Triv Documentation


Triv is the trivia game of short questions and short answers for the PalmPilot. You can play the Trivia Pizza, Triv Grid, or Trillionaire board games or take a Quick Quiz by yourself or with 1 to 4 players or teams. Or match wits against another person or the computer in the Triv Tac Toe strategy game.

Table of Contents

Advantages of Triv

Triv brings trivia to a new level with the following features and more:

How to Play

New Game Options Form
New Game Options

When Triv starts up, it will bring up the New Game Options form. On this screen, you can set the game variation to play (Trivia Pizza, Quick Quiz, Triv Grid, Triv Tac Toe, or Trillionaire), and other options and preferences.

Click on the OK button to start a new game.

Global Options Form
Global Options

The Global Options button brings up a screen from which the number of Players can be set from 1 to 4, and the Timer can be turned Off or set to 15, 30, 60, or 120 seconds. These options can only be set before a new game begins.

The Global Preferences button brings up a screen on which the Font, Lines, Sound, Count Down By, Hardware Btns, and Score Changes options can be set. These options are explained in the Global Preferences section.

The Select Module button brings up a screen on which you can choose between the Triv data modules that you have loaded on your PalmPilot.

The Register button brings up a screen on which you can enter your Triv registration code after you have purchased Triv.

For each game variant, clicking on the corresponding Options buttons will display additional choices. Clicking on the corresponding Info ("i") buttons will show the help screen for each game.

Trivia Pizza Options Form
Trivia Pizza Options

For the Trivia Pizza board game, there are 3 options:

Quick Quiz Options Form
Quick Quiz Options

For Quick Quiz, you can set options for the number of questions (10 to 50), Horseshoes scoring (close numeric answers get partial credit), Difficulty Level (1=easy, 2=medium, 3=hard, Any=any level), and Same Questions (a fair variant of the multi-player game in which each person is given the same exact questions).

Triv Grid Options Form
Triv Grid Options

For Triv Grid, you can set the number of rounds to play. The first player goes first in round 1, the second player goes first in round 2, and so forth. The fairest games would give each player a chance to go first the same number of times. With 4 players, having only 1 round favors players 1 and 2; 2 rounds favors player 2 and penalizes player 4; and 3 rounds favors players 2 and 3. This can be used as a small handicap if desired.

If you select the Negative Scoring checkbox, incorrect answers cause a score deduction equal to the difficulty level of the question, while not entering an answer costs 0 points. If this option is not checked, then incorrect answers and not answering are both worth 0 points.

If you select the Grid Bid checkbox, 1 Grid Bid square will be randomly selected in each round. This is similar to the Daily Double in "Jeopardy!". Players selecting the Grid Bid square can bid anywhere from 1 to their current score (or the number of the round times 5 if that is higher). If the Negative Scoring option is turned on and the player answers incorrectly or does not answer, the entire bid is deducted from the score (note that this differs from non-Grid Bid squares).

If you select the Practice Mode checkbox, you can use the Triv Grid board for selecting questions by category and difficulty (e.g., when playing on a real game board). The Rounds and Grid Bid options are ignored. An End Practice button will appear although you can also select the New Game Options menu item to exit the practice.

Triv Tac Toe Options Form
Triv Tac Toe Options

For Triv Tac Toe, you can set either the number of rounds to play by selecting the Max Rounds button or the number of points needed to win by selecting the Points to Win button.

In single-player mode, you can set the Computer Level from 1 (about 25% accuracy) to 3 (75%) to set the strength of the computer. This does not affect the computer's strategy, which is the same reasonably intelligent one regardless of the level.

The Animation checkbox controls whether squares are flashed to show when they are won or lost.

Trillionaire Options Form
Trillionaire Options

For Trillionaire, the Show Score checkbox sets whether the score is displayed in a popup window before each question or not. You can set the difficulty Level to Easy (difficulty 1 questions only), Medium (difficulty 1 and 2 questions only), or Hard (level 1 to 3 questions). You can set the Error Penalty to 0 (no penalty) to 6 (incorrect answer ends game and costs 6 fictional dollar levels). For example, if the Error Level is set to 2 and you have successfully negotiated the $100 million question, getting the next question wrong would knock you down to $1 million, while quitting would leave you at $100 million.

Trivia Pizza Play

Trivia Pizza Before Roll
Trivia Pizza Before Roll

The goal of Trivia Pizza is to earn a pie slice in each of the 6 categories. The playing board consists of 42 spaces of which every 7th square is a pie slice (marked with a thick black rectangle outline) of a different category. You can think of the playing board as being wrapped around the outside of a cylinder (like the money wheel in "The Price is Right").

