Synonymy is an educational, non-profit word game narrated by Richard Dawkins that challenges players to find the paths between random words through their network of synonyms. By taking the synonym of a word, and then a synonym of that synonym, and so on, you can ultimately arrive at any other word in a language.
I have spent the past year working on the English version of the game, now available for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. The game is also available on steam and will be featured at this year's GDC. A free, lite version is also available for mobile devices: www.synonymy-game.com
It is my ambition to create a game that is accessible to ESL students and individuals looking to improve their proficiency at foreign languages as well as casual players looking for an entertaining experience that with any luck, can help the robustness of your vocabulary.
Not only will you be able to play the game in a different language, you will be able to switch languages mid-game, such that you could be given a starting word in Japanese, and then must get to an ending word in French or German. This forces players to view languages not in isolation of one another, but rather as a relational game mechanic.
This fundraising campaign is to help finance the inclusion of foreign languages in the game : Japanese, French, Chinese, Spanish, German and possibly more depending on the success of the campaign.
The game supports multiplayer, and weekly challenges in which users can compete globally on set start and end words. Every time a path is uncovered by a user, it is tweeted from @synonymywords and posted to our Facebook page.
A visualization of the current game's network can be seen here.
- Over 60 million unique start and end word possibilities
- Multiplayer where two or more users can compete with the same game
- Weekly challenges in which users can compete globally for prizes (now live)
- Sound that dynamically changes in timbre
- Six difficulty modes
- Leaderboards where scores and word strings can be compared
Risks and challenges
Putting together and refining the original english database, which was WordNet based but cross-referenced with almost 20 others, then stemmed, pruned and streamlined for verisimilitude, took nearly a year to compile and was extremely tedious. Tackling foreign repositories in order to do the same would require the recruitment of bi-lingual testers and programmers to help parse the large amounts of data, and then of course, to relate the databases to one another to make interplay possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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