Study Quest - language study game beta invite


This version contains critical changes and all players are advised to update!

Updating on iOS
  • You should receive an email prompting you to update via the TestFlight app.
Updating on Android
  • Study Quest should update automatically (if you allow automatic updates), or you can update via the Google Play Store->Apps & Games->My apps and games.
Changes in version 0.2025
  • All communication with cloud server secured with SSL encryption
  • Passwords securely stored in iCloud for iOS (Android solution tbd)
  • Tutorial banner much smaller when minimized to enable tapping buttons on sides of the screen
  • Fixed issue where word jumble was not showing Korean transliteration
  • Fixed issue where answer UI was not showing Korean transliteration
  • Fixed issue where question was not showing Korean transliteration
  • Fixed issue where space key wasn't disabled after transliteration is toggled
  • Updated backspace button graphic
  • Updated transliteration toggle button graphics
  • Spaces are now optional in Japanese spelling questions (you won't be punished for leaving them out)
  • Korean as a target language
  • Korean books in the bookstore
  • Android hardware back button in settings screens
  • Returning from viewing a book in the bookstore does not refresh list
I have been looking for this type of game for along time. Can't wait to try it. Just received the invitation Smile).
Thanks for the invite. Got it up and running easily. I've been doing Anki for several years now, but recently got so sick of it that I more or less quit. I'm interested to see if something like this will reignite my interest in flashcards Smile
Thank you guys, really hope you find what you are looking for in Study Quest!

Any issues or feedback, just let me know Smile
I tried adding my own book with 5 words. I was able to play the game with these new ones where it would make me do Spell and Multiple Choice. But then I tried making a card with the Drawing style and then it gives me a Runtime Error like this one:

"/Users/Andrzej/Documents/Dev/Git/StudyQuest/code/battle/CharDraw.lua:1303:couldn't find character in charset"

If I disable the Drawing cards I can play the game just fine, but if they are enabled I will eventually get that error. I tried with various kanji and also a card that simply had "あ" as the Japanese expression and "a" as the Reading and Meaning.

Am I doing something wrong, or is that feature not yet ready?

My phone is a Oneplus 3 running Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow).
@justusperthes oops, yes that's my fault Smile

In order for a Drawing card to work, there has to be data describing how to draw each stroke of the character. Currently I have only created this data for hiragana and katakana characters. In future there is no reason why kanji wouldn't work, but someone (probably me!) would have to create that data first. I've included a screenshot to show you what I mean:

[Image: chardraw.png]

To create currently supported kana Drawing cards, you should enter a single character as the Expression, and the romaji (or however you wish to identify the character) as the Meaning.

There are also ready-made Hiragana and Katakana books in the Bookstore available for download.

Thank you so much for reporting this issue, I will add some checks to make sure unsupported Drawing cards cannot be created Smile

Finally can I ask what your ideal kanji drawing card would look like? What characters would you want first and what would their 'meanings' be set to? Perhaps if it's something I can do quickly I can bump the priority Smile
Ok, I see, thanks for the answer Smile

If I could I suppose I would just add the RTK keyword as the meaning. Without those keywords it's hard to come up with a short 'meaning' that is also unambiguous for a drawing card and one would have to have a full sentence with the kanji blanked out: 数学をセン攻する, or add the English meaning of the word "セン攻 major subject."

But just having a keyword as the 'meaning' would be very useful for practicing writing - for me at least. I used to have an Anki deck that was basically RTK keyword -> kanji, but I've had a hard time keeping up with that deck lately because it was just so dull. I think this app would be a more fun way to do that Smile

I don't know about the order. I've gone through the Kanken ordering up until now in my writing practice, but maybe most people on this forum would find the RTK ordering more useful.

I also tried out the drawing feature because I wanted to go kanji -> reading. I used to do a lot of Quizlet flashcards that were just a single word on the front and then the reading of that word (and the meaning of the word) on the back; "専攻 -> せんこう major subject," and this was very effective for drilling kanji yomikata. I think multiple choice is too easy for this, but the drawing feature probably isn't suited for this either. Is there a way to type in the answer with a kana keyboard?
@justusperthes - thank you for your detailed reply Smile

I see what you mean. Keyword -> drawn kanji cards would certainly be possible, it would just be a question of someone adding the drawing data for each kanji. I can begin to do this a little at a time but obviously it would take me ages to add the entire jouyou kanji set. Perhaps there is a way for me to automate it, but either way it's likely to require considerable work to do so. I'll look into it Smile

In the meantime it's possible to do kanji -> reading 'spelling' cards; when creating the spelling card, set the question to the expression and the answer to the reading. I just tried this and noticed it didn't show the meaning on the answer screen. I will look into changing that too Smile In the meantime a workaround would be to put the meaning in the item's notes.

