Can it be FUN to learn a foreign language? Greek4Fun is! It's a fun language game that immerses kids in a fun, "real life" environment.
Can it be FUN to learn Greek?
Yes! However, if your experience was anything like ours, your answer is probably, "Heck NO!" Sadly, even the best of language programs are still work. That is the very reason for Greek4Fun.
What is Greek4Fun?
What we wanted to do is design a Greek language program that is FUN to use. And we also wanted to promote the Greek culture all over the world through this online, total immersion learning method.
What is Greek4Fun? It is an online language learning program for children 3-8, and, of course, it is designed to be FUN.
How will we make it FUN? We take a relatively new concept called gamification, and apply it to teaching language. Gamification is taking what are normally mundane tasks, and making them FUN by introducing these elements:
And there is all that in Greek4Fun.
There are loads of funny animations, rewards, clever roll-over buttons, and fun songs to engage the players in "real life" situations that emphasize the FUN of play, rather than boring memorization and language drills.
Over 25% of the game is already finished.
Over 25% of the animation and interactivity was completed over this last year, but our team needs your help to finish the game and launch it by the end of 2012. If you watched our video you have an idea of how the game works, and how far along it is (please see our YouTube video at the bottom of this page). The kitchen is finished, but we have 3 more rooms and more fun rewards pages to develop. Then we will need to set up a distribution system. Right now we are thinking it will be totally web-based so we can avoid the high cost of printing CD's and packaging.
No English to guide the user
We use no English in the game. All the game play is guided by buttons, icons, symbols, and animation. This way, children from all over the world will be able to play, and they won't need to know English to do it. And because of that we will also be able to keep much of the same animation for other languages, and we will be able to pass the savings on to our subscribers when we develop those in the future.
So you see, another benefit from your helping to move this project forward is that once it is completed we can easily swap the Greek vocabulary for other languages, like Spanish, English, Russian, etc. And that is why we strove to give the characters in the game an "international look."
We began with sketches like these, and kept working to refine them.
We finally settled on these, and their names are Elias and Sophia:
In the final version players will be able to create a profile, so more than one person in your household can play, and keep his or her individual score. Parents will also be able to track their children's progress, too, so they will know their children are learning while they are having fun.
The game environment now in development is a home, and after signing in with your username and password you move to a scene of the outside of the home. Here you select which room you'd like to start in.
There is a bedroom , where the players will learn about clothing names, the alphabet, and numbers. There will even be coloring pages that can be printed out and taped to your refrigerator.
The bathroom is where children will learn the words for brushing their teeth, washing up, and a song about a little boat in the water.
The living room will have a television that features short video clips of domestic, zoo, and farm animals; also family members, and shapes and colors.
The room that is most completed is the kitchen. There are roll overs and animations here to keep children engaged for hours, and a "test" to challenge them to recall what they have learned.
Who is on the Greek4Fun team?
There is me, Taylor, a cartoonist, animator, and interaction designer. My Greek wife (so, I am Greek by association) who has taught Greek at a local Orthodox Church for about 5 years. She was also one of the voices for Rosetta Stone's Greek course. It was there she became acquainted with Dr. Stylianos Vayanos, a fellow Greek, and a professional voice artist and voice coach who has also taught Greek for 20 years.
While they did the voicing for Rosetta Stone, Stylianos expressed a desire to design a Greek language program for children, so I contacted him last summer about partnering with us.
And here is one of the best parts...Your children can be in the game!
Yes! You and/or your children can actually appear in the game!
Although we have chosen many clever and fun rewards for all of our sponsors, we have reserved some very unique rewards for our most generous ones. You, and/or your children (or grandchildren) can be in the game!
How will we do that?
The living room scene has a television that will play various short videos of a zoo, colors and shapes, playing in a park, family members, etc., and you and/or your children can be in one of these videos. Depending on what level you choose, you may either send us your own video, or one of us will come and videotape you at your home.
(Below is a copy of the story board from the living room, with the TV in the background)
So, don't miss this opportunity to make language learning history, and please consider backing this worthwhile project. You will help make learning Greek language and culture fun and affordable for children all over the world. And your own children can be part of the show.
You can watch a video of the game as it actually works (so far) here:
What language do you want to learn? Spanish? Italian? Portuguese? Our goal is to introduce these, and many other languages once we complete Greek4Fun.
pledged of $12,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on May 9, 2012.
Apr 9, 2012 - May 9, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Philhellene! Every dollar counts, and for this level we will send you project updates, and send our hearty thanks!Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Aegean! For this level you get regular project updates, and a Greek4Fun thank you card, signed by the crew!Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Islander! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, and a "working demo" of the game emailed to you.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $40 or more
Athenian! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, and and a "working demo" of the game emailed to you, PLUS a personalized Greek4Fun poster (11" x 17") with your name in Greek.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Spartan! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, a "working demo" of the game emailed to you, and a Greek alphabet poster (11" x 17") featuring the game's two characters.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $65 or more
Philosopher! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, a "working demo" of the game emailed to you, and a Greek alphabet poster (11" x 17") featuring the game's two characters, PLUS an autographed thumb drive with personalized animated greeting from Elias and Sophia.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Alexandrian! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, a "working demo" of the game emailed to you, and a Greek alphabet poster (11" x 17") featuring the game's two characters, PLUS a subscription to online game when completed.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Marathoner! For this level you get regular project updates, a Greek4Fun thank you card, a "working demo" of the game emailed to you, and a Greek alphabet poster (11" x 17") featuring the game's two characters, PLUS a subscription to the online game when completed, and a signed, hand drawn sketch of the characters by Taylor OverbeyEstimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Hero! For this level you get the $100 level, PLUS your name in the credits.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (15 of 15 left)
Demigod! For this level you get the level $100 rewards, your name in the credits, PLUS a video of you, and/or your kids in the game. Just send us a video of you and/or your children to be included in the game (We'll work with you to get some video shots that would be appropriate).Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $1,500 or more
0 backers Limited (18 of 18 left)
Titan! For this level you get the level $100 rewards, your name in the credits, PLUS a video of you, and/or your kids in the game. If you can get to the Grand Rapids, MI area we'll film it here, or Taylor will drive to your place (up to 300 miles) and film you for your place in language game history.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (18 of 18 left)
Olympian! For this level you get the level $100 rewards, your name in the credits, PLUS a video of you, and/or your kids in the game. Taylor (or his accomplice) will fly to your location to film a specially written video segment of you and/or your children. This offer is limited to the Continental United States. We will fly anywhere outside the Continental US, but you will have to pay the transportation and accommodations.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012