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Sporcle Map Updates

As you might have noticed, the internet is a constantly changing beast. Well, Sporcle is jumping on that bandwagon with some of our nearest and dearest. Starting today, we put into motion a process that will change (for the better!) many of the oldest map quizzes on the site.

We’re going from ‘eek!’ to ‘chic’, and starting with the worst offender of them all. Today the former Capitals of Europe map was replaced after 6 ½ years of existence.

capitals

We can bet you’ve already played that quiz (maybe even more than once), as it has over 1.19 million plays. If you haven’t taken a peek at our new look, now’s your chance!

Be on the lookout for other map games to receive the same treatment in the near future. Bye bye, old maps! Hello, beautiful…

Europe-cropped-ss

New Game Pages Are Here: Features & Frequently Asked Questions

game-page-example1It’s here! We warned you about it just a few days ago, and we’ve just released the krak…err…new game page. There are tons of changes to the new page, and we wanted to highlight just a few of the new features as well as answer some common questions we’ve received. Without futher ado, let’s move on to some of the highlights.

New Features

  • ‘Challenge Your Friends on Facebook’ Option.
  • New Facebook Share buttons
  • Random Category & Subcategory link on each game.
  • Improved look and feel for embedded pictures & videos.
  • Updated ‘Popular Games’ today section
  • Restored the Hide Comments button.
  • Reduced time before the ‘give up’ button appears. Now 7 seconds instead of 17.
  • More room for game notes, including the ability to add HTML to a game note. (Tags accepted:<br><b><h1><h2><h3><h4><i><li><ol><strong><u><ul>)

Frequently Asked Questions

The game pages seemed fine, why’d you change everything?

We wrote out a few reasons for changing the game pages in our preview post from earlier this week. The short answer is that we wanted you see the most important pieces of the game page first, and to do that we had to make some major changes.

Where’s the link to the comments?

The comments link is now at the top of the page right next the number of game plays, and the rating. Clicking that link will open the comments section. You can also click the show comments link at the bottom of the page.

Where did the game notes go?

All game notes are currently displayed under ‘How to Play’. We’ve increased the number of characters that can be added to that section, and you can use limited HTML when creating games.

What are those little icons next to the ‘How to Play’ section?

We’ve simplified our game instructions and now they’re visual icons. Hovering your mouse over the icon will give you an explanation of what each of them does.

Why can’t I leave a note when I nominate a quiz?

The feature where you could leave a note along with your quiz nomination wasn’t used all that often, and many people thought it was a requirement. We’ve simplified the nominating process so now all you have to do is click the button. We hope this encourages more people to nominate the quizzes the love.

A quiz I made looks terrible in the new game format, what do I do?

Please report the quiz using the ‘Other’ designation and let us know what’s wrong. We’ll get it fixed.

Brace Yourself: A New Game Page is Coming

Despite today being April 1st, this is not an April Fool’s day joke. We promise!

game-page-classic-2

The classic game page is not long for this world.

Very soon we’re going to be making a huge update to your old friend the Sporcle game page. That’s right, we said it. Everything you know is about to change.

We know that big changes on a site don’t always go over well (We’re looking at you Facebook!) but in this case we’ve spent a lot of time putting ourselves in your shoes (nice shoes, btw) and doing our best to figure out how to take the game page from “Eh, it’s fine” to “!!!!”.

We know it can be really jarring when a site you like updates its look and feel, so this post is all about giving you a look behind the scenes before we release this thing into the wild. Check out our top 4 reasons below to get an idea of why the heck we’re doing what we’re doing.

4 Reasons Why We’re Changing the Game Page

1.  We wanted you to see the things that are most important.

When we began working on this project we realized that many of the most interesting elements of a game were not at the top of the page. They were actually hidden, below the game and out of sight. We’re now moving the most important pieces above the play game button, right where you can see them.

2. We wanted to make sharing easier.

You might have noticed that we’ve changed our sharing buttons on more than one occasion.  We want to make sharing quizzes as easy as possibly without looking messy and cluttered. Once we release the new page, sharing will be much more simple.

3. We wanted to make Sporcle even more interactive.

Some of the new features involve making it easier to challenge and find your friends on Facebook, and we needed to find a place to highlight this unique way of playing Sporcle across sites.

