Study Quest - language study game beta invite


Hi guys,

Please allow me to introduce myself and my game [Image: sq_logo.png]

[Image: fire_gem.png]  Who am I?

My name is Andrzej and I'm an English video game designer. I began studying Japanese on this website in 2007. After 8 years at Lionhead Studios I quit my job and moved to Kyoto in 2012, where I began a 2 year full-time course at the Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language. During my first 6 months in Japan I developed and released an indie mobile game called Hungry Oni. Immediately afterwards I began work on Study Quest, and 3 years later I'm back in the UK and still working on it!

[Image: thunder_gem.png]  What is Study Quest?

The concept was to address the two major challenges of language study: time and motivation. In Japan I introduced spaced repetition to many fellow students but watched in dismay as one by one they gradually became bored and frustrated before finally giving up. I decided to incorporate the benefits of SRS into a more accessible and enjoyable package. Many study apps seem to think an experience bar makes a game, but I want players to get the same enjoyment they would from a real game, while learning in the process. I'm also keen to focus on community and the sharing of content between players, as I believe a personalised and yet shared learning experience is an extremely effective one.

[Image: plant_gem.png]  Where do you come in?

I'm honoured to invite all members of this forum to join in the Study Quest closed beta programme. Although desktop versions are planned for the future, this beta is for iOS and Android only. I would love to give something back to the people who helped me remember the kanji, and in turn benefit from your valuable feedback.

[Image: water_gem.png]  Interested?

Awesome! Please PM me with your email address (Apple ID for iOS/Google Play Account for Android) and chosen platform. Until I've set up a forum for Study Quest, please feel free to address your thoughts and questions to this thread  Smile



[Image: sq_screens.jpg]
Edited: 2017-03-28, 8:14 am
This looks promising, I would like to give this a try.

Edit: Had a first go at this app. First impression is very good, quite polished and I actually had fun! I can imagine that with a growing community, this will become a very nice app indeed. Looking forward to further book/lesson additions.
Edited: 2016-07-03, 8:53 am
What levels does your app cover?  From all of the screenshots down below, it appears that this app is targeting beginners.  Do you have things for intermediate and advanced learners as well?
Ability Levels

Study Quest endeavours to provide something for players of all ability levels. Here is the state of the current version:

Beginner to intermediate level
  • Over 700 words and phrases covering 32 topics.
  • 19 books teaching hiragana and katakana.
  • Optional support for playing with romaji+furigana.
Intermediate to advanced
  • Over 1400 words in chronological order taken from Final Fantasy VII.
  • Create your own personal books of words and phrases within the app.
  • Share your books or download those shared by other players.
Edited: 2016-07-04, 12:11 pm
@Rivvie thanks for your kind words, I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'll be adding some more study content this week for you to check out.
@RandomQuotes thanks for your enquiry! I actually have 1400 words from Final Fantasy VII in order of appearance that I could share to provide some more advanced level content if you'd like Smile
(2016-07-04, 4:59 am)Howdoken Wrote: @RandomQuotes thanks for your enquiry! I actually have 1400 words from Final Fantasy VII in order of appearance that I could share to provide some more advanced level content if you'd like Smile

Actually, that would be good.  There is a dearth of beginner content, but not to much advanced.  I got burnt out on anki, and have been looking for something else to fill my srs void.
I'd download it. I don't need beginner lessons, but if it could help with n1+ levels eventually it might be useful to me!
I added a lot of new content yesterday and have updated my post about Ability Levels to reflect it.

@Dovetron if you'd like to join the beta please PM me with your Apple ID/Google Play ID and chosen platform and I'll sign you up!
Two days later I'm still positive about studyquest.  I do have a few questions and remarks:

  • Can you explain the different modes a bit in more detail? For example, what does the "daily quest" do? Is one mode primarily for learning new cards and the other for regular reviews?
  • What does safari mode do? The gameplay in safarimode is more exciting, but the powerups cost tokens, which you have to unlock from completing a freeplay session. Any other places where you can earn the tokens?
  • Are rewards other than hat tokens planned? I would love to see exclusive faces/hairstyles for example. 
  • Are rewards other than purely cosmetic planned? For example, an equipable sword which would boost your damage 1 extra point per turn or bonus spells?