Thanks again for your great feedback!

So i guess I'm getting close to finishing the game, "only" 6 medals to go.

The last few levels become challenging. On one hand, I think its a great sign that the game is very balanced. A simple walkthrough wouldn't feel rewarding. On the other hand, it sucks to lose because of bad luck due to not matching up enough combo tiles while having all correct answers on the actual language questions.

I think this is my main gripe with this game. To elevate it from a very good game to a truly excellent game, the gameplay needs to be a bit deeper, at least towards the end.

I have previously stated that i dont like the matching tiles subgame too much. While i think its ok, maybe you should think about replacing it in the long term to allow for a more strategic and tactically nuanced gameplay. Maybe even only after the player reaches lvl 10 or so if you think that it would be too complicated otherwise for beginners.

Keep up the good work!
@shaggadelyc - wow, great progress and feedback!

Yes the Safari mode is not properly balanced, which I why I've locked off the other 3 worlds in the current build. It should have a nice difficulty curve that slowly ramps up, with the Speed and Efficiency medals requiring more skill (and perhaps a little luck) to win.

I'm also considering a way to help players who aren't so tactically astute or don't have the time or inclination to repeat a failed challenge. Possibly using an item or currency to revive themselves if they desire.

With the tile-matching, it's a tricky balance of keeping it simple enough to not get in the way of study, while having just enough subtlety to offer some tactical choices in Safari mode. I can attest to having some truly epic battles in the later worlds of Safari so I know the potential is there, it just needs to be carefully balanced for a range of players.

A few people have mentioned hats having gameplay implications so that is also something I'll consider as I take another look at Safari in upcoming builds.

Thank you so much for your dedicated play and feedback, seeing your levels rise is a huge motivator to me! Smile
Oh yeah one more thing.

In the community section you can see the levels of other players. There are some 400lvl people. Are those fake, maybe your test builds, or real players?
@shaggadelyc - nope they are all real!

My personal Japanese account is currently level 270 but that's nothing compared to my Dad.

He has 3 accounts, is learning Italian and Japanese simultaneously, and has a combined level of 1281!!! And he's in his seventies!

He's been addicted to many games in the past, but I think this might be the worst (or best) case Big Grin
Cloud クラウド signing in. Thanks for the beta invite. I joined the forum just so I could PM you.

Overall, I love this game. I am a complete beginner to Japanese and I'm taking Japanese at university so this has allowed me to get a head start and be a supplement aid to my studies.

My comments and questions:
  • As others have mentioned, I would love to buy equipment beyond hats. If we are fighting monsters, I want armour and swords that as well as being aesthetic are also helpful to battle.
  • As well as this immersion, is there any other way to make our characters more unique? Classes (Knight, Mage, Thief, etc.) with class specific attacks. If we gain 50xp from a battle, we gain 50xp towards a class we chose. They can do the same damage as each other but it adds personality to our avatars.
  • How easy was it for you to introduce the FF7 vocab? Maybe like others, I want to be able to play old jRPGs in their original language and when I saw these custom books I was happily surprised. If the method was easy enough, I would add vocab for myself to learn (and others) for games I want to replay like other FFs, Pokemon, Breath of Fire, Grandia, etc.
  • What do friends do? I've added a few to try it out but it seems I can just compare my stats to theirs. I can't even message them. Are Android included with the iOS users? There is a Habit RPG game on an app/online that lets people check off their schedule and to-do list in the form of a RPG game, in that they can recruit friends to join guilds and fight bosses together if they successfully complete their schedule for that day.
  • Another person mentioned that their would like to see "deeper" gameplay. I agree. Is there a chance to add other minigames? Something akin to how Undertale has minigames for their battles. Click the falling elemental balls, feed the elemental balls into the hippos as fast as you can, etc. If you wanted to make boss battles more unique, make their battle have these unique minigames.
  • Do you plan to introduce some sort of paid option?
  • I feel you have struck a good balance between a penalty of making a mistake during a battle (element power goes to 0) and the attitude towards relearning. I hate it when I forget remember the difference between 'nu' and 'me', for example, but when you reintroduce a forgotten hiragana I feel pumped again. A good balance.

