I've been in business long enough now that I see that, you know, things that I toiled on for years in the past are now no longer playable, you know, or no longer findable on the internet. You know, things erode, they disappear."

"And I want to make sure that our games are kind of played forever, like Monopoly, or, you know, we want to become that, you know, ubiquitous, I guess. So that's, that's the dream.
The accessibility is something that I've noticed, because my partner, she doesn't really take part in many games, but Destroyed is all at Quiplash. And then was like, where can I find this? So I can keep going, you know, keep up the rampage. And found out her laptop would explode if it tried to even install Steam, but has a switch. So got the quick, you know, the way of getting onto it is really good. Do you think that Jackbox, you talked a bit before about reading the box top, which is something very like tabletop-y. Do you think that we would potentially ever see more of Jackbox on tabletop? And do you think that it has a similar potential of what it does digitally on the tabletop? I'm looking at it really carefully right now. So I can't talk about it. But it's, it's definitely, you know, in terms of if the goal is to, you know, create an enduring brand, I think having games in real life is important. And, you know, I would love it if people could, you know, see Jackbox along the, in their, in their, you know, closet full of games, all stuffed in there. I'd love to see some Jackbox games kind of stuffed in there as well."

"But, you know, that's something we're definitely looking at for the future. So, you know, this year has been interesting since we've kind of, we've changed things up a little bit in our, our lineup for this year. And it's allowed us to kind of think about other things, just in terms of how we've arranged our production. We haven't hired anybody. We haven't really fired anybody, but we have kind of rejiggered a lot of the production teams to kind of work in these different initiatives. And it's, it's, I think, a great time for Jackbox, you know, in terms of like, right, breaking out into new stuff. Cool."

"Brooke, anything to add on that?
No, Alec said it all, especially because again, like it's, it's, it's a lot of stuff that, you know, we've said early on, we have things we're working on this year, you know, and so I think as they get rolled out and announced, there's a lot of excitement, you know. But we're definitely always like, my brain is going, I was like, what are we talking? What can we talk about? What's the exciting? And so it is like, I mean, I think like, it's a lot of cool potential and a lot of things being explored. And like Alec said, yeah, it is kind of taking a break this year from the traditional model. Yeah, has opened us up to trying some things. And I think that that has brought some freshness internally, that again, we will hope will, will also translate externally, you know, as we're kind of trying things."

"Perfect.
Our fans will let us know though.
Yeah.
My phone, my phones are open. My phones are open. We'll see.
We're receptive."

"Yeah.
And I just have sort of one last question for you guys, because I think I've been holding your hostage here for an hour.
No, it's been a delight. That's great."

"Do you have a favorite?
It's getting late for you.
Well, not too, 4pm, 4pm over here in Old Blighty. So, you know, not too bad.
What's your favorite game within the Jackbox, within the Jackbox collection?
And I can't remember, I've been, this whole hour, I've been trying to think of the name from, I think it's Jackbox 4, where you have the social media one. That is..."

"Oh, Survive the Internet.
That's my favorite. That's my...
Is that your favorite? Oh, that's awesome.
It's got a following though. Like it's got like a vehement fan base, which we love."

"We love the niche games.
It comes up every year. There's, there's a rabid group of people who want to see it.
I'll find out who these people are.
We were just talking about this earlier and just kind of, I think it changes sometimes, like when you ask me, probably depending on like what I've worked on recently, I'm like, yes, this is my life. I love this game. But I said to Allard earlier, honestly, some of my favorite games are, one that I worked on and is special to me is Job Job, is one of my favorite games. I think like, I just, I'm delighted by how well that was received by people because it's taking, again, the quiplash form, but just in a different way that kind of is a different approach to creativity. And then also just Trivia Murder Party 2, I think you can always throw it on with any group of people and have a really good time."

"And there's such a good balance of like people who love trivia and then people who are very bad at it still having a great shot based on the equalizer of those mini games in there.
And people who want to be a puppet as well.
You know, people who want to be a puppet that is exploded and destroyed."

"You know, we were talking about this earlier, like Brooke said, I think Drawful is still kind of my favorite, all versions of it. I think it kind of brings together writing and drawing in the best way. Like it's essentially kind of like fibbage, structurally the game is. But just the act and the freedom you have with not having to draw well, you know, I think it's kind of been liberating for a lot of people. And for me, you know, I can see a Drawful drawing and recognize it like immediately. You know, it's kind of like seeing a TKO shirt, you know, what you've been playing. But I don't know, for me, I've laughed the most in that game, but maybe not as much as in Fakin' It, because Fakin' It also makes me laugh a lot."

"That's that's a different kind of laugh. It's like a guilty laugh. Yeah. Yeah. You're just like when you're getting called out, it is maybe the funniest thing ever. So it's also fun to see, like, just things pop up out of nowhere, like an older game that, like, you know, just kind of gained some popularity. And I feel like recently when we were at PAX, like people were coming up and requesting Talking Points, our, like, presentation game. And they were like, it was all day. It was like, can we play? It's so fun. Yeah. So it's like, it's just fun. Talking Points is super great. Yeah. A bunch of great. It's hard to pick. It's hard to pick your favorite."

"Have you seen someone with a TKO t-shirt and you've been able to spot them? Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely. I suppose they must be like, quite easy. They're pretty, well, we see them a lot when you go to conferences, game conferences. There's always a group of people that are all wearing, like, matching shirts, you know, families. Yeah. I'm like, oh, you're playing with the kids. OK, great. I do. Yeah. But yeah, and we actually, ironically, uh, when we were first making TKO, the idea of making t-shirts came out of nowhere and we, uh, we were like, should we put a logo on there? Like a, you know, a Jackbox logo? So, you know, we're spreading the word. And then we realized, no, that's a terrible idea."

"All yours. Very recognizable, though, even though it doesn't have the Jackbox logo.
It's the font. It's the terrible drawing.
The terrible drawings always win more than the great ones. I've got friends who try and play TKO on, like, their drawing tablets or whatever and never, never wins. Never wins. It's always a stick man doing something stupid that will be, like, the best show we've ever seen in our lives."

"And we'll all have to talk each other out of ordering it the next day. But sometime soon, sometime soon, we'll have to buy one of these. Right.
I think, as I say, that's, that's, that's all the questions I've got for you, but I could just talk Jackbox for a while. Cool. Thank you so much, guys."

"Thank you so much. It was so nice to meet you. Great to meet you both. Thank you.
Bye.
Bye.
Bye."

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