Phoenicia Alpha 2 release

We have reached our planned  Alpha 2 Milestone, and with it we’re very excited to announce the availability in the Google Play Store for anybody who wants to test it! To install Phoenicia alpha 2 on your device, follow this link:

Once installed, you will get updates every time I push a new version to the Play Store, which will be roughly every month to coincide with these update announcements. Please report any bugs, crashes, or confusing things to our GitHub Issues page.

Common Audio Repository

There has been on-again, off-again talks about cross team collaboration on this prize, and in an attempt to kickstart that I asked @edmcnierney if we could have a common GitHub repository where we should share resources, and he was kind enough to set that up:

I have already uploaded all of Phoenicia’s audio recordings for the US English alphabet, both letter names and phoneme, using a Creative Commons license that is compatible with the XPRIZE rules. I invite any team that wants them to use them, and also to contribute other assets that you think would be useful and foster collaboration.

New Chat for XPRIZE teams

Before the Global Learning XPRIZE officially started, Jono Bacon setup an IRC channel at #xprize-community on Freenode, but it was rarely ever used. Discussions here on the forum were more active, but the latency between posts made for slow conversations. I had recently started using Gitter, a modern chat service built around GitHub, for another project, and thought it would be useful for XPRIZE teams as well. There is a common XPRIZE channel as well as the ability to create new ones based on individual repos. I’ve already created one for Phoenicia.

It’s open to anybody in the XPRIZE organization on GitHub to join (you should have been given an invite from Ed at the start of the contest), and we’ve already had many fantastic discussions on there. Its GitHub integration makes it easy to reference code and issues related to your project, and it gives activity updates in a side bar. Please come and join is there:

Word Builder Queues

Previously building a word in Phoenicia was instantaneous, as long as you had the necessary letters, but the plan was always to make that process take time, so that the player would need to plan ahead. With this update the word building screen has been updated and word building now takes the amount of time designated in the Locale definition. You can also queue up more than one to build (again, if you have the necessary letters) and they will be built one after the other, with an audible notification when they are finished.


The player is now also responsible for going back and collecting the built words before they can be used to fulfill market requests.

Beta 1

May was a slow month for features. The above work required some major refactoring to the underlying code, both for the word building screens and the background builder objects, which meant that little else was done. Learning how to build and sign release APKs that were suitable for the Play Store was another challenge (if anybody has questions or needs help with that, please let me know). June has already seen quite a bit of changes, but I will save those until the next update. The next major milestone for Phoenicia will be the Beta 1 release, currently scheduled for the end of July. If you want see everything that happening, you can always follow us on GitHub and try the code yourself.