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Wed, 23rd Jul '08 11:58 AM
ATTENTION ALL KERBLUNKERS!
First off, thanks for your enthusiasm! Until we get the official Sploofus Kerblunk Authoring Guideline in place, everyone should consider this post as the guideline, and authors will be referred here until further notice.
Now. What is a Kerblunk? you may well ask. Let's start with what it is NOT.
KERBLUNK IS NOT A FILL-IN-THE-BLANKS QUIZ! If your Kerblunk can be made into a quiz by removing the blank and changing a few words, it is not Kerblunk.
While Kerblunks provide a venue for those who like to write and take FITB quizzes, the game itself is not a quiz and should not be constructed as one.
A Kerblunk "question" should not contain questions, hints, dates, clues, added punctuation such as colons, question marks or quotation marks, or any additional information; it should have *nothing* in it written by you - not even "by", as in:
Like a [blank] by Madonna - OR - The [blank] Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
By giving the additional information, it is changed from KB to quiz. Those questions are not asking if you remember the name of the song/book/movie/person, but if you can figure it out when given additional information. Or they should each be two KBs: "Songs by Madonna" and "Female Pop Stars of the '80s"; "Famous War Novels" and "American Authors".
IF YOUR KERBLUNK QUESTION CAN EASILY BE MADE INTO A QUIZ QUESTION BY REMOVING THE BLANK AND CHANGING A WORD OR TWO, IT IS NOT KERBLUNK.
Now for what a Kerblunk is:
KERBLUNK IS A WELL-KNOWN TITLE, NAME, PHRASE, EXPRESSION, OR BRIEF QUOTE OR SONG LYRIC - WITH ONE WORD MISSING.
Kerblunk is selected, rather than written. It is a phrase chosen by the author, whose challenge is to creatively replace one word and offer five answer choices.
TEST OF MEMORY
Kerblunks are intended as a test of memory. They ask, for example, "Do you remember the middle names of the US presidents?" Or, "Do you remember the titles of works by Mark Twain?" The information provided in each question is intended to jog the player's memory so they can complete the blank with the correct answer.
Example (from a hypothetical Kerblunk on the works of Mark Twain):
Question: The [blank] of Huckleberry Finn
*This test of memory is the fundamental essence or spirit of Kerblunk.*
GENERAL CONTENT CONCEPTS
Several concepts from the Sploofus Quiz Authoring Guide (SQAG) also apply to Kerblunks. For example:
1. Everything in a Kerblunk must be family friendly.
2. Nothing in a Kerblunk may reference any other Sploofus player or likeness.
3. Questions must not become invalid in the future by having more than one correct answer.
Since Kerblunk questions can only contain titles, names, phrases, etc., and no other information, it’s very easy for them to become invalid in the future, and it’s very easy for there to be more than one correct answer. In order to avoid this, it's important to use the description to narrow the scope of Kerblunks. In the description, use information like film release years, song release years, singer names, author names, and so on. Here's how to narrow your scope in the description:
Let's say your topic is Tom Cruise Movies. Go through your selection of films. Let's say the most recent film selected was released in 2011. All you need to do is state that in your description, e.g. "The most recent film in this Kerblunk was released in 2011." If you want to provide further information to further narrow the scope, that's also OK. You could say, for example: "Release dates of films in this Kerblunk range from 1983 to 2011."
Rain (correct answer)
By limiting the scope of your Kerblunk in the description as precisely as possible, the possibility that this question could become invalid in the future is removed.
Please note that the broader the framework of your Kerblunk, the more precisely you'll need to narrow the scope.
In general, the more information an author can supply in the description, the better -- players will find it very helpful.
As with quizzes, there must be (5) unique, logical and plausible answer choices. Answers may not be ridiculously unbelievable or obviously wrong, as that eliminates the legitimate memory challenge.
Please note: All answers MUST be ONE word only since a Kerblunk question, by definition, is missing just one word.
For example, let's say your Kerblunk topic is Novels by Charles Dickens.
1. Bleak [blank]
House (correct answer)
Curiosity Shop is NOT a valid answer since it's more than one word.
NOT A SPELLING TEST
A Kerblunk question should not be designed as a spelling test. For example, let's say you're writing a KB on the names of authors. The following is NOT acceptable because the wrong answers are simply misspellings of the correct answer.
Edgar [blank] Poe
This asks if a player knows how to spell Poe's middle name not if a player remembers what Poe's middle name is. Essentially, it gives away the answer (some form of "Alan"), thus eliminating the legitimate memory challenge.
