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Ninchanese harnesses the power of games to make learning Chinese fun and effective.
Ninchanese harnesses the power of games to make learning Chinese fun and effective.
314 backers pledged €20,853 to help bring this project to life.

What's it like being in open beta and more news

Posted by Ninchanese (Creator)
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Hi guys,  

It's already been a few months since our last update; wow! How time flies! You'll be glad to hear this silence only means good things for Ninchanese. Our apologies about leaving you in the dark, nonetheless. Let me make it up to you by:

1) Telling you that we're never leaving you in the dark anymore, thanks to this: our brand new public Roadmap! This is the best place to go to keep track of what we're working on, what's getting ready to be shipped, what new features you'll be using soon and more! You can vote on what you'd like us to work in priority, add comments, and see what we have left to do. It's live now so join us!

2) By quickly taking you through the important things that happened to Ninchanese these past few months, to make up for lost time. Ready?

Open Beta

Mid-february was an important moment for Ninchanese and here's why: we launched Ninchanese in open beta! It was an important step for us in our development. Users can now freely sign up for Ninchanese, finally!

If you want to know what Ninchanese being in open beta changes for you, I suggest you refer to this update and/or get in touch with us at support@ninchanese.com

Do you like our character masks for the party?
Do you like our character masks for the party?

To celebrate this new step in the Nincha journey, we held a Chinese new year party at the office with some of our more local backers and supporters -- shame you all live in distant places across the globe; we'd love to meet everyone! One day, right? 

Goodies goodies goodies

In addition to this big step, we have more good news: we've received some of your goodies and they're meowsome! 

We're waiting to have everything ready and here to start shipping your Kickstarter rewards. We figured you'd still want to hear that we're making progress on your goodies and that you'll be receiving them in the coming months.

So here's the goodie progress update: 

  • The mugs and the tote bags are ready and here (in our office) and they are amazing! They look even better than the samples and we think you'll like them as much as you do. 
Pauline, one of our super Nincha interns, knee-deep in boxes of mugs
Pauline, one of our super Nincha interns, knee-deep in boxes of mugs
  • As for the Nincha plush toy, it's not here yet, but it will also soon be. You may remember the first sample toy not being completely up to snuff. The second version was much much better, as you can see below.
On the left, Nincha v.1.0; on the right, the new and improved Nincha
On the left, Nincha v.1.0; on the right, the new and improved Nincha

Nincha is very lovable and was quickly adopted by the team:

Nincha will be glad to help you out, even if that means being used as a headrest, as Sijing, another of our wonderful Intern Nincha does here
Nincha will be glad to help you out, even if that means being used as a headrest, as Sijing, another of our wonderful Intern Nincha does here

Upon receiving Nincha 2.0, we saw that there were still a few small corrections to make. That led us to discovering that producing a plush toy around the Chinese New Year.... not the best idea! Chinese New Year celebrations mean no business at all in China -- we knew how important an event it was for the Chinese, of course, but none of us really expected to have to wait for it to end to see business resume. (Seriously, business all comes to a standstill from the end of January to Mid-march, it's incredible). 

This explains in part the delay in sending you the goodies. You've been incredibly patient so far about the delay, thank you for that! But not to worry, we're back on track.

Back on track

The Chinese New Year is now completely over, business is back to its usual speed, corrections have been communicated and Nincha the plush toy will soon be on its way to us! The parcels will be arriving soon in our office and then you know where it'll go... In short, we're hoping to be able to start shipping your goodies and Kickstarter rewards to you soon! We'll be keeping you posted of course. 

Kickstarter features

The Kickstarter rewards is not the only thing we've been working on lately. We're getting the final Kickstarter features ready, as well. 

The chat system is now live!

We launched a chat for Ninchanese last month, so our Nincha learners could chat together, and ask the Nincha Team questions, too. Come join us! 

Stretch goal features

We're also working on adding character comparison stages, which was a secret social stretch goal, and supporting traditional characters, which was a stretch goal. 

It's a little early to give you an official release date for Traditional Chinese, but we're getting closer. Here's a sneak peek in our word pages:

See the difference between the Simplified (left) character for cat and the Traditional version?
See the difference between the Simplified (left) character for cat and the Traditional version?

Making Ninchanese ready for a different writing system (because Traditional and Simplified Chinese share the same "language", Mandarin Chinese, and differ only in writing) is an interesting process, and it's taught a lot about how traditional Chinese works! Not that we ever thought it'd be, but it's not simply a matter of changing the font to Traditional characters. 

Mapping Simplified vs.Traditional Chinese was an interesting challenge for instance as some simplified characters stand for 2 or more traditional characters. Did you know that? ^^

You'll be hearing more about the new features in Ninchanese soon! We'll also be in touch regarding the rewards. And on that note, 

let's talk soon!

Have a great rest of the week, 

Sarah and the Nincha Team

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