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Be Funny Now! wants you to own up to your terrible jokes

Most answer-based party games like the Jackbox series or What the Dub let players hide behind anonymity when submitting their answers. They only reveal who made each risqué joke after winning a matchup. Jack Douglass, a YouTuber named Jacksfilms who self-funded and developed a competitive party game, doesn’t want players to hide behind their terrible answers in Be Funny Now!

“We want people to be proud and own up to their terrible answers,” Douglass tells Digital Trends. “I love when people submit an answer, and their little avatar does a bow while they’re being pelted with tomatoes. Little moments like that make me really happy about this game.”

Be Funny Now! is a party game based on Jacksfilms’ YouTube series Yesterday I Asked You (YIAY), where he asks his audience a question and reads out and responds to the funniest answers. In it, players create and customize characters before hopping into public or private matches where players must answer a prompt like “Describe Google in 4 words” with the funniest answer they can think of.

After learning how Jacksfilms made this game as a YouTuber turned first-time developer and after playing matches with people, including Douglass himself, Be Funny Now! has proven itself a unique take on the competitive party game that’s as much about the people playing as it is the answers themselves.

Game development, never tried

The idea for Be Funny Now! first emerged after Jacksfilms held some YIAY Live shows on his Twitch in 2018. He noticed that his viewers kept creating and answering questions even after the livestream concluded, revealing the potential for a YIAY video game. He’s been working on what would eventually become Be Funny Now! ever since as he has continued to host YIAY and hold live shows.

Douglass tells Digital Trends that the original concept for the game was a battle royale where 100 players would answer a prompt and would then vote until one answer rose to the top. He also wanted public matchmaking so people could still find games to play and enjoy even if they couldn’t group up with friends at the moment.

The YouTuber pitched the idea to multiple game developers and ultimately decided on working with Galvanic Games, developer of Cyanide & Happiness’ battle royale game Rapture Rejects. Shockingly, Galvanic actually believed a battle royale format wouldn’t be the best approach for Be Funny Now!

“It’s putting you, your answers, and your avatars under a spotlight. Be proud of your answer!”

Instead, the team recommended the max player count be lowered to eight so the game wouldn’t have to rely on having a large player base to be functional or resort to using bots to fill empty slots. “They were the first people that told me no [to that idea], but they’d also made a battle royale before, so they probably knew what they were talking about,” Douglass explains.

While Douglass was the genesis of the pitch and worked on the title throughout its development, he credits Galvanic Games with bringing many ideas to the project. This includes aspects like the game’s stage performance aesthetic, which Jacksfilms says plays into the game’s central theme. “It’s putting you, your answers, and your avatars under a spotlight. Be proud of your answer!” he reiterated during our discussion.

Late into development, Galvanic even added a daily question feature, which all players could answer and compete for rewards with. That mode manages to retain some of the DNA of the battle royale idea that kickstarted the whole project.

Jacksfilms' avatar stands in the main menu of Be Funny Now.

Overall, Douglass seems delighted with Galvanic and the game development process. However, he was surprised at how long seemingly simple things took or how beta testing revealed brilliant ideas that he never even thought of during development, like a round counter.

“I was surprised at how long the Apple development process took,” he said. “I came in extremely green, not knowing anything about the video game development and the processes that go into it. … Not that I was anticipating that making a game from scratch would be quick, easy, short, and fun, but that was just one process, and so many things go into making a game like this.”

Your question sucks

The final version of Be Funny Now! is a very refreshing take on the competitive party game genre. The questions mix YIAY’s greatest hits and new prompts, with some even tasking players to draw things. You also don’t need to be a fan of YIAY or Jacksfilms to enjoy Be Funny Now!, though it certainly helps. At one point, we were asked to draw a “beefcake.” I took the prompt literally and drew a piece of beef with the word “yum” next to it. On brand, Jacksfilms drew Shrek, and seeing him make a joke about that franchise in person made it all the more hilarious.

As I played with Douglass, we laughed at and discussed each other’s jokes as they appeared. One highlight came when I referenced SEO when describing Google in four words, which Jacksfilms described as “a thinking man’s answer.” We weren’t hiding behind our answers, and that just added to the fun. I saw off-the-cuff jokes from one of my favorite comedy YouTubers, and I even got him to laugh at a couple of my own gags. I can’t wait to try this game out with my friends, incorporate our own memes and in-jokes, and know exactly who made the funniest and most cringe-inducing responses.

From outfits to emotes, the character customization also makes jokes feel more personal, funny, and possibly groan-worthy and adds a bit of personality to everyone you face. The public matchmaking and daily question even make this a compelling solo party game, which is a rarity.

A character cries at Morbius' failure in Be Funny Now.

I’m excited to try the game now that it’s in the hands of general audiences. While the end product didn’t align with Douglass’ initial idea for a YIAY game, this is a surprisingly fun first outing for his game development journey and the best and most original YouTuber game I’ve played.

It’s also free, so it’s worth giving a shot if you’re looking for a new party game to play with your friends and embarrass yourself in. Be Funny Now! is available for PC, iOS, and Android.

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