If not all wrong answers are misspelled, it will be up to the editor to determine whether what is presented is acceptable.
SINGLE-WORD QUESTIONS AND COMPOUND WORDS
Please avoid single-word questions and compound words whenever possible. Just choose another movie or book.
In the event you're selecting from a limited list, and it's not possible to avoid single-word questions, editors may allow, at their discretion, a *maximum* of two single-word questions per KB, but ONLY when the context is narrowly or tightly defined. For example, the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein is a narrowly defined context, so using Oklahoma! would be OK.
Main Reason for the Restriction:
Please see above discussion under Test of Memory. Single-word questions look like this: [blank]. There's nothing there but a blank. Thus, there's no information in the question for players to grab onto to jog their memory.
Do not add parenthetical notes such as "(one word)". When kerblunking a compound word, there should be no space between the blank bracket and the other part of the word. Do not kerblunk a letter or a syllable of a non-compound word.
Answer choices in KBs differ slightly from quizzes. Usually all quiz answer choices are capitalized except in special cases (k. d. lang, e. e. cummings). For KBs, capitalize answers if they are the first word of a quoted sentence or part of a name or title which would normally be capped. Don't capitalize answers if they're words from the middle of a phrase or lyric not capped in the original text.
[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 3/7/16 ]
Wed, 23rd Jul '08 2:12 PM
As explained above, each Kerblunk "question" has ONE word missing from a name, title, phrase, etc. The chosen missing word is replaced in the question by a blank bracket: [blank]. This is the markup that tells the software program to insert the blank into the published question. To be sure the blank is positioned correctly, take care that there is a space to either side of the blank bracket, just as there would be if it were the missing word. Treat the entire blank bracket as the word, and punctuate around it accordingly. The exception to the spacing around blank brackets is compound words.
Here are some examples of acceptable and unacceptable formats for Kerblunk questions or clues:
Topic: Famous Works of Art
Incorrect: Da Vinci's The Last [blank]
Correct: The Last [blank]
Incorrect: Van Gogh's The [blank] Night
Correct: The [blank] Night
Topic: Historical Documents
Incorrect: One of the signers of The [blank] of Independence was Benjamin Franklin.
Correct: The [blank] of Independence
Topic: Famous Actresses
Correct: Mary [blank] Moore
Topic: Movie Quotes:
Incorrect: "Frankly my[blank] , I don't give a damn!"
Correct: Frankly my [blank], I don't give a damn!
Note that in this example, the incorrect question has several errors: spacing errors on both sides of the blank bracket; quotation marks where there should be none; incorrectly capitalized answer choices.
Topic: Famous Movies
Incorrect: [blank] Dance
Note: The answer here is Flash (for the film, Flashdance, which is a compound word).
Incorrect: "Lord of the [blank]"
Correct: Lord of the [blank]
Be sure your answer choices include only one correct response. Just because you're thinking of "Rings" won't make "Jungle" or "Flies" wrong if they fit the description of your game. Google one-word titles to make sure four answers are incorrect. Put film titles through the search at imdb.com to be sure there is no wrong answer that can be right under the conditions of the KB. If your KB is "Movies of the '60s" a wrong answer that is a film from the '90s is fine, but be sure all your answers are wrong except your chosen correct response. This is especially important with film titles; there may even be a film title that has not yet been released, but in a few months it will create a problem when two of your answers become correct. Imdb.com will help avoid that problem.
Editors are not responsible for your accuracy, but we do try to catch mistakes because we want every game experience to be a positive one, and we'll help you to avoid negative responses when we can, but we won't catch them all, so check your facts.
Every quiz, Kerblunk, and Trivia Square at Sploofus requires a description that "sufficiently represents the quiz material" and adequately prepares players for playing the game.
With Kerblunks, while the temptation is to see them as so simple that they need a minimal description, the opposite is often true. The description is where you can offer information which may help the taker choose correct answers. That's where you should narrow the scope of your title with any necessary information about dates, genres, nationalities and so on - details which will set the stage for the blast that is Kerblunk.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
We welcome your questions about constructing Kerblunks, and we'll do our best to provide answers. If you have questions, please feel free to consult your Kerblunk editor or submit a support ticket by clicking on the orange HELP link at the top of your screen beside your avatar. You may also post questions in one of our community forums.
[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 9/18/14 ]
[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 6/20/15 ]
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