I recently promised you a review of Quiz Night Chief, which is a piece of software designed by an Australian company called Oakfocus and intended for use by quizmasters.
The full price version costs $35 USD but you can also get a free trial.
I gave it a whirl this week and discovered thatQuiz Night Chief is an ideal question-organiser for a light quizmaster who does 1 or 2 gigs a week.
SO WHAT DOES IT DO?
Quiz Night Chief is a quiz compiler.
The software comes pre-loaded with a database of questions but the idea is that you add your own questions and categories. Once you set the parameters for your quiz night (say 5 rounds of 10 questions), QNC takes over and compiles a quiz from your question database, giving you output in the form of question sheets and answer sheets.
IS IT ANY USE?
For more serious users with full-time quiz-compiling duties, it won't be enough thanks to its limitations in tagging and tracking the re-use of questions.
But for light users, the lack of finickity features contributes to the product's strength which is the the easy interface and general soundness of the software.
Quiz Night Chief shows great promise and the current edition may turn out to be the first incarnation of what will eventually become a great tool for anyone who needs to compile quiz questions in a hurry.
EASE OF USE
Generally, the feel of interface is good - QNC benefits from an airy design with nice big friendly letters. The software does not suffer from the developers' curse of packing too many features in at the expense of ease-of-use.
Quiz questions usually fit more than one category but Quiz Night Chief only allows one question to be assigned to one category. More flexibility and utility for quizmasters would come from a system which used "tags" for each question rather than "categories."
For example a question which reads:"Which country was the primary setting for the 1994 film 'Braveheart?" would have to be placed into one category in the current edition of Quiz Night Chief, for example: 'film'.
Ideally, I would be able to tag the same question with all or any of these: 'uk film' 'film' 'Mel Gibson' 'entertainment' 'the 1990s', 'Australian actors', 'film settings', etc so that the question would be available for any rounds with that title.
Also I tihnk many question masters would like to see a feature in the software which answers the question "Didn't I use this question last week?" Perhaps that is to come in future editions.
Quiz Night Chief has a function to present your questions as a slide show on the night of your quiz (providing you can work out how to hook your laptop up to a big screen or projector and can also display the standings of the teams involved.
Personally, I Wouldn't necessarily use these display functions on quiz-night - I can imagine that I could spend too much time looking at the screen and clicking between screens rather than the speedier method of pen and ink. However, this is just my style of quizzing and your own style might suit the display better.
Quiz Night Chief comes pre-loaded with a few hundred questions but its power comes from the way you can add your own questions to the database Some of the questions are lacking in grammar, e.g: "I have been known to kill sharks. I thought to be willing to attack anything that moves. I have been known to cut humans in half.
What am I ?
The layout of the answer sheets could take a heavy toll on your printer. For each team, there is 1 sheet of A4 per round. If you have 5 rounds that means 5 sheets per team per quiz. this, multiplied by perhaps 20 teams gives you 100 sheets of photocopying before you start, qhich is quite a lot. Obviously you can use your own answer sheets and therefore this is just a minor niggle.
Quiz Night Chief could be a useful tool for you if you have to compile quizzes on a semi-regular basis. You can work it out for yourself because they run a free trial download so you can test the product before shelling out.