The Kickstarter project for the adventure game Dreamfall Chapters seems to be doing quite well – after about 1 1/2 week they have reached their funding goal and also reached their first stretch goal – Mac and Linux versions of the game.
I am quite happy to see this, personally my main reason to use Windows is because that is what is required to run most MMOs. Beyond that, I prefer other operating systems and OS X and Linux comes out ahead in that respect.
In the video attached to this latest update (follow the link above), Ragnar, Dag and Martin talks about how to introduce new players into the game and its universe. They also announced that on this Friday, they will play through the earlier games (The Longest Journey & Dreamfall) live on TwitchTV.
That is probably going to be a marathon gaming session and that have not given the specific times yet, but could be fun to take a peek for a while – at least during the parts I have already played through – do not want to get spoilers….
It was created by Luis von Ahn, creator of reCAPTCHA, and a couple of other people. While one important part of the service is translation of text, I find it also interesting because they have gamified the learning process.
Each lesson gives you points after completion, similar to gaining XP. After you have received a certain amount of points you gain a level. As you level, more skill/learning options open up for you. After receiving a certain proficiency in an area, one can continue to move on to other areas, or continue with mastering that area. In is in the latter option that the crowdsourced translation seems to be taking place.
Each lesson also give each student/player 4 lives (hearts) – if an answer is wrong, you lose one heart. If you lose all hearts, you fail the lesson and have to redo it to progress. The more hearts you have after a lesson, the more “xp” you get.
Each lesson is fairly short and the time can be counted in minutes. I found it quite fun and enjoyable to play/learn through DuoLingo. To try it out I started with German, a language I studied for only 3-4 weeks long ago in my youth in high school before switching to French and Russian.
So far I have reached level 4 and judging from the skill tree, there is a lot of ground to cover.
The site offers language training in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English – the latter for speakers of some of the Latin languages, the others for those who speak English.
So what will your proficiency in a language be after completing the DuoLingo training? There is a Reddit discussion on this topic, which relates what is learned to CEFR level definitions. In some areas abilities/skills may be at B1 level, other areas DuoLingo is weaker. Considering the number of hours CEFR estimates for reaching certain proficiency levels compared to the number of hours people seem to need in general to complete a DuoLingo training, it seems DuoLingo is fairly efficient.
I do recommend reading the comments that are attached to each exercise, in particular if you do not quite understand the correct answer – DuoLingo does not go out of its way to explain the grammar. There are grammar descriptions, but not everything is explained in detail. Here comments from native/knowledgable people can be quite helpful.
Try it out – it is F2P and there is no item shop, lockboxes or pay-to-win features….