Lingotopia is a language learning game about being lost in a city where you don't speak the language.
It will be released on PC/Mac/Linux in the second half of 2018 (if I meet the funding goal).
In Lingotopia you play a little girl shipwrecked on the shores of a strange island. In order to get back home you'll need to explore the island and talk to its inhabitants. Sadly, no one speaks your language! You'll have to learn words one at a time to decipher what these strange creatures are saying.
The demo is available for Windows/Mac and Linux.
The final game will have a huge handcrafted city to explore, filled with hundreds of opportunities to speak to the city's inhabitants. You'll be able to learn one of at least a dozen languages.
The game is currently translated in the following languages: Basque, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Most of these translations are only partially complete, so the demo might be very short, depending on which language you chose. It should be enough for you to get a taste though!
There is no voice over in the game at the moment, that's one of the reasons I need this Kickstarter. If the Kickstarter succeeds voice overs will replace the synthesised audio in the demo.
The full version of the game will have these community translations and I'll ensure that Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, German and French will be completely translated. Apart from teaching people who can speak English other languages, you'll also be able to learn English in each of the chosen languages.
If this goal is reached, mod support will be added to the game. Users will be able to add their own their dioramas, or even entire cities to the game. You'll then conceivably be able to learn any word in any language. This will work with an easy to use interface that makes the sky the limit!
- Create your own dioramas or cities
- Use either existing artwork or import your own 3d models
- Add new objects you can click on to learn the word
- Write new dialogue and add entire new story lines
- Create new translations
There are a few ways to learn words in the game
- You can click on objects in the environment to learn the word for them.
- Whenever you talk to one of the city's inhabitants you'll be able to learn a word by guessing it from a list or by solving a riddle.
- The city's inhabitants will also comment on the weather as you walk past. So if you want to learn how to say "It's snowing" (for example), then this is the way to go.
Words you know will appear purple when talking to people in the game. By moving your mouse over these words you'll be able to see its translation. The more words you know, the more you'll understand and begin to feel at home in this strange city.
By being continuously confronted with the language you'll also internalise the word order and keep the words you know fresh in your memory. The game can display both the romanised version of languages with different scripts as well as the native scripts.
Three of the five planned city districts are currently in a near final state. They all have a unique look and their own words to teach you. The size of the city in the final version of the game also depends on the Kickstarter, some pledges will result in new buildings or areas.
- If fifty people back the Animal Lover reward, a zoo will be added to the game. You'll be able to learn the words for dozens of animals by clicking on them.
- If fifty people back the Paying Respect reward, a graveyard will be added to the game. Statues of the deceased will teach you adjectives, i.e "Here lies Alexander the great".
- If twenty five people back the Parent reward, kindergartens will be added to the city, children will use see-saws and swings and liven up the city with their playful ways.
- Finally, if 1 backer is found for the Royalty reward, a palace will be added to the city. You'll be able to explore the palace from the inside and learn many new words.
All the backers listed above and those who back as Citizens or Founding Citizens will have access to the game following the Kickstarter and leading up to the game's release (which is currently scheduled for August 2018). Several new versions of the game will be available to you per month. You'll be able to watch the city grow and evolve as I work on the game and constructions sites will gradually make way for finished buildings.
Throughout the city, various street musicians will beguile you with their songs. This was my solution to play music in the game, they'll often be near important characters, luring you to their location
I often feel bad for playing video games. They can take dozens of hours to complete and that's time I could've spent learning a valuable skill.
I also believe that games can be a great way to teach people various skills. I loathed the time I had to spend learning in school and would have been tremendously excited at the prospect of playing a game like Lingotopia.
I began searching for a game that allows me to learn a language while playing, thereby absolving my guilty conscience. To my surprise there were no games out there like Lingotopia. So I set out to create my own language learning game. A game set in a beautiful city, with an uplifting story, many unique characters to meet and hundreds of words to learn.
I've been developing the game in my spare time throughout 2017. As the demo proves, it is in a very functional state. You can explore part of the city and learn several dozen words in over a dozen languages. But I'd love to be able to work on the game full time and give it the attention it deserves.
This involves adding much more content to the game: Expanding the city and creating many more characters to talk to. You'll then be able to learn hundreds of words by exploring a huge city (with a working public transport system). I'll also need to get more translations and audio recordings.
The voice overs required in order to make this game a truly great language learning tool are also something I need your support for.
My name is Tristan and I'm the developer of Lingotopia. Apart from some help with the art direction at the beginning of the project and with the music, I've been developing the game all on my own.
My career in game development has been short and sweet so far. I started out as an intern on the wonderful Expedition simulator, "The Curious Expedition". While working on the puzzle game "Slayaway Camp", I began making my own, smaller, more experimental games, like "One Show Only" and "Tumbling Home". Lingotopia is my first foray into language learning and I'd love to keep going in this direction, as long as the game is well received of course.
Music for the game has so far been provided by my dear friend Tobias Junge and wonderful wife Mariella Ziegenhagen. As more bands join the city's ensemble cast of musicians more songs by these two and potentially by others will be added to the game.
Art direction for the game has also been provided by Ludovicus Gees Aryo Herwastho, who played a huge role in establishing Lingotopia's unique look
I am also tremendously thankful to the wonderful people that have added translations to the game so far! Without them, the game wouldn't have made it this far <3
Risks and challenges
The current demo should serve of prove of the fact that I'm able to make this game. I've overcome the majority of the technical hurdles already. There will also be no physical rewards that require shipping.
It's always possible to underestimate the time it takes to make a game but I will do my very best to meet all deadlines on time.
- (28 days)