Tiebreaker criteria

Been using the decreasing points timer but have recently switched to using a shorter clock but no decreasing points. (Many have complained that they are getting the answer in “as soon as it’s posted” but they only get 60-70 points. We’ve had several players stop playing because of the frustration.)

Understanding that it could lead to more ties (though we didn’t have one the first week) I’ve just accepted that and created a tiebreaker round, worth one point, that only those tied for first move on to play. It would be a numerical question, no answer preselected, and I would just award the “correct” answer to the closest guess.

Here is where this gets complicated.

The current win scenario is… most point. If tied, then most correct answers. BUT… then the third criteria is most questions answered. The problem is… this doesn’t show up anywhere for the players to see. All they see is that they are tied in both points and correct answers. It’s really hard to explain to people (and honestly, I’m not even sure that it should matter) that the ranking is based on something they can’t see. Sure, I can download the results and show them the spreadsheet but that is clunky.

Like I said, I’m completely fine with a tie scenario as I have a round ready to break that tie. It would be extremely helpful to…
a) be able to determine our own criteria for a tie game
b) or list the number of questions answered on the rankings leaderboard.
c) or disable tiebreaker criteria all together and just accept a tie.


Hi Dan.
I up the points for my rounds to 110 for the 100 point rounds. I don’t often mention each question is worth 110, rather than 100. The extra points helps players hit the rate 100 points for answering fast. It also helps many players land in the 90s.

Additionally, I read each question with the answers showing so that when the clock starts players have had some time to process how they will answer.

Do you mind sharing your crowd demo? My games are exclusively for corporate team builders and still done on-line. I’m curious if different demo groups need different game design.
Jimmie G

1 Like

A possible fix for this would be for CrowdPurr to add a new field to “Decreasing Points Timer” games where the admin can enter the number of seconds to wait before decreasing the points value. For example, you could set this amount to “3 seconds”. That gives all players at least three seconds to submit their answer and get the max 100 points for answering quickly. After three seconds expire, THEN the points amount value starts decreasing as normal.


Hey Jimmie,

I also do mostly corporate and team-building type events online. (I’ve purchased a ton of tablets and routers, wifi access points, and more… to create an in-person event but they’ve all been canceled because of the recent covid resurgance) When I do the corporate events, I still use the decreasing points time and it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal.

The issue is when I do my regular, weekly, online game. These people know the system and get frustrated when they know the answer but can’t get it in as quickly as others because of network issues, etc. I’ve had many tell me that they’ve stopped playing because they’d get all 10 round questions correct, and enter them right away, but still come in well behind some of the “faster” players. I guess I can understand that frustration. That is why I’ve switched to a faster timer but no decreasing points timer.

Honestly, a tie is really no big deal since I have a tie-breaker question. I don’t mind them at all. It’s just very hard to explain to someone that last criteria number that they can’t see and doesn’t show up on the scoreboard. When both teams have 550 points, both answered 34 questions correctly, but one is listed as finishing ahead of the other one… well… you can imagine that it’s a downer to have to explain it to them by showing them the downloaded results summary and explaining that they answered one less question… right or wrong… than the team that beat them.

1 Like

Exactly. I was actually going to suggest this but I thought I had already typed enough. :slight_smile:

I agree that this would be a perfect solution when using the decreasing points timer. It would sure eliminate many of the complaints that I receive. (Not that I receive that many but this is at the top of the list)

That being said, it would still be nice to be able to remove the “number of questions answered” as a tie-breaking criteria since the audience never sees this number.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

We used to do this under-the-hood actually, for about two seconds. This was the very first idea we had when we added the Decreasing Points Timer feature. The problem is this generates too many ties. It’s the same as not having a Decreasing Points Timer, for good trivia players. There was always several players with perfect scores which then resulted in ties. So, this doesn’t work how you think it would actually.

You really need that sub-millisecond differential to create varying scores in order to not have ties. Especially with a thousand players, for example. And especially if you only have 10 to 15 questions. If you have 100 questions, sure, probably there won’t be a tie as that presents enough of a differential to have varying questions answered correctly. But definitely not with few questions and many players.

This is probably players thinking they entered right away but didn’t. Try this, create a test game and answer a question correctly right away. You’ll see the system correctly awards you almost the full points. Definitely not 20% to 30% less.

Occasionally the server may slow down but this would affect all players. It’s 100% not the players device or the WIFI being too slow. When you answer a trivia question our app literally transmits a kilobyte of data, which is negligible. So if any processing slowness occurs, it’s on our servers, so it would occur for all players of the trivia game.