All in all, thank you for making such a polished beta version. I was expecting a lot more bumps and glitches, but I am already learning. You've made one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn a little bit easier Smile
Edited: 2016-09-11, 8:13 pm
@Honeybeard - really appreciate your joining up just to try SQ, and am elated that you are enjoying the game Smile

Equipment & classes - I certainly want to add deeper customisation to characters going forward. Exactly what form this takes and how it affects gameplay are still to be decided, but in all honesty this will likely be further down the priority list for now. On an aesthetic note, the game actually began life with a typical medieval RPG style, but we decided to move away from that and go for a more modern, neutral style that would have a wider appeal and serve to differentiate SQ from the plethora of games already on the market.

Game vocab - in all honestly, importing the FF7 vocab took a lot of custom code. I fed a text dump through an online dictionary and then programmatically cleaned up the (very messy) results before converting the data to SQ format. I would love to offer functionality to players so they can easily create books from a text dump etc. However being a mobile app, it's unfortunately not as straightforward a process as it might be on a PC. I know bulk import is a key feature, and once I have a simple solution that works for both iOS and Android I'll certainly let you know!

Friends - currently friendship is designed as a simple motivating factor, meaning:
a) you will see each other's progress messages in the Newsfeed tab, as well as receiving push notifications.
b) you can compare progress in the Friends tab.
c) your heroes will appear on each other's home screen (improvements in the next build.)
d) you can summon each other as allies during Safari battles.

I definitely plan to add greater significance to friendships, as the feeling of not being alone in one's studies is crucial to emphasise. Working together to overcome some kind of gameplay challenge sounds amazing and I'll add it to the list - thank you!

Deeper gameplay - as the current system seems to be ticking most of the boxes it will probably remain largely unchanged for the time being, until all the other elements of the app are in shape. I believe that more involved battles are possible in Safari as a result of interesting boss designs, and hope to deliver that for your testing during the beta phase. I'm actually playing Undertale at the moment - great game!

Monetisation - in the next build I am introducing a currency called 'Oins' whereby each item added to your deck will cost one Oin. Oins can be earned through a variety of means, or bought with real money (free during the beta!). This seemed like the most straightforward and fair deal for players. I'll expand on this in the next update.

I hope I managed to answer at least some of your questions. Thank you so much for your kind words and particularly for finding the Cloud hairstyle - it made me very happy to see Cloud appear on my home screen Big Grin
Good job! Here's some random thoughts on the Android game. Keep in mind that I'm probably not your target audience. I passed JLPT N1 about 3 years ago.
  • Does the Native language have to be non-Japanese if I want to pick Japanese as a language to study? There's no immersion option for advanced learners? I picked English to test it, but if I had picked Japanese would it have let me pick Japanese as a study language also?
  • Possible error. It looks like there's two identical shades of light blue on the second page of Torso Color & Legs Color when making an avatar.
  • Example sentences might be nice.
  • The app can be moved to the SD Card. Nice! Way too many apps don't enable this, and it can get annoying for someone who's trying to save space. Thanks!
  • Very polished look overall. Great job!
  • Maybe add JLPT decks. The Tanos JLPT vocabulary data should be useable, as it's under a Creative Commons license: Other advanced deck ideas: yojijukugo or kotowaza.
  • I like that stuff floats by as you fight monsters. Really nice small touch!
  • Maybe make the remaining monsters number icon more prominent. It took me a while to notice it.

Overall great job! If there is an option to study Japanese monolingually then I might create a new account for that, unless there's a way to change the native language that I missed.
Edited: 2016-09-13, 9:48 pm
@Bokusenou - thank you for your feedback!

Japanese -> Japanese - yes this is possible, half of my study content is in this format! It's disabled when you create an account (as there are no books of ja->ja content currently available), but I should probably look at changing this. When you create a book, you are free to choose the home and target languages independent of your profile settings. You can also change the defaults by going Home->More->Settings->Language. The Japanese UI translation is currently WIP but you can switch that to English on the same screen if you prefer.

Duplicate colours - thank you for spotting that - good eyes!

Example sentences - example sentences can actually be added to an item by tapping the Show All text to reveal all possible fields. I've hidden it away because I'm not sure if this is the right way to do it. Another more simple option would be to put the examples in the Notes field so they just appear after you answer the question.

SD card - I must confess to being an iOS user and not being as familiar with Android as I should be. Glad that feature I had no idea about works Smile Does that mean users can directly edit their save data??