The Trivia Pizza screen displays a pizza pie indicating which pie slices have been earned. Each slice is labelled with the first letter of the category name. The pie is always oriented so that the slices on the right correspond to your current location (highlighted in black in the middle) on the playing board on the right side of the screen. The numbers on the sides of the board show what needs to be rolled to reach those squares (you can click on either the arrows or the category name).

Trivia Pizza After Roll
Trivia Pizza After Roll

Click on the Roll button (or the die itself or your current square) to roll the die. You will always have a choice of two squares (of the same or different categories) to move to, and these will be indicated by double right arrows surrounding them on the board. Click on either of the indicated squares to move to that square.

Main Form Multiple Choice
Main Form Showing Multiple Choice Question

This will bring up the Main screen with a trivia question on it. Enter your guess using the on-screen buttons (alphabetic or numeric keypad, multiple choice options, or True/False options), the built-in PalmPilot keyboard, or Graffiti. Click on the OK button or use the Graffiti RETURN stroke (top right to bottom left) to enter alphabetic or numeric answers. The correct answer will then be displayed.

Each player's turn continues until an incorrect answer is given. The game ends after one person gets all six pie slices and each player has had the same number of turns.

Quick Quiz Play

Main Form Numeric
Main Form Showing Numeric Keypad and Timer

If you are playing Quick Quiz, you will be brought to the Main screen with a trivia question on it. Enter your guess using the on-screen buttons (alphabetic or numeric keypad, multiple choice options, or True/False options), the built-in PalmPilot keyboard, Graffiti, or hardware buttons (for multiple choice or True/False answers). Click on the OK button or use the Graffiti RETURN stroke to enter alphabetic or numeric answers. The correct answer will then be displayed.

The next player then gets a turn, and play alternates until the requested number of trivia questions have been given to each player.

Quick Quiz Scoring

In the Quick Quiz game, 10 points are earned for each correct answer.

For numeric answers, there is a scoring variation called Horseshoes (as in "horseshoes and hand grenades") where close answers earn partial credit. If the Horseshoes checkbox is marked on the New Game Options form, the following scoring is also in effect:

Triv Grid Play

Triv Grid
Triv Grid

The goal of Triv Grid is to earn as many points as possible from a game board consisting of one question of each category/difficulty combination. For each correct answer, one point is earned for each level of difficulty. Since there are 6 categories and difficulty levels 1, 2, and 3, there are a total of 18 questions and 36 (6*(1+2+3)) possible points in each round.

Players take turns selecting a category and difficulty and then answering the corresponding question until all rounds have been played.

Grid Bid
Grid Bid

If the Negative Scoring option is turned on, incorrect answers are penalized the value of the question, while declining to answer is worth 0 points. The exception to this is for Grid Bid questions, where declining to answer is the same as an incorrect answer.

Triv Tac Toe Play

Triv Tac Toe
Triv Tac Toe

The goal of Triv Tac Toe is to get three squares in a row. The first player has the "X" markers, and the second player has the "O" markers. In turn, each player selects an unoccupied square and answers a trivia question (this part is skipped when the computer plays). If the answer is correct, the player wins the square and earns a point. If the answer is incorrect, the other player gets the square unless it would make Triv Tac Toe (3 in a row).

A round ends when either player gets Triv Tac Toe (earning a 5 point bonus) or the board is full. The game ends after a set number of rounds has been played or one player has reached the minimum number of points needed to win (depending on the option set in Triv Tac Toe Options above).

Trillionaire Play


The goal of Trillionaire is to answer up to 12 questions (one for each letter in "TRILLIONAIRE") without getting any wrong. Each question is worth 10 times as much as the previous question, starting at $10 (fictional Triv dollars) and ending with $1 TRILLION (even more fictional). There are 4 total Helpers of 3 different types to assist you:

Images of the available helpers are displayed at the bottom of the main screen. If a helper is not available it, an 'X' is displayed instead.


Tapping on the TRILLIONAIRE graphic toggles the display of the current level to the value of the question as text. For non-multiple choice questions only, tapping on the Show Keypad button will display the keypad instead of the helpers. When the keypad is displayed the button is labeled Show Helpers and the level is always displayed as text.

Lastly, unless the Error Penalty option is set to 0, a Quit button is available. This allows you to exit the game at your current dollar level instead of incurring a penalty for a wrong answer.


Answers to alphabetic questions consist of a single word with 1 to 10 capital letters, containing no numbers, spaces, or punctuation marks. Questions are phrased to indicate if a singular or plural answer is required, but in some cases either will be accepted. If the answer should be a person's name, use the last name (surname) by which they are usually known unless specifically asked to answer with the first, middle, or given name. Professional sports teams are referred to by nickname, while college teams are identified by college.

Answers to numeric questions consist of 1 to 5 digits, with no minus signs, decimals, commas, or other symbols.

