This month we’re excited to be making another public release of Phoenicia into the Google Play Store. This Alpha 2.5 release gets us halfway to the first Beta milestone of our development, and things are really starting to come together quickly.
While the underlying code has supported having multiple saved sessions, there wasn’t a graphical way to actually take advantage of that. Until now. Not only does this allow you to have sessions in different languages, it also supports having multiple players in the same language, each with their own progress and personalization. This is going to be important for the XPRIZE field trials, where the children who get tablets may be sharing them with other siblings.
One of the important things we want Phoenicia to show children is that knowledge has value, both to themselves and to others. So we want them to be able to use that knowledge at any point in their game play. For that purpose we are complimenting the standard word building tiles with a Workshop where players can build any word that they know how to spell, whether or not they’ve been exposed to it by the game yet. Moreover, it lets them share the words they learn in the game with their friends who haven’t reached those levels yet, giving their knowledge a social value.
Mini-games are coming
While the main game play of Phoenicia is geared towards teaching kids how to read, there’s a need for more than that. In order to teach numeracy, sequencing as well as reinforcing the literacy skills learned in the main game, we will be introducing a set of mini-games that can be unlocked by the player. While the games themselves haven’t been written yet, the framework for them is now in place.
Making it yours
Personalization is important, especially to young kids. They like to customize things and make them their own. Creativity and learning go hand-in-hand, and we want Phoenicia to allow for both. So we’re introducing decorative tiles that will let them build their own unique world. These decorations will be unlocked as they play, and will give them a reason to keep playing and learning.
We’re now working towards out next big milestone, and at the end of this month we will be releasing our first Beta release. We’re already halfway through the month, and some of the highlights above were actually done in the past two weeks, but there’s still more on the roadmap for this milestone so stay tuned for our next update.