Kanji Samurai is a mobile game created during my final semester at Champlain College, available now on the Google Play store for Android and soon to be released on Apple devices. Become a samurai warrior by learning how to write and recognize Japanese Kanji in a fantasy feudal Japan setting. Travel the path of the samurai and meet interesting senseis who will teach you the way of the sword. Avenge your fallen village and get an introductory lesson to Japanese along the way.
I was brought on board to Kanji Samurai halfway through it's development, after it had passed Capstone stage and Rhythm of the Night had not. I was in charge of various elements of the project, including a UI overhaul, additional game mode creation, and narrative.
The entirety of my development on Kanji Samurai is documented on my blog, including extensive documentation as I created them. A sampling of documentation can be seen to the left.
Working on an educational game was incredibly fun, as I had wanted to work on an educational game for a while, and finally being able to work on a large project with an educational bent was extremely creatively fulfilling for me. This project was also me stretching my UX muscles, finding ways to streamline the experience, creating less of a bottleneck for players so that they can get to the sections of the game and the help that they might need as quickly as possible.
There was also a heavy narrative aspect to Kanji Samurai, with a grand total of 16 pages written between character backgrounds to help guide the artists and the dialogue for that character, and 12 pages of dialogue, including the story, a traditional hero's journey tale, as well as tutorials for the core game, the practice mode, and Kanji Drop.
Kanji Drop is an additional game mode I created for Kanji Samurai to help break up the monotony of drawing Kanji. Based on research of other language learning software, Kanji Drop blends the gameplay of Fruit Ninja and the memorization strategy of flash cards. It also uses the same control scheme, slashing, to match various kanji to their English definitions. This way, players aren't fumbling around to figure out a different control scheme while playing.
Kanji Samurai was developed over the course of 13 weeks with a team of 9 people:
Producer – Emily Harnedy
Lead Game Designer – Glynis Burton
Game Designer – Luca Hibbard-Curto
Sound Designer – Connor Meislan
Lead Artist – Maddie Bouchie
Artist – Connor Chapin
Artist – Julia Eddy
Artist – Matt Stangel
Lead Programmer – Eric Nicholson
Programmer – Mary Scheyder
The official website can be found here.