Using/Setting Up PsychOUT!

      FIRST, note that the dynamics of how to actually play the game from either the students' (players') or Teacher's (MC's) point-of-view are covered elsewhere (see the Rules section).

After you click the "OK" button on the initial splash-screen, you will be brought to the following green "Game Setup" form:

  • Team Names:

    The defaults for team names are simply "TEAM 1" and "TEAM 2" but you can change these to whatever suits the composition of the two teams you have playing each other (note that you are limited to 16 characters).

  • Rounds to Play:

    The default is a 3-round game. If you select 1 or 2 rounds, the game will end as soon as that many rounds has been played.

  • Question Categories:

    Selections here MUST be highlighted (by clicking one time on the filename in each selection box - two clicks will un-select that file name). Otherwise, the program will default to the internal set of crappy questions and answers built in with it. Each column represents all questions for that round. Within each selection-box, you may pick from whatever question files you have prepared.

    So, each selection box represents a column of questions within each round of game play. If you have prepared the questions-and-answers file(s) correctly (as explained below), the program will not be using any item more than one time, even if you use the same file for different rounds/columns. Note also that if you have more than one text file of questions/answers, you will be able to scroll to the file in each of these selection boxes.

  • PsychOUT! Controls:

    This section gives you some control over the "intensity" of the game. That is, you can play a straight "Questions & Answers Only" game (i.e., no need to explain the strategy of using the PsychOUT! options) by clicking on the ENABLED button which toggles to DISABLED. Or, you can have various amounts of PsychOUT! trials occur up to ALL 25 questions per round being PsychOUT! questions.

    Note that you must highlight (click on) the number of PsychOUT! trials you desire for each round. If you leave the numbers at 0 per round (and PsychOUT! trials are ENABLED, teams may still opt to use their three forced PsychOUT! buttons on the main game board (but even these are disabled if you toggled the ENABLED button to DISABLED.

    Finally, by clicking the HIDDEN button, you will toggle it to VISIBLE which means that random PsychOUT! trials (if any) will be obvious on the main game board (their buttons will be turned from red to pink).

  • Sound:

    I believe this is pretty obvious. You only have two options. By pressing on the top button, you will either start or stop the PsychOUT! theme music. Clicking on the bottom button will either turn the game sounds on, or off.

    Note that if the theme music is still playing when you see the main game board, it will automatically end once game play begins (i.e., a question button is pressed). If you change your mind regarding the sound effects during the game, you can still toggle sound effects from the main game board. Simply click once on the (blue or red) PsychOUT! logo box in the center and bottom of the main game board.

  • Done:

    Clicking on the "done" button brings up the game board and you are ready to play.

The Game Board:

There are only two things of interest here that are not at all obvious otherwise.

  1. You can quickly and gracefully exit the program simply by clicking anywhere in the big logo at the top of the game-board (the blue and white "PsychOUT!" logo).

  2. The sound effects option can also be toggled on this screen by clicking on the logo at the bottom middle of the game-board. It will toggle between red-white-black and blue-white-black depending on whether the sound is currently turned on or off.

In addition, you can see that there are three numbered buttons on either side of the sound effects logo. These are three opportunities each team has (per round) to call for a PsychOUT! when the other team has control of the board. How and when you let teams do this is up to you, but when I play, I insist that PsychOUT! trials can only be called BEFORE the opposing team has selected their question (or, if one is called before the question button has been pressed, I give the playing team a chance to select a different topic/question-amount).

The Questions & Answers File:

This is a simple ASCII (text) file with a special internal format. A template-file is shown to the right. If you click on the image, it will take you to a page containing a truncated version of a file I've used in my General Psychology class.

Your questions and answers must be typed on a single line each (a break would be interpreted by the program as a new input: Either a question category or the next question or answer).

There are 15 categories of five question/answer pairs for a maximum total of 75 questions.

Be warned, though, although you have a fair amount of space to write the Q&A, you should run through the program to be sure each actually fits legibly on the display screens.

When you finish the file, be sure to save it with a ".PSY" extension. The PsychOUT! program will only list files in the setup screen that have the ".PSY" ending (extension).

The Points-Per-Question File:

This is another simple ASCII (text) file with a special internal format. The first time that you run the program, this file (popoints.txt) is automatically generated. It contains my default points layout which you can see on the right. If you want to change the points for any of the 75 questions, simply modify this file before you run the PsychOUT! program.

Be careful to keep the format about the same as what you see in the file. Notice that the setup is arranged the same as the game board. Each column represents questions in a single topic. A single blank line separates each of the three potentially playable rounds.

Back to main PsychOUT! page.