JLPT decks - thank you so much for that link! I have a million and one things on my plate at the moment, but if I can find time I will try adding some of that content in there Smile

Monster icon - agreed! The whole battle UI needs a bit of a refresh, I'll add it to the list Smile

Thanks again for your kind words and great feedback, please let me know how you get on with ja->ja
I've just finished the Hiragana and Katakana books tonight. Thank you because now when I look at Japanese media, I can more or less phonetically read it which breeds confidence and further interest in my studies. I also have began to continue with Genki 1 now I can read and write Hiragana, which was my main goal. To reiterate what other people have commented, this is definitely a great way to learn through SRS. Smile

A few comments from me being (a) a new learner to Japanese, and (b) a week long daily user of your app:
  • There was a definite spike in difficulty when I came to the simple phrases book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but took me by surprise. A daily 30 minute quest took me around 30 minutes when I was reviewing hiragana and katakana. However it felt like once phrases such as "Please", "Thankyou", "Do you understand?" were gradually introduced it took considerably longer. As a user this frustrated me because there are a lot more chances for errors (=more time spent) in phrases and sentences. 
  • If you are stuck for ideas for other books in the Japanese language, might I suggest the first 100 common kanji, followed by the second 100, and by the third 100, etc. in the same style we learnt hiragana and katakana. For me personally, I suspect that in my studies they would be more useful than generic phrases. If I am able to I would make them myself but I also want to include stroke order. edit: I saw you already discussed this previously in this thread.
  • I understand why you've decided to select hiragana blocks during phrases and sentences as opposed to writing it with the user's finger. I suppose it's because it saves on data/memory and longer sentences are difficult to write on a small screen.  I've found it counter intuitive though because instances like that aren't reflective of real life - I'm either going to be writing Japanese or typing it on a keyboard. Neither of these are options in an app like this without forcing the user to change keyboards. In a perfect world, I would like to type ありがとう and more on a keyboard because it practices my knowledge of vocabulary and keyboard.
  • Relating to the point above, it's also frustrating for used "hiragana blocks" not to be greyed out once I've used them in a sentence.
    It slows the game and it frustrates me as a user.
  • Lastly, have you as a game developer or has this game got any social media presence on the internet beyond this forum? I am researching Applied Linguistics and Education at university this year (currently a masters and hopefully a PhD next year) - second language acquisition (SLA) is a large part of this degree. As apart of my assessment, I have to develop a social media presence (Twitter, FB) with academics in this field and report on SLA, and in this case technology related to SLA. I would love to provide links to this project and comment on it in the upcoming months on Twitter and FB with your permission. No worries if not. 

I'm not necessarily looking for answers to my comments, they are just thoughts I've had tonight about your app. Thanks for your hard work with this. I can't imagine how many hours you've put in so far.

Oh lastly, I've heard some of the battle music played in at least two videos made by my university and one YouTube video. It's nice. Smile
Edited: 2016-09-20, 6:43 pm
@Honeybeard - that's fantastic SQ has helped you learned the kana, awesome stuff Big Grin

Difficulty spike - I completely agree. As SQ supports many languages, I had to generate a lot of content quickly that I could translate into many languages. All of the Official books in the Bookstore need a rethink at some point, hopefully before release!

Kanji - Although I said it was unlikely I would have this feature ready soon, I am in fact putting the finishing touches to it now! The next version will support drawing cards for all 2048 kanji from RTK1. I won't have any pre-made content ready just yet, but you will be able to create your own books immediately Smile

Drawing vs Spelling - The Spelling cards are really the heart of the game. The Drawing cards are to teach you how to write and recognise characters, whereas the Spelling/Word Jumble cards are for teaching words and phrases. I think it's important a card is focused on one or the other. I hope that makes sense!

Greying Out - Buttons are not are greyed out because they can be tapped multiple times (like a real keyboard). If there was a button for each instance of a letter or word it would reduce the space for keys, and offer hints as to the answer. This is particularly pertinent for languages like English where the same vowel can appear many times in a phrase or even in a single word. That said, I am considering adding the greying out functionality back in for Word Jumble cards. Objection noted Smile

Social Media - To be honest I've put this on the back burner for now. I have Twitter and Facebook for my studio which I used for my previous game, but I'm yet to build anything specific for Study Quest. I'm wondering what kind of presence would be best for this kind of game, as I want players to be able to discuss things amongst themselves, as well as be notified of updates etc. Maybe a forum like this one would be good, in addition to the usual. It sounds like you are far better versed than me on the subject, so I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts!

Battle Music - Glad to know my music choices are approved! I'm really tempted to just open up the remaining 3 worlds in the game, they have some really cool music Wink

Thanks again for your great feedback, it's wonderful to hear you are benefiting from the app Big Grin

This update focuses on bug fixes, updated drawing questions and a new currency for adding content.