4. We wanted a fresh start.

When you make small tweaks and updates to a page, you end up with a page that’s a strange mixture of design elements (basically what we have now). If we were going to make the significant improvements to these pages to make it a better experience for everyone (for exclamation points, at least), we needed to start from scratch.

When the new page comes out, you’ll see dozens of small tweaks that we would have never been able to make if we’d attempted small tweaks over time. We’ll have a full recap when we release this thing to the wild, so stay tuned.

So without further ado, here’s a small preview of the new game page:

new-game-page

The rest of the page will revealed soon. As per usual, please let us know any thoughts you have in the comments section.

Congrats to Sproutcm on 568 Publishes!

sproutcmJust like Babe Ruth’s sacred home run record, Ben’s published game record of of 567 publishes seemed unbreakable, a pie-in-the-sky record that seemed destined to stand forever (or a really long time, at least). However, today Sproutcm has hit the lofty goal of 568 publishes, and is now the most published user on Sporcle.

Congrats Sproutcm, you’ve earned it. Here’s to hundreds more!

Sproutcm by the numbers:

568 games published (and counting)
Over 2,000 games created
Over 38 million Sproutcm quizzes played by other Sporclers
Over 6,000 favorites from Sporclers

Sporcle’s Best of 2013

bestof20132013 has been an incredible year for Sporcle. We reached 1 billion games played, published over 3,000 new quizzes, and now have over over 400,000 contributed games. We also released four brand new apps, and have continued rolling out Sporcle Live to new locations.

In this post, we’re highlighting our most popular quizzes, comments and blog posts from 2013.

Top Quizzes

Here’s a list of the most played games on Sporcle in 2013. We’ve broken them down into 13 minefield and 13 non-minefield games. Check ‘em out:

Read more

New Capitals on Sporcle: Kyiv and Tirana

tirana 1

For capitals, we generally stick to the CIA World Factbook where we use the name and spelling for our capitals that is used by that site. In auditing some of our data recently, we came across a couple mis-named capitals, and decided to make a change. In general, you won’t notice, but we thought we’d give you a little overview.

1. Tirane is now Tirana

We’ve been displaying the Albanian capital  as ‘Tirane’ on many of our quizzes. Tiranë is the spelling in Albanian, but it is more commonly internationally known as Tirana, and so going forward we will display Tirana and accept Tirane as an alternate.

2. Kiev is now Kyiv. 

We’re way behind times on this one. After their independence in 1991, Ukraine officially announced the official transliteration of their capital as Kyiv all the way back in 1991. It took the US Government until 2006 to update their official guides, and now in 2013 (barely squeaking in), Sporcle has decided to recognize Ukraine’s request. Glad we could get on that so quickly.

It’s Cabo…Cabo Verde

So much trouble for such a little country.

So much trouble for such a little country.

The issue actually didn’t come to light until Sporcler @kickyandfun tweeted us the link to a December 12th National Geographic article that discussed some of the issues that mapmakers have with changing geography. One thing we at Sporcle are very familiar with is the fact that geography is always changing. We’ve dealt with changing flags, new countries and wrestled with the very idea of what a country is. In the trivia world, answers are always right or wrong, but in the the real world it’s never that easy.

cabo

We love it when we get to create a situation room.

So why the change? According to National Geographic, the islands were originally named Cabo Verde by Portuguese explorers and were reverted to the anglicized name sometime over the last century. In essence, since Cabo Verde is one of only 8 Portuguese speaking countries in the world, changing the name to their common language is a no-brainer. The other added benefit is that Cabo Verde is *so* much more fun to say. It just rolls off the tongue.

Now comes the tricky part.  Sporcle has over 2,000 quizzes that reference Cape Verde in either the hints or the answers, as well as 136 unique published quizzes. Our priority, of course, is the published quizzes, but eventually we expect every quiz on Sporcle to bear the Cabo Verde name.  It’s gonna take some work.

Battle of the Brains 2013

bob_header2

Have you heard? Sporcle’s biggest live trivia event is coming soon!

Battle of the Brains is the ultimate team trivia challenge.

On October 26th, join over 100 teams at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan. Last year’s teams traveled from five states and two countries to compete. And this year looks to be bigger and better than ever.

