Author Topic: Slova -- A language-learning game  (Read 5038 times)

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Offline Hot_Dog

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Slova -- A language-learning game
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:36:52 pm »
I always enjoyed the game Word Rescue when I was a kid, and it inspired me to make a game that will help me learn Russian -- or that will help other people learn Spanish, French, you name it!

Slova (the Russian word for "word") is a game that helps you learn vocabulary in a language of your choice.  It will be completely open source to make this possible.

Story:

Spoiler For Spoiler:
It has been 15 years since the events in Word Rescue, when the gruzzles stole words from books to keep people from reading..  You are now a fully grown adult, and the gruzzles have other plans -- world domination!  They figure that the best way is to do this is doing what they're best at -- stealing words.  If they can steal words from language books, nobody will learn how to communicate with each other, and within 10 years the gruzzles plan to take over Earth.  The gruzzles are cloaked, and no one has any idea what's happening.


Benny Bookworm, your friend from Word Rescue, is retired in Hawaii, and nowadays he doesn't give a hoot about what the grizzles are planning to do.  So you have to take matters into your own hands.  Putting on a suit with a prototype cloak-detector, and arming yourself with nuclear weapons to kill those tough-armored gruzzles, you set out to save Earth from this newest threat...


In the game, you need to match English words to the words in the other language -- in this case you match English words to their Russian words.  When you match 7 pairs you can go to the next level.

Every time you collect a question mark you will receive a word in English.  Search for a "smiley face" with the Russian word that you think is correct.  If you find the correct word, you will score some points, and you will be one step closer to finishing the level.  If you find the incorrect word a gruzzle will appear.

For bonus points and more nukes, collect letters to form a "mystery word," as well as collecting all of the Kindle (c) book readers.



The game engine is finished.  I will continue to work on this game until I get bored of creating levels (or until I've created enough), after which I'll put in the finishing touches.
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Online Xeda112358

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 07:18:43 am »
Wow, Hot_Dog, this is great! I saw the post you made a while ago when you were thinking about this program and I am glad you have it done. We don't have many educational games in the TI community and I have not found any that look this fun. Well done, Hot_Dog :)

When you finish, let us know! I am sure there are people here who would like to port the game for other languages.

Offline Juju

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 08:06:27 am »
Yay educational games! As Xeda said, there's pretty much nothing that exists other than what is made by TI themselves.

Also would it work with other languages? As in, I dunno a Japanese version where you try to match kanji?

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Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 08:39:56 am »
Yay educational games! As Xeda said, there's pretty much nothing that exists other than what is made by TI themselves.

Also would it work with other languages? As in, I dunno a Japanese version where you try to match kanji?

Do you mean matching English words to kanji equivalents?  I'm not 100% sure because I'm not familiar with the idea behind Japanese words.  However, I will say this:  This game works on the basis of custom fonts.  If kanji can be made into a font, it will work :D  Unless there's more than 150 characters :D
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 10:53:07 am »
Yay educational games! As Xeda said, there's pretty much nothing that exists other than what is made by TI themselves.

Also would it work with other languages? As in, I dunno a Japanese version where you try to match kanji?

Do you mean matching English words to kanji equivalents?  I'm not 100% sure because I'm not familiar with the idea behind Japanese words.  However, I will say this:  This game works on the basis of custom fonts.  If kanji can be made into a font, it will work :D  Unless there's more than 150 characters :D
Japanese uses something like 4 different alphabets, katagana, hiragana (46 characters for the two together, 71 with diacritics), latin (26 characters, mostly for stuff directly borrowed from English) and kanji (borrowed from China, tons of characters). For learning Japanese, you can easily stick to katagana and hiragana only since all words that use kanji can also be spelled using either alphabet. Then either you match English syllables with their Japanese equivalent (all Japanese characters can easily be mapped to an English consonant+vowel syllable) or you match full words with their English or Japanese-written-in-Latin equivalents.

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Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 11:08:43 am »
Ah, I see...well the idea is your font starts at ASCII 97 (lowercase A).  The Japanese characters would be mapped to these letters and special symbols in ASCII.  That would take a lot of work to create Japanese words, since you'd be stuck with lowercase letters and special characters.  (Though someone could modify the game so that a pair of English letters could create an equivalent Japanese character)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 11:09:44 am by Hot_Dog »
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 03:52:55 pm »
New screenshot!

In addition to the new tiles and new words, here's what I added/changed:

* Support for accent marks
* Gruzzles are slower.  On the other side of the coin, you start with fewer nukes.  So you have to get books and bonus words to be able to kill more gruzzles, and you have to pick and choose which ones to kill immediately.  (By the way, when you see the character lift his hands in the air, he's saying "I don't have any nukes!")
* If you select an incorrect word (the wrong Russian word for an English word, for example), a gruzzle will appear.

I do need to work on jumps.  On this map, gaps that you have to jump over are too big.  I need to make them smaller so that a player knows when and where to jump.  It's harder on a low-resolution screen :D
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 03:53:42 pm by Hot_Dog »
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 01:58:28 am »
* BUMP *
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Offline aeTIos

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 03:51:10 am »
Looks cool :D Though I can't test since my USB is broken D:
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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 07:44:15 am »
Haha, that looks so nice o.o I am going to be trying to write a scrolling map engine if I get time this weekend, so I hope it looks nearly as good as that o.o

Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 07:53:18 am »
Haha, that looks so nice o.o I am going to be trying to write a scrolling map engine if I get time this weekend, so I hope it looks nearly as good as that o.o

Actually I used Chickendudes.  (Thank you chickendude! :))
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 07:56:40 am »
Hmm, that might be useful for OmniRPG >.> I have to make it work with grayscale 16x16 sprites.

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 01:59:08 pm »
In answer to your question, ChickenDude, there's no program that creates a language pack, but it's not hard to make your own.  

The main font, 5x7, can be made using an omnicalc font editor (like http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/267/26798.html) or by creating a bitmap and stacking font characters together.  Below is an example, Cyrillic Font.z80.  To display your custom font your strings need to start with lowercase 'a'.  (For example, for the Russian word "ATOM", I would need to type in 'atom'.

For bonus letters found in bonus words, your font needs to be 16x16, because it's part of the tileset.  My unfinished tileset is below to give you an example.  I don't know yet if Japanese, etc. characters will be supported for bonus words.

EDIT: I'll tell you later how to add the accent mark.  That's something I still have to "de-hard-code."

Here's an example of creating word sets, but I can give more details later.



HeadEnglish:

.db "HEAD",0

HeadRussian:

.db "golova",0

FootEnglish:

.db "LEG",0

FootRussian:

.db "noga",0

NoseEnglish:

.db "NOSE",0

NoseRussian:

.db "noc",0
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 02:08:04 pm by Hot_Dog »
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 03:37:57 pm »
Wow, that font looks great o.o (the 16x16 chars). Thanks for the info!

Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Slova -- A language-learning game
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 10:29:55 pm »
Wow, that font looks great o.o (the 16x16 chars). Thanks for the info!

Thanks!  I used Microsoft paint and typed in the characters.  Then I did a little bit of pixel editing :)
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.