Total Quiz Archive

Archive for the history contest held on All Empires Forum

Total Quiz is history contest held every three months on All Empires Forum. This name and idea was first introduced in HG history forum. Since AE grew out of HG's history forum, a lot of traditions carried over from HG, including Total Quiz, which is now held in AE forums. Although questions were rather straightforward in the beginning, Total Quiz has evolved into a quiz with riddle-like questions that require research effort to answer. Questions of past TQ's are available here for your use and entertainment.

Total Quiz Archive: Recent Questions
Total Quiz Archive: Special Questions
Total Quiz Archive: Older Questions

A Brief History of the Total Quiz

Having it's origins in Heavengames (HG), Total Quiz is in fact older than this site. The first edition of Total Quiz was held in HG in October 2001. Its creator, the user Kolovrat was also the first moderator of the quiz. In the early format of the quiz, participants competed by answering the questions posted on the forum by replying using the forum within a certain time limit. The questions themselves were written by both the quiz moderator and contributed by the contestants themselves. In the currently format, contestants who have submitted questions in use for the quiz receive a bonus point determined by a formula to compensate for the fact that contestants may not answer their own question.

Since the early days, the format and style of the quiz has be continually refined, resulting in significant changes. One of the most important changes in the format of the quiz was the adoption of a separate "quiz engine script" used to collect responses from participants. By using a separate script to keep track of responses rather than have participants post their answers publicly, the questions could stand for the remainder of the time even if already answered. Since the first quiz engine was written by Cyrus Shahmiri, founder of All Empires, the quiz became co-hosted by both Heavengames and All Empires forum for a period of time, before gradually become a contest held singly in All Empires.

In the recent editions of the Total Quiz (as of the time of this writing) more changes were introduced in order to increase participation and make the event more "grandiose". The questions aspect of the quiz was refined by arranging the questions in order of difficulty and the quality of the questions became more emphasized. In order to maintain consistent style and quality, the task of question writing fell primarily to the role of the moderator and the previous reliance on "guest-submitted" questions was largely (although not completely) dropped. In audition, the winner of each quiz was given a signature title to be used in the forum. Participation increased significantly, although also because of the growth of the forum itself.

One of the most remarkable developments in the Quiz throughout the years is evolution of question style. Questions of earlier Quizzes contained blatant keywords that would lead to an answer by the use of a search engine today. Of course, back then, the use of search engines was not as familiar as a research tool and the engines themselves were developed as it is now. Nonetheless, a skilled user of web searches for earlier quizzes had a high chance of doing well on the contest. Take for example, this question:

"A great medieval king was killed on Good Friday during a battle his army won. In that same battle (also one of his sons), other parents, friends and allies of his died, so his kingdom eventually passed back to the one he had deposed. Who was that great King? "
-- Total Quiz IV, October 2001
Answering this question offhand would be difficult many. However, the question can easily be defeated in less than a minute by typing the search king killed Good Friday battle into Google. In order to combat this, questions overtime evolved so that no keywords are given in the clue. For example, the question:
"I belonged to one of the most prestigious clans in my era. Respected by the public due to my spotless image, revered by my peers for my calm demeanor, and feared by my rivals because of my political ingenuity, I came out of retirement to save the empire that my clan served, an empire that halved from its original size a few years before my birth. First, I prevented a powerful figure from usurping the throne; then, with my guidance from behind the scenes, my brother and nephew's troops triumphed in a battle near a river, defeating a much larger invading army from a young, upstart empire. The young, upstart empire began to disintegrate soon after its defeat, while the empire I served survived for a few more decades. Who am I? "
-- Total Quiz XIV, Jan 2007
contains no keywords that the contestant can simply "Google" directly. In this case, the contestant must either know the answer directly or find the answer through the other clues given in the question.

Question from previous editions of the Total Quiz are posted in the links above for your enjoyment. I hope you'll find one or two interesting facts from browsing the questions!

- By Invictus, former AE administrator, webmaster and TQ moderator; Jan 30 2007

For more information: Current Rules | Past Winners and Moderators