Updating on iOS
  • You should receive an email prompting you to update via the TestFlight app.
Updating on Android
  • Study Quest should update automatically (if you allow automatic updates), or you can update via the Google Play Store->Apps & Games->My apps and games.
Changes in version 0.2026
  • fixed hideous bug where new cards were not being selected for reviews
  • removed the currently unused news ticker from home screen
  • redesigned home screen to show all currencies in a row at the top
  • added 'Oins' to spend on new books and items created in My Books (free during beta)
  • Oin transactions all occur on the server so you must be online when adding items
  • new overlay when you get a book from the Bookstore
  • option to add duplicate items (off by default)
  • Get Oins overlay for buying packs of oins
  • new animation of downloaded book being added to My Books
  • hero randomly blinks during idle and walking animations
  • home screen heroes exclaim their battle cries, hero reacts
  • updated home screen whistle graphic
  • blowing whistle triggers a hero roll call
  • fixed some bad textual references
  • sunglasses no longer disappear during impact or blink anims
  • display username on home screen
  • don't let drawing cards get created using unsupported characters
  • add username to crash dump to help identify issues
  • improved user details validation e.g. trimming spaces from email
  • success/failure confirmation on password reset
  • disabled excess server logging
  • switch user event trimming to add event server function, disabled daily jobs
  • sort 'other players' on friends tab by level
  • fixed issue on edit cards screen where edit/close button label was offscreen on slim devices
  • fixed issue where user could request server books while a request is already in progress
  • added transliteration button to Language Settings screen
  • if question is set to expression and answer to reading, then show meaning on the answer UI
  • drawing character sets are only loaded once when needed and kept in memory
  • drawing cards no longer auto generated
  • added japanese tutorial battle book
  • added full kanji drawing card support
  • updated hiragana and katakana drawing characters
  • drawing question optimisation
Done Smile

Finished all the safaris now, in total I failed 3 and was super lucky on my last two. speed was super easy and endurance needed some luck on the last two levels.

It was fun, let me know when new content is out Smile
@shaggadelyc お疲れ様でした!

Glad you enjoyed the Safari battles Smile I'm hoping to focus on that mode in the coming weeks so I can reopen the remaining worlds for people to challenge themselves on - will let you know!

This update focuses on rebalancing Safari mode, cloud backups of userdata and many random bug fixes.

Updating on iOS
  • You should receive an email prompting you to update via the TestFlight app.
Updating on Android
  • Study Quest should update automatically (if you allow automatic updates), or you can update via the Google Play Store->Apps & Games->My apps and games.
Changes in version 0.2027
  • fixed crash when tapping on remaining monster as defeated monster is replaced
  • recreate the character and background on the Me screen on every visit
  • randomise the background on the Me screen
  • oins iaps read from actual stores
  • fix issue where buying a book would take you to the todo list outside of the tutorial
  • reduce safarit cost for all safari battles to 1
  • updated data sync system
  • rebalance safari battles, all worlds now open for play
  • show long battle cries on home screen across multiple lines
  • when showing kanji drawing questions, say meaning rather than reading
  • newsfeed event and notification when summoning friend in battle, only visible to those 2 players
  • new transform move for safari boss monsters
  • summon and transform move roulette icons
  • userdata uploaded to cloud once a week as a backup
  • logging in on a fresh install will prompt to restore data from cloud backup
  • force upload to server/download to device via sync option on home screen
  • temporarily disable latest app version check on startup
  • fix issue where home screen battle cries were extending beyond speech bubbles on certain devices
  • fix textfield issue where pasting in password via lastpass on Android was failing to recognise contents

Thanks for inviting me to test your app. 
I've done my first daily quest after buying the RTK available book.
I personally don't enjoy writing down in touchscreen with my fingers. I'll mostly focus on vocab books.

Is it or will it be possible to change between target languages without using the settings menu?
I'll probably use a lot of French books too. Smile
@rxgntz - thank you for signing up!

Drawing Kanji - fair enough if the drawing isn't for you. Another option would be to create multiple choice cards instead, where you are either presented with the kanji and have to pick the keyword or vice versa. Please let me know if that's interesting and you need any help with it.

Multiple languages - the settings menu only changes the default languages when creating a new book or browsing the Bookstore. It is possible to set the language on a per book basis when you create the book, although it cannot be changed once created. However the game will not try to keep cards from different languages apart, which might mean flipping between languages gets confusing.

Another option is to create a new profile for the second language. If you only have one email address you can just insert a dot into your address e.g. -> (this works for gmail but different methods for other email providers may not). Study Quest will interpret this as a separate address when you sign up, but the activation email should still arrive in your normal inbox. I use this method myself and find it does the job. Please let me know if you have any issues Smile
I have become a beta user as well and I will keep posting my comments as I progress. Thank you for the work, it seems very promising.