中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

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D-503
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中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby D-503 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:04 am UTC

I'm building a game based on memorizing Chinese characters and I'm looking for testers to provide feedback and catch bugs before I put it on the app markets. I am hoping some of you xkcders will be willing to donate your time to try it out. If I have done a good job on it, It should be a fun and educational experience.
The game attempts to use the qualities that motivate people to play farm sims to encourage players to study Chinese characters and phrases. Players plant character-flowers and must pass quizzes in order to pluck them.
The game runs on Android or iOS, however if you want to test on iOS you will need to send me your UDID number.
This website has more information and a download links for the beta: http://zhongwengarden.com/
Last edited by D-503 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:10 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

platypusmarket
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby platypusmarket » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:03 pm UTC

Great idea! Can you embed the game on your site? I can't download this to my computer.

Right now I play Mindsnacks for learning Mandarin. I find it is not very addictive because the game mechanics lack the level progression/item collecting that usually hooks me.

I am creating something similar right now ( Mandarin learning game), only it is designed to be an asset for other games rather than a standalone game. Imagine playing Assassin's creed or something and having to decode a letter written in Mandarin, or Spanish, or whatever language the user wants to learn.

Good luck, I'll let you know my thoughts when I dl to Iphone later.

platypusmarket
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby platypusmarket » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:09 pm UTC

Download onto iphone failed. 4s, have not installed latest IOS update.

D-503
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby D-503 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:07 am UTC

Hi, thank you for your interest. And thanks for mentioning Mindsnacks, I hadn't tried their apps before. They are very well designed.

The download failed because your iPhone's UDID is not included in the game's provisioning profile. iOS will not install non-market apps unless they include the device's UDID in the provisioning profile. In order to install the game you need to first email or PM me your UDID number. You can determine your UDID by following this guide: http://whatsmyudid.com/
There are also some apps you can install from the market that will show you your UDID.

platypusmarket
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby platypusmarket » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:24 pm UTC

Warning, I don't know what you want in a review so I'm just gonna be real, which may sound harsh.

Gameplay: I found that the first bit of game play is kind of boring. The time limit is a little bit much.
I'm going to keep playing to see what bigger levels are like but right now it's waaay too slow. I would change the base level timing down to 4 seconds to grow. The wait time combined with low $ yield for planting means it's be 20 minutes of planting "ni hao" to get to something better. I'm exagerating, but it's frustrating lol.

I like the art style. I don't like the plucking animation. I also don't understand why I'm making flowers instead of crops. Are there multiple flower varieties?

The fading of flowers even when the app is closed is annoying....

Robustness: I'm not sure why you chose multiples of four as opposed to making "ni" worth 1 point. It seems that if I have less than $4 I get $20 stimulus so my attempts to break the game failed anyway. I haven't tried this, but if I only have $4 will I get stimulus? If not, the game will be unplayable if I ever get down to just $4.


All in all it seems like it has a lot of potential. I'll know more soon. In the mean time please reduce the wait time!!!

D-503
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby D-503 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:21 am UTC

Thank you for the excellent feedback! I'm planning to add weeds to make the game-play more fast paced. I'm not sure whether I will get rid of withering, but I might. I'm going to wait for more feedback on it first.
What aspect of the plucking animation bothers you, the drawing of the purple guy pulling on a flower or the way the way the flower expands?

platypusmarket
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby platypusmarket » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:13 pm UTC

No problem, the world needs better learning games and you're doing a good job.

The animation didn't annoy me or anything, I just felt it did not match the theme. Also I don't see an animation, just a purple guy holding a stretched flower. I call it an animation but there's only one frame, guess I should call it a picture.

The flower plucking and the question answering are important parts of the game. They provide the reward for doing the action. I suggest a coin jingle sound and a vibrant congratulations that starts off in english. The chinese congratulations did not make me feel particularly awesome because it had no meaning yet. Maybe the first words people should learn are dui, hao, add fuel, etc.

I plan on copying the reward style of candy crush in my slot machine game. Lots of visual and audible rewards to go with the "tangible" rewards of winning money.

Edit: Forgot to add,

When I played Ultima Online I logged in everyday because plants took 24 hours to grow and missing a few days caused them to get sick or die. It took atleast 14 full days to grow a plant. Everyday they had to be watered and possibly treated for disease. Growing the plant provided resources you could not obtain otherwise. It's a really ingenous game mechanic that encourages players to login everyday to avoid loss. Logging in everyday encourages a routine to play everyday. When UO did it it's kind of messed up since they did it for monthly fees but wioth language learning it sounds fine. There were also those pets in the 90s, yamaguchis or tomagochis or something. Same idea.

Perhaps you could add special plants that take 24 hours to bloom but cause a x100 point bonus or something.

alessandro95
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby alessandro95 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:41 am UTC

This app looks very interesting but on my phone it is incredibly laggy and I have to tap a lot of times for it to respond which makes it pretty much unusable, but I don't know why is it behaving this way.

If that helps you I tried it on a xiaomi m1s with android 4.0.4 and MIUI as rom
The primary reason Bourbaki stopped writing books was the realization that Lang was one single person.

D-503
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby D-503 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:13 am UTC

platypusmarket wrote:When I played Ultima Online I logged in everyday because plants took 24 hours to grow and missing a few days caused them to get sick or die. It took atleast 14 full days to grow a plant. Everyday they had to be watered and possibly treated for disease. Growing the plant provided resources you could not obtain otherwise. It's a really ingenous game mechanic that encourages players to login everyday to avoid loss. Logging in everyday encourages a routine to play everyday. When UO did it it's kind of messed up since they did it for monthly fees but wioth language learning it sounds fine. There were also those pets in the 90s, yamaguchis or tomagochis or something. Same idea.

Perhaps you could add special plants that take 24 hours to bloom but cause a x100 point bonus or something.


Motivating players to keep coming back to the game to practice more is definitely a design goal. The bloom times increase exponentially so it's possible for flowers to reach day long bloom times. And the longer the flower takes to bloom the more money you get for it. However, it might be that the bloom times between ~10 minutes and a day are not fun durations. Also, maybe I should make it easier to unlock the flowers with day long bloom times.

This app looks very interesting but on my phone it is incredibly laggy and I have to tap a lot of times for it to respond which makes it pretty much unusable, but I don't know why is it behaving this way.

If that helps you I tried it on a xiaomi m1s with android 4.0.4 and MIUI as rom

Thanks for taking the time to try it out. I'm sad to hear that it was so laggy. I noticed that when I have my Android in power saving mode the game becomes significantly laggier. Also, if you turn off the special effects option in the game some of the traditions will be faster.

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drego642
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Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby drego642 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:07 pm UTC

Hey, this is a really cool and interesting idea! I've wanted to give this app a try for a while now but I didn't have an Android or iOS device. I just got an iPod Touch for Christmas and just finished up a semester of introductory Chinese, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to brush up and continue my learning. Sending my UDID now.

D-503
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Re: 中文 Garden - Chinese character study game

Postby D-503 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:08 am UTC

I just finished launching public releases of the game on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Special thanks to platypusmarket and drego642 for their feedback.


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