Answers to multiple choice questions are a single, lower case letter 'a', 'b', 'c', or 'd' if you are using Graffiti. You can also click on the answer text to select it.

Answers to True/False questions are a single, lower case letter 't' (for true) or 'f' (for false) if you are using Graffiti.

Note that alphabetic and numeric answers require you to hit the OK button or enter a Graffiti RETURN stroke, while multiple choice and True/False answers are entered automatically.

Answer Form
Answer Form

After you have entered your answer, the correct answer will be displayed, along with the number of points you earned and your current score. In the color version, correct answers are indicated in green, and incorrect answers are marked red. Press the OK button or use the Graffiti RETURN stroke (top right to bottom left) to continue. If you have enabled score changes on the Global Options screen, a Change Score button will appear. Pressing this button will give you full credit for your answer (after a confirmation dialog).


Triv has an optional timer that can be set on the New Game Options screen. The timer can set to Off, 15, 30, 60, or 120 seconds. If the timer is being used, it will be displayed below the answer field.

The timer counts down by one second at a time by default. This can be changed to 2, 5, or 10 seconds on the Global Options screen. This may be less distracting to the user and will use up less battery power due to a quirk in the way PalmOS handles 1-second timers.

The timer will continue to run even if the user switches applications or turns the PalmPilot off. This prevents users from getting extra time to answer.

Game Over and High Scores

When the game is over, the final scores of all players are displayed. For Quick Quiz with the difficulty level set to 3 or Any, there is also a High Score board. If any of the final scores makes the High Score list, it is displayed after the Game Over screen is dismissed. You can also bring up the High Score board at any time using the menu option below.

Menu Options

On most screens, you can access the Help menu at the far right, which has the following three choices:

On most screens, you can access the Launch menu to go to the other applications in the Triv suite:

Also on most screens, you can access the Beam menu in the middle, which allows you to beam Triv and its modules to another Palm device. The three Beam menu choices are:

Note that you need at least Triv.prc and one Triv database to play Triv.

From the New Game Options screen, the following menu choices are available under the Triv menu on the left:

From the Trivia Pizza, Triv Grid, Triv Tac Toe, Trillionaire, and Main screens, the following menu choices are available on the Triv menu on the left:

Triv Data Modules

Each full Triv data module contains over 500 questions evenly split between 6 categories and 3 difficulty levels. These modules take up between 30Kb and 70Kb each. Specially themed mini-modules have fewer questions. Triv modules may be stored in main memory or on any VFS-accessible card (e.g., SD, MMC, etc.) under PalmOS 4.0 and higher.

53 full modules and 8 mini-modules are currently bundled with Triv and are located in the "Apps" folder:

Other module ideas are always welcome... You can now create your own modules with TrivWriter or Triv Module Creator (see next section). There are currently 2 user-created trivia modules with over 600 questions.

Triv Utilities

TrivFind is a free application bundled with Triv that allows you to use its trivia modules as a reference. Simply install TrivFind.prc and run it on your Palm device. TrivFind's options are fairly self-explanatory, but you can tap on the "i" (information) icon at the top right of the main screen for details. Tap on the "modules selected" count to specify exactly which trivia modules you would like to search in. TrivWriter is a free application bundled with Triv that allows you to create your own trivia modules, study guides, etc. Simply install TrivWriter.prc and run it on your Palm device. You can also run it under POSE (PalmOS Emulator) on your PC or Macintosh (use the "Export Database..." option to copy your generated Triv modules to ".pdb" files on your desktop that you can then install on your actual Palm device). See the TrivWriter documentation for more details. Triv Module Creator is a free Macintosh application bundled with Triv Macintosh that allows you to create your own trivia modules, study guides, etc. It has a few features that TrivWriter does not.


Triv is $9.95 shareware. All upgrades and data modules are free! Simple economics will dictate how many upgrades and new modules there are, so please register and spread the word...

Paying for Triv

See the Purchasing.html document or tap on the Help button on Triv's Registration screen for details on how obtain a registration code.

Registering Once You Have Paid

Once you have your registration code, go back into Triv and use the Registration menu option to bring up the Registration screen. Enter the code and click on the OK button. You should get a confirmation window, and then you will have access to all questions in all current and future modules. Thanks!

Other Documentation

In the "Apps" folder, the file TrivDoc.prc is a Doc-formatted version of this file. This file can be installed on your PalmPilot for reference if you have a Doc reader installed. You can download the free eReader (

In the "Docs" folder the following files can also be found:


Below is a partial list of the hundreds of references used to create the questions for Triv:

In addition, there were countless web resources, of which special mention must be made of IMDB ( for its extraordinary movie and television information.

Updates and Contact Information

Triv Version 3.9.4, December 15, 2008
Triv is Copyright (C)1998-2008 by Robert Jen.

Please click here for updates and contact information.