Category Archives: iPhone app

QR Code Success!

Reading QR Codes in ¡Dígame!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:

Making a Game out of Learning a Language

I love learning languages. I love that spark of understanding when I get my point across in a new language. I love how my brain settles into unfamiliar patterns as I discover how to say something in a language different from my own. I even love the silly mistakes early on, when I’m brave enough to speak and someone else is not afraid to correct me. I’ve puzzled at the contradiction of how I can love learning a language, yet it still requires great discipline.

With Mightyverse, we wanted to capture that simple joy of mastery and make it easier to get to those good feelings more often. We set out to design a mobile, social experience that would make it so we actually want to practice vocabulary, since it feels like playing a game, rather than feeling like homework.

Cards with Japanese Kanji and Hiragana text and a drawing of a dog

Our first paper prototype was in Japanese.

After some gamification research, we designed our mobile software game, then before building it or creating a detailed visual design, we set out to create a “paper prototype.” This is a common software design practice where we actually construct the experience with drawings on paper and get people to look at and interact with a series of sketches, making it easy to get quick feedback on layout, wording, and a sequence of interactions. For our game, which relies heavily on the crowdsourced video phrases in Mightyverse, we realized we could substitute a native or fluent speaker of the language to create a real-world experience that mimics an online experience of interacting with our global language community.

We decided that we would not write a line of code until we could create a situation with our game where a group of people in real life had fun learning and speaking their learning language. We didn’t just want to add sparkles and unicorns to make it entertaining, we wanted to tap into the aspects of social learning that we believe will make the mobile game intrinsically fun.

Through several design iterations, we actually created two separate card games. The second one was much easier to play test since it required only one speaker of the learning language. We created the card game in three languages (Spanish, English and Japanese) with hand-written phrases and printouts pasted on index cards. We then went to the fabulous SFBabel Meetup, and asked random groups of strangers to play our game. It was exciting to see people having fun playing the game and we learned so much from their responses.

For our next iteration, with my friend Val, some kids and friends, we printed out our “helper” cards with instructions that were way too long and a little confusing…
Two of the kids look bored while another kid reads instructions and woman asks a question.
But once we started playing, it was fun. It was amazing to see the transition from bored skepticism to laughter and playful banter in Spanish! We played for hours, with longer and longer stretches where everyone only spoke Spanish.
Kid gestures, smiling, while mom guesses. In the foreground, cards with pictures of hands are on the table.

After many more sessions of playing the game, iterating on the rules and the cards, we have a system that really works. People have fun speaking Spanish, whether they start with little confidence and very few words or many years of Spanish classes.

We’ve designed a crowdfunding campaign as a way to reach language learners who can pre-purchase and play the card game. The next step will be to combine the approaches and make the game playable when there is no fluent speaker present using a mobile app, integrating our crowdsourced video phrases. If you’d like to review the deck, write us! We look forward to hearing from you.

無料「日本救援」iPhone、iPad アプ (日本語 – 英語)

「日本救援」iPhone • iPad アプ ローディングページ

「日本救援」アプ ローディングページ




– マイティーバース・チーム

マイティーバース・ジャパニーズ・リリーフ iPhone、iPad アプ (英語 – 日本語) は、こちらからご入手ください。

It has been a month since the Tohoku Pacific Ocean coast earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011. Japan is still suffering with series of strong after shocks and radiation problems. However, support from inside of the country and foreign countries to Japan continues.

We were driven to do something for the people of Japan and this felt like a small effort that might help. The Japanese-English phrases we recorded are now available.

Please Pray for Japan and the safety of the people.

– Mightyverse team

Japanese Release Pack (Free) is also available.

Free Japanese Relief App for iPad and iPhone is available now!

Japanese Relief App loading page

Japanese Relief App loading page

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.

– Mightyverse team

ジャパニーズ・リリーフ・フレーズパック(無料)は、2011年3月11日に起きた東北地方太平洋沖地震で、被災された外国人と日本人の皆様のコミニケーションを少しでも手助けできればと思って開発させていただきました。 日本語から英語の翻訳版の「日本救援」アプももうすぐ、アップルのアプストアーで入手できるようになります。(日本語から英語版の「日本救済」アプできました。)



Mightyverse iPhone App hits 128 Downloads!

In the first 2 weeks that Mightyverse has been available in the app store, we’ve reached 128 downloads!
Okay, that’s not 128,000, or even 1,280, but still, for our utter lack of any promotion (not even a tweet yet), it’s pretty good.

A milestone even.

Why haven’t we promoted the Mightyverse iPhone app? Because it’s kind of dumb actually. It’s more of an experiment than a true representation of what we want people to experience when they use Mightyverse out in the world. What is our goal with the current iPhone app and why are we subjecting the goodwill of our future Mightyverse loving users to it’s paucity of functionality? Well, that’s a very good question. At this point the version you can download and install for free today is a subset of what we feel people need to have a useful experience of Mightyverse. The beta users of the next version of the app have given us great reports on travels to Japan, Italy, Russia and Europe. But the next version has some really great features the current public version lacks. I really don’t know many ways that someone could find a use for the current version. However….if you are excited about Mightyverse, the app does gives you a portable experience of all of the phrases in the database, with the current featured phraselist prominent on the homescreen. It provides us an easy way to have a lot of different people discover our content and experience it on their iPhones. You can look up any phrase that you know we have in the database and play it right there on your iPhone. You can even email phrases that you find in the database to your friends.

And most importantly, you can say:
“I’ve been using Mightyverse on my phone since the first version, the version that really sucked!”.

We are busy working on the next version of the app which I think will be a marked improvement in usability and just a lot more fun.
I can’t wait for you to try it out.

Has anyone had value from the current app yet? Found a use for it?

We are dying to hear from you.

(stay tuned for updates!)

Paul Lundahl