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Fayetteville company makes trivia mobile, social

By: 27 June 2012 One Comment

What do you get when you take trivia questions and put them in an iPhone app that sets up games with friends, family, coworkers and random opponents through Facebook?

The answer? Trivi.al, a pick-up-and-play brain teaser that its founders hope become as ubiquitous on mobile devices as Draw SomethingWords with Friends, etc. Trivi.al has only been available through the Apple App Store since June 21, so it’s too early to make any predictions about how the game will fare in the months to come.

Matt Hudson, however, is optimistic about the game’s chances. It is, after all, backed with investments from Gravity Ventures (a company with offices in Indianapolis and Little Rock) and a partner in the endeavor is John James, chief executive officer of Acumen Brands — an established ecommerce company in the area.

Hudson and Joey Nelson started MobileFWD in Fayetteville at the first of the year for the purpose of making mobile games. Hudson said James approached them with the idea of a trivia game as a way to way to base a game around his trivia questions. James, by the way, does have some experience in that realm — he started selling trivia questions to quiz bowl competitions in 1995. Hudson said 5,000 of James’ questions are in the 17,000-question database that powers Trivi.al.

Once the decision was made to put together a trivia app, Hudson said the next 4.5 months were spent coding and testing the program. It took another month for Apple to approve the app for inclusion. Less than a week after the app was approved, Hudson said Trivi.al had attracted 3,500 users and about 30 new people were downloading Trivi.al every hour.

The game is simple enough — people can challenge Facebook friends or random opponents to a few rounds of trivia. Answering questions correctly and quickly results in a higher number of points and the goal, of course, is to accumulate a higher score than an opponent. A full contest lasts three rounds and it generally takes just a couple of minutes to answer the questions in a round.

Hudson said the integration of Facebook into the app is critical. The theory is that people will try harder when playing against people they know and the game has been centered around that concept. Ideally, people will either challenge Facebook friends through the app or invite them to download a copy of the game. The app is free to play, but there is an option to purchase a version of Trivi.al that features no ads. People “buy” their way into playing games by spending coins — the game’s currency — and those can be earned or purchased through the game.

Hudson said MobileFWD has been spending the past week fine tuning the game and working out bugs. When that project is complete, MobileFWD may start working on a version of the game for the Android operating system and other mobile devices should the Trivi.al prove to be popular enough to justify porting it to other portables. In other words, iOS users can play Trivi.al, but people own  smartphones or tablets will likely have to wait.

Hudson said the application is flexible enough so that “specialized” questions hitting on a common theme might be made available through Trivi.al in the future.

For more information, visit Trivi.al on the Internet or search for the game in the Apple App Store.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

One Comment »

  • James said:

    Are they hoping to usurp Qrank?? I feel like Qrank is already pretty established as the social trivial competition app.

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