The current Trivia Bot was born way back in 2012 when iCU2 X was released as an Adobe Flash video chat program. However that's not where the story really starts.. So I digress...
Prior to iCU2 X, iCU2 Video Chat was a windows based program for decades and enjoyed many successful years as a forerunner in the Video Conferencing market.
In the year 2000 (I think..) One evening, we (the programmers, members, support team and owners) were testing iCU2 Version 4 (and felt that more could be added to the new chat rooms to make them more fun. We came up with the idea of adding a Trivia Bot to the rooms to keep people entertained.
I woke up the next morning, logged into iCU2 and to my surprise there was a Trivia Bot running in one of the rooms. One of the web developers had cobbled together a basic Trivia Bot overnight and it was a blast, even if it screwed up more often than Donald Trump making a speech.
We started out with around 3000 questions, 100s of typos and incorrect answers. The questions looped back around damn quickly so within a few weeks alot of people had memorized all of the answers. If you think about it. 3000 questions with 1 question every 60 seconds ... That's 2 and a bit days until the questions are exhausted and repeating!
Eventually I was given the task of editting questions and adding new ones. What a royal pain in the arse that was. I had to log into an FTP server, rename a file to stop the TriviaBot (and annoy all of the members while the Trivia was disabled).. then edit or add questions to an sqlite database which was slower than a tortoise walking through treacle. At the time there wasn't even a way to import questions into sqlite. So I had to manually type in all the new questions / answers, which resulted in even more typos haha!
As time progressed and newer iCU2 versions came out our programmer added small 'improvements' to Trivia Chat, including a new dedicated Trivia Room called "Speed Trivia". If memory serves me correctly you only had around 10 or 15 seconds to answer the question and if you had already answered it correctly you actually lost points from your score. Looking back, it was a stupid idea.
Anyway, we progressed from iCU2 version 4 to iCU2 version 9 and our Trivia Chat kept growing with new questions. Then our lead programmer decided to step away from iCU2. So we lost the Trivia Chat and Trivia Bot. 12 years wasn't a bad run and I think we ended up with around 17000 trivia questions.
This was the point where iCU2 X arrived in 2012. It was Flash based and to be honest, a horrible beast. There was no way to intergrate Trivia Chat into the closed system, so a long time iCU2 user and Trivia fiend called Papadox took it upon himself to hack a Trivia Bot together using the questions that I had managed to rescue before the iCU2 version 9 'doors' were shut.
I won't go into how Papadox built the frankenstein that is Trivia Bot. We can't give away secrets like that. However, he should be praised for what he created considering the limitations on what could be done. In turn, he made many iCU2 users happy that they had their believed Trivia Chat Room back again.
Papadox adminned the Trivia Bot for a few years and as iCU2 X was gradually slowing down, I found a new place to hang out and chat (www.avlivechat.com if you're interested). Now this part is a bit hazy. I can't remember if Papadox came to avlivechat and suggested converting the Trivia Bot to use there, or if I asked him if he could convert it for me. Either way, Papadox did indeed hack together a new FrankenBot for me. He was damn patient while teaching me how to use it!
I'd run it for half an hour here, half an hour there, while in Avlivechat. Some people loved it, some hated it and in the end I got some grief because I was apparently ruining the chat experience for some users. Although the owners of Avlivechat said they were happy for me to run the Trivia Bot in there room from time to time.
Eventually the grief and whinging became too much. So on 25th October 2013, I decided to create triviachatters.com. A room that was dedicated to Trivia Chat for everyone that liked Trivia to enjoy.
Trivia Chatters now has over 100,000 questions loaded into the database. A big difference from the 3000 we started out with in 2002. It can also do several other things like:
Keep daily, weekly, yearly, all time scores.
Run a lottery where you can win stars
Tell jokes Set personal welcome / goodbye / brb messages
There's also a blackjack game hidden away in the code somewhere
So there you have the not so concise story of how a flaky Trivia Bot transitioned over the years to end up having it's own Trivia Chat room.
With all that said, pop in and see us sometime!