Hello, my name is Spencer Ham and I am the Game Director at Jackbox Games. It’s time to dust off your cell phone as we’re releasing The Jackbox Party Pack 8 on PlayStation Store on October 14th! That’s right, we broke the record for most Party Packs. Please Text us, Guinness World Records.
This year’s release is particularly gratifying as our studio was completely remote during production. While it brought its fair share of challenges (seriously, Allard, you’re still on the mute), it also inspired us to work in new ways. Gone are the days when we were huddled in a room, brainstorming game concepts with quick paper tests. Forced to move to a fully digital landscape, we had to adapt and find new approaches to our method (which is breaking all records).
Here’s a look at the birth of three of this year’s Party Pack games.
As you may know, every Party Pack contains at least one sequel. This year is The long awaited turn of Drawful. A wise observer will notice that it is not called Drawful 3, and that is intentional. Since this is an exciting new take on the core mechanic, we see it as having its own identity rather than just a continuation of a franchise.
In this version, players create two-frame looping animations based on nonsensical prompts. This concept flourished as a digital prototype, as it would have been much more difficult to show how fun and effective animations are if testers had to clumsily dig through a paper flipbook.
The wheel of enormous proportions
The inspiration behind The Wheel of Enormous Proportions came in a very organic way. One of the morale boosters for us this year was using a digital wheel to draw random items. The prices weren’t even that good – it was things like a t-shirt or a mouse pad, but it didn’t matter because wheel frenzy would take over. During one lap, the cat would light up with comments such as “Obey the wheel”, “The wheel knows everything” and “WHEEL”.
So that made us think. What if we replaced a branded mouse pad with a price that’s just as fun, if not more? Win a trivia game. So that’s exactly what we did. The more correctly a player answers trivial questions, the more slices he receives on a wheel that will distribute points. Not great at trivia? No worries, because it will ultimately be up to the Mysterious and Omniscient Wheel to decide!
The survey mine
The Poll Mine is an intense investigative game where competing teams attempt to deduce how the group responded as a whole. If you’re wrong, your squad will open a door full of terrifying monsters that will devour your entire body. But not in a hurry.
As you can imagine, this game requires a lot of group communication. Teams have to do a lot of speculation before making their decision. Prototyping this game on Discord was a great proof of concept. Instead of playing this exclusively in a room and hoping it would translate into video conferencing platforms, we broadcast it from the get-go and knew it would work well in either environment.
While this past year has certainly been difficult, it has also been inspiring. Just like in some of our games, limitations fuel creativity. We hope you enjoy the Jackbox Party Pack 8 as much as we do!