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This topic contains 8 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  PinYinPal Admin 4 years, 9 months ago.

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February 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm #48

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February 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm #50

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[–]WayyyTooMuchCoffee 3 points 1 month ago
As an ex-tournament Scrabble player, I think about the game theory of this game and have quite a few theoretical issues. I have often thought about a similar game but with radicals instead of Pinyin.
As a Mandarin learner, the sidebar with definitions is very cool and I would be happy to stop playing English word games and play this instead.

February 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm #51

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[–]reddallaboutit 1 point 1 month ago*
Error: In your example game board, you have QUE_. There is no such pinyin syllable (occasionally people write QUEN when they mean QUN, but this is incorrect). To see this is the case, check any reliable pinyin chart or nciku.
Thoughts: As another word game player (Boggle on BitWordy, Scrabble on, Anagrams on a beta-website) I have often thought about game design issues for something like this. Probably tone marks should be incorporated, so that words like mei1 or ri1 ri2 ri3 are unplayable.
Also, I’d like to see a bonus for being able to quickly identify a legitimate definition of a word with at least two characters. Not sure precisely how you’d finagle, e.g., hai3 bao4, which could be 海报 = poster or 海豹 = seal (the animal) but I’m sure it’s doable.
(I’d really like to see a version in which it’s possible to play chengyu for a massive bonus, but I digress.)
My main concern about just using pinyin is that there are a very small number of syllables, and each of them appears to be playable in this game. Also, I don’t think learning one character at a time is ideal for improving one’s Chinese; learning two character words would be much better.

February 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm #52

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[–]WayyyTooMuchCoffee 2 points 1 month ago*
Some of my concerns/thoughts after messing with this game:
Logistically, many starters for pinyin are not also enders. If I play “zhuang”, you can bet there will never be a tile played in front of the z, locking up the entire board. Tone aside, two-character words really do need to be implemented. Not only would this be much better for learning, it unlocks new possibilities for word extensions: now “zhuang” could be used in “qiangzhuang”.
The idea is there, but just like any other first steps it needs a lot of polish.
In Scrabble, the S tile is very valuable for adding plurals to common words. Chinese pinyin has no such alternative. This makes the Z C S N G tiles some of the only “hook” tiles available, and only in limited cases. (hu into hua into huan into huang into shuang chuang or zhuang, etc.)
Then we have the problem with vowels. Not many pinyin words begin with vowels, and it structurally makes the board really cramped. Almost all my games (Pass and Play with myself since there’s no big community yet) end up being very heavy toward the bottom right half of the board.
Lastly, there must be a way of introducing new vocabulary instead of me picking the same definition for something every time I play it.
I think this idea is in the back of the mind for every Scrabble player who wants to learn a foreign language. However, pinyin is a very difficult way to pull this off. I kind of feel like radical anagrams would be another way of approaching a game, kind of like the Scrabble variant Clabbers.
EDIT: Sneaking in an edit regarding the “magic spacer” tile. It’s a decent fix, but geometrically is still not the best solution. Better would probably just be changing the board layout to fit the natural tile geometry.

February 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm #53

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[–]reddallaboutit 1 point 1 month ago
I agree with most of what you’ve said. I’ve thought in the past a fair bit about creating a radical-based game, but I couldn’t think of a feasible way to do this. In fact, I originally intended to apply for a Watson Fellowship to study games in China for a year, with the ultimate goal of designing my own, but the timing was off (so I ended up going abroad to study their education system instead).
Anyhow, I think it’s perhaps a mistake to adhere too strictly to the Scrabble framework in designing a Chinese word-game. The game here is effectively Scrabble with pinyin syllables and definitions in the side-bar. If I were going to design a new game, I’d want to alter rules. As a single example, suppose you could insert letters into words. Now your “zhuang” could have an “f” inserted for “zhufang” (住房) among other options. The key is to make identifying the definition a pivotal part of game-play; otherwise, far too many combos would work (贮藏, 逐行, etc.).

February 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm #54

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[–]wtfamiwatching 2 points 1 month ago
looks fun. is it ipad only? is there a way to find people to play with? i dont know anyone who would want to play with me.

February 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm #55

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–]GirlOnInternet[S] 2 points 1 month ago
It’s iPad only at this very moment, but iPhone and Android versions are coming this spring, and desktop versions are following! I know the developers and they’re trying to work as fast as they can… this is their first app so they wanted to see how people responded to the iPad version first.
The game will automatically match you up with a random opponent, so you don’t have to know anyone who’s playing the game in order to play!

February 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm #56

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[–]mihoutao_xiangjiao 1 point 1 month ago
/+1 for Android and desktop applications, please! I’d love to try it out.

February 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm #57

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[–]ridefastcarvehard 1 point 19 days ago
please make this for iPhone!

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