iKnow: A colourful quiz game

Version 1.1.1SE shareware edition for OS 8.6, OS 9.x, OS X 10.0 or later, PPC [download]

add-on questions pack for any version (13MB) [download]

Please read this important note about unpacking .zip files for a successful outcome.

iKnow is a multiple choice quiz game loosely based on a certain well-known popular board game. Move around the board answering questions in six categories. If you answer a special star question correctly, you are awarded a star. Get all six category stars then race to the finish to answer the final question to win the game. There are also two other kinds of question answering games you can play.

The main download comes with the six default questions categories. The "more questions" pack can be downloaded separately because it's big - 13MB. This gives you the chance to try out the game without commiting to a huge download. The main download also includes the question editor application so you can create your own questions files with it if you want.

Back story

This application has a long and rocky development history. Once upon a time it was known as MacTriv, and the very first version ran on Mac OS 6.0! It was written in Pascal, with more or less black and white graphics with some rudimentary colour, and bore a greater similarity to the game it was inspired by. Version 2 was written in C, had better colour and worked on System 7. It was released as shareware. However, a cease-and-desist from a certain game company's lawyers meant that the visual elements of the game had to be changed, so it languished for a long time.

Mac OS 8 came along. The iMac was released and with this came a push to really turn this into a viable product. It was rewritten again in C++ and the various copyright issues were studiously avoided. Its name was changed to jump on the 'i...' bandwagon - at first we thought of calling it "iQ", but eventually settled on "iKnow" - after all, it's not a game of intelligence but of knowledge. Graphics were redesigned again for the larger 800 x 600 screen of the iMac, the dice thrower was completely redesigned, and most importantly of all, thousands and thousands of original new questions were researched and written by me and my partner Martina working together. Another partial rewrite was called for when it was decided that categories had to be swapped out individually, not in sets of six. This entailed a change to the file formats used to contain the questions too. A limited company, Apptree Limited, was formed to produce and sell the game, but still it was never quite finished, one more tweak, one more week... 99% ready... we had box artwork ready to roll and some sort of marketing strategy.

Then OS X came out. Well we didn't want to release without an OS X version, so we decided to hold off until we had it ported to OS X. iKnow is built on MacZoop, and MacZoop was used by lots of other developers, so the whole framework had to be ported to OS X first, which turned out not to be that hard - but it still took time, given that I had a day job to fit in around. So MacZoop was ported. Then redesigned to use the new event model. Then classes were added for new features like sheets and long filenames and so on and so on. Eventually iKnow was rebuilt on top of the latest MacZoop and it was finally OS X native. This took about a year... and suddenly the idea of a quiz game for the iMac seemed to have had its day. Other similar games had come along, had more game-like and professional graphics... and so we got cold feet.

The code sat there on my hard disk for another year or so. Eventually I thought I may as well give it away rather than have wasted all that time for nothing, so the unlocking code was disabled and I released it as shareware. Well, some 500 or so downloads were all I got. Nobody paid, so it seemed as if our feeling that the game wasn't a seller might have been right after all. Basically we'd missed its optimum window of opportunity.

So here it is, take it for free. There will be no more work on this - no Intel version (though it runs just fine under Rosetta) and no bigger screen versions. I hope you enjoy it and our efforts were in some way worthwhile! Do let us know.