One problem we did have, which has been corrected, is that sometimes there was a delay in updating player Mobile Views with the new question. If this happened, the player would see the points timer already down by several seconds (the delay it took for their device to update). It was a bad problem, but the player wouldn’t see that the points timer was at 99 points, for example, it would already be 30% down at 60 points. We have corrected this issue though.

I totally agree and have been there before when hosting my own games. You should keep using Decreasing Points Mode, it helps with this. And works correctly.

But even then, you can still have a tie. Or if you really need to turn off Decreasing Points Mode, it is problematic when a tie with the same points and correct questions answered occurs.

In the near future we have a UI update coming that is going to spruce up a few things. We’ll figure out a way to add the Total Questions Answered to the rankings as well so players can understand why they lost.

Definitely a valid point and thank you for posting and for the discussion about it.

Hey @RossN , thanks for the reply.

Honestly, I think you may be a bit too focused on NOT having ties. Ties, if you prepare for them with a tie-breaker are not that big of a deal.

In practical game play, especially in-person, ties are what people would expect when you answer the same number of questions correctly. (Though, our points change per round as the difficulty changes). So, if a team gets two easy questions (worth say 10 points) but another team gets one difficult question worth 20 points correct, I would actually rather have that tie. It makes more sense in the world of games that people are used to.

Like I mentioned, when I do trivia for larger groups and especially larger groups online, I love the decreasing points time for the exact reason you bring up.

However, when I’m doing trivia for a regular group of 25-50 people, I would MUCH rather have the tie. Non-techy people quickly learn that they are not the “fast” ones and even though they know the answers, they can never get the same score and this makes them less likely to return.

By the way, my last few games of 20-35 players, no points timer but increasing difficulty and points per round, they have both gone down to 7th or 8th place before the tiebreakers were used.

So, what I’m suggesting is that on a large-scale, focusing on not having a tie is a good idea. In a small-scale game, the tie would actually be preferred for ending up with the same points. Which is why I’m suggesting that tie-breaker criteria should be able to be determined on a per-game basis.

1 Like

Agreed. But… many of us DO host games where we have 50 questions with varying points per question… and in that case, a tie is very much preferred. In fact, I host a standing game with that exact format and on occasion, that is the type of game corporate clients ask for as well.

1 Like

If you had a tie, would it then be okay to go to a tie-breaker question that does use Decreasing Points Timer?

Would a somewhat simple solution be to allow Decreasing Points Timer to be turned on per question? So you could have ten non-Decreasing Points Timer questions. Then if you need it, you’d have one or two “bonus” tie-breaker questions that do use Decreasing Points Timer?

1 Like

What I use as a tiebreaker is a question with a numerical answer worth one point. Moving only those tied for first to the tiebreaker round. Ex: MN is the land of 10,000 lakes, how many lakes do they actually have? A: 14,380 I mark the closest answer correct, thus giving a one-point win to that team.

The best solution (for me) would be to have a scenario where the closest answer is selected as the winner. In regular game play, I think it would be great to have a “range” where the answer could be correct. Using the example above: Within 500, how many lakes are actually in MN? Anyone that would answer 14130 - 14630 would be marked correct.

That being said, I think it would be VERY helpful to have the ability to turn on the decreasing points timer per question. Not so much for the tie aspect (at least in my use case) but it could create another “answer type” that would help mix up the game play a bit.


Our next update is several new trivia question types… so some fun updates to mix things up are coming! Maybe even that “range” question type.:wink:


Makes sense. I can see how it would generate too many ties.

1 Like

“Final Jeopardy” type points wager on the last question? Please! Pretty Please!!! :grinning:


Just saw this thread. Don’t know if this is helpful or not but a way that I handle ties live is, if I have one, I set the next round to go to a one questions tiebreaker round and then just capture the top however many teams (make sure to select multi-game teams if you are doing a multi-round cumulative trivia) until I get to the teams that are involved and I move them over to that round. After that it’s a matter of asking the two teams that are tied to answer a closest to the hole question (whoever is closest to a number gets it). This works simply because the teams that are tied will resolved and even if the other teams you had to port over answer it won’t matter because their ranking has already been decided (keep in mind I just make it a 1 point question to avoid the possibility of a secondary tie). I think it would be nice if you could select teams individually to port to a tiebreaker round but overall I’ve never had a time where this backfired if you’re looking for a way to do it that is relatively foolproof until some of the announced features come down the pike!

Thanks for all the discussion of this topic, though, it is great to see people so into hosting!


That is a great idea