KAIBUTSU: ANOTHER WORLD
Hi again, Mike here. Today we’re talking about KAIBUTSU: ANOTHER WORLD – the Japanese learning game that Scott McKie is actively working on.
To summarize if you missed the last newsletter: some time back Scott decided he wanted to further his learning of the Japanese language by developing a game about learning the language.
Kaibutsu: Another World is aiming to be a top down RPG/Visual-Novel style game, where immersion is the primary focus. Imagine one of those strange retro SNES or PC-98 games that never got ported to English, and now you’re trying to play this odd extra game of figuring out what anyone in it is saying/wanting solely from context and gesturing. But in the case of Kaibutsu, the game will be be tuned for you to be able to slowly pick up the language the more you play it, instead of being stuck in the deep end the entire time.
Kaibutsu: Another World is currently being developed in the Defold engine- Scott has really been wanting to work in something smaller scale & open source. As part of an exercise in testing out the engine, he’s developing small mini-games and vignette prototypes that
- Test out if the thing is going to meet his needs. While this is a pretty well developed and still maintained engine, it’s still a relatively unknown one
- Begin creating the various systems and components for the game itself
The first mini-prototype GAME01: Flashcard is available to download for FREE on Itch.io today!
This prototype is a simple flashcard game to learn/practice Hiragana- one of the three writing systems of the Japanese language. Nothing super fancy in this one, but some of the future prototypes shall build off of it. Check out the Itch.io page for further details.
Kaibutsu: Another World + the Refold learning system
Hello! This is Scott. In devising my own lesson plans, which I’m implementing in the game, the biggest source of inspiration is the Refold system of language study (an evolution of the Mass Immersion Approach to learning a new language). Refold mirrors a lot of what I’d been reading recently about Stephen Krashen’s research into language acquisition.
The core guiding philosophy of Refold is immersion: where you can learn a language much faster and easier if you are constantly surrounded by it (usually by living in the land using it). You are required to adapt to it, versus trying to practice it in isolation.
While myself or most anyone can’t quite pack up casually and move to Japan, I’m aiming to build a game with all its design around this philosophy, and push the learning language games field forward.
And finally, just the act of having to research and verify the language to use it properly in this game has been a helpful exercise in retaining what I’ve learned so far!
So there you go!
Check out the mini-prototype and leave us some precious valuable feedback- you can reply to this email, contact us directly, or even leave a comment on the Itch.io page. Whatever works for you, we don’t know your life!
Stay tuned for future emails as more small prototypes for Kaibutsu: Another World are developed & published.
– Mike & Scott