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Nihongo Quest Alpha Update 11/20/2020

Hey fellow Japanese learners! Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy!

I wish I was able to get this out sooner, but unfortunately my full time job picked up and became much busier. Luckily, I think we have gotten past most of that, and am ready to devote much more time to development!

As most of you probably know by now, we launched a (small) alpha version of Nihongo Quest a little while back. (If you aren't part of it yet, you can find out how to join here.) First, I want to thank everyone who tried and gave some incredible feedback!

Overall, the feedback was very positive! Most people seemed to enjoy the core game even in its short form. It was really encouraging to read everyone's comments!

Before I go further...

As you may know already, Nihongo Quest is mostly made by me (Bailey) and my fiancée (Ai). It's being made in my spare time and all on my own dime. 

I will be honest with you: I really hope this can turn into a full time gig! That probably can't happen until our early release next year, (at the earliest!) but if it does happen, expect the game to move along much more quickly from that point.

However, in order for that to happen, I need your help! Even if it's something as simple as sharing Nihongo Quest with a friend, a social media post about Nihongo Quest, etc. it really goes a long way!

If you really want to go over and above, please consider buying a Nihongo Quest t-shirt or hoodie. Making a game is not free, and a t-shirt for Nihongo Quest is stylish and only $15! Every little bit helps! Thanks for your support!

Nihongo Quest T-shirt

Difficulty Setting

Alright, now back to talking about the alpha!

Probably the number one most requested feature was a "difficulty setting." Basically, several people who played this game have already learned Hiragana, and are looking to play more at their level.

First off, this is definitely something that Nihongo Quest will implement...eventually.

In order to have a difficult setting for say N3, obviously we need to have N3 content ready to be added into the game. At this point in development, I will be honest with you and say that we are not ready to add in the higher levels of Japanese. But we will get there!

Additionally, I am trying to get a system implemented into the game where the player can input what they want to study on their own (so you don't have to wait for me!). We are a still a bit far off from that, but that is the ultimate goal so that you don't have to wait for me to develop everything if you don't want to.

In order to help set some expectations, I am preparing a separate blog post where I will go through a timetable of when different levels of Japanese will be added into the game. At that time, I will go into more detail, but to give you a basic idea, it will look something like this:

1. Hiragana (Dec 2020)

2. Katakana (Jan 2021)

3. Kanji (Jan 2021-?)

4. N5 and N4

5. N3

6. N2

7. N1

The reason we are starting with Kanji before jumping into grammar, etc. is primarily because I think it will even the playing field. Even someone who is level N3 has probably not studied all ~2200 Kanji that are needed, so it is probably the best way to get a large number of people involved as soon as possible.

Again, at some point within that timeline I will give the players a degree of customization so that they can study their own vocabulary and sentences. I'm still not sure when that will be, so hold tight! 

I will go more into details about all of this at a later time, but as of right now, this is what you may be able to expect.

Character Customization

This was far more requested than I anticipated! People really like their characters customized!

I will be honest with you. I thought this one was going to be easy to implement. Turns out it is much harder than I thought!

Getting it to work on PC has been fine, but getting it to work on mobile has actually been the problem. Getting it to work in multiplayer mode (even on PC) as well has been incredibly difficult!

So while I don't think Nihongo Quest will have completely customizable characters, I think I have found a healthy medium. There will be several customizable outfits and styles you can choose from, but you won't be able to customize down to, for example, your hairstyle. Expect more details on this in the Katakana update early next year.

Support on Additional Platforms

The final thing I want to discuss is support on multiple platforms. I have good news and bad news.

The good news is Mac should be ready to go by the next update (or by January at the latest). Additionally, if there is a demand for Linux, that could also probably be done (although so far nobody has requested it, so I probably will hold off for the time being).

Mobile, on the other hand, may take a bit of time. I'll be honest with you in saying I don't have a specific timeline on mobile, but it's going to get done! That much I can say with confidence! Please keep tuning into our blog if you want more updates.

That's all for now! Have fun studying, gamers!

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