This is our champion, John Doe.
In the first round, three new players compete for the opportunity to face the champion from the previous day.
All challengers begin the game with a limit of three Strikes, which will be used up along the way for wrong answers or unsuccessful challenges. The podiums above are an example of how the players' scores would look at the beginning.
In the first round, the players are asked up to 10 general knowledge questions. Each question has 3 choices, one of which being the correct answer. After the question is read, each player locks in which choice they believe to be the correct answer. They have 3 seconds to pick one, and if they don't, it's ruled a pass.
A correct answer wins $100, a wrong answer gives the player a Strike. Players may pass on any number of questions without penalty. If one player guessed right, another guessed wrong, and the third contestant passed, the scores would look like the example above.
Round 1 continues until one player accumulates three Strikes. That player is out of the game, and the two remaining contestants advance to the second round.
If all 10 questions are asked and nobody Strikes Out, or if two or more people Strikeout on the same question, the player(s) with the most money advance. If there's a tie for score, a sudden-death question is asked. The fastest person to lock in a correct answer, or the slowest person to lock in the wrong answer, goes on.
If the show were to become a prime-time, high-stakes quiz, the payoffs would be inflated as such:
Strikeout! really emerged out of another idea I was contemplating in high school. Fresh off of watching the California lottery show "The Big Spin" and their new game at the time called "Wizard of Odds", I felt inspired to create a show that involved crystal balls. The memories are sketchy, but I remember the important part: on a correct answer, the player's crystal ball would turn green; if incorrect, it turned red. I quickly dropped the crystal balls and replaced them with Strikes, and the format really started working out.
In the summer of '99, however, something occurred that had me running for the drawing board again. As all of us game show fans can tell you, this was the time that Who Wants to be a Millionaire premiered. It's a great show, but it did seem to have a format similar to my original bonus round (which required players to get through 12 questions before Striking Out). I had to change the endgame somewhat to get rid of the similarities.
One more thing - if you're a fan of game shows from abroad, you may think that this concept is an adaptation of the British show Fifteen to One. Believe me, I had absolutely no idea that such a show existed - it wasn't until I posted my original proposal on A.T.G-S that a Brit by the name of Chris Dickson brought thatt to my attention. Hopefully there are enough differences between my idea and theirs (for instance, Fifteen to One doesn't have a bonus round, the contestants don't get more chances as the game progresses, and there is no returning champion) will save me from getting slapped with a lawsuit.
WHO WOULD I HIRE? (If I couldn't pick myself)
Host: I'd need someone who's good at high-energy games, but also a good question reader. Believe it or not, but I'd say Kenny Mayne would be a nice fit for the show (although I do want to avoid the sports analogies if possible). Marc Summers would also work.
Announcer: I don't know if he's still in the business, but Don Morrow had a great, stentorian voice. It'd be a nice compliment to the atmosphere. If he isn't, Charlie O'Donnell has a similar delivery.
Set: The main color will be blue. Black, glossy floor with the logo on it. I'd like to see a line of chasing lights in the same fashion as the Strike lights on the podiums running down the center of the wall (think Bullseye). Challenger podiums will be camera right, Champion's/GtD podium camera left. The host has no podium; he stands at center stage for the first round, then close in on the challenger podiums for rounds 2 and 3.
The strategy is the key element in this game. While the first round is a simple test of knowledge, the other two rounds in the front game involve metering your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. After all, what good is challenging your foe to answer a Science question if he's a chemistry professor at UCLA? The drama also picks up if one player is down six strikes to two in the third round, and starts pulling off a comeback. Keeping a champion on the show until he loses will promote a sense of continuity. Remember back in 1980, Tic Tac Dough was struggling in the ratings until a man by the name of Thom McKee starting racking up win after win.
I kind of alluded to this when recommending a host, but I really don't want this show to get caught up in sports jargon. I mean, yes, the strikeout is one of the oft-referred to terms in the sports world, but if the show gets saddled with "Home Runs" and "Double Plays" and whatnot, I'm afraid the show will turn into a caricature, and it's supposed to be a hard quiz.
Questions, comments, cares or concerns? Use the link on the left to E-mail me and tell me what you think!