Starchaser
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Tue 21 May 2019
at 08:39
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
This is probably either the most bonkers idea I've ever had, or one of the best ideas I've ever had and I'm not sure which yet.

So I keep trying to learn Japanese but RL ALWAYS gets in my way. My problem: lack of focus. I can't consistently put aside half hour a day to study. But I should be able to.

Let's face it, memorising Syllabaries is boring as hell. So I've come up with an idea to make it more entertaining.

So I have this idea of a game where characters go through a Shinto gate and end up on a path surrounded by mist. At the end of the path is what looks like a modest Japanese house. Inside, however, it is a sprawling maze of corridors and rooms. The house itself is populated by yokai, both light and dark who will help or hinder the characters in trying to escape.

Now for the language part. Some doors have seals put above them. The seals are words or phases written in hiragana. In order to break the seals characters have to perform rituals that somehow incorporate the word or phrase.

This would only work if the players are disciplined enough to use study knowledge to decipher the seals and not rely on online tools such as google translate (which is crap anyway).

Anyone think this is a good idea or a bonkers one? Anyone want to discuss game design?

If this was to become a 'thing' I would need help from someone proficient enough in the language to come up with the seals themselves. Since initial focus will be on Hiragana it doesn't need to be an absolute expert, just someone with enough experience.

I'm thinking of making the game adult (because that's what I tend to run), but mature would work too. A limited number of players as well.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1562 posts
Tue 21 May 2019
at 12:05
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
There are actual games out there similar to this. I've seen a couple on Google Play.

I memtion it for two reasons,

first, they are a source for looking at what works and what doesn't

and second, because the real-time interaction will work much much better than pbp pacing for actually learning.
Starchaser
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Tue 21 May 2019
at 13:57
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Yeah I have a game on my phone that is pretty good. The problem with this is that they are, as you say, real time interaction. And whereas I agree with you that real time interaction is better, in my case I don't have enough time or any free uninterrupted space for real time interaction of any kind for a long period of time. I need something akin to pbp simply because it is less interactive.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive but RL can be a bitch for me. I also can't be the only one here who is too busy for anything beyond pbp?
Studynot
 member, 154 posts
Tue 21 May 2019
at 17:07
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Duolingo - check that phone app out. It could be a good resource to run a game like this in terms of style and how they structure it!

I brush up my Chinese periodically with it, and have basically learned French through it.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:38, Tue 21 May.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15732 posts
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 but mostly he's Ron.
Tue 21 May 2019
at 17:24
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Please remember that, since the OP has posted in this forum, all discussion of off-site programs, apps, games, etc... is off-topic.  This forum is only for discussion of games that will be played on RPoL.
Quidnunc
 member, 1 post
Wed 22 May 2019
at 08:42
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
In reply to Starchaser (msg # 1):

おはようございます! (Good morning!)

日本語がすこしわかります. (I understand a little Japanese)

Interesting idea. It almost seems better suited to memorizing kanji than hiragana. Add furigana and you can learn a few things at once while also having the potential for making it look beautiful (the furigana/hiragana characters swirling about the kanji)?

Possibly interested, but I have to be careful not to over commit.

Potential issue: not all PCs will display the Japanese characters properly.
horus
 member, 741 posts
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Wed 22 May 2019
at 16:49
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
In reply to Starchaser (msg # 1):

I'd definitely be interested in helping develop this!

Ore wa sukoshi Nihongo dekimasu.  (I speak a little Japanese).

Yeah, but reading and writing it is an entirely different affair.  I spent several years as a child on the island of Okinawa (or Uchinaa, as its natives call it).  I sure wish now that I'd taken the time to learn the kana, so this idea calls out to me.

I do have access to some texts on the subject, notably a small book published by Barron's called Japanese Grammar by Carol and Nobuo Akiyama, which I have found useful in enhancing my vocabulary and understanding of grammar.  It has tables for hiragana and katakana, also.

There are online resources that could potentially be useful, but discussion on those can wait until the decision is made to field this game.
Starchaser
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Thu 23 May 2019
at 05:25
Re: IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Quidnunc:
Interesting idea. It almost seems better suited to memorizing kanji than hiragana. Add furigana and you can learn a few things at once while also having the potential for making it look beautiful (the furigana/hiragana characters swirling about the kanji)?


Well I am an absolute beginner and so far I'm about half way through memorising the Hiragana. If you think its better to aim this at learning kanji too then that could be done but the need for a language expert to be involved in this will rise considerably. I can still provide plot / characters / locations etc of course.

Horus:
I'd definitely be interested in helping develop this!

Ore wa sukoshi Nihongo dekimasu.  (I speak a little Japanese).

Yeah, but reading and writing it is an entirely different affair.  I spent several years as a child on the island of Okinawa (or Uchinaa, as its natives call it).  I sure wish now that I'd taken the time to learn the kana, so this idea calls out to me.


I have stared out on Tofugu and one of the things they say there is to concentrate on reading rather than writing for speedier learning. I don't know that is right or wrong but I think players themselves would probably be translating into English anyway. I have run through some speaking videos too (Japanese Ammo on YouTube seems pretty good as Misa has a really clear voice with little accent when speaking English)

If you'd like to help, rmail me and we can discuss it.

I'm not expecting this to be a super efficient way of learning Japanese but I do see it as a fun accessory to learning and perhaps a good source of motivation to keep learning.
horus
 member, 745 posts
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Thu 23 May 2019
at 07:04
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
In reply to Quidnunc (msg # 6):

We could overcome the issues with character sets and encoding by using small graphics of the kana, maybe made to look like Shogi tiles or Japanese Scrabble tiles?

Hmm... a training aid:  hiragana tiles with romaji transliterations, gradually replaced by those without transliterations?  There are ready sources from which we could get a "quick start".
OakMaster
 member, 113 posts
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Thu 23 May 2019
at 16:53
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
How newbie-friendly would this be?  My Duolingo Japanese is level 6 (plus Duolingo Chinese level 13, which helps with some of the characters).  Would the earliest levels train up a beginner, or would you need a minimum level of proficiency to even start?
Starchaser
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Fri 24 May 2019
at 15:52
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Im an absolute beginner myself so I'd say we start at zero knowledge.
Starchaser
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Fri 24 May 2019
at 15:55
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Or (and this will definately require a few experts) we could sort players into groups based on their proficiency level so beginners are group 1, more advanced group 2, intermediate group 3, etc. Thoughts on this?
OakMaster
 member, 114 posts
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 whom ye will serve..."
Fri 24 May 2019
at 16:02
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Hopefully, there would be at least one non-beginner, so that the blind aren't leading the blind...  ;)
Starchaser
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Wed 29 May 2019
at 06:09
IC plus brainstorming: Hiragana Practice.
Game link is here if anyone wishes to contbute: link to another game

This message was last edited by the user at 06:12, Wed 29 May.