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Quiz Master

What it does

Quiz Master provides timers and a scoreboard to help you host your own quiz show. Up to 5 players are supported and the program has been designed to use the Velleman K8055 USB experimenter board to provide the ‘buzzer’ facility. The numeric keypad can be used as an alternative but for laptops without a separate number keypad then I would recommend using a USB plug-in one. Naturally, when the keyboard is used you will need some other kind of buzzer mechanism for the players to use. All the keys to use in the game are listed in the Keymappings.txt file. Since this project was completed, a new ‘simplified’ USB input device known as Makey-Makey has appeared on the market however, as far as I know, no-one has yet managed to interface it with AutoIt

Game Settings

The ‘Ini’ File

Try out Quizmaster

The Velleman K8055

If you decide to try your hand at using the K8055 with the Quiz Master game, you will need to be able to use an electric soldering iron to attach wires to components. I built mine using parts obtained on-line and the results can be seen in the Hardware Gallery. Parts details are in the gallery text, but if you want any more information, you can email me using the link at the bottom of the page

As well as settings within the game, there are also more ‘universal’ settings in an ini file which you are likely to keep the same once they are set to your liking. There are 3 sections in the ini file:

The [Fonts] section: This sets the point size of the main text for each of the screen sizes. The application was written to look best  on a ‘true HD’ screen (1920 x 1080) so if your screen has different pixel dimensions you may need to adjust the text sizes so that the text is centred inside the box frames.

The [ButtonSounds] section: This is set initially to have ‘answertone.wav’ for the sound of every button, but if you would like to have each button have its own sound (‘QI’-style) then you can set this up here. The sounds must be resident in the same folder as the game executable and must be in wav format. If you want to change the sounds during the game without losing your current setup, you can edit the ini file on-the-fly and then press the S key and the new sounds will be assigned.

The [Misc] Section: This currently only holds the number of seconds, between 1 and 99, that the instant timer (started by the Numeric keypad zero key) counts down from. In reality you would not have values much higher than 10 as it is intended for use as a “have to hurry you” ad-hoc timer.

Before the game ‘proper’ begins, there are 6 settings to choose from.

In sequence these are:

  1. Choose screen size from Full, 1280x700 or 1024x768. ‘Full-screen’ scales objects to fit.
  2. Choose number of players from 2 - 5.
  3. Enter the player names.
  4. Choose timed/untimed questions - if timed then enter seconds per question from 1 to 999.
  5. Choose timed/untimed game - if timed then enter game length in minutes from 1 to 999.
  6. Choose how many points to add/deduct for a right/wrong answer. Note that the minus sign is already in place for wrong answers therefore you should not enter it. Entering 0 for both values will cause a prompt to enter a score to appear after every question is answered.