Options which I would like to see:
  • The option to turn off text to speech, both english and japanese. While the generated spoken japanese is useful, the english annoys me, but I can not turn it off.
  • The ability to edit a card while in the game mode. Sometimes you spot an error in a card while reviewing or you want to change the card type, but you have to quit the current game and go find the card manually in the book instead which takes a lot of time.
  • The save button on the first page of the edit card mode (it is now present only when you go to the second tab, card mode, but not on edit item.)
  • Mass edit of a book. For books with larger sentences, the spelling card type is annoying to encounter during the game and I would like to see word jumble instead, however I would have to edit every single card to update them.
  • The spoken hiragana are sometimes different than what is correct in the used context.  は is the most obvious. Might be difficult to fix though...
  • While making a new card, the reading line deletes itself very easily, either by tapping the reading bar, or even by tapping somewhere else on the screen. This results in me having to type in the reading again and again before I am able to save, which is on the next page. 
  • It is possible to exit the edit item mode with a blank line, for example in reading. When a card with a blank line is selected during a game, the app freezes (took me some time to figure out what happened)
Keep up the good work and I will keep experimenting Wink
Edited: 2016-07-05, 1:44 pm
The description of your app sounds interesting, so I decided to become a tester. Thanks for the opportunity.
Before actually testing it, something crossed my mind.

The app seems to be conceived for learning Japanese (or at least this is how you present it here), but the name doesn't reflect it. The name promotes studying in general, no matter what the subject is ("Study Quest" vs "Japanese Quest").
Do you plan to develop the app to be able to use it to learn, let's say Korean, or any language, or any subject (like Anki is used for biology, maths and anatomy)? If so, the name might be ok – but I think you have to specify somewhere that you use it for Japanese as a demo. But if you want to limit it only to Japanese I think the name is misleading – Japanese learners might ignore it because the name doesn't make ring any bell, while other learners might be disappointed because the app doesn't respond to their "study quest".
Of course I found out some of the answers to the above questions as soon as I opened the app. Smile

But still, why is it "study quest" and not "language quest"?
@zdo_vision you are not the first person to mention this, or the name Language Quest Smile Ultimately I would love to extend it beyond just language learning but that is definitely a long way down the line.

You are absolutely right though, something has to change. Ideally I'd like a name that works in all languages so perhaps something completely unrelated might be best. Very much open to suggestions!
@Rivvie - wow thanks for your great feedback! There is a lot to cover so I'll split my reply into two.

Daily Quest
  • choose from 4 quests ranging from 5 to 30 minutes.
  • reviews appear as scheduled, and new cards are regularly introduced.
  • completing the bonus quest in each battle earns you a Hat Token.
  • completing a Daily Quest earns you a Safarit.
  • cards appear exactly like Daily Quest mode.
  • each world has 8 levels, and each level 3 challenges.
  • each challenge costs a number of Safarits to attempt.
  • you begin each battle with a stock of Abilitinos.
  • Abilitinos give you access to powers vital to victory.
  • beat the basic challenge to unlock the next level.
  • the efficiency challenge gives you a small stock of Abilitinos.
  • the speed challenge gives you lots of Abilitinos but also a turn limit.
  • completing a challenge earns you a medal.
  • each 8 medals you earn unlocks a hat.
  • beat the world boss to unlock the world for use in all game modes.
  • choose the material you wish to review.
  • every 50 monsters defeated earns a bonus Safarit.
In all modes
  • every review no matter the result gives you 1 experience point.
  • you level up every 100 experience points gained.
  • levelling up earns you 10 Hat Tokens.
Edited: 2016-07-07, 5:39 am

  • I definitely want to introduce more rewards. I would probably start with further character customisation but non-cosmetic stuff is not out of the question.
  • You can alter the volume of/switch off the text-to-speech if you pause the game during battle or open the settings menu from the home screen.
  • I think it’s a great idea to have an option to mute your own language and will add it to the todo list!
  • Definitely want to do editing cards during play. I’ll bump the priority!
  • Save button on edit item screen: The logic is that editing the item could break some of the cards so I make you pass through there first, but I’ll look into if it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Bulk edit. I would like to do this in some form but it definitely won’t be straightforward. FYI when the cards are generated if there are more than 3 words and 12 characters in total then you get a Word Jumble, otherwise it's a Spelling card. Perhaps this formula can be tweaked?
  • I’ll look into the は pronunciation. I had to differentiate between ‘wa’ and ‘ha’ when generating romaji so there may be something I can do.
  • Great catches on the reading line deletion and empty line problem, I’ll take a look!
Thanks again for your awesome feedback Smile
I also joined to test this game and it feels very polished and professional. Game play is smooth and the idea seems to work. I didn't have time to check out the vocab collections in detail, just played with the "Japanese" book and it is of course very easy. Need to switch it to something more challenging. First impression is very positive.
@kanttuvei - thank you for your positive impressions!
MY impressions so far. It looks like a game, and functions like one. Very professional. I think the free play mode needs a bit of work. It would often give me cards I had never seen, and ask me to translate them. This ended up being just being frustrating, as I was doing well, then a string of really bad look took me down from around 75 to 15 in about 3 turns. For game play improvements, I would suggest adding some way to restore health in the free play mode. Random bonus gems or something.

