We first developed the ¡Dígame! card game as a paper prototype for our new mobile app. Translating the game play from a mobile, social video-based game to real life worked surprisingly well. When the idea arose to integrate video via QR codes on the game cards, I worried that the scanning delay and mix of phone and card game would interrupt the game play and cause the game to be less fun. One of the biggest challenges in software design is that people say that want something, but they can’t realize all of the implications, so you can give someone what they ask for and have that end up as something that doesn’t improve the experience and can be distracting. Due to this uncertainty, we launched our card game crowdfunding campaign without the QR codes and agreed to play test them before making the final decision on whether to include them.
Last week, Glen organized a group of people who had little or no Spanish language ability. They played ¡Dígame! and had a lot of fun. With a QR Code on each card, linked to a video of a native speaker saying the phrase expressively, sometimes with gestural hints, plus having the translation into English , the “fear factor” of being immersed in this new language was greatly reduced. Each person was challenged to teach a phrase, acting it out like Charades. Even if that person had to learn from the English translation in the video, the rest of the group learned through the immersive quality of the game, decoding meaning by watching and using their own gestures while only hearing and saying the phrase in Spanish.
The feature of QR codes linked to expressive videos on the phrase cards has been a big success so far and adds a fun dimension to the game. This week we’ll be recording our latest revisions of the game phrases and creating links and QR codes for each phrase. Today is the last day to pre-order the game on Indiegogo: http://igg.me/at/digame/x/550786
One afternoon I was prototyping various mobile designs for Mightyverse user experiences and as a non-technical person, I needed some simple ways to embed videos with subtitles into the UX ideas I was working on. Oddly enough, it seems that Apple disables subtitles when playing back videos embedded in iOS browsers and I was trying to find a work around.
We recently recorded some basic conversation phrases with Becky Z and so using the video for “No, I cannot speak English” in Chinese Mandarin, I created 3 .srt files using the free subtitle creation app called Jubler. Jubler has a relatively simple interface for creating subtitle phrases in a perplexing variety of formats. I chose to make .srt files with UTF-8 encoding. I then took the video into Handbrake and tried muxing the Jubler created .srt files with the video in order to make an MP4 file with subtitle tracks to play on my iPhone. No luck after an hour of playing around. Then I thought to try adding subtitles to the video in YouTube. Five minutes later I had a linkable, embeddable video with 3 subtitle tracks applied!
The basic steps are: 1. Open Jubler and Choose “New File” 2. Open Jubler and then click the “Closed Eye” icon on the top right of the toolbar. 3. Navigate to your video in the resulting dialogue and select it. 4. Select the part of the waveform to subtitle in the resulting display, then type the corresponding text at the bottom of the frame in the gray area. 5. Save as “SubRip (.srt)” and “UTF-8”. 6. Upload your video to YouTube 7. In the Video Manager, choose the Captions tab for your video (top right of the options) 8. Click the “Upload Caption File or Transcript” button to the right of the video player 9. Choose your .srt file, name it and your done!
The resulting YouTube video still doesn’t show the closed captioning in Safari on my iPhone 5 (with the latest iOS update). It does however play with subtitles in the native Google YouTube app. It’s interesting what Apple feels is superfluous to their users, I wonder that it’s not been more widely criticized, especially for people with hearing impairments. I’d love to hear from people who have figured out a workaround to Apple’s limiting of closed captions on videos played in Safari.
Japanese Relief Phrasepack is developed for all of the victims of the Tohoku Pacific Ocean coast earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011. It’s free. We were driven to do something for the people of Japan and this felt like a small effort that might help. The Japanese-English version is now available here.
Please Pray for Japan and the safety of the people.