Battle of the Brains features a wide range of general knowledge questions.  The format is fun and engaging, and it requires a strategic team effort.  Make no mistake–this is no average trivia competition.  Live performance questions will be presented by local musical acts, celebrity readers and more.

BoBprizes2013Oh, and did we mention the prizes? There’s $5,000 on the line for you and a team of five.

So how do you sign up? Tickets are on sale now at Sporcle.com or the Royal Oak Music Theatre Box Office. Tickets are $125 per team of five.

If you’re traveling to the event, there are several rooms blocked off at the Radisson in Bloomfield Hills. They offer a discounted room rate for Battle of the Brains teams, along with a free shuttle to and from the event. Get all the event details here.

Be there on October 26th!

NFL WEEK 2: 16 Facts You Didn’t Know

footballA whopping twenty-two NFL games have been decided by 7 points or fewer in the 1st two weeks of the season.

The Sporcle Facts Teams is back for another week of trivia tidbits. Here’s your NFL Week 2 fast facts:

New England Patriots 13, New York Jets 10
The last time the Patriots scored 13 or less points was September 20, 2009. October 18, 2009 marked their highest scoring game ever with a score of 59-0 against the Titans.

Buffalo Bills 24, Carolina Panthers 23
EJ Manuel’s touchdown pass with 0:02 seconds left to win the game was one of 5 come-from-behind wins this week. He had 296 yards passing in the win, that’s the most by Bills rookie since Dennis Shaw in 1970.

Baltimore Ravens 14, Cleveland Browns 6
Just over an hour before kickoff, Joe Flacco’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child.

Chicago Bears 31, Minnesota Vikings 30
For the first time in franchise history, the Vikings had a kick return touchdown and a fumble return touchdown in the same game.

Kansas City Chiefs 17, Dallas Cowboys 16
The Chiefs are 1st team to start 2-0 after winning two or fewer games the previous season since the 2002 Panthers.

Green Bay Packers 38, Washington Redskins 20
Running back James Starks is the first Packers RB with 100 yards in almost 3 years. That’s 44 straight regular-season games without a 100-yard rusher.

Houston Texans 30, Tennessee Titans 24
The Texans Titans game went into overtime after Texans’ kicker had 4 tries at a game-winning field goal; the first three didn’t count due to 2 timeouts and an offsides call.

Miami Dolphins 24, Indianapolis Colts 20
Andrew Luck had the NFL’s longest active streak with 165 straight passes without an interception before Brent Grimes picked him off. The NFL record is 358 passes set by Tom Brady during the 2010-11 season.

Philadelphia Eagles 31, San Diego Chargers 24
On Sunday, the Chargers and Eagles combined for 1,050 total yards. That’s just over a half a mile of offense.

Atlanta Falcons 31, St. Louis Rams 24
Osi Umenyiora’s 68-yard interception return is the longest interception return touchdown by a non-defensive back in Falcons’ history.

Arizona Cardinals 25, Detroit Lions 21
Cornerback Patrick Peterson both caught a pass and threw a pass in the Lions/Cardinals game.

New Orleans Saints 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
According to advancednflstats.com, The Bucs have lost 2 straight games where they had a greater than 95% chance of winning inside of the 2 minute mark.

Denver Broncos 41, New York Giants 23
This week is likely the end of Manning Bowl. Currently, Eli and Peyton aren’t scheduled to meet again in regular season play until 2017 (Peyton will be 41). Peyton is 3-0 when the brothers face off.

Oakland Raiders 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 9
In the first two games of the season the Jacksonville Jaguars have more penalties (14), sacks allowed (11), and punts (19), than offensive points scored (9).

Seattle Seahawks 29, San Francisco 49ers 3
Fans at CenturyLink Field set the Guinness World Record for loudest stadium when the noise level reached 136.6 decibels during the third quarter of Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. This broke the previous record of 131.76 decibels, set two years ago during a soccer game in Istanbul, Turkey.

Cincinnati Bengals 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 10
The Steelers are 0-2 for first time under Mike Tomlin. The last four times the Steelers started 0-2, they ended the season with a winning record.

For more facts and trivia, check out the NFL Weekly Leaders quiz on Sporcle.