On October 17th, 2017, The Jackbox Party Pack 4 was released with five party games: Survive the Internet, Monster Seeking Monster, Bracketeering, Civic Doodle, and Fibbage 3.
On April 27th, 2023, makers of The Jackbox Party Pack 4 gathered for a livestream to play some of the games and chat about producing this pack. Take a look:
Survive the Internet
You’re familiar with the “Internet” right? The digital abyss of kittens, trolls, and pictures of that salt-sprinkling guy? Imagine a game that takes place within the Jackbox Games version of the Internet. It’s equally terrifying and rewarding and we call it Survive the Internet! This user-generated comedy game asks you to twist your friends’ opinions in a myriad of hilarious ways.
When asked on stream about where the idea for Survive the Internet came from, Chief Creative Officer Allard Laban shared, “That came from [Sr. Creative Director] Spencer Ham. He has a very dark view of the world. That game kind of demonstrated that. He pitched it. It was kind of complicated, but we were all laughing our asses off.”
Studio Art Director Dave Innis shared some early concept images for the game:
Survive the Internet “initially had a more futuristic job interview theme that didn’t stick,” Dave said. “Hence the office lobby and board room scenes. A lot of the chunky low poly stuff inspired the next more early 90s Windows desktop/AOL theme.”
Monster Seeking Monster
Monster Seeking Monster is a dating-themed party game where players send each other secret messages trying to set up dates. After each round, you discover who chose to date each other… and who was betrayed.
We often see comments online from fans celebrating the soundtrack to Monster Seeking Monster. VP of Audio and Editorial Andy Poland worked as the Audio Lead for this game. He said, “The music for Monster Seeking Monster was very fun to create and it was my first time using a Talk Box. I hadn’t originally planned to have vocals on the ‘Last Night’ song in Monster Seeking Monster. I think it was a last minute idea when Mike Finney was here recording vocals for Fibbage and I wrote out some quick lyrics for him to sing over the music. It was so classic that I felt it should be in the game.”
During the recent Party Pack 4 livestream, Studio Editorial Director Arnie Niekamp shared a secret word mechanic that triggers a lightning effect when typed.
Art Director Owen Watson shared some concept art for Monster Seeking Monster. Take a look:
In Bracketeering, players submit answers to bizarre questions and categories like “Best thing to hold in your online dating profile picture” or “Coolest person to clone an army of.” Those answers then duke it out in a tournament-style instant-elimination bracket, until the championship answer is crowned.
It’s not only about entering funny answers. It’s about discovering earth-shattering truths about what your friends and fellow players believe to be true. Predicting winners of future match-ups (and convincing others to agree with you) could be your path to victory, even if an answer you typed in doesn’t take the top prize.
When asked how the game Bracketeering came to be, Allard said, “We were really interested in doing a big audience kind of game that you could play in stadiums.” He says they made an internal call for pitches to fit this brief and Bracketeering was one of them. “We liked it the best.”
Arnie chimed in saying, “we wanted to make something you could play in an arena and also something that would get people to argue about things that you shouldn’t argue about… like ‘I guess I do care whether Skeletor is sexier than Garfield.’”
To start, two players draw at once, adding whatever they choose to a simple starter drawing. Other players and audience members can react with an onscreen emoji in real time as the drawings emerge. Doodle Valley’s Mayor (who you may recognize if you’re a longtime YOU DON’T KNOW JACK fan) gives out bonus points for whatever emoji strikes his fancy at the end of the match.
When the time’s up, everyone votes on which drawing is the “best.” The winner’s drawing becomes the new “base drawing” that the next two players add to, in the same fashion as the first round. After everyone has drawn twice, you get to see your finished masterpiece displayed in a place of honor in the town!
But Civic Doodle wasn’t always the name of this game. Here’s an early mockup with one suggested name:
Andy also mentioned, “I’m pretty sure Civic Doodle was called the Penis Game for a long time because that’s all anyone was ever drawing.”
Regarding the process for creating this game’s audio, Andy said, “Civic Doodle was very last minute and the music had to be created very quickly, hence the kazoo, nose whistle and slide whistles as lead instruments. I recorded all of the Old Man host files for Civic Doodle in about 2 days and couldn’t talk for about a week afterward.”
Take a listen to one of Andy’s Old Man audio outtakes:
Like its prequels, Fibbage 3 gives you the joyful task of fooling your friends with clever lies. Players submit their best “truths” to fill in the blank for a piece of obscure trivia. Everyone then votes on which “truth” they think correctly completes the fact. You can still win the Thumbs Cup and you can still rely on the “Lie for Me” button if you’re stumped.
Fibbage 3 also includes a personalized game mode, Fibbage: Enough About You. Regarding this new mode, Arnie joked, “this is the first pack where we were like ‘what if instead of doing five games, we secretly did six games.” Allard added, “it was actually a prototype for a totally different game that we made back in 2000 which was like a memory game.”
There’s also an Enough About You mode in Fibbage 4, but that’s not the only game this has been tested out for. Arnie recalled, “the year we made Drawful: Animate, we tested what a Drawful: Enough About You would look like. We didn’t quite crack it, but it was fun.”
Jackbox CTO Evan Jacover mentioned one of his favorite parts of this game is the photography used when picking the category for questions. “I think this is one of the first times we used photography in a game.” Allard shared that this choice was inspired by the Night Gallery TV show.
Throughout the upcoming months, we’ll be highlighting the work that went into each of the Party Packs. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes snippets, livestreams, discounts, and more. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to keep up with all the behind the scenes content.