So it’s the start of a new year, though not really start of a new project as I’ve been working on this game on paper and code for almost four months now, I’ll explain what this site, and the first project is all about.
Firstly, this a personal blog of sorts, as I’m the only person who is working on it’s sole project, but I have friends helping me with the language-side of things but the website itself is updated by me. I don’t know why I’ve called the studio “Strawberry Games.” It might be because I’ve been called a strawberry a few times or because I just really like strawberries, but hey, here we are and that’s not very interesting so I’m gonna start explaining the project to you which is probably the sole reason you are here in the first place.
Koe（声）pronounced “ko-eh” is a role-playing game in the style of traditional JRPG games such as Dragon Quest, Pokemon and Final Fantasy and is influenced heavily by them. See, this next part is a lot harder to explain, but essentially what I want to do in the game is give you an introduction to the Japanese language within the game itself. I know tonnes of people who are so interested in this style of gaming, as well as Anime and Manga, and who have wanted to learn Japanese because of it, but have no idea where they should start, so why not a fully-fledged story-driven JRPG that gives you a nice start with the language itself? Now, this is usually the time I’d expect most people to run away thinking “oh no, another educational game where all we do is look at words and characters for a while that is somehow wrapped around a ‘game’ which it probably isn’t.” Which I’d probably agree with, though let me try to keep you interested for a few more minutes, because there is a twist.
The game itself will be a game before anything else, not a flash-card application nor a voice recognition translator, but rather I will put the game, and therefore the gameplay, before anything else. This means it will play like a JRPG, there will be random battles, bosses, a story, pets, wizards, cities, houses as well as cats and you will play through collecting items, experience points, weapons and everything else that comes with that. Well then, where does the Japanese itself come in? Well, it comes in the form of items. All items in the games are basically Japanese words that are initially taught to you using amazing communicative language teaching techniques, which is easier said as “you don’t really have to be taught anything, you’ll learn the words from using the items” but, obviously, most of the game and descriptions will be in English because this is an introduction to the language, so the game will help you every step of the way, though don’t expect any help when you’re out of cures and almost killed by a 2-headed dragon.
I’ve deliberately left a lot out of the description of gameplay, as I want to dedicate posts to the gameplay, world, story, battle system and characters. I’m also the sole developer/programmer/artist/animator of the game so it may be a few days before I can get everything together, but expect all your questions to be answered in the coming month.
So, for now, Happy New Year! Though the art style isn’t anywhere near final, I’ll leave you with the first screenshot of Koe.