Richard Garfield Ken Jennings
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Credit: Studio71

Ken Jennings and the creator of Magic: The Gathering made a new game together [Ep #99]

Presenters
Aug 21, 2019

All-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield have teamed up to create a new trivia game, but don't worry — you don't have to be as smart as them to play it.

Wouldn't hurt, though.

Jennings and Garfield are the co-creators of Half Truth, a new party game that marries Jennings' vast knowledge of trivia and Garfield's legendary game-designing prowess. The duo joined The Fandom Files to discuss the new game, which launched on Kickstarter on Wednesday, and laid out some of the basic rules: It's a multiple-choice game that offers six answers, three of which are correct, and spans a wide range of subjects (yes, there's even a question about Godzilla in the current edition).

Half Truth was initially Garfield's idea, and after spending time developing it, he pitched it to Jennings. The two had a private game night with the prototype, but it didn't take much convincing for Jennings to sign on; the game is produced by Studio71. The Jeopardy! champ brought his insight into the psychology of trivia and wrote hundreds of questions for the first edition, all based on his personal philosophy.

"A trivia question should be so good that there's something fun or interesting about it where even if you get it wrong, you're still in a good mood," Jennings said. "You want there to be something surprising, or you want something about the structure of it to be fun. Growing up, I really liked trivia questions that were like almost little riddles that had a lot of little hints or clues or red herrings, maybe a joke or a pun, some misdirection."

As with Jeopardy!, the goal is to get into the head of the person who wrote the questions. As you'll find in this episode, the minds of the two people who wrote Half Truth are very fascinating places to visit.

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