Overall, I like it.
I have a few more questions after a few more sessions. Still am very impressed and I can see myself using this every day. I am also getting the hang of all the special objectives during gameplay, very fun!

How many new cards are introduced per day? Is this customizable, or is it unlimited?

What is the limit on the number of cards in a book, has this been tested?

I very much prefer making my own cards over premade decks, however, currently this a very time consuming process due to having to do it manually on my phone. Is there going to be PC synchronization implemented, or maybe an web-based card editor so that I can make cards there (and the synch them to my device)

When you select daily quest, you can choose your duration, but you don't get more safari tickets for selecting a longer duration. Why is that?

I have noticed that the reading is automatically displayed when learning new cards. Does this disappear when a card is learned? It would be kind of pointless to leave the reading there when you have to type the reading as the answer.

So far I have seen a nice variety in monsters. It would also be fun to have some kind of monsterbook, so that you can "collect" all the monsters that you have defeated. Just throwing an idea out there.
Edited: 2016-07-07, 1:13 pm
@RandomQuotes - thanks for your great feedback!

I can add an option to disable new cards in Freeplay, good call Smile

The reason health is not restored in Freeplay is so that battle doesn't go on forever, but I would certainly love to add some more mechanics to the mode to make it more interesting. I completed Super Mario RPG for the first time yesterday. I really loved the feeling of sometimes being awarded bonuses when monsters were defeated. Perhaps I can work something similar into Study Quest...
@Rivvie - so glad you are enjoying it and want to play every day, mission accomplished Smile Here are my replies to your questions:

Up to 10 new cards are introduced each day. However when there is nothing left to review, the game will ignore this limit and add more new cards. I could add an option to customise this if you think it's desirable?

There is no limit on cards in a book. However there probably should be. The bigger a book, the more time it takes to save after a review. Once this save takes more than 16ms (1 frame) to complete, the game will visibly lag. The limit should prevent that from happening.

I want to do Windows and Mac versions of the game and have syncing of your save data between all platforms. I've made progress with both of those tasks but they will probably come after the mobile versions are released.

You only get 1 Safarit no matter the length of your Daily Quest so as to control progress through Safari mode and avoid penalising players who have less time to devote to study.

The answer should never be displayed in the question unless the player has overridden the automatic card generation and customised their card to do so. If you notice this happening please let me know!

I'd love to add a bestiary where monsters are 'collected' by defeating them X times, and perhaps add some rewards too! There are 4 more worlds with monsters, bosses and 2 backgrounds each which are currently locked off while the Safari battles are tweaked and balanced. I look forward to unveiling them in the future!
@Howdoken Thank you for the answers!

Regarding the answer (reading) that is being displayed in the question issue: I have customised almost all of my cards to some extent. What I do is change is the spelling card, from meaning to reading, to expression to reading. What I have noticed is that the reading is displayed together with the expression during reviews.

I see what you mean by avoiding penalizing people with less studytime per day. Being one of those people with not a lot of time per day for study, I am glad for this system.

It is good to hear all the things that you are working on. I am looking forward to the complete finished product in the future. In the meantime I will keep enjoying the already very promising beta Wink
@Rivvie - I see, so you basically want to test if you know the reading given the kanji?

At the moment you will see the reading as furigana on the question. However I can change that to hide the furigana if the answer is set to the reading field. Thanks for the idea, and for your kind encouragement!
(2016-07-08, 9:38 am)Howdoken Wrote: @Rivvie - I see, so you basically want to test if you know the reading given the kanji?

At the moment you will see the reading as furigana on the question. However I can change that to hide the furigana if the answer is set to the reading field. Thanks for the idea, and for your kind encouragement!

I think the hiding furigana to test kanji reading would be good.
Yes I agree with RandomQuotes, in the case of testing kanji reading it's better when the furigana are disabled.
I also much prefer to have the furigana disabled on other cards when the item is tested, displaying it when showing the answer is enough for me. Maybe make it optional?

About the new cards limit, Is there currently a notice when you have reached the 10 new cards per day? I would prefer if there was a choice over whether or not more new cards are added after the 10 new cards are reached, instead of them being added automatically, is that possible?

In addition, what is the order from which books the new cards are added? For example, I have a personally created book, as well as a downloaded book. I would prefer if the cards are added first from my own deck and then from the downloaded book. Does it select cards in the order of the books in the list (for example, 3 new cards from the first book and then 7 from the second book in the list when the new cards from the first book are exhausted) ?
Edited: 2016-07-08, 1:19 pm