Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

magictravelandrew

After some feedback on a HSK based Mandarin game I am working on

Recommended Posts

magictravelandrew

Hi, over the last few months I have been tinkering with an online game to help myself (and others of course) practice their Mandarin aside from yet more flash cards. You can find it at http://mandarinmojo.com

 

The game is built around the HSK levels. It is a simple enough little thing but I find it handy for breaking up my revision.

 

If anyone has any feedback, thoughts, ideas, whatever I am happy to hear them. If there is any way to make it more useful for people I would love to hear it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Shelley

Nothing happens, I get the paths and the grass, the well with the word review in the middle and left and right HSK1 and 2.

 

Does it need popups enabled or something? I am using Firefox as my browser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pancake

I am using Firefox and it worked perfectly for me. Regarding the actual game itself, I think this is basically just a multiple-choice quiz is disguise. I see no advantage of playing this game over using Pleco flashcards with the multiple-choice option activated. (Though I am a fan of multiple-choice for flashcards either.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
magictravelandrew

>I get the paths and the grass, the well with the word review in the middle and left and right HSK1 and 2.

 

Hi Shelley, do the arrows keys not make the character move? If not can you tell me what kind of computer you are using (windows, mac, ipad etc) and what browser (firefox, internet explorer etc)? That will help me track down the problem.

 

pancake, you are in correct in that it isn't far off being a multiple-choice quiz in disguise. I am trying to make it more interesting but its tough to balance letting the player get through a large volume of problems in a short time with making it a fun game in its own right. I am working on it however :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walkingtree

There's an almost identical game that uses Legend of Zelda-esque sprites to do basically the same thing.

 

I'll dig through my bookmarks to see if I can find it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Figured it out, using the keys to move is clumsy. This is not for me, maybe better for kids.

 

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demonic_Duck

Not only do the words get harder as you go up the levels, the enemies get quicker too, meaning that the greatest difficulty with the higher HSK levels is being fast and agile enough to escape them, rather than the words which you should be concentrating on. To me, that's more of a flaw than a feature. What I'd suggest is that you divorce enemy speed from HSK level, and replace it with a user-chosen difficulty selector (so you can choose to play HSK2 on "hard", or HSK6 on "easy", if you so wish).

 

I'd also suggest occasionally scattering some HP potions/extra lives around the arena from time to time (maybe less of them at the higher difficulty settings). Alternatively, you could even have a few different user-adjustable variables - enemy speed, number of enemies, number of potions etc. Oh, and some weapon's upgrades wouldn't go amiss too (heat-seaking, multiple missiles, blast radius, laser beams for instant hits, freezing or slowing missiles etc.)

 

It's a cool personal project, and a fun little game to while away a few minutes with. I can't see myself using it extensively unless it's developed a lot more, though.

 

A couple of issues in Firefox - if you press alphabetic keys from within the game, it carries out the desired function, but also opens the "quick search" function, which deselects the game screen. Also, the audio appears not to work.

 

Edit: also, let's get some bosses!

Edit 2: sometimes the levels only spawn a single enemy at a time, I'm assuming this is a glitch.

Edit 3: also, a way to quit the game and go to the main menu without suiciding would be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Law-West

Hi, I've been playing this game since the early stages (the version with the goblins), so I saw how much it changed over time and I think this idea has a lot of potential.

 

I think the fun aspect of the game (as opposed to the learning aspect) could really benefit from a little variety, no matter how trivial.

In Robot Unicorn Attack Evolution, which is essentially a running-survival score attack type game, every 1000 points or so your character turns into a different animal and the background changes accordingly.

This has no effect on the gameplay whatsoever, you don't gain any new abilities or anything, it's just a sort of "achievement" that keeps you motivated to get further and further to see another form.

 

Since your game already congratulates players on 50, 100, 200... correct guesses in a row, you could add some sort of small reward. I would suggest powerups, so that you can deal with the increasing difficulty and number of enemies, without being too distracted from matching the words (which is a point Demonic Duck also brought up).

So the player could get extra speed at 50, stronger laser at 100, extra armor at 200 and so on.

 

Alternatively, the levels could change "theme" after a certain number of words, so after 100 correct guesses you would go from the fields to a graveyard, then at 200 to a castle, then on to a snowy mountain, then a spaceship with aliens etc. The point is creating a feeling of progress, even if it's just changing the background and giving the enemies reskins according to the theme (the snowy level could have snowmen, yetis and snow leopards for example). You could even keep the same enemy types and change only their looks. This will give players a motivation to keep going.

 

 

As for the learning aspect I only have one criticism: with pinyin enabled it's sometimes very easy to guess which word you should pick, even without knowing it, simply because of the number of syllables has to correspond to the number of characters. So if it says chabuduo and the only 3 character word on screen is 差不多 you're going to pick that one, even if you haven't learned it before.

 

And finally, it would be pretty neat if people could import their own flashcards into the game, I think it would be very helpful for anyone who uses Anki a lot but gets bored with the normal flashcard layout.

I would certainly prefer to learn historical dates or words in other languages this way, and most of the Chinese I learn doesn't necessarily correspond with the HSK lists.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edelweis

interesting idea!

I wouldn't play it for long stretches of time because it is too monotonous.

I agree that having changes of scenery, different prompts etc would improve it.

For instance have sample sentences with a blank and find the word that fits in the blank.

Also the graphics could have something to do with China...

 

(actually what I'd really like is a Nethack-like game, mixing text and simple graphics, but in a modern or even Sci-Fi scenario instead of a dungeon... does that exist somewhere already?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HerrPetersen

When going to the "review well" it would make sense to only drill the words that you failed in "monster mode".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

This is actually kind of fun even for someone not reviewing for HSK... It reminds me of a game we used to play on the computer when I was in daycare that was essentially a bunch of math problems disguised as I think a kid trying to defeat aliens? I can't remember. Either way, it had several components, some of which involved typing answers (I've heard HSK can be done on the computer now? perhaps that is relevant), some of which were just puzzles (you could try grammar-based ones perhaps?) where you collected all the necessary items for something (a sentence) and had to put them in the right place otherwise your spaceship wouldn't fly or something...

 

It has been a while. I quite prefer this to League of Legends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
magictravelandrew

Thank you all for taking the time to provide feedback. I am just one guy building this in my spare time so it will take me some time to get everything done but rest assured that I have read everything said here and I am now incorporating your ideas and trying to improve Mandarin Mojo based on what you have said. Thank you again :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
peas02

Walking tree- you got that name of the Legend of Zelda-esque game you were talking about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...