Saturday, February 16, 2013

Habit RPG: To-Do List RPG

For quite some time I have wanted to create a to-do list App that is also an RPG. I have many index cards with UI concepts written on it, equations for EXP, general story progression, and so on. Although these ideas were there, I did not know any programming and had no desire to commit a great deal of time to something that might not work.

Anyways, I have always imagined a to-do list RPG that makes my life more efficient (EpicWin was a good attempt at it, but it was a VERY thinly veiled to-do list), but recently I found someone creating just the app I wanted, and it is called "Habit RPG." It is a to-do list with the form factor and features of an RPG.

As you accomplish tasks, you get rewarded with gold and EXP. Get enough gold to buy items that make it slightly easier to level up (Sword that gives a +5% EXP bonus) OR items to recover HP. Get enough EXP to get access to more stuff. If items linger in your to-do list for too long, your HP and EXP takes a hit.

The system itself is surprisingly robust, and I am very excited for the future of this app. Their Kickstarter is nearly over, and it is fully funded (There will be native Android and iPhone apps on the way). Video games do a great job at addicting us to negative behaviors (Wasting time but feeling like we've accomplished something), and it's about time that those same shots of dopamine be used to make ourselves more productive.

I only post this because I wanted to do something like this for a long time.


I finally finished Pimsleur Korean I, and I began moving onto Pimsleur Korean II when I realized something: Many Korean words sounded like they used Chinese characters. Although there were no transcripts provided, I could easily imagine the Chinese characters used for certain words. After some investigation, I found this web site: Hanja Dictionary. It is a dictionary of Hanja, or Chinese characters used for Korean. Rather than there being a search box, you paste a Korean reading or a Chinese character into the URL and it displays the character along with word combinations that use that character.

I have a friend that lives in Korea and he told me that although Korean doesn't use the Chinese characters with the same frequency as Japanese (Japanese is not a Hiragana-only language), many words in Korean are Chinese character combinations not unlike ON YOMI character combinations for Japanese. Thus, by memorizing the readings to Chinese characters in Korean, you can learn BUCKETS of words with very little effort.

Which leads to another project: Korea-Town, or location based chain stories, with a different location for each Korean character reading. The amount of time required to create such stories is very small, and the long-term payoff is quite large (As I have learned with Japanese and Chinese). While making a "Korea-Town" mnemonic system isn't high on my priority list, it is certainly there now. I think I will hold off on learning more Korean until I can get flesh out the "Korea Town" mnemonic system.

Once I am finished with my other projects, I will use the above dictionary to group Chinese-derived Korean characters (Hanja) by common reading, and think of a story to link them all together. If you are learning Korean, please give this a try, as I think it will be just as beneficial as the "Kanji Town" and "China Town" mnemonics have been.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Language Sentence Packs?

I have a few questions:

1. Did anybody actually find my previously pre-made SuperMemo collection useful in any way? If so I will make more.

2. If I made SuperMemo collections for learning Japanese, would you find it genuinely useful?

3. If I made Japanese SuperMemo collections, what kind of stuff would you like to learn? Themed sentence packs? JLPT level vocabulary?

Just kicking ideas around.